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Celebrations and Lessons: August Wilson Monologue Competition student diary

by:  at 05/10/2016

2016 August Wilson Monologue Competition Massachusetts first runner-up, Victoria Omoregie, shares the joys and lessons she'll take away from her trip to New York for the Monologue Competition national finals.

Going to New York for the August Wilson Monologue Competition was absolutely amazing! I had a great experience and made memories that I will treasure forever.

What I enjoyed most was the opportunity to see Hamilton, one of the hottest shows currently on Broadway. I almost had a heart attack because I was so excited, and I kept going over it in my head – the fact that I was literally about to see the play and meet the cast. Meeting the cast was amazing. They gave such honest answers to our questions and really touched us with their words. They inspired me to keep pursuing something that I love to do.

Another opportunity I enjoyed was seeing The Color Purple. It gave me chills after chills after chills. The music, the voices, the words that the play consisted of — what it means to be “strong, ugly, beautiful, love yourself, etc.” They all touched me. I also loved meeting the cast, and just like the Hamilton cast they gave answers to our questions that I took to heart. Someone asked the actors about how they were able to stay in character when things in the play reminded them of their real life problems. One of the actors said that his approach was to remind himself who he is in the moment and that his character doesn't know about his life, so it doesn't exist for that person. He talked about how he also uses those emotions and transfers those feelings to his character. I’d been having trouble with my monologue and feelings about some personal issues that were triggered through my piece, and his experience really stuck with me.

Photos from Victoria's trip

I also loved meeting new people from all over the country! It was so cool getting to know other people and build relationships with them and feel as if you've known them for a while when you’ve actually only known them for a day! I loved performing my piece and showing people my version of Tonya and telling her story through my own interpretation. It was such an honor to do this at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway. I was also excited and surprised to meet celebrities like Loretta Devine at the competition!

If I could go back, however, I would tell myself to let loose more. To trust myself and forget about the nerves. Nerves can hold you back, but when you trust yourself, magic happens and you can find yourself in your character. This is something I believe happened to me a few times during rehearsals before we went to New York.

This experience not only made me a better actor, but also a better person and helped me take steps towards being the person I’m working on being. That person is more open and willing to speak her mind to new people, which I got to do in New York.  Now moving forward, I will continue to speak my mind.

I thank August Wilson for his work, because it allowed me to get out emotions that I never let out before and allowed me to develop both as a person and an actor. I will always treasure and remember this experience forever, because it affected me greatly and hopefully will open many doors for me as an actor.

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