The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

Meadows seniors discuss graduation

While graduation may seem to be a long four years away for first-years, for many seniors the big day is fast approaching. For many students, graduating means continuing their education in grad school or spending a few years in a cubicle, but many theater majors in the Meadows School of the Arts are preparing for auditions and life in Los Angeles.

While Meadows provides the perfect atmosphere for these actors and directors to learn about their craft, the reality of life outside SMU is somewhat more complicated.

SMU alum Jordan Pratt graduated in December and has been experiencing a new type of life since graduation. “It’s pretty complicated. Since December I’ve been working to pay the bills and doing lots of small gigs,” said Pratt.

Although newly graduated students may have a tough time becoming adjusted to the working world, many SMU professors are helping alums in their job searches.

“Different professors and friends in the theater department at SMU have been really wonderful about recommending me and hiring me for different gigs,” said Pratt. The relationship between the faculty in the theater department and students is so strong that Pratt was even asked to return and be the stage manager for “Hamlet” after he graduated.

“They needed a stage manager for ‘Hamlet’ that they knew and trusted. With our great training here at SMU, why hire from outside the family?” said Pratt.

While the training theater majors receive at SMU may be influential for actors aspiring to work on stage, for students wanting to work on film and TV, the competition can be more difficult.

Senior theater major Candice Patton, who most recently played Ophelia in “Hamlet,” finds the idea of graduating to be nerve-wracking.

“I am in a major where when you go to L.A., it really doesn’t mean anything to have a college degree in theater,” said Patton. “It doesn’t put you ahead of the person sitting next to you in the audition room.” Patton is certainly no stranger to the small screen. As a sophomore, she beat out other actors for a chance to appear on “The Young and the Restless.”

In a field notorious for its brutal rejections and cut-throat competition, Patton feels that the training she has received from SMU professors gives her an advantage over other actors.

“I absolutely feel like the education I have gotten here really puts me ahead of people who just went to L.A… I have the training, and that puts me ahead of those people,” said Patton.

Another actor eager to make his mark in Hollywood is senior theater major Chad Hugghins, who played the coveted role of Hamlet in SMU’s recent production.

While acting might not require any study time in the library, Hugghins understands the importance of hard work and dedication in preparing for a role.

“One of the things I really enjoy [about acting] is that you have to be self-motivated. All the stage work I have done here has been really hard work, but it really pays off,” said Hugghins. “I enjoy the whole process of feeling like I am figuring out a mystery.”

Actors such as Cate Blanchett and Liev Schreiber are two who Hugghins says he admires for their talent and ability to work both on stage and in film.

“To be able to work with people that talented and smart would be great,” said Hugghins.

The final show of the season, “Spring Awakening,” will be held in the Greer Garson Theatre from April 25-29. For more information, visit the box office on the first floor of Meadows.

More to Discover