Nick Betten

As a 2019 Centenary graduate with a BA in Theatre Arts, I left school feeling ready to break into the theatre scene. Centenary’s program has always been described as  “a BFA program, with a BA degree,” and that is the truth. Centenary does not pigeon-hole students. You are expected to dabble in everything. Acting, singing, dancing, working behind the scenes whether in the scene shop, stage managing or both! You can participate in the ensemble of a show while being apart of the crew designing lights, costumes, or even sound, and that just covers the student theatre productions under NEXTStageRep! Being an equity house, Centenary allows its students to rub elbows with industry professionals, sometimes acting alongside them. Being able to see working actors and working alongside them was a phenomenal opportunity. I was able to see where I’d like to be in my career when I graduate.

My main focus at Centenary was Performance Studies, which is our acting concentration. No matter what I was doing in the theatre, I was gaining skills as both an actor and a working artist in the “real world.” The different skills I gained from each of my professors have all become tools to keep in my pocket when approaching a new part. The wide range of classes and experiences that Centenary’s program has afforded me have allowed me to be more versatile in the “real world” while continuing my acting journey. While I was optimistic about my future as an actor when I left Centenary, I was unsure of how I would be able to work and act. Luckily, I found a job at Scaramouche Costumes. While costuming wasn’t my concentration, I was familiar enough with that environment to be able to succeed as an employee there.

Additionally, toward the end of my senior year at Centenary I was introduced to Randall Duk Kim and Anne Occhiogrosso. Since graduating, they have assisted me in continuing my work as an actor,  studying great works, as well as imparting their knowledge of the theatre world. In my work with them, I keep growing and evolving my skills, the same skills which were instilled in me at Centenary. A few months after graduating, I was able to perform in my first New York show, which, while small, was just another stepping stone in my journey. With the advent of the pandemic, theatre hasn’t been the most lively lately, but I continue working on my craft. To expand my abilities I have trained in voice acting and am sending out auditions, as these are things I can pursue from home. The seed of inspiration that Centenary has planted in me has allowed to be grow as an artist and once theatre reopens, I can’t wait for my next opportunity.

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