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The Life of a Performing Arts Major

February 5, 2017

 

 

Ashley Davis rehearsing her part in ‘She Kills Monsters’ with Austin Harrison. – Photos by Brian Blakely

Ashley Davis gives a glimpse of life on stage

 

Morgan Bernard
Staff Reporter | mrb056@latech.edu

 

Practicing 18 hours a week, learning to speak in several accents and battling with swords are just some of the unique experiences within the life of a performing arts major at Louisiana Tech.

 

Ashley Davis, a senior theatre major with a concentration in performance, is one of these students, and she said theatre is something that has always been a big part of her life.

 

“My first onstage performance was at the age of four,” Davis said. “I saw the microphone in front of me and something just possessed me to sing, and I have been performing ever since.”

 

Davis said she was lucky to grow up in the city of Covington, Louisiana, as it has a community that strongly supports the performing arts.

 

“I was involved in a community theatre when I was young until high school where I had a theatre class,” she said. “Once I was out of high school I had no doubt in my mind that I immediately wanted to start studying theatre.”

 

Davis said that with the concentration on performance in her major, she is directed more toward the acting side of the performing arts.

 

“I want to act and perform on stage in my career,” Davis said. “Not necessarily for the fame and fortune, but to have a steady stream of jobs doing what I love.”

 

“I saw the microphone in front of me and something just possessed me to sing, and I have been performing ever since.” – Ashley Davis, senior theater major

Davis said she also works with other aspects of the performing arts program at Tech along with acting and performing.

 

“I am the student recruiter coordinator for the theatre, so my job is to promote the program and give information to students who are interested,” she said. “I also help professors with recruiting undergraduate and graduate students by encouraging them to keep studying the arts.”

 

Davis said she enjoys her performing arts curriculum as it involves unique classes along with regular school subjects.

 

“We have some courses that you would not expect a college to even have,” Davis said. “There is a stage combat class where you learn how to fight on stage and use various weapons. A class like this is where actors in action movies learn to do those intense battle scenes. Dialects is another cool course where we learn how to speak in different accents.”

 

Davis said along with their daily classes, many performing arts students must also attend practices for theatre performances being held throughout the year.

 

“We have three to four mainstage performances every year,” she said. “The whole theatre program helps with putting on each show. We usually have rehearsal six days a week, three hours daily, but it also depends on the director and complexity of the show. Practices usually start a few months prior to the show times so there are hundreds of hours of work put into a year of performances.”

 

Davis said with each show the school performs she hopes the audience sees how much hard work and talent is put into the performance.

 

“Theatre is passionate and loving, and consists of so much work,” she said. “I want people to have respect for the theatre and performers, and to see how much dedication and passion is put into a single show. To an audience member, the show may be great but it is forgotten later, but to those actors and company members that is their life every day.”

 

Davis said she wants more people to be interested in the performing arts so they can see why the theatre is so important to her.

 

“Being at the theatre is so exciting because these people are making art happen all the time and that art is so important,” Davis said. “I think it is important because the arts give people the opportunity to express themselves, and being different is celebrated and encouraged here.”

 

Davis said she chose Tech’s performing arts program over other universities because of its small size and togetherness.

 

“I love Tech’s smaller program because we are like a little family,” she said. “I get to be a part of a theatre where I know all of my peers and professors, and we all work together really well. It is a loving place to be where we always back each other up and support each other one-hundred percent.”

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