By: Gary Gellerson
No high school student can truly grasp how great of a change college is, which is why it is important to know how to manage your time in your first year. When I was in high school, I was a theatre nut, so when I heard about the RIT Players, I knew that I wanted to get involved! When it comes to your first year, there are so many opportunities to become involved with Players. My first true experience with Players was when I acted during the Fall 24 Hour Show. The great thing about the 24 Hour Show is that you can participate in just about anything. No matter your previous acting experience, if you want to act, you will act! When coming in as a freshmen, I used to think of myself as the “top dog” and when I saw all of these talented people, I thought I had no chance in making any show that they put on, but when I saw that everyone who auditioned was given a part, I jumped on it. I had a great time doing the show, but not just because I love theatre. The group that I had worked with was so kind and inviting, there was no way that I couldn’t remain interested. I then learned that everything was student run, the acting, directing and even the tech, which made me want to contribute to the club. I wanted to be a part of such a fantastic group that all worked together to make something amazing, but the best part was that they were all my peers! Never before had I seen something like this on such a large scale! That is when I decided that I was going to audition for one of their larger shows.
When I went to audition for Evil Dead: The Musical, I thought that I had no chance of getting a role. With close to thirty people auditioning and only eleven parts were available, I wasn’t sure if I could show the directors that I could hold my own against some of the others who may have had more acting experience. After a lot of self-loathing, I received a part!
Being a freshman and auditioning for a role may look daunting, but I learned that you just have to go for it! Audition and do not care if you look bad or not! Having a part in the show can definitely have its advantages and disadvantages.
Further into the year, I went to New York City with the Players. Since I had been close with the Players for the whole year, I was good friends with all of the people who went. This was my first “school” trip where nothing was structured except for one show that we all went to see together. It was so different from anything else that I had done up until that point. I never really went on a trip without parents or without a teacher or chaperone to accompany me. I was truly a great time! We saw two amazing shows, one that everyone who went saw, “Matilda,” and the other I went to see was “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” which starred Matthew Broderick! Other people went to see “The Last 5 Years.” Going to New York City with Players was a new and unique experience, that I would recommend!
College seems a lot more terrifying when you are in a show and a freshman. You have to adjust to the insane amounts of studying, the homework that seems impossible and trying to avoid that oh so terrible “freshman fifteen.” A show adds rehearsals and memorizing lines to the chaotic mess that marks a huge change in your life. It is difficult, but possible. You may be up until three in the morning, but welcome to college! If you are doing something that you love, you do not mind staying up that late at night, trying to finish a lab due in ten minutes. When the curtain opens on opening night and you see the audience, trust me, it is worth it.
Gary is a first year software engineering major at RIT. During his time with the RIT Players he has acted and participated on the marketing committee.