Okay. Let’s get one quick thing straight.
I am a second-semester senior in college who is about to—hopefully—graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. Now, at this moment, there are many things—let’s call them “things”—that plague my mind. Will Moonlight win the 2017 oscar for Best Picture over La La Land? Will I ever pay off my student debt? Will my future grandchildren’s government fund the allocation of survival equipment necessary for them to survive the impending doom that they will inevitably have to experience because of my government’s inability to properly fund climate change research? These questions all burden me with existential dread, but if there is one that creeps into my frontal lobe several times each day, it is the following: Will I get an acting job after college?
Now, I know that it will be hard. I know that I “will hear ‘No’ much more than ‘Yes.'” I know all of that. That knowledge, however, does not quite put me at ease. So…here is a list of five quick reasons why I should be cast in your next play/musical/opera/tv show/movie/commercial/instructional video/video game/print ad:
I have spent tens of thousands of dollars in the hopes of acting professionally.
I could easily rant about the insane amount of money that BFA programs across the country are charging their students for an arts degree, but that’s not necessary. In fact, ranting about the cost of college would hinder my point because it would force me to push aside the thousands of dollars I have spent on headshots, voice lessons, dance lessons, dance shoes, dance clothes, scripts, Backstage subscriptions, union dues, public transportation, Uber rides (pre-Trump), Lyft rides (post-Trump), website updates, “audition workshops,” and, among many other things, Netflix—because yes, it is research.
I am actually not dreadful.
I know what you are thinking. You think that I am a baby because I am still in the womb of my mother, Boston University CFA School of Theatre. On the one hand, you are right. On the other hand, I have worked my butt off to graduate from this institution and even if my educational stage credits do not reflect it because of the politics surrounding the casting practices at a school like Boston University, I know that I am graduating with a degree in Acting and an instrument capable of learning and unlearning as I continue to work on my craft. What is acting if not a continuous willingness to learn about the world and its inhabitants?
I am a person of color and this industry owes my people one…or two…or several hundred.
Yes, I just pulled “the race card.” Now, I won’t use this moment to discuss the historical lack of accurate representation of people of color in film and television. I actually don’t need to. Contemporarily speaking, though people of color make up for about half of movie theaters’ ticket sales, we continue to not be portrayed in films each year. In 2014, only seventeen of the year’s top one hundred films featured a non-white actor. That is, frankly, a little sad. We want to tell different stories. We want people that look different from one another onscreen. These are all good things. Let’s make history guys. Don’t you want to help me become the first Latino to win an oscar for Best Actor since 1950? I need a job first.
I sincerely want to change the world.
I think that there are many reasons why people decide to go into the arts. I, for example, knew I was an artist in fourth grade when my teacher handed me back a math test with a “C-” on it because I gave up halfway through and started doodling. Since then, pursuing anything other than the arts has felt incredibly unrealistic to me. I want to create, and I want to create with other people, and then, help even more people create. One of my lifelong goals is to become the founder of a scholarship fund that pays off all of the college expenses of chosen low-income children who decide to pursue degrees in the visual and performing arts. Help me do that. Give me a job.
I am sufficiently attractive, but not too much, so I stay relatable.
It would be pointless for me to explain how pretty I am. My headshot below, which—going back to my first point—I paid a lot of money for, should speak for me.
All in all, I would like to take this moment to request that all of you look back to when you were in your last months of college. Think about the many stressful conversations you had with your friends on your flip phones—or typewriters. Relish how far you have come since then…and then do a young actor like myself a favor: hire them/me.