When I walked in to my first FOA rehearsal just a few weeks ago, I was as nervous as you could expect from a brand-new freshman, and then some. My scene had looked good on paper the night before, but undertaking it with a total stranger under the direction of two other, older total strangers seemed daunting and uncomfortable. I was struggling with homesickness and the feeling that I wasn't fitting in, and I hoped that the FOA experience would help me feel better and more connected. I'm so happy to say that I was right. I have extensive theater experience from high school, teen programs, and summer camp back in my home town. But the experience of the FOAs is something different from the theater I'm used to. The flexibility of the rehearsals and the openness of my directors to my interpretation of the scene was really comforting. I've really loved having the chance to connect with my one castmate and two directors instead of trying to make my voice heard in a larger, more structured group. And doing the scene itself has been fun and rewarding-- in the words of my own character, "I've been dying to get back on stage." All in all I am grateful for the FOA opportunity, and I feel inspired to direct a scene next year so I can give a new freshman the experience I had.