Freshly filled with 26 physical theatre students and 12 music students, this villa has been abuzz with activity for the last week and a half! We are thrilled to present the first ADALife student blog update of the semester, brought to you by 4 theatre students as they share their goals and expectations for their study abroad journey. Read on to hear from Korilyn, Drew, Mira and David!
Korilyn Hendricks (Coastal Carolina University, SC)
Buongiorno, Italia! My name is Korilyn Hendricks, and I am a junior BFA Physical Theatre major at Coastal Carolina University. I am so, so excited to be here at ADA in this program. Studying abroad is something I’ve attempted several times since high school, and until now it has never panned out. This first week has been incredible; making new friends and exploring a country that is foreign to me has been so fun, and studying what I love at the same time has made the experience even more wonderful.
I came to ADA because a year of study here is actually built into my major. Coastal has a partnership of sorts with the school, through the theatre program and now through our physical theatre professor, Ben Sota. Though I may not have found or chosen ADA on my own, the fact that I would be given the chance to attend was actually the main reason I chose CCU. To spend an entire school year in another country, surrounded by a veritable treasure trove of culture, history, nature, and like-minded artists, in a conservatory setting where I could learn from the best and live and breathe my craft sounded far too good to be true. It still feels that way.
By the end of my time here, I hope to have shed as many of my old hang-ups as possible. Being an introvert within a typically gregarious bunch (as theatre majors are, more often than not), and being an anxious person in general, it can be difficult to find one’s place. Finding a balance between social and solitary that works for me will be a great challenge to overcome, and ADA is a great place to do it. I hope to find more constructive ways to manage my stress and my time while I am here. I am not typically a vastly adventurous person, and I hope to change that as well. I want to travel to every country within my reach and take every opportunity that is offered to me. This chance is once-in-a-lifetime, and I refuse to waste it.
I hope that through this training my body becomes stronger and more reactive than ever, and I hope to find ways to get rid of my shoulder and back tension. I would like to be much more fluent in Italian by the end of this, and more fluent in the language of Commedia. I want to be comfortable in my skin and confident in who I am as a person. I hope my experience abroad allows me to absorb new cultures and ways of life that would otherwise be inaccessible to me, so that I may use them to round out my worldview and enhance the scope and breadth of my acting ability. I want to look in the mirror at the end of this program and see an artist who knows who she is, what she wants, and what she needs to do. I want to see someone who has the means and the self-assurance to do it.
Drew Maidment (Muhlenberg College, PA)
I’m arriving at the Academia with many goals in mind for my time abroad. First, I want to emerge from this program a better artist, collaborator, and creative mind. Every single class here has so much to offer my craft and allow me to grow as an artist. Another goal of mine is to experience Italy to its fullest and learn Italian as best as I can. I have never been out of America before so I am really placing myself out of my element and I couldn’t be more excited to take on this challenge. My goal is to come out of it as a worldlier, more experienced person. When I envision myself at the end of the semester I see a person surer of themselves as an artist and a human being. I chose the Academia Dell’Arte because I wanted to be a part of collaborative community of artists where my work would be valued and the professors would support my learning with enthusiasm. I have also wanted to go to Italy and the opportunity to intensely study theatre in Italy is a dream come true.
Mira Lamson Klein (Skidmore College, NY)
This place is never quiet for long, that was the first thing I learned. From the seemingly constant piano music seeping through the practice room doors as the music students rehearse, to the soft clinking of chess pieces in the living room, to the laughter from the Limonaia wafting across the courtyard; the halls here are alive with sound. This of course excludes the time between the first and second class of the day, 10:50 to 11:10, when the physical theatre kids collectively nap in the living room as Monica sighs and looks at us saying, “It’s only been three days, how are you this tired?” as we continue to cling to the sleep we are missing.
The second thing I learned was to embrace the big hill because it not only leads to gelato–which is completely worth it because you burn off the calories of the gelato walking to the gelato–but makes the morning yoga that causes the 10:50 collective nap that much easier.
Last of all, I learned that I have no idea what is about to happen.
I’m finding that my beginning of the semester goals are not as concrete as I’d like them to be. Training intensely in physical theatre for 3 months will undoubtedly change me, but I cannot visualize how. My thoughts about three months from now have instead manifested themselves in a list of rules/resolutions/guidelines/goals (I don’t know what to call them) that focus on appreciating my experiences. In the vagueness of my vision of the future I am determined to work hard in every moment, to be positive, and to not take anything for granted because this is a unique opportunity.
I’m going to make a sports reference–something rare for a theatre kid–so hang on to your hats. I am proud to come from the incredible city of Cleveland, Ohio; home of the 2016 NBA Championship-winning Cleveland Cavaliers (basketball). The road that led to the Cleveland championship was a long one, but the part of the story everyone remembers is the departure and the return of Lebron James. When Lebron announced his return to the Cavs in a letter published in Sports Illustrated in 2014, he said what has become a popular saying in the wake of this year’s championship win, “In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned.” As a lifelong resident of Northeast Ohio, I can attest to the truth of this, though I believe it radiates to many locations and to many people. The person I will be in three months will not be given, she will be earned.
David Raccio (Muhlenberg College, PA)
My greatest barrier in performing is my brain. I constantly overthink my choices and doubt myself. This does not lend itself to successful acting so my theatre education has been very focused on getting outside of my head. The program at the Accademia dell’Arte stood out to me from the other study abroad options because It offered an intense physical theatre education. I chose this program so I could focus on learning about my body. My goal is to stop doubting myself and to step outside of my comfort zone. I will stop allowing my brain to get in the way of performing with the help of the professors and my wonderful ensemble of peers at the ADA. I’ve been through the first week of classes and it’s already been the most intense, exhausting, and fulfilling experience of my life. I am excited to continue this journey.