DeBlogs > Tyler Esselman
In high school, I was an honors student. Like, I mean the textbook definition of an honors student. Anxiety-ridden, stressed and overloaded with positions on the executive boards of student groups. You know the one. That was me. The long-term effects of my honors-induced anxiety is a subject for a novel of Russian proportions, but the benefits I have reaped from the AP/IB/honors seeds that I sowed in high school are undeniable.
The later years of high school consisted of a combination of AP and IB work that helped me take care of a goodly amount of liberal studies requirements during my first couple years of college. I didn’t even get the highest scores on any of those exams and DePaul was still pretty generous with accepting the credit. I was able to complete all of my liberal studies requirements by the end of my second year. This opened my schedule up to take classes that I wanted simply for the fun of it. I took an Islamic studies class, a couple French classes, a German class, and a creative writing class. I was very glad for the opportunity to diversify my class experience outside of The Theatre School. But beyond that, the time gifted to me allowed me to see more shows, get to know more theatre companies, experience more around the city and figure out what my real goals are after school. That’s the biggest benefit. You have to have breathing room in school to be able to build relationships and just wander.
In essence what I’m getting at is that if you’re in the thick of an AP or IB course load in high school right now and you want to pull out your hair, stuff it into your textbook and eat it with mustard, you’re going to survive. And you will reap some reward from the experience. I guarantee it. If nothing else, you’ll know that you can accomplish something you set your mind to and that’s a feeling worth its weight in gold.
Tyler’s Hot Track of the Week:
Future Islands - Seasons (Waiting on You)
This past weekend was The Theatre School’s first audition and interview day of the year. For the next couple months, we will see thousands of students from around the world showcase their talents and see if they might be a good fit for our program. We do these auditions and interviews at regional locations around the country, but I am of the opinion that it is certainly more fun to come and do it on campus. You get the chance to actually work in our beautiful facility and feel out Chicago a bit to see if it might be your bag. Of course, equal consideration is given to all of the auditions done at any of our audition locations. I just think that if you can come visit us on campus you definitely should.
So, for those of you auditioning for our Acting program, let me give you a few pointers on our audition that will hopefully reduce your nerves and help you feel like you can put forth your best work. First off, breathe. Nervousness can make us get all tight and compressed but it will be to your advantage to be as open and available as possible during your work and allowing yourself to breathe is the first step in that direction. And I know it’s not as easy as it sounds sometimes! I still struggle to allow myself to breathe in auditions but when I do, it’s always better. Second, choose a piece that you really love. If you are doing a monologue that you really connect with on a deep level, you will automatically show a lot of who you genuinely are in the piece. And that’s what we want to see. Be willing to show us a little bit of yourself during the limited time we have with you and you can’t lose. Lastly, be willing to play. Acting and collaborating is all about being willing to think on your feet, take what your partner is giving you, and strongly give them something right back. So come in to the process willing to try some new things and surprise yourself. That right there is the best feeling; when you’ve committed so deeply to the piece, and the people you are working with, that you do things you didn’t even know you were capable of. That’s theatre and people will pay to see it.
I hope this has been helpful for those of you out there cutting up monologues and booking tickets to Chicago or wherever else. Who knows? You might even have a little fun when you audition. I sure hope you do.
Tyler’s Hot Track of the
Some mellow vibes and
often devastating lyrics can come from Iron & Wine. Just what the doctor