Lauren Grajewski ’16
Currently Attending: New York University
Years at Shipley: 3
Activities & Positions Held: Shipley Singers, Glee Club, Fall Plays, Winter Musical, Shakespeare
It Takes a Village
Shipley’s challenging classes, hardworking teachers, and ambitious students all helped prepare me for college. In classes, I was pushed to my limits and given a lot of work to do, but in the end it was very rewarding. The teachers gladly answered my questions and were always there for me if I needed extra help outside of class. My peers always wanted to succeed just as badly as I did. As a result, I performed better because I always had my friends for support, encouragement, and help.
Beyond Shipley’s Walls
Shipley offers many opportunities for students to participate in clubs and extracurricular activities. I tended to stay within the arts for my extracurriculars, but there were many unexpected opportunities offered within that specific area. By being a part of the Shipley Singers, I was able to perform in a variety of places outside of Shipley, such as the Beaumont Retirement Home or at other schools, such as Episcopal Academy. Also, by being an active part of the theatre program, I was introduced to theatrical experiences outside of Shipley. For example, a faculty member told me about an audition for an upcoming Netflix Series that I could submit a video audition for. Although I did not get the part, it was fun to act out the sides and put together the audition tape using Shipley’s new facilities in the Commons.
Always There for Me
When I switched schools my sophomore year, I wanted to go to a school with a good theatre program. I had the chance to meet with Mr. Brown before making my decision, and he took the time to see me perform and tell me a lot about Shipley as a school. Ever since then he has been a mentor and friend. He helped me prepare for my college auditions by helping pick out my monologues and giving me many coaching sessions to make sure I was doing my best work at the auditions. He also showed me what good acting looks like and guided me to dig deeper with characters. On top of that, he was always there when I needed a boost of confidence or just someone to talk to.
Making an Impact through Theatre
My most memorable experience at Shipley was doing Dr. Tony Morinelli’s show Tea at 4 in the Fall Plays. It was the first time I did a show that truly affected an audience and challenged how people think. Afterwards, a faculty member came up to Mallory Avnet and me in tears saying how she was so happy her children were able to see it because of its message and how proud she was of us.
Plans for Fall 2016
I will be attending New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for a BFA in Acting in the Stella Adler Studio.
My future ambition is to be an actress on Broadway, which is the same ambition I’ve had since I was six years old and started taking voice lessons. After my first recital, I fell in love with performing and could not imagine my life without it.
I also recently discovered my love for writing in the English class, Composing Ourselves, which I took last semester, so my more recent ambition is to write a book or a play.
Shipley has prepared me to be unafraid when something new is thrown at me and to be excited for future endeavors.