From now until the end of the school year, we will be introducing and celebrating our graduating students, 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. Today our series continues with graduating MFA actor Phillip Ray Guevara.
What do you know now that you didn’t know when you started this program?
I think I have a better understanding of how to connect the person I am with the person I want to be. This program has helped me develop a genuine sense of self worth and this whole "acting" thing seems a lot less daunting now. There's always this voice in our heads that is constantly making us doubt ourselves. "Am I good enough? Do they like me?" It's one thing to say, "don't do that to yourself" but what I've found here are alternative plans of ACTION that give me a way to constructively fail forward with specific strategies for turning those lessons into success. There's also just nothing better than being constantly stressed out and trying to make deadlines to teach you who you are. That's not true. I'm sure living in the wilderness for three years with nothing but a knife and a roll of duct tape would've taught me plenty about myself but you see my point.
What are you most looking forward to being able to do now that you won’t be in class or rehearsal 12 hours/day?
Sleep. Sleep above all else. But once I'm done sleeping I'll enjoy being able to read books again for pleasure. After spending so much time reading plays because I HAD to, I'm really looking forward to just wasting time with a great science-fiction novel. Maybe I'll write a book. What do normal people even do anyways? I'll figure it out.
Any plans for after graduation?
Moving to LA with [fellow PATP/fiancée] Tricia [Castañeda-Gonzales] soon! She's from there and I'm looking forward to seeing the sun again so that's pretty exciting.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time here?
The obvious answer is meeting the love of my life (I love you Tricia!). The extended answer is being a part of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. Every show I did here had it's own unique and wonderful things about it, but I remember one moment in tech, when the final pieces were coming together, I looked around the room and got emotional because it was like, "Whoa, we're doing something special here". I'll never forget that feeling.
What piece of advice do you have for those following in your footsteps?
Breathe. Drink lots of water. Try doing what the professors suggest first before you dismiss it outright. Find something outside the School of Drama that gives you joy and make time for it every weekend. Write everything down. Trust. Breathe. Say please and thank you. Always tip 20%. If you can't afford that, you can't afford to eat out. Learn to cook. Work out. Laugh loudly. Cry louder. Love deeply. Follow The Four Agreements. Remember that you are not your work. Read "Desiderata" by Max Ehrmann. Listen. Drink more water and breathe.
Learn more about Phillip at https://www.uwdramalabs.com/phillip-ray-guevara