by Andreas Makris ’18
I have never been the most outgoing kid. So, the art of theater, in which actors must cast aside any self-consciousness and put their bodies and personalities in the hands of a separate character, might seem like a strange choice of hobby for an introvert such as myself. I would be lying if I said that disregarding other people’s perceptions of me is not a challenging task. However, as I am now half-way through my second year of Mo West’s IB Theater Arts Class, this is a challenge that I have learned to manage and grown to love.
One of my biggest fears when I started acting was abandoning my own identity. Luckily, Mo has helped me work towards overcoming that. She emphasizes Sanford Meisner’s acting techniques, in which the actor does not lose his/her individuality, but rather uses it as a guide to embody a particular role. This preservation of my element is a source of comfort for me. It offers me assurance as I venture into the spirit of another person. Once I can do that, I am free to explore the exciting world of acting.
The last time I was in an after-school production was sophomore year, when I did not yet have the knowledge I have today about theater. Now that I have more experience as an actor, I am looking forward to demonstrating what I have learned in The Laramie Project. Although acting is not an ability that came naturally to me right from the start, this art has become both fun and relieving for me, as it has helped me build confidence to express myself in my everyday life as well.
by Fiona Keith ’19
How at George School have you been able to pursue something you’re interested in?
When I arrived at George School as a freshman, I had many interests that I always thought about pursuing, but was too nervous to step out of my comfort zone and try. For example, ever since I can remember, I have wanted to be a drummer. However, throughout my middle school years, I was scared to try getting into this for fear of being judged, or being seen as “weird” for being a girl drummer.
Quickly after arriving at GS, it did not take me long to realize that if there was something that I was interested in, no one was going to view me negatively for wanting to get into it. Even better, I saw that I could receive tremendous support from the community firsthand. At the beginning of sophomore year, I purchased my own drum set and began teaching myself how to play. At school, I found opportunities to get my playing out of the basement and onto live stages, which was an extremely inspiring and enriching experience for me. I played solo and in a band with others in our Live Music Weekend in Marshall Center, and felt so confident afterwards.
Then, a few weeks later, I also performed in our Art for Relief charity event drumming solo on the big stage in Walton, which I can say to this day is one of the coolest experiences I’ve had. Even this year, I have been approached by several people to drum with them again, which makes me feel so flattered and encouraged to keep on playing. I am so grateful to say that I am part of a place where I have had the space to be who I truly am, do the things that I love unconditionally, and improve at those things along the way.