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How Accessible are Professors Outside of Class?

October 27, 2020
  • Virtual Theatre

Written by: Maya Whitaker

 

Speaking from a conservatory setting, we were all worried about having direct access to our professors and advisors. The Design/Technology program is very small, each class ranging from anywhere between 5 to 20 students, so we have always had extremely good relationships with our professors. They know us and our work; therefore, they are usually the first ones to get us professional jobs outside of school. When COVID-19 first hit, it was a scramble to turn a mostly hands-on in-person program virtual. But, because all of our professors work professionally in the industry, we were, and still are, on indefinite hold until the safety of patrons and workers are guaranteed. This made it possible for our professors and advisors to be there for us even more than they had been before. We are all preparing for the inevitable “re-open” and we are all trying to adapt to this new world we were thrust into.

 

Now, the professors are even more receptive and willing to help us through this difficult time. As a senior, I have reached out to my advisor and professors on how I can successfully prepare to adapt to the rapidly-changing world; despite our situation, they are willing to guide me. My advisor has already begun working with a dance company on live broadcastings and knows how theaters, venues, and concert halls are trying to combat this hold to the best of their ability. They have been transparent with us regarding our employment post-graduation as well as the first to assist us in problems we may run into. As a student, I have always felt heard and cared for in my program; therefore, I am enormously grateful that didn’t change when the industry temporarily closed. I have had many opportunities to grow and learn how to time manage and adapt to unforeseen circumstances because of the dedication of my program’s professors and advisors. While it is unfortunate that I cannot see them almost every day and physically show them that growth, I know that they are always willing to take a phone or zoom call to ease any worries. Our success as young artists depends on those who teach us and guide us through our young adult period to prepare us for the real world.

 

Our professors are the first ones to tell us that, though it seems bleak and our industry is dark, art continues to shine through every part of our lives. They haven’t given up their drive to create and perform, so neither should we. Young artists who have had to learn how to adapt to this new age in college will be the first ones that industry professionals will look at for employment. And that is exactly what our professors have been telling us since the beginning.