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He Stoops to Conquer His Doubts: An Actor's Journey

  • Author(s): Hammond, Michael Sweeney
  • Advisor(s): Donnelly, Kyle
  • et al.
Abstract

What knowledge have I gained over the past two and a half years - lets call it three, it sounds nicer - that I did not know before? What about UC San Diego has changed my life? Everything is an easy answer. But I think I'm going to go with one word: confidence.

Confidence was, is, and will always be the defining word in my life. When I have it, I can go wherever I want; when it leaves me, I become trapped within the walls of my body. So what have I learned here that has taught me to hold on to that confidence? The strength, power and depth of my voice; the length of my spine; the 5 questions of my process; the singing range of my vocal chords; the clarity of my consonants; "O, for a muse of fire"; and the love of myself. I am enough. I am me.

In my personal statement in my application to UCSD, I wrote: "When I leave graduate school, I don't expect to feel like I'm a complete actor; I want to have the confidence and technical skills to explore the creativity of theatre, continue to discover and learn from new experiences, and share the stories of my characters." Rereading it now, I feel like I was yearning for some courage to jump right in into any situation. Do I have that? Sometimes. Do I have more of it than I did before? Most certainly. And that's only after 3 years? Just imagine where I'll be in 20.

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