Major: Digital Filmmaking
Minor: Creative Writing
Why did you decide to study creative writing?
I always loved to write during high school, so I knew I wanted to continue exploring that at Rutgers. When I learned that Intro to Creative Writing fulfilled a Literature requirement toward my degree, it was a no-brainer for me to take it, especially after hearing so many great things from my friends who has taken it previously. To say I loved the class would be an understatement; I loved how much free range I was given to experiment with my writing, and I loved the classroom environment. After continuing with Creative Non-Fiction the following semester, I knew that I needed to stick with the department and continue exploring my voice as a writer, so I decided to minor in it given that my major was already very intensive (121 credits).
What is it about creative writing that appeals to you?
For me, it’s the wide array of classes you can take. One semester I was taking Creative Non-Fiction (essentially essay and think-piece writing), the next I was taking Playwriting, the next I was taking Performance Poetry. Each of these classes, in one form or another, taught me new things about writing. They opened my eyes to a new way I could express myself creatively, and I’m always ready to experiment with new formats, genres, or mediums. Not only that, but the professors have exposed me to a wide array of quintessential works from countless incredible writers that I otherwise never would’ve read, which is tragic thinking back on it.
Do you have a favorite class/professor?
Oh lord, don’t make me choose. Each professor I have had has changed the way I write. I had Tadzio Koelb for Intro and Creative Non-Fiction and he’s just the coolest, chillest guy. He really had a lot of great insight into how I could explore my voice. Playwriting with Caridad Svich made me fall in love with theatre. Her wisdom and knowledge of the theatre world and what makes great theatre is boundless. Most recently, I had Evan Rehill for Performance Poetry and he truly fostered so much creativity and discussion from the entire class. He is an incredible storyteller who exposed me to some of my now all-time favorite works. I have distinctly loved every class I’ve taken with the department thus far, as well as its faculty.
What are you favorite academic experiences outside your studies?
The only other academic activity I take part in outside of my film and writing studies is assisting the Mason Gross Admissions Department as an Admissions Ambassador for the Digital Filmmaking Department. I talk to prospective students about the program, give tours of our facilities, and try to convince them to join the Mason Gross family! I love meeting young filmmakers and showing them how special the program at Rutgers truly is; it fills me with a lot of pride for my school and my education.
What are your other Rutgers activities?
Extracurricularly, I am a member of the Rutgers University Glee Club, the oldest student-run organization on campus and one of the best men’s choirs in the country. I love to sing in a choir setting, and being in the Glee Club allows me to travel all across the world, both nationally and internationally (we just got back from a Scandinavian tour, where we sang in Sweden, Finland, and Estonia), to sing beautiful repertoire for large audiences in beautiful venues. It’s a truly unique opportunity. Along with that, I am also a proud member of the student theatre community on campus! I am the resident Videographer for both Cabaret Theatre and The Livingston Theatre Company, and I have also taken part in a few Cabaret Theatre productoons, both on-stage and off. I love theatre in all forms, and to be a part of such an inclusive community of artists is such a joy. I have made life-long friends through my time with these groups, and have taken part in some of the most artistically enriching experiences in my life thus far.
What are your plans following graduation?
My dream is to be working as a professional theatre videographer through my own production company. I love filming theatre, as it combines both my love for film and theatre in a way that always has me evolving as a filmmaker. However, right now my main focus is to work in an administrative role in either the film or theatre industry so I can get a firm grounding in the field. Wish me luck.