And 120 days later, [title of blog] has returned for a triumphant second year!
For those of you who are new, hello and welcome to the most theatrical blog at Tufts University, full of terrible puns, first hand advice on how to navigate the Aidekman basement, and the occasional heartfelt and overly sappy post. My name is Blair Nodelman and I am a sophomore majoring in drama and probably psychology and possibly a minor in child development because having free time is highly overrated.
As I mentioned, this particular blog focuses on the trials and tribulations of being a performing arts student at a liberal arts college. Tufts has served as an incredible creative home for me and I can only expect that it will continue to do so as I embark into my second year of college. “Sophomore” literally translates to “wise fool,” which I find more than appropriate. I am wiser than I was as a freshman, no longer getting lost on my way to Dewick or unraveling the mysteries of ISIS (though I’m sure there’s something waiting to surprise me there). However, I am still a fool. I have not relinquished my youthful gaze of what Tufts has to offer, and I’m not sure I ever will. I’ve stepped into old roles, as I’m currently producing the 3Ps Orientation show, boom, as well as the Torn Ticket II Fall Major, She Loves Me. Producing is something I’m comfortable and familiar with. While this is the first time I’m producing not as an assistant, it still is something I understand. But I’m delving into directing for the first time and even pursuing clowning because why not? I don’t think that because I’ve aged a year I should lose interest in challenging myself. I’m continuing to step out of my comfort zone and push my own boundaries of where I can go creatively within theatre.
Even this summer I tested out new waters as a social media and marketing intern for Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York City. Working in theatre administration, I was able to understand the nuts and bolts of theatre from a totally different perspective. There is an entire business that goes along with the art of it all. It was very strange seeing business and art married together, but it also was enlightening to see it can even be a functional pairing. I even had a chance to perform in an intern showcase, so I guess I can call that my New York City debut.
Living in New York City was also an experience unto itself. Living mostly on my own, I learned more than I ever could in a classroom. Sometimes reality is the best teacher. For instance, if you don’t buy groceries, no one else will do it for you and you won’t eat breakfast. Navigating the subway at 2AM on a Saturday morning becomes simply a part of your weekly routine. You avoid Times Square like the plague. Yet, you encounter hundreds of people merely trying to survive like you, sitting across on the subway or ordering coffee in front of you. New York City is its own cruel and seemingly gentle instructor.
My summer was extremely rewarding and eye opening as I became part of a small theatrical community within a large communal metropolis. I never felt like I stopped exploring and perhaps that’s what made it so wonderful. College, in many ways, feels the same way at the beginning. It’s jarring, being thrown into the crowd, but you always have a great group of students around you and you will find your mini community on top of The Hill.
At Tufts, I hope to continue exploring, even though it’s a familiar environment. As a “wise fool,” I may be more aware but I’m determined to continue discovering new facets of theatre at Tufts and just at Tufts as a whole.
So, returning Tufts students, don’t become jaded just yet! Keep on learning and investigating all that this school has to offer.
And freshmen, don’t worry. The over abundance of sensory stimulus will recede and you’ll be able to find your own niche and delve into your passions as I have with theatre at Tufts.
Here’s to the 2014-2015 school year. Let winter be mild and Dewick be plentiful!
(This is an accurate description of New York City and what the beginnings of freshmen year. Thanks Sondheim)