Thriving Theatre Career Because of Gerstell Value System

Abigail Funk, Class of 2014
After graduating from UMBC with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and a minor in Anthropology, I've moved from one thing to the next without much time to breathe. I accepted a position over the summer as an acting intern at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company (CSC) in Baltimore and appeared in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Patapsco Female Institute State Park in Ellicott City. 
 
I also worked with the CSC Intern Company in a theatre on Calvert Street on Macbeth. I was offered a contract for the first show in our 2018-2019 season, She Stoops to Conquer. As well, I accepted a part-time position as a fall Teaching Artist, embracing the opportunity to share my passion for theatre with children.
 
I was asked to step into a production with the Baltimore Shakespeare Factory as a replacement for an injured actor. I am facing the new challenge of closing one show while simultaneously learning new lines for the opening of another. I have never backed down from a challenge and find myself quoting Principle #6, "Approach every endeavor with passion, conviction and persistence." 
 
There is no doubt my passion has brought me to where I stand, yet it is also my continued persistence and conviction in rehearsals and the studio classroom which continue to open doors, develop professional relationships, and attract contracts. More than anything, I'm prepared for what I will continue to face in my theatrical career because of the Gerstell teachers who believed in me when I started in Theatre Club as a freshman: Mrs. Heather Lapidario, Dr. Elaine Shea, Mr. Mike Casey, Mr. Gary Slyman, and Mrs. Deborah Seradarian. They provided four years of preparation for the hard work and dedication I would need to launch a theatre career. Without that foundation, built on the Gerstell Academy Value System, and the experiences with Theatre Club, I would not be where I am.  
 
It's been a busy four years, yet I wouldn't have it any other way. With passion, conviction and persistence, I will continue to succeed.
 
Theatre is constantly changing, always in motion, always looking for the best and brightest in the community to find new ways of engaging the public with the arts. There has never been a dull moment and I have learned to accept opportunities with a smile and positive attitude. 
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