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What it’s Like to Be an Acting Major

November 21, 2019
  • What it’s Like to Be an Acting Major

Written By: Travis Raeburn

I am currently a Senior Acting major, and one class I love is my Acting on Camera class. It is a class taught by Rosalyn Coleman-Williams, who is an outstanding teacher, actor and person. Rosalyn studied at the Yale School of Drama, and she has been in so many projects that it can put anyone’s resume to shame. As seniors, we finally get an Acting on Camera class, after three years of acting with three different teacher for three years that is tailored to theater. We only get a workshop of eight classes, so we do not have a full semester of the class, but I wish we did. Class starts with us setting up the camera in front of a board that is about a hundred pounds to lift up. Our first class, we started with a little introduction of ourselves, telling her one thing about how we like to learn. Since being in this conservatory for three and a half years, most teachers rarely have us introduce ourselves because we only take classes with the small number of students within each acting class. We first had Rosalyn as a substitute teacher for freshman year acting class when my acting teacher, Charles Tuthill, had passed. It was quite sudden, and Rosalyn took his place for about two weeks because it was the end of our freshman year and we had to quickly rehearse our freshman scenes for the faculty review. Our last class is coming up, which I am quite sad for.

For the last three to four classes, we have been working on the pilot for Scandal, which is exciting. All of the women in the class played the role of Quinn. They had three of Quinn’s scenes to memorize and prepare for the class. Everyday, the scenes would build in sequential order. The first class was treated as the first mock audition. It was as if we had an audition for the show and our representation sent us out for the first round. Then, the second round of auditions were the callbacks where the student prepared two of the scenes. The third round was the mock “screen test,” in front of producers and directors at the television network. The men had the option of preparing either Harrison or Stephen. I chose Stephen, so I had to go through the same process as if everyone else. The class before, we prepared the pilots we got to pick scenes from any movie or TV script. I picked a scene from a film I had auditioned for about a month ago. It was a long and intense indie script, and I do not think I did myself justice when I had initially auditioned for project. While being coached on it with Ross, it was very helpful. We had two required books for the class, How to Get The Part, and Mindsets, which were both great books to boost the artist’s self esteem and to maintain focus.