Fully unsure where to even start with this post, but let’s give it a go. This blog has gone a bit quiet due to COVID-19, remote learning, and the general state of the world right now. Columbia went to fully online classes on April 4th, which has become our new reality as we near the end of the school year. The time at home has, for better and for worse, given me the space to really think about the state of the world and my place within in. When things have become overwhelming, I’ve found it helpful to name the things I am grateful for:
With post-grad life inching closer, I wanted to step back and gain some perspective with the help of someone who has been in my shoes! I spoke with Emily Chervony, MAM ’19, about her experience beyond the grad program and to hear her thoughts when looking back on her time at Columbia. For context, Emily is the Manager of Administration at The People’s Music School here in Chicago.
For this alumni spotlight, I got the opportunity to interview Angel Kristi Williams, Cinema Directing MFA ’15.
The final semester in the MAM program is a strange world. We all seem to be sprinting into a feverish job hunt AND trying to cherish our l..
November hit and the countdown to the end of the semester seemed to commence simultaneously for all of the grad students. This was accompanied mostly with excitement and a little stress mixed in. For those of us graduating in May, the conversation is starting to turn toward the ever-looming job hunt. Within the month of November, we have applied for Spring graduation, enrolled in our courses for the last semester, and have started fielding questions from family members about what’s next. My first though: yikes. There has always been a good amount of stuff to juggle as a student in this program but now it feels like everything is ramping up when it should (theoretically) be slowing down. More and more, I am finding myself continuously balancing the here and now, plans for two months from now, and looming questions about my life six months from now.
As a producer, I spend a lot of time working with directors but that doesn’t mean I totally understand them or their thought processes. So..
The ~best~ thing about the MAM program is getting to see student work come to life. About a year and a half into this program, we are getting to see each other’s ideas turn into plans and plans turn into work and work turn into fully realized art. The Hokin Project, The Third Mask Festival, and The Fresh Connect are all examples of student ideas becoming reality. In the past few weeks, we have seen another MAM student’s idea take full flight. This would be none other than 2nd year and resident #doordork, Yvvi Atanassov. Since starting the program, we have heard about Yvvi’s obsession with doors, which is fully detailed on her Instagram @enchantingdoors_ (go follow!). Yvvi describes her love of doors through her favorite quote from Julie Powell: “Doors are going to open doors you can’t even imagine exist”. This passion and obsession with doors has led her to create the amazing project below!
I had the opportunity to chat with the current cohort of graduate students in the European Devised Performance Practice program (shortened to EDPP for obvious reasons) about their experiences. For context, the EDPP MFA program is two years in length. The first year takes place in Berlin, Germany studying at arthaus.berlin. Students then return to Chicago for their final year of study on Columbia’s campus. I asked some of the cohort a few questions about the program to give you all the inside scoop! Check it out below: