I spent time this week interviewing two very intriguing professors at Plymouth State University. Below are the interviews and what I took away from them.
1.If you graduated with a degree, may I ask what that degree is?
“Yes, I have a BA in acting from Plymouth State University and a MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College.”
2. What classes do you currently teach?
“American Musical Theatre, Acting One, First Year Seminar on reality TV, and Musical Theatre Tech.”
3. Is musical theatre your one big passion, or do you have another love for a particular subject?
“I have lots of loves! I am definitely a Musical Theatre geek, but I also love all kinds of arts and performances. Anything from dance, to poetry, to paintings. I am also a huge tech geek.”
4.Do you do any interdisciplinary work? or in other words work that involves more than one branch of knowledge?
“Yes! Every day…One thing I do outside of theatre is I design online learning which focuses on the connection of scripting, animating, and voice courses. When I realized my love for helping people as well as teaching people, I realized how the two could mix. In all subjects, I do believe that everything is connected in a sort of way. ”
5. What courses would you recommend students in the theatre or music department consider taking OUTSIDE of music classes?
“courses involving art history, psychology, sociology, literature, or history in general. But other than that, you should take courses on anything that interests you, maintain your curiosity, and stay open minded.”
6. What other fields might the theater or music industry rely on or closely connect with?
“Definitely all of the Humanity fields. Also a lot of music relates to historical events of the time, so history is closely connected. I think any kind of psychology or sociology has a lot to do with approaching or analyzing a character in a production. Also, technology relates to the set of a show.”
7.Could you see yourself teaching anything else other than theatre?
“For sure, I could see myself teaching learning design and pedagogy or history!
I realized from my interview with Professor Page that you should not restrict yourself. It is acceptable to have “lots of loves”. And the best thing to do with your many loves is to maintain your curiosity with them and always be learning new things about them. You will find that your loves don’t have to seem like completely different branches of life. Branch your loves into a tree and you might just come to realize they have a lot in common.
Dr. Eva Nagorka
1. If you graduated with a degree, may I ask what that degree is?
I have 3 degrees: Bachelor of Music (Voice Performance)
Master of Music Education
Doctor of Arts in Leadership
2. Is musical theatre your one big passion, or do you have another love for a particular subject?
I was a great lover of musical theatre until I went to music conservatory where I devoted myself to training for a career on the opera stage. My current interests are centered on the areas of public speaking, acting, and entertainment. I have been a voice teacher for 25 years – teaching high school, college, and professional performers – musical theatre, opera, jazz. Additionally, I am a performance anxiety (stagefright) coach.
3.Do you do any interdisciplinary work when teaching? or in other words work that involves more than one branch of knowledge?
In all of my music teaching (classroom and voice) I incorporate the following disciplines: music and the brain, performance anxiety (stage fright), psychology of performance, arts and learning, creativity, leadership, and empowerment.
4. What courses would you recommend students in the theatre or music department consider taking OUTSIDE of music classes?
I would recommend that all students in the arts learn about how the brain functions – how we learn. Most people find this to be a mystery, but it is important, practical information that explains how and why we do what we do. Also, I can’t stress enough how important it is for an actor or singer to have a few psychotherapy sessions! Actors must be in touch with their life experience in order to express emotion on stage – therefore, talking to a mental health professional can help actors learn about themselves and thereby express emotions more freely.
5.What other fields might the theater or music industry rely on or closely connect with?
Dance, creativity, arts management, psychology,
6.Could you see yourself teaching anything else other than exploring music?
I can teach many courses in the music field. I would like to teach a college level course in Stage fright – performance anxiety. This important topic is so often overlooked yet most performers suffer from stage fright. The more we get in touch with our feelings and fears, the more we can grow as actors and singers.
Professor Nagorka inspires me in so many ways. She knows her true passions and dedicates herself to them. On top of that, she is not afraid to admit weaknesses such as stage freight, and instead of avoiding it, she wants to reach out to people and help them deal with the anxiety. I for one, am probably the closest thing to an expert on stage freight and public speaking because it is a constant struggle for me, but I continue to test myself every chance I get. Eva Nagorka cooperates all the ideas of Interdisciplinary studies in the way she integrates psychology (thinking, fear, confidence) into performance.
copyright: Carly Ristuccia