Sara Parrott is in her final semester here at George Mason University where she will graduate with a degree in Technical Theater and a Communications minor. When she isn’t working on productions here at Mason, she is a TA and Services Concierge Supervisor at Event Services. Somehow this busy lady is able to balance all of this and spend time with yours truly.
So what made you choose Mason instead of a school closer to home?
SP: I came to GMU with a declared major in Technical Theater and Design with an emphasis in Costume Design. George Mason is one of the few universities in the country where I can major in costuming, instead of getting a general degree in theater with one or two design classes.
What made you pick a degree in theater?
SP: I’ve been involved with theater my whole life. My parents are both writers, so I’ve been acting out stories and writing my own since I was a little kid. I started seriously getting into theater when I was in the third grade with acting at my church. Even though my focus has changed slightly, I always wanted to get a BA in theater so I could take the classes and get the training I knew would help me succeed professionally.
How do you think your minor in communications helps with your degree?
SP: I’ve always believed communication is the key to success, both professionally and personally. My minor not only makes me attractive to companies in the hiring process, but also helps me because theater is built on collaboration. There’s nothing more frustrating than working and collaborating with people who can’t express themselves or have poor communication skills in general.
What do you hope to do when you go back to California?
SP: The fantasy goal is to become a professional cosplayer! The realistic goal is to work in either film or theater as a costume designer.
What advice do you have for someone that wants to pursue a degree in theater and career in the arts?
SP: Talk to people! Every person you encounter is an opportunity to make a friend who will want to create with you later down the line. Don’t approach people with the intent of getting money or a job out of them, but be open about your interests and your career choice.
How do you balance doing classes, various theater productions, being a TA, and working at Event Services?
SP: My gut instinct is to say “I don’t.” But it really is my ability to say “no.” All of those things require time, and some are more flexible with it. I did my best to remain realistic when taking on all these amazing opportunities, but I’ve also learned that it’s okay to look at things like extra hours at work or additional theater opportunities and say “I have a lot on my plate, so I’m going to have to say no.”
If you could tell freshman year you one thing, what would it be?
SP: Oh, little freshman me. You’re going to go through a lot in these next four years, but let me tell you: It’s all worth it. Every struggle, tumble, and tear shed is something you get to look back on and say “Ha! You tried to stop me, and I didn’t let you.” You’re better now for all the struggles you’ve endured.