From the Midwest to Manhattan: Finding Home at Atlantic

DJ Davis in a scene

DJ Davis just finished his first semester in Atlantic’s Full-Time Conservatory.

I’m the kind of person who is driven, but growing up in Ohio, I always felt like I was in an environment where my peers did not want to succeed as much as I did. I was 21 and just about to finish my undergrad and was truly lost. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do after I graduated and also wasn’t sure if I really understood my craft.

That all changed when a mentor of mine encouraged me to look into Atlantic Acting School. She told me that I deserved more than I was being given and this school could provide me the challenging and comprehensive curriculum I needed to succeed. I applied for the Practical Aesthetics Scholarship. To be honest, I never really expected any response.

But then, the school decided to take a chance on this kid from Ohio and my life changed forever.

My experience working at Atlantic Acting School has been the greatest experience of my life. I consider myself the luckiest man in the world for being gifted the full scholarship.

Since starting my classes a few months ago, I haven’t just been learning to become a better actor – I’ve been living and breathing my studies. With Atlantic, the work doesn’t end in the classroom. We as actors have the whole world to use as a playground. I’m constantly using the Alexander technique to improve my posture at my job as a barista, using my speech lessons in everyday conversation, or using my voice work yelling for a taxi. Most importantly, I honestly believe the Atlantic Acting Technique has made me a better human being by teaching me to be more aware of my peers and the world around me.

Now that I’ve been at Atlantic for a semester I don’t know how to act without Practical Aesthetics. I struggle to remember how I ever acted in my life before! I never knew what it meant to truly study a script until I started doing it with my friends every day in my Performance Technique and Script Analysis classes.

Beyond that, I’ve had the honor to be a part of an ensemble I can truly call family. My ensemble means everything to me. On my first day in the studio, looking at all these strangers who would be in this with me, it was uplifting. I truly didn’t know what was going to come, but with these people by my side I knew we could handle whatever came our way. They are my team and my closest friends. I wouldn’t have gotten that without Atlantic. And what an incredible bonus – all I asked for was to learn to act, but Atlantic gave me a family, too.