December 3, 2012
Ever tried to tell your parents you want to be an actor after college, move to New York, and work some not-exactly-lucrative jobs to pull yourself through in hopes to be able to make it big in the spot lights of an industry that’s both ruthless and unforgiving? Well, I haven’t… yet anyway… But I’m guessing that conversation doesn’t exactly go all too smoothly. Tissues might come in handy. Or a first-aid kit, I dunno...
Being a theater major, where the possibilities of using my degree are endless, a little sliver of my ambitions still dares to imagine being an actor in the thriving acting scene only a few short hours from Hamilton College. So with that sliver pushing me, I signed up for the workshop “Breaking and Entering”, hosted by the Hamilton Theater Department yesterday. So between shyly listing my few theater involvements on my resume, and getting the print shop to print an old picture for me as a headshot, at 9:45 on a warmer-than-average Sunday morning, I headed off to List 104, Hamilton theater’s rehearsal space and home to my acting class this semester.
The list of credentials of the hosts were as long as they were impressive. Face it, when someone refers to Phillip Seymour Hoffmann as Phil, you know you’re dealing with someone who knows his stuff. So starting 10 AM, we talked to Judy Dennis, the casting director who had the most amazing insights to offer, and Phil Carlson, the agent, whose pragmatic advice seemed to make such sense. From discussing how to find representation, to critiquing our monologues and conducting 7 minute interviews with us, the clocked ticked and for 8 hours, we delved into the depths of the industry and how many possibilities lie out there.
So now, almost 24 hours after being done with “Breaking and Entering”, I’m happy to share the top three thoughts in my mind.
1. I need new headshots, as Phil made very clear.
2. Its only Hamilton where you have these crazy and amazing resources just coming at you. Only here on the hill. Judy and Phil were downright awesome to spend the day with, not to mention insanely helpful in explaining the realities of the business and the strategies to counter them.
3. If my mother is reading this, this is not a declaration that I'm quiting school and moving to New York with a 100 bucks and a dream in my pocket. If I ever do decide on it, I’ll have the decency to have that conversation in person…. or over the phone.
Also, here’s a shout-out to Kate Nguyen, the human alarm clock I owe my 9 AM classes’ attendance grades to, and Ayebea Darko, a friend who just wanted a shout-out because Kate was getting one… =)
Major / Minor: Theatre / Art
Activities: House of Brockmann productions, WHCL, "From Where I Sit" column editor for The Spectator, Southeast Asian Student Association, Rainbow Alliance and MP^2
Favorite Pastimes: Hanging out with friends watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S., acting, overloading on chai and chocolate chip cookies, singing and bopping to Disney songs in the shower, day-dreaming of Cafe Opus's mango brie paninis
Hometown: Gujranwala, Pakistan
High School: Lahore College of Arts and Sciences