SDA Alumni share advice for incoming students

Fight On in Speech Bubble

We gathered some favorite words of wisdom we received this year from alumni of the USC School of Dramatic Arts to inspire the newest members of the Trojan Family as they begin their journey at SDA.

“1. Do as many shows as you can. 2. Comedy involves a lot of failure – you’re putting yourself out there but it’s empowering to create your own content. 3. Don’t just wait for opportunities – always be working on something new.” – Jon Rudnitsky, BFA ’12

“My theatre degree helps me every day. My confidence in my own voice and ability to present my ideas is definitely something I gained through acting classes. I am constantly presenting and pitching the company to potential partners, which feels like storytelling or like a performance. My SDA classes included a lot of creative analysis of plays and literature, which I use every day as I read and recommend scripts. I have also reached out to and collaborated with actors I met in SDA to work on some of our company’s short-film projects.” – Isabella Dake, BFA ’20

“The timing for every performance career is different and breaking big right after graduation doesn’t make you special – it’s a marathon not a sprint so be smart and frugal and channel all your moxie!” – Deborah Ann Woll, BFA ’07

“Keep applying! Treat every internship like an extended job interview; go the extra mile — it will be noticed; start building your network with your peers and networks.” – Lauren Cole, BA ’20

“I strongly encourage students to take what they learn and mount their own productions. The experience (and chaos) of learning to do this will prepare you in ways you cannot foresee. It also opens you up to create the experiences and tell the stories you deem as important as opposed to waiting for an authority figure to decide where you should pour your attention. Older generations will not always have their fingers on the pulse of what is next, what is coming to the forefront — so it’s up to you to trust your instincts and lead the way, even as a student. It will empower you and open your eyes to endless possibilities.” – Jameelah Nuriddin, BA ’06

“Trust that what’s meant for you is coming, as long as you’re doing your work.” – Brian Jordan Alvarez, BFA ’09