“There are always two choices. Two paths to take. One is easy. And its only reward is that it's easy.” - Unknown
Eventually I decided to go through U/RTA because I was a working, professional stage manager and I didn’t have a lot of free time. I flew to New York with four interviews in place. I went to all four and then circled back to the University of Iowa at the end of the day to continue speaking with them. When I flew home I had no idea what to do. For some reason the University of Iowa was always in the back of my mind - I knew it was where I needed to go, but I kept trying to make excuses about why I shouldn’t go there:
- They only do one musical in a year.
- It’s in Iowa.
Ok...so there weren’t that many reasons! I started making a case for why I DID want to come here:
- They have dance.
- They have opera.
- They host the Iowa New Play Festival.
- They allow for individual pacing and growth.
- There are only 6 students in the program.
- It’s in Iowa City!
Coming to the University of Iowa, and going to grad school in general, was definitely the right choice for me. All of those things I thought would be negative about being here haven’t hurt me at all - it turns out I needed a break from musicals! And it turns out that Iowa is a wonderful place to call home. All of those things I thought would be positive have challenged me in some way. Dance Stage Management is very tiring/time consuming (albeit for one week). Opera Stage Management brings its own set of special personalities and challenges. The Iowa New Play Festival is a HUGE undertaking every year (I should know, I’m the Production Stage Manager this year). Grad school at the University of Iowa has resulted in a lot of sleep lost, connections made, fast food consumed, farmers market vegetables bought, script revisions managed, and friends made.
So, the choice to go to grad school will definitely be rewarding. But I promise it won't be easy!
By Leigh'Ann Andrews