Theater Conservatory Confidential: The Choice

Eli Diamond comes to a tough decision. 

This may come as a bit of a shock to those of you who only know me from reading this article, but I have made the decision to leave NYU to pursue a degree in Computer Science. I have had a really interesting experience here, making wonderful friends while undergoing an education that can really be only described as top of the line. But I have seen a drastic change in myself. I have become incredibly bitter, angry, and depressed since coming here. My days are often spent in my bed surfing the internet, for want of a better life, and over the course of this semester, I made the decision to go find a better life for myself.

Along with my parents, I developed a plan involving going to community college next year to fill up all of my General Education requirements. Along with going to school, I will perform in as many productions as I can, in order to get used to applying the technique in a real world setting. You see, I still hope to continue acting, but the $67,000 dollar tuition was a little bit too steep to bet on a career that doesn’t guarantee much of a return. Computer Science on the other hand, is a career with many job opportunities and high starting salaries, and I should have enough time to continue my acting career on the side. As I’ve said to numerous friends, if I make it as an actor: Great, if not: Great. There’s a 100% less chance of homelessness caused by this.

My parents, girlfriend, and friends have all been incredibly supportive of me in this time. I will be completing the semester, and I will continue to put in hard work. I know some people may see this as sad, but I don’t. I had a wonderful time here for what it was. I met some people, I learned some things, and most importantly, I learned about myself. I discovered things about myself that I never would have discovered at home. I was pushed to limits I never thought I could be pushed to, and it was wonderful. I also discovered that my emotional state is occasionally a bit more fragile than I give myself credit for. That’s not bad. It’s just something I needed to know about myself.

Overall though, I’m excited to return home and begin working on everything, be it in the classroom, or the theatre.

3 comments on “Theater Conservatory Confidential: The Choice

  1. Eli, I’m a playwright, but my day job is as an Immigration Law paralegal — helping foreign computer scientists get green cards, because our country isn’t producing enough computer scientists. Having seen the salaries that some of my clients earn, I’ve had a few moments of wondering why I didn’t go into science or engineering myself! Wishing you all the best as you switch paths.

  2. Eli, Congratulations to you on making a decision to build a sustainable life for yourself, which in the long run will probably allow you to be more creative and productive as an artist than if you bound yourself to a massive student loan debt and the need to work long hours at low wages to pay it off.

  3. I don’t know you, Eli, but as a teacher and a person with a great full-time job of many years that supports my acting and writing and fringe festivaling, I think you are making a wise decision. Computer Science is a creative career too. The point of trying things out and really committing to them is finding out if they are what you like or not. Better to have tried, learned, and cut your losses before you’ve wasted too much time. I find your post very inspiring. And remember, you can always make other decisions in the future! Good luck.

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