By Carmo Bebiano
As a kid I always used to escape from this world and create my own. I loved being in my own fantasies, my own imaginary circumstances as if they were real. As the years went by I still couldn’t let go of the desire to escape, to get somewhere better.
At the age of 14, after I had been telling my parents I wanted to be an actress, I finally enrolled in my first theater program where I experienced an inexplicable feeling of adrenaline and satisfaction that fed my soul. I was hooked. I was so focused on getting to the US to act that I became blind to all the obstacles on the way. I told myself I would never give up on that feeling because it was worth it.
Atlantic came to my rescue one afternoon at the age of 21 while I was in Art History class back in college. As I was doing research on my phone, I came across Atlantic’s Full-Time Conservatory program, how Atlantic explores essential truths on stage and how honest storytelling can foster a greater understanding of the world. These were ideas that I believed in and was so eager for the chance to explore. I have faith that telling a story can hold a lot of power, and that was reflected in Atlantic’s mission. Over the next four hours, I prepared my application, wrote letters, sent my audition tape and waited for good news.
Now that I have graduated it all seems unreal, I could not be more thankful for all the opportunities and especially all the people that I have met throughout the program. I met my future colleagues; I have a theater company and I feel like I hold enough tools to ensure my voice is heard. Atlantic is a highly demanding program that will challenge you emotionally and physically; it will push you beyond your limits because at Atlantic, they believe you can go THAT far.
Last but not least – to all the international students or aspiring foreign actors/artists – if you can survive New York City’s completely insane lifestyle while practicing the arts, you have so much more strength than you think. You will learn about yourself, how to believe in yourself, and why you do what you do. My advice is to always BE HONEST; you’re going to have to let go of a lot of demons to unlock this next level in your life. Everything will come in its own time.