Seniors to perform in NYC with hopes of becoming professionals

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    “We’re not crazy,” senior Kyle Montgomery said, laughing with fellow senior Jenna Meador.

    They face the end of their time at TCU and prepare for the next chapter in their lives: professional theater.

    The TCU theatre department chooses some of the seniors in its department to go to New York City during spring break with the hopes of gaining connections with casting agents.

    This eclectic group of seniors includes theater minors, bachelors of arts and bachelor of fine arts students.

    Montgomery and Meador are two of these seniors.

    Through the senior showcase, students present various works including monologues and songs in front of a series of casting directors for theater and film.

    The directors then select which students they want to call back and they are interviewed with the hopes of getting agents.

    For these seniors, many considerations should be taken into account before making the big leap to the Big Apple.

    A major concern, and even fear, for many aspiring performers is financial stability, Meador said.

    “You could be a wonderful actor and there’s still going to be times where you’re not working,” Meador said, a speech pathology major with a theatre minor.

    A common way to describe this financial concern is the “valley and trench system,” said senior musical theatre major Montgomery.

    “Sometimes you’re going to have a lot of work, then sometimes there’s going to be moments where there’s just nothing. It’s dry,” Montgomery said.

    But despite this fear, these students said they will still push forward to obtain their dreams.

    “I don’t think we have much of a choice,” Meador says. “Life, even though it’s so unenjoyable sometimes, would just seem unbearable if you couldn’t do it.”

    Montgomery sees this career as a calling.

    “It’s the one thing that you love to do,” he said, “so why not do the one thing you are called to do? It’s the one thing in life that fills your soul, and makes you happy.”

    Knowing yourself early and becoming versatile performers during college are two pieces of advice that these seniors want to give to other theatre students.

    “Try a lot of different things,” Meador says. “Because in this business, the more tools you have in your tool belt, the more work you are going to get.”

    Knowing what is in your “tool belt” can help performers advertise themselves to agencies.

    “I try to think of myself as my own corporation,” Montgomery says. “So what of your company, yourself, is your weakest points, and how can you improve them? But also remain true to yourself and know where you come from.”

    Passion helps these students drive towards this career path.

    “It seems crazy to just go and perform in New York and hope that something will catch,” Montgomery says. “But it’s just the love of what we do.”

    “We’re not crazy; we’re just passionate.”