At the end of last summer I asked some upper level students and alumni from K-State Theatre to consider what advice they would give to students. What resulted was a valuable list of pointers for all who will be doing Theatre at K-State. Read them carefully – there is wisdom here!
Advice From Junior/Senior Theatre Majors and Theatre Alumni
- Take advice. Don’t brush it off as cliché. Everyone is learning. You, too. It will help, trust me. I wish I would have listened. My first few years would have been easier and more rewarding.
- Introduce yourself to everyone.
- Eat well. Skip the fast food. Skip the sodas and vending machines. Your health and grades will suffer.
- Ask questions to anyone whenever you have them. Teachers, students, etc.
- Go to shows, meetings, events, CLASSES, KSTO meetings, Ebony events, showcase, go to everything that is happening because all of those events need your participation.
- Talk to your teachers, it saves a lot of stress and pointless work. Communication may be the most important aspect for success. If I could go back I could have saved a lot of time by doing so.
- Know your limits. If you’re sick (physically or mentally), don’t sweat missing class once and tell the teacher, but after that seek help.
- SEEK HELP: theatre professors, advisors, counseling services, LGBTQ services, women’s center, clinic, etc. are there to help. The Counseling Department does wonders on campus. It doesn’t make you a failure to ask for help. (https://www.k-state.edu/counseling/)
- Everyone here is learning. So you don’t get to be a big shot, and when other people act like big shots, they aren’t really big shots. You aren’t going to win any awards for your acting or designing here, so just do the work and act professionally while studying this thing we all love.
- Make sure that you get everything organized, not just your room, but your life.
- Buy some dark curtains/coverings so you can take naps during the day. Take naps. You really need sleep.
- Try to read a new play every week or so.
- Usher for shows that you aren’t a part of.
- Don’t wait for opportunities. Make opportunities. Put together an event, a show, a showcase. Do a scene at Showcase. Want to learn more about something? Talk to the profs and shadow them or assist them. They love this stuff and they genuinely like students. That’s why they are here.
- Don’t be afraid to throw yourself in, because that’s the only way it will get better. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Professors, upperclassmen, advisors, we genuinely are more than happy to help.
- Stay ahead of your classwork and don’t fall behind. Lastly, have fun and stay motivated. Try new things and get involved with different organizations and groups on campus.
- If you don’t do the work, you will fail and you will be dismissed. This isn’t high school.
- You have just as much of a right to be there as everyone else, and we all are just as confused as you are.
- Develop a circle of friends and an identity outside of Nichols. It helps to have a different circle of friends if everything becomes too dramatic!
- You do not have to be anything but yourself and you will fit in fine. Are you high energy and funny? There will be a place for you. Are you quiet and shy? There are many others who will enjoy sitting beside you as you both read. Let yourself change and evolve as you grow in the department, don’t let it change you. Don’t worry about it: Every actor has dropped a line. Every stage manager has missed a cue. Every designer has underestimated their schedule. Live theatre is so exciting because mistakes can happen – college is the same way. You’re dealing with a lot in a short amount of time and you’ll bury yourself if you obsess over the little things. Did a mistake happen? Treat it like you would on stage and brush yourself off, keep moving.