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On Saying Goodbye

Posted by Sydney Berk '13

May 17, 2013

Category: Student Blogs

berk.jpgI say goodbye to my position as Editor of the Spotlight with deepest gratitude for those that I work with as well as this program in general. Graduating is a funny thing. I have watched 3 other classes leave and I always thought I knew what I would feel when it was my turn. I thought I would feel fear and sadness and excitement and all of these big, overwhelming emotions. That is somewhat true as I do feel all those things, but mostly I feel a sense of peace.  I feel I have been blessed with this extraordinary education and now, I am ready to leave.  The opportunities I have had here, have changed me, shaped me and given me a clear vision of who I want to be as a person and as an artist. I could go on and on about how the experience of developing As I Lay Dying truly changed how I work and what I want to do with my life, or how much I adored playing Elizabeth Proctor and Elle Woods.     I could write a book on the joy of directing References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot and the endless lessons I took away from being mentored by Dayna Anderson on that project. But the truth of the matter is, those experiences are in the past. They are over. What I have now is a long list of lessons I have learned from my Professors as well as my experiences here. I don't live them daily yet but I am going to try my best to carry them with me always.

I share them with you…

  1. Be fearless.
  2. Every limitation is truly access to a million possibilities you never would have thought of otherwise.
  3. Spot your peers, don't let them fall.
  4. Every failure is a new lesson you will never forget.
  5. If you want it, go for it. It's not coming to you and if you hesitate, someone else will have already snatched up the opportunity.
  6. Throw your ENTIRE self into it, giving half of yourself to your ensemble is not enough.
  7. Ask for feedback.
  8. Every moment is an opportunity for a lesson
  9. That ego you have will do nothing good for you. Listen instead of talking.
  10. Share what you love instead of bashing what you hate. Positivity fuels things, negativity kills them.
  11. Don't compete with others, compete with yourself.
  12. Research. Research. Research.
  13. Not getting cast is good for you. It makes you work harder.
  14. Being an individual is incredibly powerful. The cookie cutters will get nowhere, those who wear their unique spirit on their sleeve are going  to get noticed.
  15. Those that I respect most are the people who you will never catch talking about someone behind their backs.
  16. Opportunities are made, not found.
  17. Educate yourself. Everyone loves a smart actor.
  18. Coffee is essential
  19. Work Smarter, Not Harder.
  20. We are family and you don't turn screw over your family.

I look forward to working with my Catawba family out in the big crazy world. This school is a hidden treasure and although my college experience has been anything but typical, I wouldn't change it for anything. Professors, thank you. Current students, don't take these opportunities for granted, they are rare. Future students you are making the right choice. Alumni, I join you.

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