This summer Kaitlin went to study to The Russian University of Theatre Arts (GITIS), the most antique theater school in Russia, located in Moscow. The school teaches students all professions in theatrical arts and also traditional university education in arts and humanities. The number of students who qualify for this school annually is around 1500 students per year. These are some of the pictures from her trip!
I had the pleasure to ask her a few questions and get some information from her trip to Moscow. The training at the school is very intense according to Kaitlyn, “it was an intense two weeks of very physical, detailed, specific training. The school, GITIS, takes four years to train its actors.” Where she also stated that she has become a much better actor and person just from these two weeks in Moscow. Kaitlyn spoke about how it is very important to get involved in a different culture than the one you were raised with. It was hard, but thanks to not being able to speak in English as much in Moscow, this helped her acting training improve since she had to find other ways to understand and communicate with people. She also got to experience biomechanics, where she said “I learned how to do rolls and summersaults that I never thought I could do; we did crazy balancing exercises and coordination routines to retrain our bodies, and we’re doing all of this on hard wood floors. We used mats when we had to but our instructor challenged us to be brave and try without mats when possible.”
It seems this trip has impacted Kaitlin in many positive ways and has been a truly learning experience for her “By the end of the two weeks I felt like we had only started to scratch the surface of what we could have accomplished if we’d had one or two more weeks. It was, however, one of the best experiences of my life and I will remember it forever.” Thank you Kaitlyn for sharing this. Avila University and the Center of Global Studies and Social Justice are happy to hear from your success and learning experiences. Good luck on your trip and studies, keep experiencing, and working hard!
Kaitlin Gould graduated from Avila University in May 2014 with a degree in theater, acting, and tech concentration. Now as an alum her education and acting experience continues. Kaitlin is attending graduate school in London, starting on October 2. When thinking about going to graduate school at the beginning of her senior year at Avila, she had schools such as UCLA and NYU in mind, but never for a second thought about schooling overseas. That is, until she signed up to audition via URTA (University/Resident Theatre Association).
“URTA is like speed dating for graduate school,” she told me. URTA is a program used to find schools that offer graduate education in the field of theatre. On their website you can sign up to audition and on the day of your audition, you have 2 minutes to do whatever you feel best demonstrates your acting abilities. This 2-minute performance is in front of about 20-30 theatre department heads from many schools. On the same day of the audition, you find out which schools are interested to set up an interview. After the interview and an application process, you wait for about 2 weeks and then find out if you made it. Not only did Kaitlin go through this whole process and get accepted to graduate school, she got accepted to the University of Essex- Loughton Campus, in London, aka “East 15.” This is a huge accomplishment, given that this is a prestige university with a very small number of accepted students each year.
Kaitlin was speechless and thrilled when she heard that she was accepted. In fact, she stated, “It didn’t even sink in until a couple of weeks ago when I started looking for places to live.” The program is 20-months, split into 3 phases. The first phase is basic scene work, Shakespearean work, dialect with voice and body and familiarity with big names in acting. The second phase is production work and the third is shows. After completing the program, Kaitlin will have her MFA in Acting (International).
What are Kaitlin’s plans once she graduates? She would like to be an actress, of course! Kaitlin also has a lot of tech education and experience as a backup, if necessary. In terms of location, she says that she would be willing to permanently live overseas, but because her family is in the states, it may be difficult to be so far. Regardless, Kaitlin says that she tends to be laidback and “go with the flow” so whatever happens, happens! She is going to enjoy her summer by working at Take 5 (a coffee shop) and working at Theatre Young America. A couple messages that Kaitlin leaves us with: “Don’t let fear hinder possible opportunities” and “Always, always be yourself.”