Fourth Year Is Great So Far
I'm having more free time than I am used to and sometimes I don't know what to do with myself. This is something I anticipated given the feedback I received from past fourth year students. I'm not complaining at all, I think it's great! It's what I've always wanted - to have more free time! For the past few days, I've been walking around Juilliard with a deep sense of gratitude and "presence." I am deeply aware of my great "luck" and this gift of the universe of allowing me to embark on this journey. There is also a sense of having earned this phase of my training; that I worked very hard and maximised each phase and have taken no short-cuts. Now I feel as if I can enjoy more time to myself, play more in the work and also enjoy the fact that I am cast in two great roles in two great plays this year.
I don't know how else to express it. It's as if all these good things are happening and I feel, "I deserve this, I really do." And I walk around the Juilliard building having a sense of that. It's very hard to describe and I feel the need to articulate it to anyone who cares to read or listen.
Also, I want to clarify that even though I feel that I've worked very hard to earn this phase, I am aware that the work is not over. What I do feel that I have outgrown is the phase where I was perpetually in "survival mode," and now that I'm finally beginning to sense my feet under me I can move through the world and life with more grace and ease.
My classes this year (so far), begin at different times. Some days it begins at 9:30AM, some at 10AM, some at 11AM and so on. I no longer have the 9:00AM - 10:00PM schedule which I've had from first year to third year. Rehearsals for Chino Toledo's "Agos" doesn't begin until September 22 (and even that is not an everyday thing), and rehearsals for "Into the Woods" doesn't begin until October 22. If I do have something Juilliard-related in the evenings, it's mostly ushering jobs I've signed up for or "Audition Techniques" classes.
Audition Techniques classes are so interesting and new to me. We have actual casting directors in the industry facilitating those classes. We were even at the Warner Bros. Studio in Manhattan last Wednesday! I thought that I would be terrified of this final year, given the uncertainty of what the next phase presents. Interestingly, I've been very excited and filled with a deep sense of faith and trust. I have such faith and trust in my journey and the intangible things I have built for myself with hard work, integrity, love and trust that I don't imagine it turning into something terrible.
I've also met a new Filipino American, whose name is Gaven Trinidad. He works as an Administrative Apprentice for Academic Year 2018-19 of the Juilliard Drama Division so I see him at the Drama office every day! He has an MFA in Dramaturgy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and he is one of the few Asian American dramaturgs in New York City. He also has a great website and a blog! Check him out at https://www.gaventrinidadtheatre.com. In addition to Juilliard Production Manager Cristina Sison, and faculty member Orlando Pabotoy, I have one more person at Juilliard I can speak to in Filipino every day. I am so glad to have him in the community just as I am ready to bridge into the profession!
I'm sensing from myself more readiness to start moving out of my Juilliard bubble in a social way. I've begun to move out of the Juilliard bubble by living off-campus and working for Mr. Jerome Butler at his office mid-town. But what I mean is, I am more curious to learn more about the Asian American film and theatre community and welcoming the idea of speaking to people in the professional industry with a sense of possibility to work together or collaborate in the future. I want Asian American industry practitioners to know that "I am here - hire me." I think this is also one of the things that I appreciate about this new phase. I am coming out of a deep period of hibernation, investigation, skills acquiring, training, solitude and healing. Now, I feel a deeper sense of grounding, of my own beauty as a human being, of my talent and skill as an artist and my own worth as a person.
I am a Graduate Drama student at The Juilliard School from Quezon City, Philippines.