If you have been following my blog for a while, you know I recently graduated from Gardner Webb University only a year ago. I had a Sociology Major with a double minor: one of which was theatre. Why do you think I managed to fit in that theatre minor while I was still trying to minor in Spanish cultural studies?
I think the answer to that lies no further than my first semester of Gardner Webb University. As a general ed. requirement, you have to take a public speaking class, and acting I counts. I did not want to be stuck with public speaking so I took acting I instead. It was in that semester where I really learned how difficult acting was. There are so many things you have to know how to do to get into someone who isn’t you- obviously memorizing the lines is the first step. There is the listening side to acting and you have to be aware of body language. I was memorizing my first monologue and scene, and that proved to be a difficult task. It was not easy to transform into another character. I was required to see both productions- Music Man and #8. Our final assignment was to show a different side of ourselves, and I choose to sing “Popular” even though I knew I was not a good singer. My teacher was the one who recommended me to continue theatre classes- if it wasn’t for that recommendation, there was no way I would have been a theatre minor. Due to taking that class, I have a lot more appreciation and respect for actors/actresses now that I know just how difficult it is due to taking an acting class myself.
I had already taken theatre appreciation at CPCC. So, I already took two theatre classes. It was 2016 now: Acting II was more advanced- we had to memorize two scenes and two monologues. There were back to back monologues- one dramatic and one comic back to back. My first time, I had to list less information about the characters, but in acting II, my teacher wanted us to get more in detail-as in everything. This was my last acting class. My other theatre classes would be filler if I needed an elective, and now theatre became my backup minor.
Applied theatre- 40 hrs involved in the theatre. I was assigned house manager for the two shows. I was the one selling tickets, but allowed to see one show as long as I got someone looking over front of house. The other hours were from NCTC-a North Carolina high school competition, and I helped sell souvenirs. I did take stage makeup- we were not graded based primarily off of talent, but more based off of improvement. When it comes to a class like that, talent would not make it fair. In terms of full classes, I would have taken 12 credit hours by now- theatre appreciation, acting I, acting II, and now stage makeup. Applied theatre only adds one credit hr- that class, I took it for two more semesters (3 credit hrs total)- in the same role.
In Spring semester 2017, I realized I could have a minor in theatre. I only needed one more credit. Voice and Diction was the class I took Fall 2017- back to some acting. You learned about accents, how to breathe to projects, and the part I struggled with the most was IPA. That class would not make me a theatre minor- I needed stagecraft, but was not offered Spring 2018. I had to email one of the theatre teachers- I learned that Spring 2018 was offering theatre management, and I could take it as a substitute. So I was set- theatre would become a minor. In Theatre Management, I now understand why shows go to the theatre they go to, have a higher appreciation of the crew, and the talent of the cast.
All because my acting I teacher recommended me to taking acting II, I am a theatre minor. Due to what I learned in theatre, I have a higher appreciation of theatre. I am more impressed with the talent I have seen on stage- now that I know is is harder than it seems. I am able to appreciate the crew. I now know the rehearsal schedule- it starts as a regular rehearsal eventually going into tech. I did not realize that for a show to start on opening day that the crew has to go backward. There are reasons why I have a high appreciation for everyone involved in theatre- all because I am a theatre minor.