From now until the end of the school year, we will be introducing and celebrating our graduating MFAs, looking back on the work they've done during their time here, and sharing their reflections and wisdom as they head off into the professional world. Our series continues with graduating PATP actor Bria Henderson!
What do you know now that you didn’t know when you started this program?
I know that I am enough. I know that if I continue to believe that I’m enough and that what I am willing to give to the world, whether it is through my art or through any other facet, will always be enough, it will always be amazing because it’s coming from me, fully committed.
What are you looking forward to being able to do now that you won’t be in class or rehearsal 12 hours a day?
I cannot believe that’s happening. I’ve been doing this for three years, so it’s become like a home and a custom and a tradition and a routine thing, that it’s like, how do I operate without this program and without the people that I’m used to seeing every day? So, I think what I’m gonna be looking forward to is upping my self-care regimen. I’ve been working on that for the past three years, but it’s really hard when you’re in a 9 to 5 and then 6 to 11 program. So, I’m gonna work on that. And exploring other things that I’ve never gotten to do. I’ve never been to a spa before. So, I’m gonna go to a spa. Maybe take singing lessons, which is something I’m really interested in, and maybe pick up my clarinet again and play, as well as do some spoken word. I really want to go out and find some open mic spots and start performing again, ‘cause I miss it. I really put it down when I got here, and I miss it a lot.
Any plans for after graduation?
I just was offered my first equity contract in the fall, here [in Seattle]. So, I’m really excited about that. It really just feels like a dream. It has not hit me yet that it’s happening. Also, I have a small little teaching gig, and so I’m hoping to do some teaching and do a lot of acting.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time here?
I guess it was before Dangerous Scenes. We were all nervous, because you call them "Dangerous Scenes," so we all think, "They’re clearly too dangerous for us to do!" So us doing this takes a lot of courage, it takes a lot of courage, because we’re about to fall off a cliff. So, we locked the door in 218 before anyone could come in, and we just had like a little dance party, where we just kinda tried to dance our nerves out, and just allowed it be about us, and allowing the faculty and the other students to see another piece of us. So, they’re not gifting us, we are giving them the gift. So we had a little dance party, and that was really fun. And we had this little prayer circle. We have random prayer circles, and it’s funny because I don’t know if we all believe in God, but we all pray when someone says "let’s pray." I just love my class, because we’re just honestly like a family. Like, a mixed bunch of people, but we make a great family together. So, I’m gonna miss us.
What advice do you have to people who might follow in your footsteps?
My advice would be that there’s always room for more. There’s always room for you. Because it’s so easy to see the industry and always count yourself out. Like, I feel like we’re always our worst critics. I find myself always counting myself out and always telling myself "no" before I let the person who actually has the power to say "no," say "no," or before I let God say "no." I mean, I find these moments where I get the courage to go after something and see what will happen, and then there’s room for me. And I feel like I’m always surprised that there’s room for me and the art that I’m willing to create, because I see a thousand Brias and a thousand of all of us everywhere, so I’m always like, “Oh, there’s no room for me, they’ll find that other actor,” but then it’s like "No, we want you." So, whoever’s going after this, just know that there will always be room for you, and there will always be enough room for anybody who wants to do this thing.
Our graduating PATPs are raising money to support their showcase tour to Los Angeles and New York. Learn more about their tour and how you can be a part of launching this talented class into their professional careers by clicking here.