Make The Connection, Global

December 6, 2016 | By Ohio Wesleyan University

Ohio Wesleyan student Kacie Iuvara ’18 (right) spent a month training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) using a university-funded Theory-to-Practice Grant, part of The OWU Connection. (Photo courtesy of Kacie Iuvara)

From Stage to Screen in London

Theory-to-Practice Grant Supports Student Experience at Dramatic Arts Academy

Name: Kacie Iuvara ’18
Major(s): Theatre and Creative Writing
Hometown: New Albany, Ohio
Experience: Theory-to-Practice Grant, “From Stage to Screen in London”

Iuvara spent four weeks at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) over the summer learning fundamental skills for different areas of film acting and establishing connections in the field.

Lessons learned: “This project was one of the best experiences of my life. The lessons I learned, culture I witnessed, friends I made were unlike any before them, and left me a wiser, more open, and all-around better person.

“Academically, the amount that I was able to not only learn, but retain and execute in four weeks of intensive training astonished me. Shoot-day terminology, on-camera eye lines, frame sizes, memorization and objective techniques, Uta Hagen’s Nine Questions … the importance of reactions – all of these concepts were new to me.

“I have gained the business knowledge of how to find an agent, how to behave during auditions and callbacks, how to create a show reel, [which] casting websites are legitimate, methods of contacting casting directors, and more. I have books to read, so that I can keep discovering more about both the business and the techniques.

“What is more, I now have more than just classroom teachings under my belt, but experiential knowledge, a sort of wisdom that, without one undergoing the experiences themselves, is unteachable.

“Culturally, I was exposed to a variety I had not planned for. Firstly, there was the British culture, which was especially turbulent due to the recent separation from EU. I actually witnessed a large-scale peaceful protest one day while in Piccadilly Circus. Not to mention, I was able to talk about issues I had only come into contact with through news media with young adults actually living in this political situation. … No news stories or documentaries can compare to hearing a friend speak about their homeland. Suddenly, I feel like a global citizen and I would not trade these connections across the world for anything.

“In less broad terms, I was able to experience the culture of London more in depth than if I were a tourist. I was led through London by Londoners; I saw West End shows, went shopping at the best outdoor markets, ate at the local favorites, and walked through parks. … My four weeks abroad filled me with the life and vibrancy of this part of the world in a way that I have never experienced before.

“In terms of my career, this experience was instrumental. Without the foundational knowledge I now have, such as screen audition etiquette, how to self-tape, and so on, it would be significantly harder to achieve my first acting job, to break into this business at all. From the audition process to shoot days to post-production, I now have both an understanding of what to expect and even some experience in these situations. …

“Maintaining global connections with my instructors and peers could very well prove useful in my future of acting, along with providing a richer and more globally aware future for myself as a person.”

Why I chose Ohio Wesleyan: “OWU was my college of choice for many reasons such as its impressive theatre department, its liberal approach to learning, and, of course, its incredible travel opportunities.

“OWU was one of the few colleges that allowed me to pursue a double major in theatre and creative writing, and what is more, within my theatre major, I have opportunities to explore both performance, my concentration, and tech.

“In terms of travel, OWU’s programs are unlike any other university I found in my college search, encouraging students to travel in some capacity, whether it be for two weeks or two semesters.”

My plans after graduation: “With my aspiration being to travel to a film/television hub such as Los Angeles or Atlanta and pursue a career acting onscreen, these programs are perfect for preparing me for a life outside of Ohio, my home state.”