Hello! My name is Jessica. I am a junior Economics major and Government minor from Wauconda, IL. Amongst several other small jobs, I am on the Blogging Team, the YouTube team and I am Stage Managing Sitting with Strangers.
I originally enrolled in the Start-Up Theatre class because my two roommates (who are theatre majors) and I thought it would be a fun experience to combine our majors and interact in each other’s worlds. I’m going to be completely honest and say that this adventure initially sacred me to death. I am a very quiet person so when we pulled up to Bjork on Monday I was incredibly intimidated by all of the outgoing theatre majors around me. I have worked on run crew for two shows at Lawrence but I've never really interacted in the theater making part of a production. The thought of participating in movement and Alexander technique workshops would have sent me in to a panic attack a few weeks ago. But, here, with these people, I feel comfortable. I am able to be weird and goofy without being afraid of judgment. Spending this much time with a group of people can be frustrating and stressful but it also allows you to make connections that you never would have thought possible. I know this sounds pretty cheesy, and maybe it is, but all of the stress and anxiety over the workload of this project is totally worth it when you are surrounded by 20 new friends that are willing to do whatever it takes for us to succeed as a company.
The theatre making aspect of this project is totally new to me. I paired up with my roommate, Portia, to write a play earlier this week. We wrote (well, honestly, she wrote most of it. But she’s an English major so she is much more articulate than I) a fantastic play. It wasn’t chosen for our production but, it has been read at our visits to Sevastopol School. It’s amazing to see the words we wrote being performed. When we submitted our first drafts, we had to perform 20 lines for the group. We had the choice of finding actors amongst us or just performing it ourselves. I immediately turned to Portia and suggested that we perform it, which is completely out of character for me. I still can’t believe that I got up there without any reservations and spoke in front of the room. I think it speaks a great deal to the amount of comfort we all feel with each other. In only a couple short days, I was able to get over my anxieties in order to contribute to a company that, I think, is very successful. Along with the business and theatre production skills that I have acquired from this experience, I have also grown as a person. I have stepped out of my comfort zone and was able to be a part of something truly amazing.