Studying theatre: checking in with alumnae Jojo Watson and Grace Horeczko

A panel at Missouri State University!!

Photo Provided by: Grace Horeczko '22.

A panel at Missouri State University!!

Layla Valenzuela, Copy Editor

Last year, senior sharks Giovana “Jojo” Watson and Grace Horeczko graduated from the Academy to embark on the journey of studying theatre in college. Jojo Watson is attending the Catholic University of America to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Music (BM) with an emphasis in Musical Theater, while Grace Horeczko is attending Missouri State University to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Acting. I asked both alumnae a few questions about their experience in their first semester of college, and here are their responses:

How do you like your program?

Jojo: This program is amazing! It was a diamond in the rough for me because I had never heard of Catholic University before starting my college audition journey. The program is very personalized and focused on working on the individual performer and having them stand out with their God-given talents and strengths. I strongly feel that I’m growing a lot and improving as a performer.

Jojo and her friends before their Christmas concert! (Photo Provided by: Jojo Watson ’22. )

Grace: I really like my program!! The staff is very supportive and the program itself is super collaborative, I constantly find myself learning from every person in my classes. Everyone there is exceedingly gifted, and being able to watch them work and learn from them every day is a super significant benefit from the BFA program I wasn’t expecting.

What’s it like being far away from home?

Jojo: It’s a very bittersweet situation. I miss my family every day and try to talk to them as often as I can, but we all know and understand that I am where I’m supposed to be in order to pursue a career in musical theater. And I know I couldn’t do this without my family supporting me at every moment!

Grace: I’m not going to lie, it gets tough sometimes. Especially since I’m in a different time zone, it can sometimes feel like I’m in a separate world from them. But what had really helped me overcome this fear is keeping in constant contact and doing what I came here to do. I always make sure to call my family once a day while texting them consistently throughout. I also know if I’m focused on my craft and doing all the work I can/am supposed to do, they will be proud of me and understand I’m far away for a reason. They are extremely supportive of me and this journey, which truly makes all the difference.

What’s been your favorite experience so far?

Grace Horeczko ’22 and one of her classes Being Real! (Photo Provided by: Grace Horeczko ’22.)

Jojo: One of my favorite experiences has been being able to audition for a local professional theater company. I am so grateful that an opportunity like that was given to me so early on in my college life and I hope I get more opportunities to audition outside of school!

Grace: My favorite experience so far has been the process of performing scenes with my fellow class mates. Since our class sizes are never larger than 15 people, it’s easy to get to work with many different people in a scene over the course of a semester. The process of working with different people, finding new material, and the benefits that come from it have been astounding for me.

What are you most looking forward to in the second semester/rest of your time there?

Jojo Watson ’22 with her freshman class at Catholic University! (Photo Provided by: Jojo Watson ’22.)

Jojo: While I’m writing this, I am about to go into an audition for an original play written by the playwrighting professor on campus and I am preparing to audition for our mainstage production of “Anything Goes!” These two events are what I’m most excited about this semester!

Grace: I’m really looking forward to experiencing all of the opportunities Springfield has to offer. Not many people know this, but Springfield has a pretty big theatre scene! Especially when you combine the university performing opportunities with everything else, there is truly so many you can put yourself out there for. One thing I have really missed since leaving Rosary is constantly performing in shows. In college, that experience isn’t promised like it is with you all, so putting myself out there has become very important to me. Making more connections with people and never ceasing to learn more about myself are what I’m looking forward to for the rest of my time at Missouri State University.

It’s truly exciting to see our alumnae happy and thriving in their collegiate environments. Let’s all wish these spectacular stars good luck in the rest of their year and careers!