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building where the acting class took place

My junior fall, I decided I wanted to really get out of my comfort zone and take an acting class. While I was nervous about jumping into a world that I was wholly unfamiliar with, it ended up being one of my favorite experiences and classes of my Dartmouth career. I learned a lot about myself, my fellow classmates, and not surprisingly, acting. This class took us on a long process of self-discovery, and really gave me the confidence in a newfound acting ability. In order to test that last part, every acting class ends with a "final scene," a showcase of what you learned that term in front of both the class and your friends. While I can write an entire post about this acting class, I really want to share the final scene.

One of the first things our professor told us about the performance was that we were not only encouraged, but expected to invite our friends. This was a bit daunting for me – I didn't really want to bother my friends with this all that much. However, as he ended his explanation of what he wanted from us for the final scene he returned to the topic of inviting friends once more, emphasizing that we would never live down not having a friendly face in the audience. To hammer the point home further, he sent us an email later that night once again telling us to invite at least one friend.

I think it's worth mentioning that my friends are very busy people, and to invite them would mean having them wait up to an hour to see me perform. That said, I threw out a few texts, got one or two non-committal responses, and figured I did my part. The day of the final scene finally arrived, and the other section of the class had their performances earlier in the day. I went to go support a friend of mine in that section, and the first thing I noticed was a large number of women's skiers, all there to support their teammate. At that moment something took over me, and I sent an invitation to anyone in the Jack-O-Lantern who wanted to come, not really expecting anyone to do so. What happened after that became one of my favorite Dartmouth moments.

Jack-O meetings happen at the exact time that my performance was going to take place, and so I figured that if anyone wasn't planning on coming to meetings they could come to my performance. However, the meeting was cancelled for unrelated reasons minutes after I sent the invitation. With the cancellation came the encouragement from the leaders of the club to come see my scene instead. And then at 9 p.m., the normal meeting time for the Jack-O, nearly the entire club showed up to support me. To give you an idea of what that may have looked like, they made up around half the audience.

I was blown away. I was close to the members of the club, but for the first time it really felt like both a team and a family. Seeing them all there was exactly what I needed, as it gave me both the comfort to know I was among friends and the motivation to give it my all to make their time worthwhile. And when all was said and done, it was nice knowing that I was able to share that experience with them. One of the most important parts of Dartmouth for me is the community, and the little families you become a part of along the way. With my friends all there to support me, I definitely felt like I had become part of a Dartmouth family.  

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