In the throws of their final week, we hear from Theatre students Chloe, Julia, and Tim about the end of the ADA journeys.
Chloe Siegman, Boston University
In the 6 minutes before I meet with this group of 20 theatre students to work on our final project, all I can say is that collaboration is the MEAT of self growth and reflection. We are fighting this battle towards trust, understanding, fulfilment, and, LOVE. It seems both SO HARD and SO EASY- all at once and moment to moment.
Julia Real, Muhlenberg College
So here we are, the last week…
It’s honestly hard not to be stressed out by the fact that we only have a few days left here in this beautiful place. As the time has slowly started to run out throughout the semester, I began to get stressed by how few days were left. However, as I am looking back on my time here, I can’t be anything else but grateful for the way this place and everyone here has changed my life. I think back to who I was when I got here and I remember how terrified I was that first day, afraid that I had made a huge mistake in coming here, afraid of the intensity of all of the classes and afraid to feel connected with my own body again. But most of all, I was afraid that people would see how anxious I was. However, once I got to know everyone and feel a sense of support and community, many of these fears started to subside. Also, through our work in class, I was able to grow not only as an artist but also as a person, which I never expected. I came here to improve my skills as an actress and a singer, which I did, but I also healed and grew in so many ways that I did not expect. For example, as I said before, I was an anxious mess when I first got here and I was so disconnected from my own body. Panic attacks were a regular occurrence for me and I also had such a lack of confidence and trust in myself. As I dove further into the work, I did become more comfortable within my body and I found more trust in not only myself but within my ensemble. Never have I been able to be so truly honest around such an amazing group of people. It has been truly beautiful to open up to the members of this ensemble about some of my deepest fears that I originally hid from everyone, afraid for them to see. It has been just as beautiful to have members of this ensemble open up to me and to hear that problems I thought were just my own weren’t and that I really wasn’t ever alone at all. It has been amazing to grow, but also to witness everyone else’s growth as well.
One of the most important things that I learned here is the fact that everything is connected. I learned that growing as a person and growing as an artist aren’t really that different at all. The personal healing and growth that I did throughout this program was absolutely necessary for my growth as an artist, and growing as an artist helped me grow as a person. Something that absolutely helped facilitate this growth was the safety that I found within this villa and all of the people within it. It always seemed weird when I would talk to family members on the phone or online and they would say “stay safe!” because I felt safer than I have ever felt here. And that is something that I want any incoming students to know, that in this beautiful magical place you will inevitably find a sense of safety and freedom. Everything is allowed, and you don’t need to be afraid of being judged for your emotions or mistakes. This community here is beautiful and I will miss it so much, but I am so blessed that I got to be a part of it.
As for what comes next, I am definitely apprehensive to go back home. I have never been so far from home for so long so I have no idea what it will feel like to go back. Will it seem sad, lonely and boring in comparison to the beautiful place that is Villa Godiola? Will it be exciting and refreshing to be back? Will I fall back into old habits? I have no idea what the answers to these questions may be and how to navigate my way back. The only thing harder than going back home will be going back to Muhlenberg, where I will be living alone trying to find my way in a place where I did not find much support and will have to go back to a normal college routine. However, whenever I find myself getting too wrapped up in these fears of the future, I remind myself one of my favorite things that I learned in my time here, which is the phrase “piano, piano” which essentially means “little by little” in Italian. This little phrase reminds me to take my time and take in each moment as it comes and not rush into anything. This idea has helped me enjoy every day and every moment and to not rush my learning, my creating or my healing, which has been so beautiful. And now while the future may feel uncertain, I can say for certain that I do feel more confident than I ever have and now with that confidence I have the power to really truly live. And for that I am so, so thankful.
Tim Janovsky, Muhlenberg College
ADA Guide to Going Home
A 10-Step Plan