Dear Friend…

Dear Friend…

A Love Letter to My College Years

A Love Letter to My College Years

Where did the time go? It feels like yesterday that I was setting foot on campus for the first time as a student- excited, nervous, hopeful for the four years that would follow. It feels like yesterday I was meeting these new people for the first time, unaware of how important they would come to be in my life. Like yesterday, I gained my first real taste of independence that would ignite the spark that would guide me through the journey of the most important years of my life to date.

A Love Letter to My College Years
My freshman roomie and forever friend, Bella, and I prepping for Girl’s Night!

The lessons I learned in my four years of schooling are endless. From a career standpoint, I am so blessed to have been placed where I was for the last four years. Truthfully, (sorry, DeSales!), but DeSales was not the place I wanted to go! I had my eyes on so many larger schools with (what I thought at the time) were bigger and better theatre programs, but I have no regrets in the choice I made. If I hadn’t gone to DeSales, I never would have had a regional theatre right at my fingertips. I am forever indebted to DeSales and the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival for taking a chance on me and presenting me with all the incredible opportunities I was able to be part of.

I learned the importance of professionalism and preparedness- two of the most invaluable qualities to possess in any career. I also learned the value of kindness above all else. I fell in love with DeSales because of how welcoming the community was; I was always shown compassion. The theatre department was also the place where I began to learn to trust myself and my gut instincts as an actor, which ultimately helped me to trust myself in everyday life. I gained such a sense of freedom of expression, and I was allowed to cultivate the tools deemed necessary moving forward into the working world.

A Love Letter to My College Years
The aftermath of the “Angela Locks Her Keys in the Car for the Third Time” fiasco of sophomore year

But career business aside, the lessons I learned and the perspective I gained off the stage shaped me into the woman I am today. The friends that I made in college undoubtedly will be my forever friends. They will be my life long self-tape readers, my go-to group text, my future bridesmaids, the ‘aunties’ to my future children. My greatest support system. They have taught me so much about what I deserve and have shown me the greatest love I could have imagined. While the four years brought us all many ups and downs, I know the friends I have made will remain my constants.

A Love Letter to My College Years
Playing Elizabeth Darcy in Miss Bennet: Christmas At Pemberley my junior year

I have learned the importance of fostering the passions I have, whether they are related to my chosen career path or not. Because who knows? Dreams change, people change, and the plans I thought I had for my professional career could change in an instant. The lessons and strategies I learned in my four years of college ultimately prepared me (as much as they could) for what I am experiencing right now during this pandemic. Never in a million years could I have predicted that I wouldn’t get to finish out the remainder of my college career sharing every last milestone, big or small, with my best friends by my side. But it is because of the strong relationships I fostered, the practice techniques I honed, and the drive I developed that I have been able to persevere.

A Love Letter to My College Years
My best friend, Kailey, and I making the most of our senior year

There is one lesson that I cherish most of all. Carrie Bradshaw (my girl!) said it best. “Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first.” This couldn’t be more true. Even though this lesson was definitely the hardest for me to grasp, and I am still working on it, I have made such incredible strides in loving the person that I am coming to be in every role that I play in my life- daughter, friend, artist, and beyond.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020. May our light never dim, and our dreams stay big!

~Ang

Getting to Know You!

Getting to Know You!

Getting to Know Me and the Blog

Hi Everyone! Welcome to Beyond the Footlights! I am so looking forward to sharing this outlet with you- so here is a bit about me and the blog!

My name is Angela LaRose, and I am currently a PA based actor/singer/dancer. Performing has always been a passion of mine, and while I explored other career options like teaching and journalism during my college search, I followed my heart and knew theatre was my home. My heart ultimately led me to DeSales University where I have spent the last four years studying Musical Theatre! Lucky for me, along with giving me an incredibly enriching theatre education, DeSales also provided me with a fantastic liberal arts education. While getting B.F.A-like training in my B.A. program, I was still able to explore and express a variety of other passions as well!

Beyond the Footlights is born out of those other passions I find to be just as important in my life. So often as performers we are asked, “What is your backup plan?” or “Is that a realistic career path?,” and sometimes, it can be hard not to lean into those remarkably untrue questions- even when they truly come from a place of love or curiosity. Sometimes, when those questions become entirely too daunting, we launch ourselves into a frenzy and allow the uncertainties this business inevitably holds over us to take control of our minds, hearts, and physical/spiritual well-being. So how can we lessen the anxieties this may bring us?

That is where Beyond the Footlights comes in!

Beyond the Footlights is here to remind you that you are more than a performer. You Are A Person. You are a beautifully, and wonderfully made human being. Do you have passions outside of theatre, or even passions within the realm of theatre/performing arts besides performing? Of course you do! You are human! In a business that can take toll on our minds and bodies so easily, it is important to have some other outlets that make you feel safe, sane, and like you can be YOU. There is no shame in that. I am here to share some of the things that I do to make myself feel whole during moments of stress or uncertainty, as well as share ideas from fellow actors and friends!

This is a blog for everyone, not just performers, so share it with anyone you know who may need some love! We are going to take a step off the stage, beyond the footlights, and explore the passions that make us individual, unique, and worthy!

I am so excited to share this space with all of you! Get ready to spread the love!

~ Ang