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  • Author(s): Futterman, Rebecca
  • Advisor(s): Meyer, Ursula
  • et al.

When I look back on my time at UCSD and scan through the memories of all of the lessons I’ve learned, everything seems to boil down to one central tool; the ability to listen. Most obviously this skill was applied in every scene I ever worked on, but it was also so integral in pushing my body with Stephen or my voice with Ursula or Eva. The ability to hear with precision and listen with focus and intensity has enabled me to step on stage with confidence. One of the most memorable acting experiences for me during my time at UCSD was working on the brilliant play Ironbound by Martyna Majok. I was wildly excited and also terrified to play the role of Darja. Once she enters the stage, she never leaves and all of her scenes are her and one other actor. I was never going to break character or have a moment to regroup backstage for 90 minutes. Thankfully I had an incredible director leading the way and three fantastic actors to work with; the process was truly a dream from start to finish. I remember standing backstage on opening night and buzzing with nerves, excitement and adrenaline. It felt like I was about to step out of a plane and go sky diving, there was no turning back once I got the go from stage management. But despite the nerves, I knew what I needed to do to succeed. Listen. Go out there and simply listen and respond. I had done the homework, I knew who Darja was and had lived in her shoes for weeks. At this point, the most important thing to do was really hear my scene partners and respond authentically. The most exciting thing about this lesson is it’s ability to be applied anywhere. I know that I can engage with another human being authentically and with my whole self and for that, I will forever be grateful for the time I was lucky to spend at UCSD.

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