The nerd runs deep within me. I love the analytical challenge of mathematics, and see it as a beautiful search for truth, not rote memorization of methods to complete calculations. Surprisingly, studying math has helped me sharpen my craft of acting. Both a mathematical proof and a scene have the same goal: sharing an inherent truth in such a way that others can engage with the work.
The preparations begin with the same questions:
What do I know already? How much of this information will help me right now?
How can I break this material down into its simplest chunks?
What weird stuff am I going to have to try before I get this right?
Being a mathematician helps me be a better actor. I can break things down into their simplest bits and put them back together again in a way that tells others something new about the world. Here's a little bit more about my technical background in STEM:
In addition to studying theatre, dance, Arabic, and anthropology in college, I loved taking my math and physics courses. During two summers, I was lucky enough to study at Research Experiences for Undergraduates funded by the National Science Foundation. One of my projects was at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, retrofitting a monochromator with modern mass-produced technology and optics lab equipment. The next summer, I studied combinatorics at the University of Minnesota, with a dimer interpretation of cluster algebras, which you can read about here.
Me and the monochromator
I graduated from Mount Holyoke College summa cum laude in 2019, where I majored in mathematics and minored in Arabic. I earned highest honors for my senior thesis in fluid dynamics, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa upon graduation. After graduation, I headed to Budapest on a Fulbright grant, where I studied math at Budapest Semesters in Mathematics and published research in convex geometry in the journal Discrete Mathematics. You can read the paper here.
Math reminds me to think problems through, step by step. The logical scaffolding of problem solving techniques continues to inform my work as an actor.