Today marked my last acting class I “have” to take in college, and I have to admit that I’m more than a little sentimental about the entire thing.
Looking back at where I started and how far I’ve come I almost can’t believe the amount I’ve progressed. When I started college I wasn’t even planning on falling back into theater. I was determined to appease my parents and stick myself in a dead end job, forever pining to be in the theater, doing it in my spare time when I could. Even though my heart was fully in theater, and always has been, I wanted to “do right” by my parents. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on perspective) that was a fleeting thought and by the end of the year I was right back where I wanted to be. Disregarding the journey to my theater major, I was still a pretentious cocky freshman, thinking that because I’ve done theater most of my life that I knew everything. Thankfully, I was knocked on my ass by one Linda Bisesti, and I am eternally grateful for that ever since.
She was the first professor to push me, who made me believe that I could actually be better, that I was actually talented. Her and I may have gotten into some squabbles, and brawls, about the art we do and the theatrical choices I’ve made, but in the end we’ve always some how seen eye to eye. In retrospect, it’s probably because of her that I’m so willing to be more open, risque, and daring onstage. Because she pushed me to the edge, and challenged me to actually feel the emotions instead of just play them, and forced me to use the language I was given instead of just saying the words blindly. Because she gave a damn about my education as an actor, is the reason I’m even half the actor I am today. It’s because of her drive for me to be educated that I can actually listen to the direction I’m given and actually apply it to my work. Now I’m not saying I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am without her, I probably would’ve reached this pinnacle at one point, I’m just saying she got me here in the quickest and most efficient of ways.
Acting at Cal Poly has been an amazing ride, and not always in the best of ways, but I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. I am so grateful for all of it, and even though it’s not completely over, I am happy with where I’ve gotten (and where I have to go). I am going to do this for the rest of my life, so it’s exciting to know that I will never stop learning, but I’m more excited to have learned what I’ve learned thus far. I love this more than the air I breathe, in fact it is the air I breathe, so the fact that I’ve learned to breathe this easily and with this much grace has made it all worth it. While the air hasn’t always been the sweetest or most clear, I’m still blessed to have had the opportunity to wade through it to get to where I am now.