Displaying items by tag: G201

By Jessica Boone 

Suspended in chaos and uncertainty, we root to what we know. But what happens when we are studying an art form that depends on shared spaces, experiential learning, and community? We keep dancing.

I have struggled to gather the right words to describe our current situation. The School of Dance’s online classes are in full swing. And just as we settle into a new ‘normal,’ the end is in sight.

I am a first-year graduate student in the Master of Fine Arts in Modern Dance program. It has already been a year of bumpy transitions, but I could never have guessed the school year would end with this upheaval. Dance has grounded me before, and it grounds me now in changing ways.

My professors have been flexible and receptive. They are encouraging, offering ways to challenge us creatively, but with great kindness, they acknowledge the real struggle we are all facing.  There is a mutual understanding and respect in knowing we are all doing our best. We are doing our best to show up for ourselves and each other.

I am deeply grateful for the synchronous physical practices. Yes, that means live dance classes on Zoom in my cleared out living room. Though it will never compare to being in the same place as moving bodies engaged in physical exploration, it is the closest we can get at this point. I am happy to move my body with others, see friendly faces, and have some semblance of normalcy. On a base level, it reminds me that I am not alone.  

 

I was visiting Austin, Texas, over our spring break when the dangerous reality of the pandemic escalated. After the announcement that our classes were moving online, I decided to stay put. I spent time grieving the loss of my routine and home inside of the Marriott Center for Dance building. I mourned the loss of face-to-face interaction and body-to-body learning.

I was skeptical of continuing my dance studies online. As a graduate student, I had the privilege of listening in on conversations our faculty were having as they reimagined plans for our classes. I was relieved and reassured by their commitment to finding new ways to support and engage students creatively. I sensed their focus on grace and humanity, as they too were navigating the same shocking shift of daily life.

My worries further eased as my professors reached out to discuss class plans moving forward. Each of my classes developed unique methods for meeting and completing course work. I have classes that meet live online at the same scheduled time as they always have. While communication and learning for other courses are all virtual through videos, discussion boards, and submitted writings. Some classwork is structured, with deadlines, other assignments I work on at my own pace.  

I am deeply grateful for the synchronous physical practices. Yes, that means live dance classes on Zoom in my cleared out living room. Though it will never compare to being in the same place as moving bodies engaged in physical exploration, it is the closest we can get at this point. I am happy to move my body with others, see friendly faces, and have some semblance of normalcy. On a base level, it reminds me that I am not alone.  

Still, continuing classes has been hard. Focus and motivation are often stubborn to rally. And though dancing doesn’t always feel good right now, I am trusting the lessons it has taught me in the past. I think the dance community will understand when I saw we have always relied on community – we know we need each other. We know how to adapt and improvise – we are resilient. We know how to listen patiently with our whole selves. We know how to tune into our bodies, how to care of them and the bodies of others.  We know how to use our energy to propel us forward, to soften our joints, to brace for impact and heavy lifting. We know how to relish moments of joy and abandon when they come.  

These are distressing times, but I am hopeful. Though I am relatively new to the University of Utah and am finishing the semester states away, I feel supported by a network of faculty and peers that is rooting for my well-being, my academic success, and the endurance of our broader arts community. 

Author Jessica Boone is a first-year graduate student in the School of Dance Masters in Modern Dance program. 

Published in Finer Points Blog

Here are 5 helpful time management tips brought to you by CFA Create Success Interns Abby Davis, Mason Henrie, Matthew Rudolph, and Lia Wong. 


Hello, College of Fine Arts Students!  

As we all make the transition to online classes, here are some helpful tips to help manage your time. 


Create a schedule or agenda.

Whether or not you have used a planner in the past, now is a great time to REALLY use it! This can be useful in seeing you​r important dates and deadlines in an orderly fashion. 


Work on one project at a time. 

If looking at your deadlines all at once is too overwhelming, make a notecard list!  

  • Write each assignment with its deadline on its own notecard, order the notecards by date, and start knocking out each assignment one at a time.  


Start early. 

If you happen to find that you have been sitting on the couch watching Tik Toks or doing whatever else keeps you occupied for hours at home, it sounds like it’s a good time to get a jump on some homework!

Getting a head start on assignments when you have some free time will save you lots of stress in the long run. Trust me!  


Sleep.  

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s one tip that should not be forgotten. A fresh mind always helps with creativity! 

Remember: This is a time where we can use our innovative minds to find the things that work best for us. Stay positive and never stop creating!    

CreateSuccess bubbles wtext1

Published in Finer Points Blog

By Anastasia Briana Drandakis 

What do University of Utah theatre students do in the wake of canceled and postponed performances amidst a call for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic? They brush up on their Shakespeare through video conference calls. 

Self-Isolation Shakespeare is a collaborative, student-led effort to read through Shakespeare’s canon on Zoom three times a week, with an open invitation for the community to watch actors of all levels participate. The talent range includes theatre students, department faculty with impressive resumes, and even professionals working outside of the university that come together to perform these pieces while socially isolating. All the readings are recorded for YouTube and the shows vary between Shakespeare’s tragedies, comedies and historical shows to make each genre available to their growing audience. 

Connor Johnson, a junior in the Department of Theatre’s Actor Training Program, was inspired to start Self-Isolation Shakespeare after viewing a similar project that Professor Sarah Shippobotham shared with his class during the early rise in global quarantining. “The Show Must Go Online” created by Robert Myles are weekly readings on Zoom of the complete plays of Shakespeare by a global cast, in the order they were believed to have been written. Johnson thought there was no reason why the students of the University of Utah couldn’t undergo a similar project, and through the support of fellow students and department faculty, he was able to create a social media presence for the performances so that anyone in the theatre community could access the series. 

 “I realized the other thing this could be is a great opportunity for students to act alongside professionals or professors,” said Johnson. “People who students can’t always easily work with just because of the nature of professional productions.”

The professional theatre faculty of the University of Utah has already participated alongside their students in several of the show readings, including Robert Scott Smith who played Prospero in "The Tempest," Alexandra Harbold who played Mark Antony in "Julius Caesar," and Sarah Shippobotham who played Richard III in "Richard III." Johnson has also seen a mix of outside interest in the project, including actors with working credits from local professional theatres, New York, the West End of London, and The Globe Theater. 

“People have said that it was actually great to be able to ‘look over my script last night’ or 'to prepare for this role the other day, because I was thinking about something other than the news.’ They really latched onto the project, and have really given their thought and time and creativity, which has been wonderful to watch.”

While this series helps to bring the University of Utah theatre community closer during this time, it’s also an opportunity for those involved to broaden their familiarity with a genre of classic works that are continuously produced in the modern entertainment industry in various forms.


“There’s something about Shakespeare that is endlessly entertaining and brings endless variety in ways that most other plays don’t,” said Johnson, who believes that knowledge of this material can be generally useful as a theatre student. “Somehow his plays have managed to maintain interest for hundreds of years, and I think in a more pragmatic sense, for any actor that’s going out into the acting world, Shakespeare is a huge percentage of work that you might get. Even if you don’t want to be a classical actor, every regional company does Shakespeare once a season or once every two seasons." 

In addition to practicing classical theatre, this series is also a practice session in performing for digital cameras, microphones, and the general process that it takes to produce a successful piece of live web content. 

“It’s freeing in some ways that you can do things with your voice that you can’t really do on stage,” said Johnson, describing the new acting possibilities he’s observed that performing scenes via Zoom can spark. “It picks up much more subtlety than your allowed to have when you're on stage in a big auditorium. It’s also really fun to see other people doing that, and picking up on that, and it kind of adds this new layer of possibility and creativity.”

Johnson gives credit to an entire team of peers that have volunteered time to shape the current state of the production, including a designated “stage-manager” for the productions (Kiersten Farley), social media managers (Lexie Thomsen and Liam Johnson), and an assistant producer (Jessica Graham). romeo and julietPoster design Lexie Thomsen

Self-Isolation Shakespeare performances are scheduled every Tuesday at 10 a.m. (MST), Thursday at 10 a.m. (MST), and Sunday at noon (MST) through a Zoom conference link posted on the official Facebook page the day of the scheduled production. Show and cast lists are announced a week in advance on the official Facebook page, and anyone can submit to be cast in the Zoom performances by filling out a Google Doc form asking their preferred contact information, acting background, and familiarity with Shakespeare’s works. The recorded performances are archived on the official Self-Isolation Shakespeare YouTube page as the series progresses.

“I think that something this project made me realize is that we’re all kind of in this together,” said Johnson, reflecting on the support that has been felt by the theatre community for the project so far. “People have said that it was actually great to be able to ‘look over my script last night’ or 'to prepare for this role the other day, because I was thinking about something other than the news.’ They really latched onto the project, and have really given their thought and time and creativity, which has been wonderful to watch.”

Published in Finer Points Blog

Hello to my University of Utah friends out there in the world!

I hope this finds you feeling well and safe right now, wherever you may be. I was approached to write a little ditty about my experiences as a faculty member since our communities and our individual lives have all been uprooted and re-shaped by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Though I’ve never written a blog post, I felt inspired to share a bit of my perspective, especially since so many people have been so supportive through the various challenges we’ve all faced. 

To give a little context about me––I’m actually in my first year as a faculty member at the U – and what a year! After spending twenty years as a performing artist and educator in NYC, I earned my master’s degree from the University of Washington in 2014, and then after moving to SLC and working for several years, I was fortunate to join forces with the wonderful folks at the School of Dance at the U.

"But most importantly it has also reinforced some of the fundamental values of dance that nearly all of my students have agreed upon––that humanity needs energetic contact, it needs to act and to move, and that we can take steps to grow and evolve in ways we didn’t think were possible." 

This semester, I have been facilitating a variety of courses in the Modern Program, which currently range from a creatively-based composition course with sophomores, a ballet course with juniors, a modern course with seniors, and finally a teaching methods course with graduate students. I have loved getting to know the amazing faculty and staff as this year has progressed, and the students I’ve worked with, have time and again, impressed, inspired and delighted me. It’s been a truly fantastic year for me. 

The way this pandemic emerged…not with a traumatic, one-day event, but as a slow, steady build of its scope, threw me for a bit of a loop. I think we were all on the verge of beginning our spring breaks, when I really started to comprehend the serious potential of it all. And then of course, as the weeks of mid-and-late March would unfold, it became clear that everything would change. Initially, I remember being very freaked out at the news that we’d be going to online learning. As someone who is passionate about dance and its fundamental values of energy and movement of the body through real time and real space, the thought of having to enter a liminal, third space was daunting. There were so many questions that came up, but there wasn’t much choice that we had to move forward together and make the best of the situation. 

And I’m happy to report that from the first Zoom class I hosted on March 19, things HAVE moved forward! It has been great to have a platform which has for the most part, enabled our class community to come together, not only to practice dance in a new format, asking new things of all of us to make that happen. But most importantly it has also reinforced some of the fundamental values of dance that nearly all of my students have agreed upon––that humanity needs energetic contact, it needs to act and to move, and that we can take steps to grow and evolve in ways we didn’t think were possible. 

What I have loved most about my online conversations with my students is that we want to share and empathize with one another. There has been a very vulnerable and honest tone in the meetings I’ve been privileged to witness. I appreciate the passion I hear in their voices to do the best they can in the face of our current reality.

I do not want to ever have online learning replace the beautiful, profound experience of learning in real time and space––experiences that are REALLY face to face. But for now, I am buoyed by the hope that we will help each other through this and will perhaps learn some lessons to take with us as well. 

Take care, everyone. Sending my best thoughts and energy to each of you… 

Natalie Desch

Published in Finer Points Blog

School of Music Associate Professor Cathy Clayton has 15 years’ experience in teaching online.  

So, when the University of Utah made the unexpected shift to online learning due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, she knew where to begin. Clayton had previously helped develop three courses at the University of Utah specifically for an online format: World Music, History of Jazz and Introduction to Classical Music. In fact, one of the first things she did as a teaching assistant was help former U Professor Vicki Curry as Dr. Curry was developing an interactive CD-ROM. It was during that process that Clayton first started to consider the needs of students learning at their homes, without live instruction to fill the inevitable gaps. Curry helped her “think through what students will need, without you there in person, in order to understand.” she said. Most importantly: “you can’t assume anything. You have to take them from point A, to point B.”

Clayton affirms that planning an online course ahead of its launch, with plenty of time to consider its objectives, is a different case entirely from shifting gears halfway through the semester. It has been challenging for her even with her extensive experience. Still, she hopes some of the methods she has tested in the past, will be helpful to fellow faculty members figuring it out for the first time. “I try to imitate, step-by-step, the things I would say or do if I was with them in class.” Clayton explained. “And I think about where I want them to be by the end of the unit or module.” For each module, Clayton provides objectives right up front, and much like a syllabus, she gives an outline of the materials she is providing to get students to those goals. For example: an introduction, a selection of reading, a documentary, a short quiz of the main takeaways, and a class discussion.

Clayton believes in and leans on variety in source materials. “There is an old teaching motto that if you tell a student something three times, or in three different ways, they will remember it better.” Beyond effective repetition, variety in media can illuminate important details for different types of learners. Whether it’s YouTube clips, PowerPoint presentations, images, or thought exercises, mixing up methods has helped her ensure that students don’t disengage.

Within assigned readings, there are often key concepts that are the most vital for students to be able to progress. “I’m not looking to rewrite a textbook,” Clayton said. “I want to be able to clearly provide the bullet points of the things I want them to take away from a unit. It helps them if you let them know what you are thinking and what you want them to see.” So, for instance, Clayton will include a timestamp in a given video clip with her own insight: notice here how this instrument is being played, pay special attention to this rhythm, etc. This lets students into her inner reasoning for selecting specific materials.

“I have to say kudos to the students,” she said. “I have had virtually no complaints, no one saying ‘why isn’t this up faster? or ‘why isn’t it done?’ Just words of support and understanding of the situation we are in.” 


Whereas in a live classroom setting, faculty have clearer insight into who might be falling behind, online learning formats require more direct checking in. In maintaining a bit of community, and connecting with students individually, Clayton also finds it helpful to create discussion boards where members of a course can think through a topic together. When students engage in conversation with her and one another, they earn points toward their grades. Clayton will sometimes include writing assignments with self-graded quizzes where the main task for students is to communicate with her where they are in their personal understanding. This way, she can step in and provide additional help. “Even if they are mastering their understanding, they get credit for telling me that.” 

In this challenging time, Clayton feels a great deal of compassion for first-time online teachers, especially as they are having to entirely rethink their original plan.  “The learning curve is individual,” she said. “It’s really hard when you are in the middle of the semester, to revamp your class, as there is work you have not done in creating a written dialogue of your course incorporating all these different mediums. You were planning on being there in person. So, it's been a tremendous amount of work for most faculty, and extremely time consuming.”

Luckily, Clayton’s students have been nothing but patient. “I have to say kudos to the students,” she said. “I have had virtually no complaints, no one saying ‘why isn’t this up faster? or ‘why isn’t it done?’ Just words of support and understanding of the situation we are in.” 

She does hope that this crash course in online technologies may benefit the College of Fine Arts and U overall in the future. “Hopefully something good that comes out of this, is that universally the technology is enhanced so we can use helpful tools going forward, and the things we are learning on the fly now, can be incorporated into our regular courses.”

Still, nothing beats or can replicate educating students live.

“I miss having the one-on-one with the students and feeling like I can communicate with them directly, seeing their faces and fun expressions, and getting immediate feedback in class,” Clayton said. “I will be excited to be right back with the students, even having them laugh at my bad jokes.”  

Published in Finer Points Blog

MAKING ART WORK is a series that taps into the knowledge and experience of seasoned creatives from our community and beyond for the benefit of our students. 

Erica MacLean is a photographer, choreographer, director, and performer based in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Ms. MacLean began training at the start of college, where faculty and staff encouraged her to pursue dance as a full-time career. Since then, she has received training in Ballet and Modern Dance at Glendale Community College, Arizona State University, and the University of Utah School of Dance, where she received her BFA. She has performed in the works of Mariah Maloney, Ihsan Rustem, Guy Thorne, Eric Handman, Rebecca Rabideau, Quitalyn Cheramie, Katie Noletto, Elijah Labay, Brianna Lopez, and Patrick Delcorix to name a few. Along the way, MacLean stumbled upon an interest in photography as she attempted to document her choreographic work. She now photographs many fashion and fine art projects/editorials, and has published work in Harper’s Bazaar Poland, Vogue Poland, Vogue Italia, Theme Mag, Floated and many others. She has also recently photographed NYFW FW20 for several designers, including Claudia Li, Collina Strada, and Kim Shui. For all of her projects,  MacLean hopes to combine the landscape of human architecture and fashion in an attempt to allow others to create a subjective narrative. 

Have you always been equally interested in photography and dance? What affected your decision to get your bachelor's degree in dance? 


I haven’t always been interested in both dance and photography, and I’ve definitely never focused on either in equal ratios. When I really love something, I’ll spend 70% of my time on it and the 30% left over gets taken up by other distractions. When I was at the University of Utah, I mostly worked to develop choreographic projects and dance, and photography was just something I picked up to enhance what I was already creating. I wanted to do the best I could to document my work, so I picked up a camera and started shooting. 

I got my degree in dance because at the time, it was what made me happiest. I, of course love movement, but the closeness and support of the community was what really made me shift over. I felt secure knowing everyone around me was on a similar path.  When I look back, the most valuable things I gained from the U was how to openly view/respect art from all angles, and to stop making work for the sole purpose of pleasing other people. I really learned how to vocalize why I did/didn’t like certain work, why/how a work is important, and if you made something it’s okay if someone didn’t like it. You made choices based on what was important to you, not them. Don’t sweat it so much.  

How do dance and photography blend in your everyday life now? erica1

Currently, dance comes into my life as choreography in photographs. I’m mostly photographing for creative fashion and editorial content, and less “dance” type photos. When I’m developing these types of images, it’s literally in the same way that I’d create a choreographic work. I turn on some music, think it up, and focus on texture, color, light, shapes, and mood. I always think of this thing my professor, Ellen Bromberg, once told me. She said “You are creating the world we are going to live in for a little while. What goes into it?” This informs almost all of my work. 

To be clear, at the moment, I’m not dancing all of the time. Dance in NYC is VERY expensive, and I only take class when I can afford it. In a way, I’ve blended the two because I love and want to do both, but also I’ve had to make sacrifices to sustain a living. 

When I look back, the most valuable things I gained from the U was how to openly view/respect art from all angles, and to stop making work for the sole purpose of pleasing other people. I really learned how to vocalize why I did/didn’t like certain work, why/how a work is important, and if you made something it’s okay if someone didn’t like it. You made choices based on what was important to you, not them. Don’t sweat it so much.  

 

What prompted your decision to move to New York City? What has been the most unexpected aspect of your life and career there?

I moved to NYC because there was a huge opportunity for both dance and photography. I was interested in photographing fashion, but I also wanted to live in a city with a large dance community. It was a pretty obvious choice.  The most unexpected aspect of moving to NYC was that it’s actually pretty affordable to live here. That’s about it! Everything, for the most part, is as expected.  

How did you get connected to Ballet West as an intern? What did you gain there? 

When I was at Ballet West, I was working alongside Beau Pearson specifically as his photography intern. I was a follower of his on Instagram, and loved the technical lighting aspects of his images, so I reached out. I basically worked with him on whatever projects he had going on at the time, and this happened to be “The Shakespeare Suite” and various portraits of dancers from the company. I shot alongside Beau for many rehearsals, promotional photoshoots, and dress rehearsals at the Capitol Theatre. Because of this, I gained a ton of insight in retouching images in photoshop. I learned to apply the techniques he uses ( frequency separation/dodge&burn) in my own photos, and still use them when working various editorial projects.

What were the key steps in building your portfolio of photography clients, and what was the most challenging or intimidating job you have taken on?

When I was building my portfolio, I really had to think about what it was that I wanted to do in my career and go from there. In this case, I like photographing people, extravagant clothes, movement, and some sort of narrative. So it made sense for me to create a book with fashion and editorial in mind. My biggest dream is to photograph/creative direct for Rodarte and Gucci, and for this to manifest, I have to show them that I’m very capable, versatile, and have a very clear sense of personal style. I’m always in the process of developing my book, but a key step to get here was to shoot as much as I possibly could to develop my style. I’d write down a shot list/concepts, pick up some cool clothes from the thrift store, and force my friends to shoot with me(they didn’t mind too much). Over time, I’d just add or get rid of relevant photos, and always keep track of the overall style. 

The most intimidating job I’ve taken on so far was very recent. I shot photos at three official shows during New York Fashion Week for Claudia Li, Collina Strada, and Kim Shui. I worked primarily on backstage images for Claudia and Kim, then shot portraits of Hayley Williams from Paramore for Collina Strada. It was pretty scary because I’ve never had to do anything remotely like this. There are people running around everywhere, stylists quickly forcing models into outfits, and production crew shouting left and right. It was also challenging because although I was a house photographer and working specifically for the designers, there’s unfortunately a lot of misogynistic attitudes toward female photographers in the industry. I found myself often pushed around, and stepped on or in front of, by a sea of male photographers while I was just trying to do my job. I learned pretty quickly that if I wanted to get a good shot, I had to take up a lot of space, and be extremely vocal with them. And although it was difficult, I really did have an incredible experience.

Follow Erica's work on Instagram at @erica_maclean or at https://www.ericamaclean.com/.

Published in Finer Points Blog

Have questions regarding online learning this spring semester? 

Wherever you currently are reading this, the CFA Academic Advisors are available to you through phone and video appointments. 

If you would like to book an advising appointment, please use createsuccess.utah.edu.

A FERPA Pin is required for phone or video advising appointments.
Learn how to get an online FERPA Pin here

Check your Umail for important updates - not just from CFA advising but also the University, your departments, and your instructors. Remember not all messages sent to your Umail will forward to your preferred email so checking your Umail daily is a best practice.
You can send quick advising questions (from your Umail) to . We will get back to you as quickly as possible. 

We are here to help you be successful. 

From the CFA Undergraduate Affairs Academic Advising Team
Andrew Grace, Jennifer McLaurin, Samuel Banford, Eric Schmitz, Rachel Luebbert, April Casiano & Liz Leckie

Published in Finer Points Blog

Since last week's announcement that classes at the University of Utah would be conducted online for the remainder of the semester, many College of Fine Arts students have risen to the challenge with positivity, compassion and drive. Susannah Mecham, a second-year student in the Department of Art & Art History majoring in painting and drawing with a minor in sculpture, decided to start a unique Instagram account where her fellow U students could connect around their creative work.

To foster new connections as well as provide support in an unsteady situation, Mecham established @coronaartcollective where she encourages University of Utah fine arts students to connect and share what they are creating. 

Here's what she had to say about it: 

"Over the course of the last week I was camping out of range of cell service with a group of fellow University of Utah students. It was a very surreal experience to drive home with our phones exploding as we passed signs flashing pandemic hotlines on the freeway, with the person next to me reading through updates from family, friends, government and the university. Everything seemed like it was happening all at once -- because it was for us. I was deeply saddened that I would miss creative opportunities and time within a community that I love.  


"I fully intend to have a prosperous educational experience despite the current COVID-19 situation. I also know that by staying connected to the U I will continue to have the support of those colleagues and educators who have supported my education and the education of so many others. The U as a community has many tools for us to utilize right now, and with a little creativity and togetherness (from a 6 foot safe distance) everyone can move forward."


"I received an email from my sculpture professor, Kelsey Harrison, who suggested that we find ways to connect with other art students to continue critiquing and discussing work. Kelsey also suggested that we continue to be informed about what other people were making and what drives their art practices while our own creative practices as students are being challenged and imposed upon by social distancing and quarantines. IMG 75BCA33FC5F0 1

"After sharing some of my feelings about the situation with my mom, she suggested that I get online and start making things happen! I decided Instagram would be a good platform as it is used widely by creative communities. Since then I have enjoyed watching the creative community respond to the COVID-19 situation by continuing to make art, music, and more. In a time where everything is put on hold and becoming more stagnant, creativity is beginning to flourish and it is very exciting. 

Staying connected to the University of Utah is important to me during this time because I fully intend to have a prosperous educational experience despite the current COVID-19 situation. I also know that by staying connected to the U I will continue to have the support of those colleagues and educators who have supported my education and the education of so many others. The U as a community has many tools for us to utilize right now, and with a little creativity and togetherness (from a 6 foot safe distance) everyone can move forward." 

Follow @coronaartcollective on Instgram to see student work and share your own! 

Do you have a resource you'd like to share with fellow students? Tag us on Instagram at @uofufinearts.

Stay well and stay connected. 

Published in Finer Points Blog

By Sara Kenrick

Hello, College of Fine Arts students! In January I had the chance to sit down and chat with Camille Washington about graduating with an arts degree and getting work in arts administration after college. Currently, Camille works as the marketing and box office manager at Onstage Ogden and co-directs at Good Company Theatre, a theatre she started with her sister.

Camille told me that for her it has been important to keep an open mind when it comes to artistic pursuits. “Right out of college I thought I was going to get a Ph.D. because that’s all I thought you could do.” She explained that opening herself up to different opportunities has been important when creating a successful career in the arts.

 

“Having a real sense of intellectual curiosity has been really important to me…keeping myself open and thinking about the ways my background...could be good in different fields.”

This rang true to me since it seems that every artist I meet has taken a different path from school to career. I asked Camille if she had ever felt barred from doing her art. She described that while she was completing a fellowship at Walker Art Museum, she noticed much of the art on display seemed driven by getting well-known names on the walls and therefore big crowds through the door. Although this may be an environment many would thrive in, she explained that it wasn't quite perfect for her. Now that she’s involved in smaller arts organizations, she feels “much more comfortable because the decision making is quicker, there’s more collaboration, and failure doesn’t feel like such a disaster.” Exploring a lot of different artistic environments can help you find what works best for you.


Finally, I asked Camille what she would tell her younger self. Camille paused before saying, “Don’t be so hard on yourself.” I was happy to hear this response since all of the students I know are working themselves to the bone, getting no sleep, and doing amazing work, myself included.

I know I should take more moments to be compassionate towards myself and know that not everything that goes “wrong” is going to be my fault.

 

A few ArtsForce Takeaways

  • Keep yourself open to new paths and opportunities.

  • Figure out what environments help you thrive.

  • Don’t be so hard on yourself.

 It was an absolute delight to talk to Camille about her experiences and insights. I hope you can take into account some of her advice. Click here to learn more about Good Company Theatre and see their upcoming season! 

ArtsForce is working on bringing you more advice from local artists so stay tuned for more! If you would like to join ArtsForce and come to our upcoming events, check out this link! 

Author Sara Kenrick is a Film and Media Arts Major with an emphasis in Film Production and a minor in Theatre. She is an Emerging Leaders Intern at ArtsForce.

ArtsForce is a student-led organization dedicated to articulating the value of your artsdegree and helping you transition from college to the workforce.

Published in Finer Points Blog
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