This year, I have tried new things and put myself in new atmospheres.  From joining a fraternity on campus to performing stand-up comedy at the Knight Club, I have gotten involved in many new activities and clubs on campus. Before break, I auditioned for a play at the Schuster Theater. I decided to audition because I like to try new things.  I’ve always wanted to try acting, but I never had the opportunity in high school, so I decided to try it in college. Even though I like to perform stand-up on the side, I have never done a production that requires me to act in a character.  When I tell this to people they usually say things like, “Well, it’s just like public speaking or a stand-up set stand-up set.  How is this any different?”

The answer to this is that it is way different than stand-up comedy even though the two aspects of performance share a few similar qualities. Stand-up comedy and theater are similar because they both require you to entertain the crowd and sell them on your story through keeping their attention. The two are also different, however, as in theater, you don’t write the script and you don’t write the character on stage.  In stand-up comedy, you can be yourself or play a different version of yourself on stage. You are in control of the show in the sense that you control what you say and most of the time it is unrehearsed.

Theater, on the other hand, provides a script, costume and personality you have to become.  This was the part of theater that I thought I was going to have the most trouble adapting to. Going into the audition, I didn’t care if I got a role.  I was honestly just auditioning for the fun of it. Whether or not I earned a role didn’t matter to me. I was just happy that I, once again, went against my shyness and put myself outside of my comfort zone and tried a new experience.

After the audition, I thought I wasn’t going to receive a part in the play, but I was okay with that.  When I received an email that told me I earned a part in the play, I was shocked to say the least. It wasn’t a big role, but I didn’t expect to get anything big due to this being my first show. I was very excited to be part of a production for the first time.  I picked up my script before break started and I read through the story, excited to partake in this new experience in my college career.

When the first day of rehearsal came, I was a little nervous.  I was worried I would mess something up, all of the theater kids would judge me or that I wouldn’t belong in the theater group.  While these thoughts ran through my head, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I had more in common with this group of people than I thought I would.

When it came to making friends in the theater program, I didn’t have a hard time.  This was because I already knew a few of the people in the program through the fraternity I’m part of.  This helped me because I was able to feel more comfortable stepping outside of my comfort zone when I knew I had a good group of friends that were supportive and willing to help me along the way. As the weeks went by, I started to become more and more comfortable in front of this new group of people. I also started to discover a new interest in the art of performance and storytelling through theater and the production of a show.

The show has and I couldn’t be more excited.  All of the hard work that has been put into telling the story is paying off. I am excited to be part of a theatrical production for the first time.  This experience has been one that I have been enjoying for the entire length of the journey.  Through escaping my comfort zone, once again, I have discovered something new that I enjoy. I can’t wait to see where my college journey takes me next and what new experiences await me in the future.