My name is Jacqueline Vouga. I am a 23-year-old college graduate whose life currently revolves mostly around my 4 year old 75 pound dog. He is one of the things in life that gives me the most joy along with theater and traveling. Within theater I love to perform, stage manage, and apply stage makeup.
I do theater for a very simple reason: It makes me happy and, in life, I don’t think I could ask for much more than happiness.
I will be the first to admit that I never cared much for school. I love to learn and reading is one of my favorite hobbies, but I never found much joy in going to school. I was always in choir and spent much of my youth putting on shows for anyone who would pay attention so when my choir teacher suggested that I tryout for our high school plays as well I saw no reason to object. I mostly did small parts and helped out management as much as I could but I quickly realized that I was much more willing to go to school when I knew I had rehearsal directly after. So long story short, when it came time to apply for college and think about what to major in I knew that theater was the only thing I could choose. I have never looked back and I could not be happier with my decision.
One of the best decisions I made during my time at Butler University was to go on the month long trip to Moscow. I feel I can safely say that in the four weeks I spent working with the artists at the Moscow Art Theater School I learned more about myself as an actor and progressed more as an artist than I did in my four years in college. Don’t get me wrong, I treasure the time I spent at Butler and I wouldn’t trade it for the world but the work we did in Moscow was an altogether different experience. The teachers allowed us to look at things from a perspective completely different from most of what I had been previously taught and having such intensive classes, six days a week, really allowed us to keep focus. Working that consistently coupled with brutally honest instruction really forced me to see what my strengths and weaknesses were. As we were reaching the end of our trip I realized how much more I wanted to achieve if I only had more time. At the time, I knew it was not possible and just tried to get as much out of it while I was still there.
So, when Elaina approached us with the idea of this program I knew it was something I had to at least apply for. I would have hated myself for not trying and I figured I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. After I was invited to participate I struggled with the decision for a long time. But once I allowed myself to not be frightened by the prospect I realized that I really really wanted to do it. I cannot imagine having an opportunity to work with such amazing artists in this sort of environment to come along again in my life. I am fully confident that this program is going to stretch me to my absolute limits and allow me to learn things that I never thought possible. I have no idea where this journey will take me but I cannot wait to find out.