Rachel Naylor is a UVU student pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theater. In her free time, she loves finding “new movies, musicals, or TV shows to watch.” She is also involved in community theaters outside of school.
In pursuit of her degree, Naylor spends ample time “learning what it takes to become an actor,” as well as the history of musical theater. She is also discovering what it takes to be a “GOOD actor.” Naylor has also been doing “lots of singing” to sharpen her skills and broaden her horizons.
UVU’s theater program “has lots of opportunities for people in theater arts to put on plays,” many of which “students have created themselves outside of UVU’s season.” The program offers “a wide variety of different kinds of performances ranging from improv, straight plays, musicals, clowning, and even puppetry.”
“My favorite part of the program is the people I get to work with,” she says, noting that everyone gets along exceptionally well and are all very supportive of each other. “It’s great to have others who motivate you through school to keep going, who also understand [being a student].”
Members of the program “always encourage others outside the program to audition for shows that aren’t a part of UVU’s season,” and those who aren’t a part of the program are always invited to “come to see plays that we produce, or even take introductory classes,” says Naylor.
Since “Utah is a giant pool of theater arts,” Naylor’s main goal “is to get on stage while I’m here,” as well as “pick up acting for film, and later move to the East Coast” after graduation.
“There’s never a time in your life where you can’t be an actor anymore and I think that’s one of the small hidden gems about this career choice,” according to Naylor. “An actor can be any age ranging from 1 to 100.”
Outside of the theater program, one of her favorite things about UVU is the campus – specifically that “the whole campus is practically one big building,” because she doesn’t have to worry about trudging through the snow in the winter.
Naylor came to UVU straight from high school, making this her third year at the university. In that time, she has learned several valuable lessons and would like other students pursuing a theater degree to know that “a misconception of a lot of people outside of the acting pool that I’ve heard many times is ‘acting is so easy, I could do that’ and, sure, anyone can memorize lines or sing a song,” but the process is much more complex. “To make the audience truly believe you and the characters you play needs a lot more work.”
“It can be emotionally and physically exhausting every day” because, according to Naylor, “actors have to live in the realm of vulnerability, and that can take a lot out of a person.” However, she finds the work to be “worth it when you can hear the audience’s reactions to the scenes.” She also says that “audience feedback fuels energy for the actors and adds more to the performance.”