Want to have a career in the arts?

by Anya Jaremko-Greenwold

Plenty of young people hope to foster a burgeoning career in the arts – but it’s not easy. “You’re going to have to do other things in order to supplement your income and your art,” said Melissa Firlit, director of theater production “Trojan Women” at FLC. “I do believe the more you commit and connect to it, it’s almost like survival of the fittest. Perseverance is key to your craft.”

Assertiveness is important, too; constantly seeking out opportunities can be grueling work, but it’s necessary. The meek or thin-skinned will have a much tougher time. “Nobody is going to come up when you’re starting out and ask you to do something!” said Firlit. “You have to be advantageous and have a business sense of mind. What are you doing for your craft every day? Are you sending out headshots, resumes, applying to fellowships and internships? You don’t have to be working on Broadway to be successful in theater; there’s regional theaters with excellent programs. There are ways to utilize your community.”

Leah Brewer, Fort Lewis senior and lead actress in “Trojan Women,” plans on moving to New York to begin auditioning post-graduation. “There’s a lot of competition, and part of this industry is having to accept rejection over and over and over again,” she said. “When I tell some people my career plans, they’re like, ‘Oh … good luck with that.’ Trying to fight that attitude is definitely a challenge. You have to maintain your confidence. As long as you don’t stop, you’ll get somewhere eventually.”

Anya Jaremko-GreenwoldDGO Staff Writer


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