Theatre and psychology double major Gus Gonzalez ’21 was recently accepted into the Atlantic Acting School, where he will enter a two-and-a-half-year program that focuses on acting and the theatre business. Here, Gonzalez discusses the application process and his time at Hamilton.
What is the program that you’re going into?
It’s called the Atlantic Acting School, and I’m doing the full-time acting conservatory there. It’s not a degree program, but it is an accredited acting school. … We do acting stuff, movement stuff, speech work. And it progresses throughout the years as you start doing more advanced work. By the end, they have classes relating to the idea of a theatre business. Under that framework they have website design — so you can build your own website as a performer, which is really cool.
Majors: Theatre and Psychology
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
High school: Belen Jesuit Preparatory School
How did you find out about the school?
I applied through a program called URTA, University Resident Theater Association. Every year they hold mass auditions for theatre grad schools, whether you want to do acting, directing … It’s like the Common App for theatre grad schools. This year was live virtual. [Atlantic Acting School] expressed an interest in me, and I looked them up, and I really enjoyed the way that they do things and their philosophy. So I did a callback with them, which involved another sort of audition — doing some monologues, but also using the methods that they teach to see how I respond to them and how I work with the faculty.
How has Hamilton helped to prepare you for this next chapter?
Taking Advanced Acting with (Professor of Theatre) Mark Cryer definitely pushed me toward it. We ended up not getting to do too much acting work in that class, because that was when COVID hit, and we had to leave halfway through the semester. What I did learn was a lot about how to work as an actor and how to make that into a career. … I learned that there’s a way to do this thing that I enjoy to a point where I can still live relatively comfortably and be able to pay my bills without having to be Tom Hanks or some super famous person.
What do you plan to do after finishing the program?
At the end of the day, I just want to do something where I’m performing. I’m really into doing comedy and stuff like that; I’m also in the [Hamilton] improv group Yodapez. So I’d love to try my hand at a few different things, whether it’s acting onstage, or acting in front of the camera, or maybe auditioning for improv or sketch comedy groups, or maybe stand-up comedy. I’d love to take what I learn and be able to do something performative with that.
What will you miss most about Hamilton?
I’m definitely going to miss the people: the friends that I’ve made, the connections that I have here. I’ve built up some pretty solid friendships, and it’ll be weird not getting to see them every single day. Then just the location, the nature and the trees and the Glen … moving to New York City, there’s not going to be as much of that.