Sarah Grace Goldman: “Creating My Own Dream Roles”

Sarah Grace Goldman

Sarah Grace Goldman, a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program, reflects on her time in CLA, gives a peek into her story telling, and shares advice for current undergraduate students, urging them to “relish in the possibilities ahead.”

Where do you currently work? What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

I am currently working on my master's degree at Northwestern University in writing for the screen and stage. My writing centers Black stories that range from science fiction and horror to comedies and living room dramas. The most exciting part of my work is creating new worlds and situations that have yet to be seen on the stage or screen in general or with Black characters at the center. I especially love doing this in the campus library with a latte and a good playlist.

Which of the CLA core career competencies has helped you the most in your career?

I think each competency is relevant in my work, which is part of the reason why CLA's education is so crucial. To be a well-rounded artist, you must be a well-rounded person. That said, when it comes to specific competencies—beyond the more obvious ones like Innovation and Creativity as well as Oral & Written Communication—I believe the most important ones for me have been Engaging in Diversity, Active Citizenship, and Community Engagement. My work is rooted in my beliefs in diversity in art. I have met several young Black creatives like myself who have never seen themselves represented accurately or who had no idea that a life in the arts is possible. I want my work to be the hand that reaches out and says that anything is possible. You not only belong here, you're welcome here.

How has theatre changed since you began studying it? How should current students take advantage of these changes?

I'm finding that the multi-hyphenated artist is more widely accepted and expected. There was a time when actors had to choose between being an actor, a writer, or a director. Now, the industry is becoming more and more saturated with writer-actors and writer-directors. My advice would be to create, create, create. If you have an exciting idea for a TV show, grab your phone and create a web series. Do you have an idea for a play? Put it up in your living room! Don't wait for a yes, be your own yes!

If you could go back to your time in college, what advice would you give to yourself at that age?

I would tell myself that life has no set timeline for milestones. Allow yourself to be 18, 19, 20, etc. and relish in the possibilities ahead and the great unknown, rather than stress about not being where you want to be. The reality is that you are exactly where you need to be. Also, allow your passions to change. I was terrified that I would stop acting if I pursued my dreams of dramatic writing, but the truth is, I am creating my own dream roles.

What future endeavors are you looking forward to? How will your liberal arts education help you along the way?

I am so looking forward to receiving my master's degree and entering the industry as an actor and a writer. My BFA training was so deeply rooted in the text. So from the first day of my freshman year, I was reminded that words matter. I carry this with me in my writing and my day-to-day life. My training as an actor is the reason why I am writing—they inform each other everyday, all the time. My liberal arts education exposed me to people, ideas, and places outside of the theatre. I was given a little taste of any class I could fit inside my schedule. Do I remember everything from my junior year biology class? Of course not! Did it inspire my science fiction work because we discussed ideas surrounding life, reproduction, and longevity of a species? Absolutely!

Is there anything you wish we had asked you?

I just want to emphasize how incredibly important a liberal arts education with a conservatory style acting program was for me and anyone who will choose this path. I was given the impeccable acting training that has allowed me to perform all over the country, and the exposure to all areas of thought and education that has given me a wealth of ideas for my story telling!

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