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Be Still Young Man



Be Still Young Man


Toby Onwumere

Master of Fine Arts in Theatre and Dance (Acting)

University of California, San Diego, 2015

Professor Gregory Wallace, Chair

One of the greatest things I have learned during my tenure in grad school was in my 2nd movement class; it was the power that comes not in movement, but ironically in stillness. This has been paramount in my progression as an actor and an artist from my introductory to my last year of training here at UCSD.

In Venus, my final production, I was cast as The Negro Ressurectionist, a part that I anticipated performing due to the high energy and physical nature of the role. Throughout most of the rehearsal process I outfitted the Negro Ressurectionist with the swagger and the fluid movement befitting the showman that I thought him to be.

Although this was gratifying, as it demonstrates my abilities, it was in the stillness of the showman that provided me with the most interesting and memorable moments in the production. The stillness before the keyboard strike to incite a party within a love nest, the stillness shortly after the demise of the Venus Hottentot, and the stillness right as the spotlight opens its eye to reveal the audience's Master of Ceremonies all carried with them an exceptional amount of anticipation, gravity and power.

In the end, I have gained a deep appreciation for movement, but through the lens of Venus I am now able to fully realize the importance and necessity of stillness, and I will carry this for the rest of my life. It is from the stillness, the potential, that anything is possible.

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