Janice Rabian
  • Area of Study: Theatre
  • Current City: Dallas, Texas
  • Graduation Date: 2017
  • Current Occupation: Persuing an MFA in Stage Design (Costumes) at Southern Methodist University

Why did you choose WCU and/or the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I was attracted to the inclusive and holistic attitude of the Theatre department at WCU.

How has the quality of education you received from WCU prepared you for life after graduation?  
The encouragement from the faculty and students to immerse myself in all aspects of theatre molded me into a curious and well rounded artist. These attributes have greatly contributed to my success upon graduating from the program.

What is a typical day like for you?
Oh, ya know. Crazy. A typical day involves getting up early to beat the city traffic and grab a cup of coffee before class. Most of my classes are morning classes and I am typically finished by noon. Then I might have a production meeting for an hour. After that meeting I spend time in the costume shop working on my duties as an Assistant Costume Designer for an upper classman (as all 1st year grad students do). Or I may spend some time working on my designs for my spring show, How I Learned to Drive. This past week I stayed on campus for the first rehearsal and read through of SMU's production of As You Like It. Home by 9 pm and time to start homework.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
At the core of our work, we are storytellers. Think about what stories you would like to share, what narrative you have that is unique to you, and how you can tell it to the world. Be passionate about something.

What advice would you like to give to graduating seniors?
Tenacity, hustle, and grit are your greatest assets after graduating. The first five years in the industry are reportedly the hardest, because there are so many young people competing for the same jobs and roles. Past those first five years, the people who are here to stay have stuck it out.

When you were a student at WCU, did you complete an internship and/or study abroad?
While I was a student at WCU I studied abroad with the Ombelico Mask Ensemble in Calabria, Italy. It was without a doubt one of the greatest summers of my life. I also worked as a wardrobe intern at Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre, which was an incredible networking opportunity while in undergrad.

What makes our college stand out to you?
The individual attention, the commitment to the craft, and the opportunity for growth and exploration always stood out to me.

What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in our college?
One of my favorite memories of being a theatre student at WCU was performing in The Tempest, directed by Prof. Len Kelly. The entire process of the show, start to finish, was incredibly professional but also full of care and love for the storytelling craft. We all felt that we had built something quite special by the end. I'm still waiting for the remount.

What's the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn't learn from your resume alone?
I took my Cher impression off of my resume, does that count?