Welcome to the first chapter of the “I’ve Graduated! Now What?” series! As I’m now officially a senior, I’m thinking about my next steps after I leave college. And what better way to learn more than from listening from experience?
This will be a series of interviews with BW’s recent graduates from arts-related programs such as Music Theatre, Arts Management, Theatre Acting, etc. People who are making their way into the job market even during a global pandemic. My intention is to showcase these people’s talent but also help readers learn more about the reality of their field of interest.
First up, we have Cleveland native Enrique Miguel! Enrique is fresh out of the #1 Music Theatre program in the country (according to OnStage Magazine) and has recently made the big move to living in New York City. His favorite role while at BW was Michael Mell in BE MORE CHILL, and he dreams about playing Chris in MISS SAIGON.
Enrique and I took Introduction to Arts Management together. It might have been his familiar name (there are a lot of Henriques in Brazil), his amazing sense of fashion, his grounded personality, or his incredible Senior recital performance that made me want to share his story with BroadwayWorld. So without further ado, here’s Enrique Miguel:
IS: Now that you’ve graduated, looking back at your time at BW, what was the most important thing you’ve learned?
EM: The most important thing I learned throughout my time at BW was professionalism. Being on a strict schedule, meeting deadlines, and adapting to change was a big part of my BW career. Being a part of BWMT meant I constantly dealt with industry professionals and companies that require focused dedication. By the time I graduated, all these skills/habits became secondhand, and I could focus on the job that needed to be done.
IS: What would you say to your freshman-year self?
EM: I would tell my freshman year self that college is precious! Being uprooted and having my time cut short really put into perspective the life, training, and relationships I’ve built for myself throughout my time at BW. It’s a feeling you won’t get till after you graduate…but you’re definitely going to miss the small things that made you pull out your hair.
IS: In high school, where/how did you see yourself after graduating college? Has that changed a lot to where you are now?
EM: In high school, I had always imagined moving to either one of the coasts after finishing school. I love the sun out West but the city out East! Living in a place with endless things to see and full of opportunity was always attractive to me. I never knew how, when, or where but promised myself to always work towards that. I used to have this photo of Times Square hanging above my bed that its sole purpose was for decoration but little did I know it foreshadowed the life I was going to have a few years later. I’ve been in New York for about a month now and still can’t believe that my dream back when I was 12 or 13 is now my reality.
IS: What’s the most challenging aspect of graduating during a pandemic?
EM: The most challenging part of not graduating besides NOT GRADUATING…, of course, would have to be learning how to network and navigate my way into an industry that’s complete shutdown. We all know live entertainment is at some point returning, I just don’t want to be left behind when it does. The good thing out of all this is that quarantine has allowed me to refresh myself after a long 4 years of school and really determine who I am as an artist and the art I want to create/share!
IS: What are your dreams for the future, or how do you see yourself in 5 years?
EM: I don’t know what my dreams are for the future…I don’t think anyone does right now. Currently, my dreams are to wake up in a world that’s not ON FIRE, but that seems like too much to ask. Jokes aside, I definitely see myself living out West! I can perform there just as much and get WAY tanner doing it! There’s just something about that sun that really speaks to me…