Southeast Missouri State University

Southeast Alumna Lives Her Dream in New York

College of Liberal Arts - Department of Theatre & Dance

During her time at Southeast, alumna Audrey Stanfield loved to spend her days reading plays at Cup & Cork in downtown Cape Girardeau. Now, she spends her days rushing around New York City attending auditions, exploring the vibrant city and jumping on every opportunity available to her.

“One of my favorite aspects of being an actress is the complete lack of continuity in my life,” she says.

“Being a working actress in a city like Manhattan means really having to live life day to day and taking whatever exciting opportunity comes my way,” she said. “You never know who you will run across that could potentially further your career, and networking is key, especially in a city of 8.6 million people.”

Audrey, a native of Cape Girardeau, Mo., graduated from Southeast in May 2010. She received a bachelor of fine arts with an option in acting.

According to Audrey, she chose Southeast because it was affordable and had an exceptional theatre and dance program. She was not disappointed.

While attending Southeast, Audrey had the opportunity to hone her acting skills by performing in a large variety of plays, including acting as Meg Magrath in “Crimes of the Heart,” Olivia in “Twelfth Night” and Chris Gorman in “Rumors.”

“My favorite moments from school were performing in plays,” she said.

More important to Audrey, however was the coaching she got about life. She credits her professors with making sure she was prepared for the real world.

“I feel that because of my professors in the Department of Theatre and Dance and the coaching and attention I received as an actress, I had a firm grasp on what steps I needed to take after graduation,” she says. “I truly feel that I couldn’t have received the same attention and care from any other institution.”

All her hard work at school helped her qualify for an intensive summer internship at the esteemed Herbert Berghof Studio in New York City, N.Y. during the summer of 2008. It was there she got her first taste of life in the “Big Apple.”

“The city is so alive!” she says. “Every corner you turn, there is something new to discover. I love exploring New York. Whether it’s a museum, tapas bar, live concert, park or street fair; there is always something you’ve never seen before.”

Audrey’s time in New York has taught her the value of listening to her instincts.

“You have to go with your instinct on everything,” she says. “I’ve learned in the short amount of time I’ve been here, that jumping on every available opportunity is key. Don’t think twice about your past choices, good or bad. If something feels right – do it.”

It was this attitude that motivated her to apply for a position at one of New York’s most prestigious acting studios, HB Studios Company.

Audrey knew about HB Studio’s reputation as a world-class acting company through firsthand experience; she completed a second internship there as an undergraduate at Southeast.

After moving to New York, she began several weeks of extensive and extremely competitive auditions.

All her hard work and perseverance paid off. Audrey is now a company member and is already booked for her first show, Richard III.

“Stick to your guns,” she says. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re dream is too big.”