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Open Access Publications from the University of California

MFA on Wheels

  • Author(s): Linton, Regan Ashley
  • Advisor(s): Donnelly, Kyle
  • et al.

MFA Actor training: three years of character schizophrenia, interpersonal conflagration, fatigue-based medical challenges, alienation from the "normal" world, and interrupted connection with family, friends, home, and equilibrium.

So...WHY? Moreover, being a person who navigates the world on wheels and already endures the unique stresses of spinal cord injury, why instigate a reworking of philosophies in a program that has been based on bipedal bodily status quos?

Some might think I had something to prove. And they'd be correct. From my first moment onstage at UCSD, I charged myself to prove my own worth and the collective value of a population that has been historically and systematically cast out, marginalized, and devalued, even in the artistic community.

My three years at UCSD have exposed every ounce of potential tucked inside the mysterious instrument that is my body...even in my apparently non-feeling, "quiet" parts. My philosopher self has learned to externalize the internal; to translate cerebrations into action that can be observed and absorbed onstage by my fellow human beings. And now I can roll forward, on-voice, full-body, with an active heart and clear intention, to awaken others from their life malaise and illustrate that things can be more than what they seem. Hopefully I will encourage other "abby-normal" humans to embrace the uniqueness of their identities and break out of their fears, hurts, and set conceptions of reality to engage with the world. To be a do-er. A live-er. An ACTor. To be exact, an MFA - Mothafuckin' Actor - on Wheels.

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