on saying goodbye
by Sydney Berk '13 (Editor of "The Spotlight")
I say goodbye to my position as Editor of the Spotlight with deepest gratitude for those that I work with as well as this program in general. Graduating is a funny thing. I have watched 3 other classes leave and I always thought I knew what I would feel when it was my turn. I thought I would feel fear and sadness and excitement and all of these big, overwhelming emotions. That is somewhat true as I do feel all those things, but mostly I feel a sense of peace. I feel I have been blessed with this extraordinary education and now, I am ready to leave. The opportunities I have had here, have changed me, shaped me and given me a clear vision of who I want to be as a person and as an artist. I could go on and on about how the experience of developing As I Lay Dying truly changed how I work and what I want to do with my life, or how much I adored playing Elizabeth Proctor and Elle Woods.
I could write a book on the joy of directing References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot and the endless lessons I took away from being mentored by Dayna Anderson on that project. But the truth of the matter is, those experiences are in the past. They are over. What I have now is a long list of lessons I have learned from my Professors as well as my experiences here. I don't live them daily yet but I am going to try my best to carry them with me always.
I share them with you…
- Be fearless.
- Every limitation is truly access to a million possibilities you never would have thought of otherwise.
- Spot your peers, don't let them fall.
- Every failure is a new lesson you will never forget.
- If you want it, go for it. It's not coming to you and if you hesitate, someone else will have already snatched up the opportunity.
- Throw your ENTIRE self into it, giving half of yourself to your ensemble is not enough.
- Ask for feedback.
- Every moment is an opportunity for a lesson
- That ego you have will do nothing good for you. Listen instead of talking.
- Share what you love instead of bashing what you hate. Positivity fuels things, negativity kills them.
- Don't compete with others, compete with yourself.
- Research. Research. Research.
- Not getting cast is good for you. It makes you work harder.
- Being an individual is incredibly powerful. The cookie cutters will get nowhere, those who wear their unique spirit on their sleeve are going to get noticed.
- Those that I respect most are the people who you will never catch talking about someone behind their backs.
- Opportunities are made, not found.
- Educate yourself. Everyone loves a smart actor.
- Coffee is essential
- Work Smarter, Not Harder.
- We are family and you don't turn screw over your family.
I look forward to working with my Catawba family out in the big crazy world. This school is a hidden treasure and although my college experience has been anything but typical, I wouldn't change it for anything. Professors, thank you. Current students, don't take these opportunities for granted, they are rare. Future students you are making the right choice. Alumni, I join you.