“Struggle & Joy:” Student Perspective on the Move to Virtual Classes Part 5

Apr

27

Contributed in quarantine by Emma Welch

Part 5 in a series of 6 – Catch up on Part 1, Part 2Part 3, & Part 4


 

BRIGHT LIGHTS IN THE DARKNESS

At the end of each conversation, I asked everyone to tell me some ‘bright lights’ in this time. Things that are keeping them going – keeping them inspired, grounded, creative & sane.

 

Here’s what they shared:

Gianna in post-self-tape-completion glee

 

Gianna said the first week of quarantine was her most un-anxious week ever. The sense of having nothing to do and nothing to do about it pushed her to “give in to what was happening and let go.” Also having time to stay up-to-date on things like Tiger King. And finding productivity in submitting a kick-ass self-tape.

 

Kim is settling into “joyful activities – like board games and playing the guitar – things she doesn’t usually allow herself to do because she always feels the need to be growing. But in this moment, they are helping her through.

 

Deonna with her plant babies & her latest read

Jorge described watching the Dear Evan Hansen crew perform virtually on James Corden. “[It was] so profound and beautiful and really touched me….I want to do that, that’s what I want to do….and right now, I’m kinda doing that in class with my own screen and my own scene. I know that this will lead me to be on more screens and will lead me to be the actor I want to be and tell the stories I want to tell. There’re so many I want to tell.  I want to be able to affect people the way that these folks just affected me

 

“What I’ve been thinking about is – ‘If I don’t water these plants, I don’t water myself.’ I need to take care of these plants because it’s a reminder – I’ve been making it a reminder that I need to take care of myself.” Deonna

 

 

Television has always got me through tough times. It’s the reason I want to do what I want to do. I want to be a part of what makes me happy.” Fernando who recommends we watch Billions and Southside.

 

George is grateful for getting to talk to people that he never gets the chance to. He’s been making an ongoing list of people and committing to calling them all.

 

Grace made me cry talking about her partner, with whom she’s in a long distance relationship. “I do truly feel like because of this training and because of therapy and learning how to put my feelings into words, I feel like this relationship wouldn’t have been possible….It’s nice because he’s not an actor, he’s not familiar with Meisner. But he’s so great because when he senses I’m blocking my vulnerability he calls me out on it. He’s like ‘I want you to fall apart in front of me, it’s one of the things I love about you, that you can be messy in front of me’ ” (we were both crying by that point). Another bright light is her friends who still meet up for Mahjong on Friday nights virtually.

Yara with fellow TK powerhouses Mona & Tyshawna at the holiday party

Yara has been using the time to dive into shows and movies 100%. I find myself pausing and rewinding the little moments, really really giving it it’s time and being present in it.” She said she finally got around to Fosse/Verdon which Terry coached Sam Rockwell & Michelle Williams on!

 

Kitty spoke to her practice of meditation and reflection – physicality & stretching. “Just being closer to me. It’s been very emotional and hard and revealing, but I think that’s been the most grounding thing for me.”

 

Alexis enjoyed being nominated by his mentor TJ to join the TK Quarantine Challenge. He had a lot of fun dancing and showcasing his love for Madonna.

 

“I’m really grateful to be spending this unexpected extended time with my parents…..[There’s] so much history and so much meaning that I have with them. That’s given some kind of grounding for me to be with them and to know that I’m doing my work and there, like, in the next room.” Jihoon

 

Berk, Jorge & Grace met with actors around the world to read Much Ado About Nothing

 

 

Berk told me about joining a virtual play-reading group and getting to connect with actors outside of TK

 

Joshua said the new season of Ozark (Terry coached Jordana Spiro on the first 2 seasons!) and tracking his growth so far. Inside of the new challenges, when he takes a look back, he feels “a really strong sense of earning a 2nd-Year place.”

 

Gabe is inspired by the fact that “the entire world is at war against this virus. We are all fighting against the same enemy right now. And I hope that it allows us to combat things like climate change, inequality, after this.” He also spoke to the strength and kindness of the TK community and getting to see into each of his classmates’ different lives and worlds.

 

Victoria is making a list of things to be grateful for, and reminding herself of the importance of her own company. She said, one night, “I set up my room with candles, had my essential oil diffuser, dimmed the lights, had a bottle of wine, and I just sat and did my paint by numbers.”

 

For Fern, it’s creativity, poetry, community and the Complete Works of Shakespeare she found for $10 dollars at a consignment shop on the first day of quarantine – it’s become her “personal bible”

 

KiYonna told me after Zoom class she’s been calling up her classmates who would usually ride the subway home together from the Studio to “pretend it’s our train ride back from class … talk, download, what we would normally do….it’s been really good to do that”

 

Daniel spoke to his Zoom background prank and therapy helping him find focus and grounding in the work; and to finding people more open to conversations in his small interactions at the grocery store and coffee shop. “Gives me this uplifting, hopeful feeling.”

 

 

This is Part 5 of a 6 Part series. To continue reading, please visit our Blog

 


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