Today we launch a new on-going guest blog spot with Eli Diamond’s “Theater Conservatory Confidential”, a semi-monthly chronicle of this young and accomplished Bay Area actor’s first year as an NYU theater student. What will happen when West goes East for fame and fortune? Check in every other Friday to find out!
As a young man growing up in San Francisco, I spent a lot of my time figuring out how to get into an acting career. I mean, everyone knows how to get into an acting career: You audition for shows, you (hopefully) get a part, you make connections, you leave. But sometimes things are not as simple as they seem. For example, how do you become a good actor? Is it just something you’re born with? Or is it something that can be taught? Is it something that it’s worth spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on? Is it something that you should consider getting a degree in? These are things that I hope to discover over the course of my college experience. But before that, I should look back on how I entered this strange, colorful, world of theatre.
Early on in my high school days, I started doing plays and musicals, as an arts credit. But where some people just stuck to the school-produced shlock, I went outside looking for some theatre. Over the course of my high school career, I performed in over 35 different plays and musicals; professional, youth, school-related, and otherwise. To put it bluntly, theatre had become my addiction. I surrounded myself with my cast-mates, former and current, and I spent every waking moment at a rehearsal for something or other. To give you an idea, I was in rehearsal/performing nonstop from May 2011-June 2012.
But then, my senior year of high school came, and the big question emerged: Where should I go to college? I already knew that I wanted to act, so I did my research, and I decided to apply early decision to NYU Tisch School of The Arts. One 5:30 AM audition, tons of paperwork, and $67,000 in student loans (kill me kill me kill me) later, and: Ta-dah! Elijah Diamond became enrolled in the BFA Acting program at the Atlantic School for Acting, a subdivision of Tisch.
From what I had heard, Atlantic seems to be a pretty big deal. It has a militant reputation, namely because they lock the doors to their classes 15 minutes before they begin. It also has a fantastic history, having been founded by David Mamet and William H. Macy. Numerous actors have been through there; actors who’s names you would recognize, but I admit to being too lazy to look up. All that I remember is that Jessica Alba went there, for better or worse.
Right now, I am preparing on leaving: Packing up my life, abandoning the world I know, and heading into the unknown. I leave for New York on August 23rd and will be filling this blog with my (legal) exploits. Hopefully, this will be full of interesting and exciting adventures. Worst case scenario: you all feel like you’re stuck in school again. But if this works well: You’ll receive an insider’s look on what it’s like to be an Acting major in the heart of New York.
Keep checking in every other Friday for Eli’s updates as he navigates his first semester at NYU.