SECOND YEAR IN JUILLIARD DRAMA SO FAR
When I was in first year I have heard a lot of things about how and what second year is like. Most of what I’ve heard has been about how difficult and stressful second year is and how that is the hardest year in the program. According to accounts, that is the year when teachers stop being nice to you and begin to tell you what your habits are and what you truly need to work on. On top of that, the workload would get even heavier than that in first year.
With all this in mind, it made me approach the coming of second year with a lot of anxiety. On the other hand, I have heard two accounts from women who have both been through second year saying that they loved that year. They loved it because to them, it is the year when they had the opportunity to take ownership of their craft. Hearing this truly excited me because I wanted that for myself as well.
In the summer that preceded my second year, I have visited my country of origin for the first time after one year abroad (even though I initially dreaded it), I have gotten my first apartment in New York City (and in my life!), learned to cook and do grocery shopping for myself and tackled bed bugs. All of these things have made me thrice a stronger, more grounded and independent person than I was in first year. I have decided that if I can tackle all of those things then I can tackle second year. I am ready for tough love and I am ready to do more work and hold myself accountable for my own growth.
We are now on our second quarter doing table work for the Shakespeare project. I am in the play “Julius Caesar,” and I play Portia, among other characters. Our teachers have become more specific in what they are asking from us, and we have gone deeper in how we view our ways of approaching the work. I spend most of my breaks doing homework or practicing my speech exercises or looking up heightened words from verse and I’m getting roughly 6 hours of sleep most days. In the past this would have exhausted me easily but now my work is feeding me instead of draining me. There is something very satisfying in seeing how far I can go compared to last year. I will most likely continue working this way as long as I continue to find purpose and joy in it.
REGINA DE VERA