The Things Actors Do...

The Things Actors Do...

A Glimpse Into The Trials Actors Face To Tell A Story

Some of life's biggest moments are portrayed onstage from birth to death. For the average person, the idea of a make out session with someone you've just met in front of a large group of strangers seems really daunting, but for an actor, it's all in a day's work. These onstage experiences are something we actors often forget are not a part of a non-actor's life. As an actor, I often find myself pushing the boundaries of normal behavior because my embarrassment threshold is very low when it comes to being the center of attention.

For example, I am currently in a directing class intended for English majors who may need to run theatre programs for youth when they become teachers. In the class, some of us serve as directors while the rest make up the actors, which of course rotates per exercise. Since we are performing about one-minute scenes, not very many crazy out there things can happen, but I was surprised to find some fellow students timid to read lines from the script with the intended emotion.

For many of them, this is their first real theatre class, so of course, shyness is expected, but after spending two years in the theatre department, I forgot that not everyone is as comfortable as us with getting up there and baring our heart to the world.our heart to the world.baring our heart to the world.

While directing my classmates in scenes, I've found that opening them up to becoming comfortable while performing is a much larger part of the process than it is during my other acting classes, and it got me thinking about all the crazy things I've done and seen done onstage that most actors don't think twice about.

Beginning with kissing, I've personally kissed seven different people for onstage purposes, including some that were just for a scene in class, or during an understudy run. But they're all fake, you say! No, actually. I've only done a staged kiss with one of those seven people, because, on the whole, most actors, in my experience, prefer a real kiss because it looks more authentic and helps to establish the relationship in a more realistic way.

Is it awkward? Of course, it is the first few times! Especially if you're an understudy and you have to just go for it because it's your one shot at practice! But kissing is simple compared to some other things we are asked to do.

Marriage is another common occurrence in theatre. Everything is there from the dress to the witnesses to the ceremony itself. It kinda takes the magic out of waiting for your special day when you get "married" five times a week for nine weeks. And along with marriage comes children and that manifests itself in many forms onstage from pregnancy tests to labor.

Currently in "American Idiot," my character faces an unexpected pregnancy from the moment she finds out and has to tell her boyfriend, through the baby bump, all the way to carrying around two separate baby dolls around stage who are just as much my scene partners as my fellow actors. I have played characters who have had babies before, but this show marks my first time wearing a baby bump, and to be honest, it took some getting used to, but as with everything in theatre, your character overwhelms your own feelings and you become one with how your character feels about their situation.

On the topic of children, sex is another big moment shown on stage. With every passing year, more and more shows show nudity, stripping, and sex onstage, for example, "Heathers the Musical" where two characters have sex while singing a song and two other characters also strip onstage in the hopes of getting lucky themselves.

Which finally brings me to one of the most questionable onstage actions, rape. I have personally auditioned for a show where I had to say whether I was comfortable performing in a simulated rape onstage.

I wasn't in the show, but watching that scene was not easy. And it brings me to the ethical question of what you personally are comfortable with doing onstage from cussing to simulating rape. How far are you willing to go to tell the story?

At the end of the day, reflecting on all of the crazy things I've seen and done onstage it seems bizarre that people pay to watch actors live some of life's most personal moments. But I can't imagine my life any different because, at the end of the day, I love what I do, and what I do to tell my characters' story to the audience.

Cover Image Credit: James Ramirez

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It's Time For Action And Progress, People.

It's time we put the differences aside and make decisions for the good of human existence.

About a year ago at this time, a change in the world of politics had the world at an uprising: republicans against democrats, men versus women, and uneasy thoughts of which untrustworthy presidential candidate would take the win. After President Trump took the lead, a sudden change in society occurred. People were joining together in harmony to have their voices heard and protest for what they believe in.

One event out of the many protests that captured my attention was the Women's March. It was held one year ago across the nation and world. People of all races, religions, and genders were willing to put their differences aside to march for a hopeful society that would be willing to change.

Our society has especially come to love the idea of labels, not thinking twice about hurtful actions or words. It's been drilled into our brains — Republicans are conservative and Democrats are believers of an equal economy, only ever concerned about rights of the LGBTQ+ community. This way of thinking has only hurt an already divided society. You can be one or the other; which side do you stand by?

As an independent woman, this controversy had me at an uneasy mindset. Why would I want to be part of a society that was obsessed with being labeled? I want to be seen for my thoughts and ways of living, not as one of a political party who hates the other.

The Women's March put a lot of these uneasy thoughts to rest. No matter what party you may identify as or what label you take with your name, I believe this march demonstrates a much bigger picture that we are missing. This march has proven that putting differences and beliefs aside to feel real, genuine human love is possible.

I had the opportunity to attend the Women's March this year in Des Moines, Iowa where college students, people of the community, and families gathered to take a stand. While last year's march focused on the protest of Trump's election, this year's focus surrounded the messages of getting people to the polls and continuation of resistance through the #MeToo and #ItsTime movements.

It's time we stop the taking the labels. It's time we all vote for those who can't. It's time to listen to those trying to be heard. It's time we put the differences aside and make decisions for the good of human existence.


Cover Image Credit: Hannah Mauser

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The Ultimate Winter Music Playlist For College Students

Essential songs for the coldest season.

You know those songs that just have that wintry feel to them? That's one of my favorite kinds of music — I love the relaxing, acoustic sound the songs have. I love listening to them while walking to class or doing homework at a coffee shop.

I've created a playlist on Spotify (feel free to listen) that consists of a total of 195 songs that I believe have that feel. That's a pretty large amount, so I thought I would shorten the list a little. Here are the songs, in no particular order, that in my opinion are the most essential to getting you through the colder months:

1. The Emotion by BORNS

2. Medicine by the 1975

3. Wash. by Bon Iver

4. Trouble by Cage the Elephant

5. Re: Stacks by Bon Iver

6. Blood Bank by Bon Iver

7. Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars

8. To Build a Home by The Cinematic Orchestra

9. Youth by Daughter

10. Little Lady - Mikill Pane by Ed Sheeran

11. One by Ed Sheeran

12. U.N.I by Ed Sheeran

13. St Jude by Florence + The Machine

14. Falling by Florence + The Machine

15. Someone New by Hozier

16. Take Me to Church by Hozier

17. reunite by Isbells

18. Somewhere Only We Know by Keana

19. Small Hands by Keaton Henson

20. Ribs by Lorde

21. Slow It Down by The Lumineers

22. Animal by Miike Snow

23. Sweater Weather by The Neighbourhood

24. Jolene by Ray LaMontagne

25. Promise by Ben Howard

26. Halo by Ane Brun

27. VCR by The xx

28. Delicate by Damien Rice

29. Oblivion by Bastille

30. Facedown by the 1975

31. Fallingforyou by the 1975

32. Everything's Different Now by the Innocence Machine

33. Winterbreak by MUNA

34. Alaska by Maggie Rogers


Cover Image Credit: Photo by Pankaj Patel on Unsplash

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