Celebrating Our Student Bloggers on International Students' Day – Broadway World

November 17th is International Students’ Day, and BroadwayWorld is celebrating the work of our student bloggers! Each month, student bloggers from all over the world share their experiences and tips for surviving the college years as theatre students over on our Student Center page.
Check out excerpts from a few of our student bloggers’ work below!


Katelyn Kruszewski, University of Pittsburgh

From “45 Hours in a Costume Shop”
Thirty-four, thirty-two, thirty-two, twenty-eight, fifty-No. That can’t possibly be right. I run the numbers in my head, pulling the garment from the rack to resize later.
“I’m almost done with the pants!” I call to my supervisor.
CRASH!
At least ten pairs of pants fall off of the side, spilling in a pool of tweed and cotton fabrics. The pants lose their respective hangers, tags falling from their sides. The tags I was tasked with organizing. Dust blows up into my face.
“Just kidding.”
My first day in the Costume Shop was a frustrating one. A required course for all Theatre Arts minors, Theatrical Production is a class in which students are tasked with working in a specific division of the Mainstage production process behind the scenes. These divisions include Costume Shop, Prop Shop, Run Crew, Scenic Design, and more. Each student is required to work 45 hours throughout the semester in addition to ushering two Mainstage productions.
To read more, click here.

Justine So, Rollins College

From “Back to Rollins College Post Hurricane Ian”
Hurricane Ian put a stop to classes for about two weeks but thankfully all my friends, family, and professors are safe. Campus was flooded for a couple days and a couple buildings were damaged (not any residence halls though). Two days of classes were redirected online to allow students and professors ample time to take care of their homes and families. The College was able to repair the damage and welcome back students just before the pre-scheduled fall break.
This first semester of college has had its challenges, but I definitely feel like I’m right where I need to be. If anyone reading this needs a word of encouragement, I’d say to take every opportunity that comes at you. I had a teacher once tell me that “the only one limiting you is yourself” and since then I’ve taken that to heart and even if I’m anxious about trying something new or auditioning, I do the thing anyway because who knows, maybe I’ll get that role I’ve dreamed of or meet someone that could help me on my journey.
To read more, click here.

Silvana FS, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico

From “Lessons I’ve Learned from Theater and How They’ve Been Helping Me This Year”
Everyone has a superpower: I started doing theater just a couple of months ago but on my first day of class, my teacher told everyone that he always says that “Everyone has a superpower”. Meaning that some abilities may be seen as ordinary but in specific context or situation, it can be a superpower and that’s something we have to discover in things we do day by day. In my case I’m working on that while I try different roles in this industry I’m entering and at the beginning it’s hard because there are many things you need to learn but that’s also part of the process. The key is to try, maybe fail from time to time, learn and work hard so you show to the world that you are more special and actually can bring something special to the world.
To read more, click here.

Madeline Stutte, Columbia College Chicago

From “Broadway Themed Halloween on a College Budget”
Halloween is my favorite holiday and, let’s be honest, I’m quite a perfectionist about it. Every detail of my Broadway-themed costume has to be perfect from head to toe, and I always have to have something to do on the night of the holiday. However, this year is different. I just started college, I’m not at the age of trick-or-treating anymore, and I don’t have the money for an extravagant costume. Being in this position as a teenager feels incredibly hard, as I still want to enjoy the night but there are so many things holding me back from what I usually enjoy doing. Having taken note of my money in the past month or so, I realized quickly that I had to get creative this season. I set myself a budget of fifty dollars, put together a costume plan, and got to work.
The costume that I was absolutely set on creating was Charlie Price. Between a half a suit and a pair of pale blue boxers, this leading man from Broadway’s KINKY BOOTS has a simple costume in most aspects- except, of course, the boots. These shiny red lace-ups proved to be such a huge challenge to the budget I had set that I almost ditched the entire costume idea altogether. However, I was not going to give up that easily. I scoured the internet, visited every shoe store in downtown Chicago, and picked through every clearance shelf I could find. After a week or so, I discovered the solution: Poshmark. I weighed my options on the used clothing site, got in contact with a woman who had the perfect boots, and they were on my way within only a few days. I was absolutely ecstatic given the fact that they were $25 and only needed a few functional repairs to reach their fullest potential!
To read more, click here.

Lina Batista, University of the Arts

From “Back to School with Lina Batista”
Another exciting event that happened was that I was a part of a Senior Project within my university! My colleague Santiago Castro wrote this project. He is a Directing, Playwriting, and Production major with a Playwright focus at UArts and has written life-changing works. His play “Visionces Del Cuerpo” brings the audience into the body of a Latinx person, moving through the mind, heart, and muscle. It explores what it feels like to experience culture in one’s abdomen. Trauma in blood vessels? Joy in the lungs? How does space affect the way memories are revisited? How does mental illness affect taste buds? This piece is an anarchist’s meditation on all that has ever been stored in the body. A reminder of where we come from and the regeneration of cells and memories. I played the role of “Hands” in this play. It was such a moving experience to create this devised piece of work in only ten rehearsals! It was a gift to be in a room with all Latinx actors and creators, something that needs to happen more within the world of theatre! It was a piece that has taught me a lot about myself and my artistic process and I am honored to have been a part of such meaningful work.
To read more, click here.

Ashley Hajimirsadeghi, Towson University

From “Finding Out What Truly Matters”
Up until August of 2022, I had not been in a classroom in almost two and a half years. The last time I had stepped into one was during my bachelor’s degree, only days before the COVID-19 pandemic took over New York City. I was attending a fashion school back then and was really lost about what I wanted to do. Fast forward to now. I am preparing to start my master’s degree in Global Humanities, moved to another city, my hometown, to start over fresh again. With several internships and jobs under my belt, I thought I knew what I wanted going into this semester, but I was proven very wrong by the end of the first month.
My vision of the future and my recent plans going into the semester included pursuing a PhD. Having worked in theatre and film during the pandemic, discovering how these industries could make an impact through an ethnographic lens, I had decided I was going to pursue anthropology. My dream was to conduct ethnography projects on women’s arts, specifically theater and literature. This would mark a drastic change from what I had studied previously, which was International Trade and Fashion Business.
To read more, click here.

Mackenzie Elisa, Kings College London and Shakespeare’s Globe

From “Fail Big!”
As you can tell, I have a dual passion for both theatre and academia. I feel confident in my education to pursue a career as an actor and to begin to navigate this crazy industry, but I felt as if I could take my education further on the academia side. I found this incredible program in London that was split between King’s College and Shakespeare’s Globe, and I applied on a whim thinking if I didn’t get it then I would just make the move to New York and start auditioning- well, despite all of the imposter syndrome, I got in! I’m still trying to find my footing in the world of academia, but I can say that this jump was entirely worth it!
SO, I am hereby giving you permission to explore all of your passions! You can try new things and build other skill sets while still staying true to your (in my case, musical theatre) roots and grow both passions consecutively! Being well-rounded as an artist is so important AND it is especially important that you have a life outside of theatre! Sometimes, and I promise you will feel this at some point, you just need to not think about that audition or monologues for a little bit- and I promise it’s ok! College is the time for you to try new things and “fail big” so take every opportunity presented to you to grow and learn! You never know, you may be pleasantly surprised by something and find a brand new lifelong passion!
To read more, click here.

Diana Vidals, Wagner College

From “Surviving Midterms”
In college, there is no scarier word than *dun dun dun*… MIDTERMS! I will be the first to admit I am not particularly fond of tests. Test anxiety has always gotten the best of me causing me to blank the second the test is placed on my desk. Luckily I only had one midterm this semester which was for my script analysis class. This test would review the plays that we read so far in the semester. “Perfect!” I thought, “seems easy… now how do I study?”
The first thing I did was join a study group. In the past, when I studied it would be with the help of my sister with flashcards or old tests. However, with this test, we were starting from scratch, it was our first-ever test! So my friend and I booked a study room at the library and were joined by another classmate. I found this setup ideal, it was enough people to have multiple viewpoints and levels of knowledge on these plays but just small enough to remain focused. I absolutely loved this study group, while we obviously took studying seriously we had some fun and got a lot done. The best idea and new habit I walked out of this study group with was making a study guide! Study sheets are so helpful, especially if you know what topics will be on the test. This study guide was the perfect way to study in a group, alone, and quickly in the spare minutes I had before the test. On the day of the test, I took part in another study group just for a quick review. This study room was filled to the brim with my classmates who were all anxiously trying to prepare as well. While this study group was fun, it was also chaotic. I think smaller study groups work best because it’s easier to remain on track.
To read more, click here.

Taylor Smith, George Washington University

From “Working at the Kennedy Center!”
On September 14th, 2021 I attended The Kennedy Center’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert. I got to see performances from incredible talent such as Kelli O’Hara, Abigail Barlow, Emily Bear, Joshua Henry, and Renee Fleming. This was my first time visiting the performing arts center and I was completely awestruck. I had never been to such a beautiful and elegant theater. After the concert concluded, I couldn’t help but want to go back as soon as possible. Since then, I have taken advantage of their student tickets which has allowed me to see shows such as Hadestown and Mean Girls for only $20. After spending a good amount of time there during my freshman year of college, I knew I wanted to apply to work at The Kennedy Center as soon as possible. Sadly there were no positions available at the time, but during the summer of 2022, they accepted applications for usher positions so I perfected my resume and submitted an application.
In August of 2022, a week before the start of my sophomore year at George Washington University, I was asked to interview for the usher position. I was hired during the interview and I was overjoyed. I spent most of high school working in restaurants so this was an incredibly exciting change, to say the least. Looking forward to going to work before every single shift is such an incredible feeling that I do not take for granted.
To read more, click here.

Meagan Rousse, Nichols State University

From “You Can’t Stop the Beat: Theater Life in Thibodaux”
I never understood how much I took performing for granted until the pandemic hit.
I missed goofing off backstage with my friends, stressing about being off book in time, and the feeling of stepping out on opening night.
Without a doubt, I understood the safety measures that needed to be taken to ensure I could have a place to perform when the time came. Thanks to Zoom, YouTube, and Social Media there were still opportunities to share our talents from the comfort and safety of our homes.
Three years into pandemic life and theater in Thibodaux, Louisiana is slowly getting back to what it once was.
To read more, click here.

Megan O’Keefe, University of Oregon:

From “The Big Question: ‘What Do You Want To Do After College?'”
The question that burdens every college student. Regardless of grade level, it is unavoidable. Family, adults, and strangers alike hear the word “college” and automatically ask about graduation plans. For many, the sheer mention of graduation causes panic and anxiety. If we are in college to study and pursue a career we are passionate about, why are we so afraid of the big question?
The fear of graduating dawns on every student at least once in their college career. Whether it was when you failed your first exam, accidentally slept late and missed a final, or contemplated switching majors. Feeling inadequate is something many students empathize with on a personal level. Between the shadows of self-doubt and fears of the future, it is no wonder college students hate to hear the question “so, what do you want to do after college?”
To read more, click here.


For more information on how to get involved with Student Blogging in future semesters, click here.
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