Thomas Statler of Twentynine Palms, Calif., a senior at Southeast Missouri State University, is interning at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles.
He says, “They are the oldest dramatic school in the country. The acting and directing alumni have been nominated for 95 Oscars, 233 Emmys, and 83 Tonys.”
He says he auditioned for the internship in Los Angeles.
“It consisted of two prepared monologues, an interview, and a cold-reading audition,” he says.
While at his internship, Thomas says he will be working on several items to improve his acting skills.
“I will be working on scene study, auditioning technique, vocal practice, dance, improvisation, Alexander technique (a technique that improves movement and bad habits), and fencing.”
“I am treating this experience as an actor’s boot camp,” he said. “And after it is finished I feel I will be close to ready to pursue my career professionally after returning to Southeast and auditioning for the winter semester’s shows.”
Thomas will graduate with a bachelor of fine arts degree in acting/directing.
He says he has had many great moments and memories at Southeast.
“I enjoy the little moments when you establish relationships with people,” he says. “The theatre department has given me more personal connections in two years that I have ever gotten.”
Although Thomas says theatre requires a lot of time, he also says it was the most enjoyable.
“The most fun I have had has been backstage with my fellow students; during rehearsals, before, during, and after shows with the crew, and just spending time with fun people.”
He says Southeast has provided him with great opportunities and experiences.
“The work I have done in and out of the classroom has allowed me to grow as a student, a leader, and a man,” he comments.
Thomas offers the following advice to future Southeast students: “Don’t be afraid
if it takes you awhile to find what you want to do for the rest of your life. That
can usually be answered by asking what you enjoy doing most.”