Send Sean to Graduate School in London

Send Sean to Graduate School in London

From Sean Verdu

Sean has been accepted into the two year MFA program at East 15 Acting School in Loughton, England (just outside of London). He is trying hard to keep his loan costs down. Please help if you can! Every little bit helps!

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Items that this is assisting with:

- Course Deposit Fee - $400 (Due by April 25, 2019) PAID!

- University of Essex Deposit Fee - $1300 (Due by June 30, 2019)

- Visa/Passport Fees - $500 (Due June 30, 2019) Passport Renewal has been PAID! Visa Application $400 

- One-Way Flight to London - $500

- Cost of Living Support this is necessary for Visa Application (Rent, Food, Necessities, Etc.) - $9000 

Thank you to everyone that is willing to support my cause to chase the dream of my Acting MFA. I have wanted to go to graduate school since graduating from college in 2008. For those interested in reading more about my previous experiences and reasons for pursuing, here is my statement of purpose:

Theatre has always been an outlet for me. It helped get me through my parents’ divorce when I was a late teenager and assisted with combatting depression and anxiety. In addition, it has allowed me to connect physically and emotionally with people around me. I have been passionately pursuing the life of a full-time artist since graduating college in December 2008. After graduation, I had a goal of acceptance into a graduate school to study for my masters in acting. I applied to the URTA’s in 2009 in the city of Chicago. I never received a call back and it was heartbreaking. But, this moment of denial was a blessing. My reasons to attend school were selfish. I did not truly have an end game and I thought that maybe I would get a big break and become famous. At that moment I took the time to reflect on what I wanted to accomplish through theatre and knew that I wanted to affect people through storytelling and watch myself grow through connection with fellow performers.

Since that moment, I have been a part of numerous professional productions and joined an ensemble company in Colorado Springs (Springs Ensemble Theatre). I spearheaded, developed and nurtured the theatre department at The Vanguard School in the middle school and high school where I currently teach. However, with all these efforts, I continue to feel as though I am missing out on key aspects to being the performer that I know I can become. I struggle with connecting my body to my vocal and emotional output. This is due to added stress in my shoulders, getting frustrated that my body will not cooperate, and the fear to truly let myself go in a role. I feel this hinders my ability to truly connect with my characters that I create. Don’t get me wrong, there have been many roles that I know I have lost myself in and given an incredible performance. My goal is to reconnect with my body to do this 100 percent of the time, not just occasionally.

There is a quote I stumbled upon while researching graduate school that has stuck with me. Carlo Mazzone-Clementi stated, “Characterization must begin at home, in the body. Some of us are not at home in our bodies. We must discover what that means. Therefore the main emphasis of my work is physical self-discovery.” I can relate to not feeling at home in my body and struggle with second guessing my actions, which hinders a loose performance. As a teacher I am really good at finding this in students and giving them the tools for retraining them. Isn’t that how it goes? We find in others what we struggle with the most, and are normally able to guide them through a process of self-discovery, while still struggling with taking those notes ourselves.

I would like to be guided to learn to break these habits, focus on my strengths, and develop my body to connect with my mental and physical emotions in characterization. Diving head-first into this journey will be the most challenging thing I have faced in my life. I believe that East 15 is a place that will harness that and push me further to my goal. Letting go of my flaws and discovering new abilities through performance training in a highly rigorous setting will take time and effort, this is why I am willing to take the two year process of the MFA at East 15. After successfully completing the program, I see myself teaching and educating others at the university level, starting an ensemble theatre company, joining the Actor’s Equity Association and pursuing a lifetime of sharing my passion of acting.

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