STARTING SOMETHING NEW
Beginning something new is always scary. This year I’ve made a big change by going back to school to get my MA in Musical Theatre Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London. I’ve decided to share my experience going back to school..the highs, the lows and the full on breakdowns!!
When I got to school, I found a very sweet note in my locker left by a member of the 2018 class with advice for the program. As I read through it I thought, this would have been really helpful if I had never done a program like this before. It was all very useful and true. I agreed with all of it, but I didn’t need that advice anymore. I’m not the 19 year old Jennie just starting Capilano University. I’m now the woman who’s seen the great highs and many many lows this career offers. I’m so grateful I have that life experience when entering this program. I’m looking forward to being back at school after graduating over a decade ago. When I was at Cap back back in the day I had this intense fear of failure. I had to be perfect all the time. I had to be the best. I don’t feel that anymore because I know no one can do what I do. When I say that I don’t mean I’m the best and no one is as good as me. I mean no one can do what I can do because no one is me. We all bring something unique and different and those are the parts that you need to embrace and work on and celebrate. I don’t want to sound like anyone else or dance like anyone else or act like anyone else. I want to be the best version of me.
Before I started school, I had this weird idea that I wasn’t going to tell anyone my age. I didn’t want my class to get an idea about me based solely on a number…well cut to the end of week one and obviously everyone knows. I changed my mind pretty quickly mostly because I’m not embarrassed about being my awesome mature student self. I love being in my thirties and I think it gives me a leg up on the rest of the class. I will say I definitely have to do a lot more self care when it comes to my body than they do. Dance alone this week has kicked my butt, but guys I think it’s finally going to happen and I WILL get in all 3 splits by the end of the school year! (I know I’ve made this promise for the past five years but I really think this is it!)
I’m so excited to be doing this program in my thirties. I mean don’t get me wrong I am already feeling the age difference but it’s in ways I didn’t expect.
For example, we do these class projects where they bring in outside directors and we do a truncated version of a show. I’m in the group doing Assassins! I mean I love this show. Hell I wanted to produce it a few years ago. So let’s just say I’m super pumped about this…now back to where I noticed the age difference. We were working on the song “Something just broke” which is all about people finding out about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. We were discussing how there are moments in history where you just remember what you were doing when you heard the news. For my generation it is 9/11. It hit me in this moment the big age difference with some of my classmates. A bunch of them were young children of 4 or 5 and I was 16 nearing the end of high school the day the two towers fell. It’s not just big historical events it’s discussing random cultural references as well. I was telling them how I spell my name Jennie after Jennie Garth from 90210 because my sister told me to. One girl said she loved 90210. I had to explain I meant the original from the 90’s. My poor classmates do not know the gloriousness of Brenda and Brandon and Kelly and DYLAN!!!! No one else in my class was even alive during the 80’s….let’s all let that sink in for a moment.
I will say I find being around my younger classmates very inspiring. They are so excited to be here and a lot of them training for the first time. It’s infectious. They have no fear and will try anything. As I mentioned, I was not like that my first go around and I’m now really trying to embrace the failure. Watching them gives me the permission to try new things as well. They also haven’t had the years of rejection and just see all the possibilities for the future. I envy that. I want to rediscover that!
I’m calling this year, The Year of Me, and I’m going to soak up everything I can from my teachers, our guest mentors, but mostly my fellow students. They’re an inspiring bunch and I can’t wait to see where this year takes us.
So stay tuned….I’m sure I’ll be crying at some point!!