What Juilliard Means to Me
To be honest, I initially approached the topic “What Juilliard Means to Me” with trepidation. Giggling to myself, I typed subheaders such as “Hair Loss,” “Yelling,” and “Not Capable Of Doing Simple Daily Tasks And Instead Pretending To Be A T Rex For 3 Hours.” This is what it means to be a drama student at Juilliard.
Even though I approach the topic with sarcasm, I can’t help but be grateful, especially on a day like today. At the beginning of each year, the drama division welcomes the new class of actors by holding an event called showings, where everyone goes onstage and does two and a half minutes of a performance of their choosing: it ranges from silence to interpretive dance to poetry.
As a first year, it was awfully frightening, but now that I’m a third year, my experience was entirely different. Re-experiencing my classmates’ work after a summer away was beautiful. I was engrossed in everybody’s performance and deeply moved at how much we have grown. There was intention and focus behind the pieces, but it was never pushed. Work that doesn’t look like work is what watching a play should feel like. I am letting the talent and discipline I witness fuel me to be better.
We don’t often give ourselves the pleasure of taking in good things. We line our days with complaints and leave our awe to fester in the dark. Walking down the hallway after the showing, seeing familiar faces and hearing faint violin floating out of a distant practice room, I know I’m in the right place. I have to keep reminding myself of this as I sit in a 9am movement class, or a liberal arts class where I’m so exhausted I doze off.
I’m excited for this year. I’m excited for new directors, playwrights, shows, actors, musicians, and dancers. I’m excited for challenges. I’m excited to make an impact in a larger community.
Here’s a picture of my Gluck group and I after a performance at a nursing home on the upper west side. Gluck is an outreach program where musicians, actors, and dancers get a chance to collaborate on pieces and perform them in psychiatric facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, and more.
This is one of the most fulfilling things I do at Juilliard and I’m so grateful I get to dive in with these dear friends again. Here’s to a successful and joyous year of creation!