Since all personal statements were completed and submitted for the Fall 2012 applications a while back...I figured it's probably about time that I post my personal statement...for the record.
I had almost totally forgotten about it, but I think I promised that I would post this year's statement...and I like to keep my promises. So HERE IT IS!
If you're interested in seeing the progression of my personal statements over the years, you can read my 2010 and 2011 personal statements for NYU by CLICKING HERE...but this time, just to switch it up...I'm posting my personal statement for Juilliard.
Virginia Wilcox - Personal Statement - Juilliard - 2012
Actors give a truly important service to society. As storytellers, they mold the collective mind and spark social change through the spread of ideas, backed by the passionate fervor of an audience’s shared emotional experience. Great acting requires bravery, discipline, and passion. These are the same qualities that make up a great human being. The more you are willing to be a fully present, loving, generous, courageous person…the better you will be at empathically embodying the experience of another. I look to the journeys of actors like Laura Linney and Daniel Talbott who have blossomed from their training at Juilliard, followed their own unique passions, and boldly serve with their work, and I think, “That’s the kind of artist I want to BE!”
Right now, at 30, I feel I have no more time to waste in becoming my dream. I must remove the barriers that are holding me back from becoming the gutsy human being and actor I’ve always known I can be. I am taking action to face my fears, changing unhealthy behaviors that undermine my strength, and transforming my life in preparation for the transformational work ahead in grad school. This year I changed my eating habits and am back in my ideal body, deepened my yoga practice, left a two-year relationship that was no longer healthy for me, adopted the Tao te Ching as my spiritual manual (my favorite audiobook for subway rides), obtained a fantastic day-job in the middle of the recession (and though the job has protected me from financial ruin, it has also given me clarity that acting is my true profession), and last, but not least, I have taken two personal finance classes at The Actor’s Fund and am on track to eliminate my debt by 2012. (Cannot wait!) Overcoming my fears and taking action, I feel a great sense of accomplishment with both. With courage and persistence I have proven to myself that I do have the power to change my life and become a stronger human being and a stronger artist. Barriers be gone!
After suffering last year’s disappointment of not getting into NYU or Yale (for the second time), I knew that for 2011 I could not depend on acceptance to grad school to kick-start my artistic growth. I was going to have to do something on my own. So I decided to address what I think is my greatest obstacle as an actor: my fear of being open and vulnerable in front of others. I came up with the idea to write a blog as a forum to test my fears, publicly documenting my process of preparation for applying to MFA acting programs. The blog has a two-fold benefit: I get to practice being publicly open and vulnerable through my daily writing, while motivating others to bravely pursue their dreams as I boldly pursue mine. To me, the idea of blogging was absolutely terrifying…and that’s exactly why I did it. On my Facebook page I publicly committed to write 180 blog posts from September 5 to April 1, and invited everyone I know to follow. The blog has been the greatest confidence builder of all. An online community of like-minded folks have rallied around me in support. Each morning I send out an honest snapshot of my life, with all of its ups and downs. I am discovering that those flaws and idiosyncrasies that we fear others will condemn us for are often the very things that draw us to connect with one another and remind us that we are all innately human. www.AcceptanceProjectNYC.blogspot.com has already made me feel like this year’s application process has been one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.
I have a deep desire to create art that inspires others and that is why I am driven to do this work; because of the “Artist as Citizen” ethos, Juilliard is my first choice for my MFA. None of the other schools “walk the walk” like Juilliard does, not only in addressing the question of how we can make work that will be significant to our communities, to our society and to the world at large, but also in taking action. We are all the creators of our own experience. I want to collaborate with other artists that share the same values and commitment that I have in doing this great work. And these artists are at Juilliard. What might I be capable of contributing to the world if I was given the opportunity to be mentored by the best teachers, inspired by the most committed fellow students, and surrounded by the most passionate arts community in the country? That is the question I cannot stop asking myself and the question that has kept me coming back to audition for graduate school, and finally, Juilliard. At last, I have found my community! Juilliard feels like home to me, where I know I’ll be safe to take risks and realize my life purpose. I hope that you will support me by welcoming me in as a valued member of the artistic community at Juilliard. I cannot do this alone! Help to guide my path, challenge me to continue to remove all barriers, give me the time and tools to build my strength as an actor. My heart beats to be of service to others and to passionately practice my greatest love: acting. I have so much more to give.
Whah-whah...Didn't get in this year.
But that's okay...I'll just keep on giving it anyway! Can't think of anything better that I'd like to do.
For other posts relating to the Personal Statement writing process this year...check these out...
#59 Juilliard Personal Statement Draft
#65 Powerful Questions
#66 My Bucket List: Personal Artistic Goals 2011
#71 Inspiration Is IN
#74 Speak Your Truth
Please Note ***Applying to MFA acting programs really ISN'T about the Personal Statement...It's ALLLL about performing kick-ass monologues on the audition day. (For more about my philosophy of choosing monologues click HERE and/or HERE.) Acting happens LIVE...monologues are what will get you IN (or so I hear) ...not your literary skills. So don't stress if you're not particularly comfortable with writing. Just be true to your heart...and write about what you are really passionate about...because that will be unique. Do not write what you think they want to read...because it will come off completely generic and end up sounding exactly like huuuuuuundreds of other essays that they've been snoozing through for years.***
Best of luck to allllll you allllll writing personal statements out there...now and in the future.
Be courageous. Be you. Write your truth.