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Cornell CAS - The Fantastic Theatrical Five-Year-Old

Ivy_Equestrian 13 / 55  
Dec 25, 2009   #1

The hands that went with the authoritative whisper gave me a gentle push, and I scurried into the light. Squinting at the indiscernible faces in the audience, I tried to ignore my trembling knees and focused on remembering the lines I would soon have to recite. It was my big debut; I was five years old, and I was playing a tooth.

Even at five, I wanted to do things properly. I longed to hear someone murmur, "Look at her! She could hold her own against professionals!" The other children, I knew, would giggle and fidget their way through the tiny monologues assigned to us, but I wouldn't let myself. As each of my co-stars stepped forward to say their piece, I maintained my perfect posture, my back and arms aching as I formed part of a very big, very hungry crocodile. The very best actresses I'd seen, like Mary-Kate and Ashley, had huge eyes, so I made sure to keep mine as wide as possible, and I held my chin high so that I had to peer down my nose to see each child stutter through a couple of rhyming lines.

Finally, it was my turn. Clad in black leggings, grimy white sneakers, and an oversized grey sweatshirt, I strode to the edge of the stage and planted my feet. I took a deep breath, pushed my bowl-cut out of my (still very wide) eyes, and bellowed out my couplet in my very best stage voice. And then I was done. I looked around expectantly, waiting for someone to throw roses at my feet, or launch into a deafening standing ovation, but nothing happened. It was time for me to go back to the crocodile, and let someone else have a shot at West End-worthy theatrical success. I didn't slouch, or hang my head in dismay - I kept my chin up and my back straight, and vowed to do even better next time.

My innocuous debut on the stage of Norwich's Maddermarket Theatre may not have been groundbreaking, but it instilled in me an adoration of the stage. I was shy and bookish (some may have called me a know-it-all), but when I was playing someone else, I could be bold, funny, and likable, or wicked, brooding, and spiteful. I began to take away the best parts of my characters, and on numerous scuffed stages, I came into my own.

I hope to be able to continue growing and expanding my repertoire, both as an actress, and as a person. By working towards a degree in Theatre Arts at Cornell, I'll discover how to help other five-year-olds discover their inner Liza. Among other fantastic learning opportunities, I will be able to create my own characters, discover the art of costume-making, perform in multicultural plays, and absorb a wealth of information in the Resident Professional Teaching Associates workshops. Perhaps by the end of my time in Schwartz I'll have my superstar moment...

Thanks in advance! I'll return the favor! :)

Esaias 8 / 37  
Dec 25, 2009   #2
Nice essay, I see you are very good at writing narrative essays

Minor changes
Wow, you must have revised it a lot! So far I see perfect grammar.
But, Best to keep it formal:
Last sentence: I'llwill have my superstar moment

Maybe you could emphasize more on the 'growing as a person' instead of just the experience of acting. Colleges do want to know more about YOU. Maybe a bit more on the moment in your mind where you tried to overcome stage fear?
OP Ivy_Equestrian 13 / 55  
Dec 25, 2009   #3
Thank you!
That's a good idea; I have 30 or so words left, so I can definitely expand on the growth aspect of things.
Esaias 8 / 37  
Dec 25, 2009   #4
Hey, once youre finished,
If you have time, please check out my short answer:
OP Ivy_Equestrian 13 / 55  
Dec 26, 2009   #5
Anyone else? I've gotten some mixed views on this and would love as much brutal criticism as possible!
mmmargarita 10 / 79  
Dec 28, 2009   #6
I believe the prompt is something like "describe the evolution of your interests, what makes them exciting, and how you'll use cornell to further explore them"? Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong..

You got the "what makes them exciting to you part" down, but the "evolution" bit could be expanded upon. Hmm, maybe you could cut down the first part(about your debut) and use the second paragraph as a jumping point to talk about other theatre experiences you've had (since you mention the various other stages and characters, why not go into detail about 1 or two more, just to emphasize the evolution part more)? Sort of like a timeline. My other suggestion would be to expand on the "why cornell" bit. You're a really good writer and your voice does come through, just answer the prompt more thoroughly and you're good to go.
c0llegeb0und 2 / 3  
Dec 28, 2009   #7
I think this is a great essay, and it really keeps the reader entertained.
You've left out the part of the prompt where it asks to describe "their evolution," but I think you can easily do that by describing some of your more recent theater experiences-it shouldn't need to be more than a sentence or two.

I think it would also really help to mention something specific about the Theatre Arts at Cornell, to distinguish Cornell amongst any other college.
Hope this helps!
applesandtea 3 / 9  
Dec 28, 2009   #8
I agree with c0llegeb0und...I think it would be great if you added in a sentence or two about your more recent theater experiences so the admission officer reading this can get a sense of your transformation over the years and how far you've come along.

One thing I would fix is

Clad in black leggings, grimy white sneakers, and an oversized grey sweatshirt, I strode to the edge of the stage and planted my feet. I took a deep breath, pushed my bowl-cut out of my (still very wide) eyes, and bellowed out my couplet in my very best stage voice.

I don't think the parentheses are necessary :)

Also, for the first sentence of the last paragraph, I don't think "innocuous" is the right term...because it basically means harmless and I don't think that's what you were going for. I might be wrong though.

Overall, I really liked this because it made me smile...it was cute (in a good way) and unique :)
OP Ivy_Equestrian 13 / 55  
Dec 28, 2009   #9
Thanks for the tips, guys! :) I'll definitely expand on the evolution thing, and work on refining the other bits! :D

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