Friday, February 26, 2010


I met Emily when she was a freshman at Pace University (and I was a senior). We were in The Trojan Women together. Now Emily is a senior and I'm, well, getting old... haha. Time flies. Emily is multi talented - an actor, costumer and academic. I loved hearing her aspirations beyond graduation from Pace University this spring. She has great plans and a great vision!

1. Who Are You?

Emily Temple, a 21 year old senior BFA acting major, Women’s and Gender Studies minor at Pace University.

2. What do you believe in?
God; true equality and acceptance of all people no matter what background they come from, what color their skin is, or what their sexual orientation is; instant gratification takes too long; and sometimes there is nothing like a good book or a good movie to make a horrible day better.

3. What kind of change do you want to see? Where do you see yourself fitting into your idea for change?
I would love to see people begin to take a more active and educated role in government instead of blindly following what the media tells them is right, as well as a move away from discrimination that stems from race, sexual orientation, or religious background. Coming from a small town in the south I know how damaging this kind of blind ignorance can be, and I have done my best and will continue to strive to open people’s eyes to the fact that we aren’t really all that different when you get down to it, every person deserves to be loved for who they are and what they believe regardless of what that is.

4. If your life had a soundtrack what would be on it?
More Beautiful You-Jonny Diaz, Rhapsody in Blue, Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra (yes I’m old school), Boondocks-Little Big Town, Breathe-Anna Nalick, and Love Song-Sara Bareilles.

5. If you could be doing anything with your life right now what would it be?
Working on Broadway as an actress or a costumer or back in India teaching in orphanages and doing street theater.

6. I Can't Live Without...
Music, old Julie Andrews’ movies, chocolate, and my friends and family.

7. What are you craving right now?
A chance to move beyond Pace and work professionally in the arts that I love so much, and some good old fashioned southern cooking.

8. Talk about a piece of art, performing arts, music or writing that changed your life...
The first time I read The Miracle Worker by William Gibson I realized just how impactful theatre can really be; as actors we take real people and real stories and make them accessible to an audience in a way that they may not have previously been able to experience. At the time I was babysitting a little girl who had been born with half a heart and had delayed motor skills due to damage from extensive surgeries she’d had, and who’d been told she would never speak. I began teaching her sign language (much like Anne Sullivan teaches Helen in The Miracle Worker) as a way to teach her to communicate, and within four months she was speaking, my name was the fifth word she learned to say. Several years later I was fortunate enough to play Anne Sullivan in a production of the show with the Virginia Courthouse Players, and I can truly say that show and that little girl changed the path my life has taken.

9. What motivates you to do what you do?
“To whom much is given much is expected” I have been very blessed in my life and I feel it’s my responsibility to not take those blessings for granted, but to instead make an effort to make someone else’s life better.

10. If you were best friends with any historical figure who would it be and why?
It’s impossible to pick just one so I have a few:
Anne Sullivan because she was a brilliant teacher, thinker, and woman and I’m so in awe of the work she did, Mother Teresa because of the incredible work she did in India, specifically with the Dalit caste that I hold so dear to my heart because of the limited work I got to do with them when I was 17, and finally Emily Dickinson because there is just something so fascinating and mysterious about her that I think it would be interesting to be one of the few confidants she had in her life.

11. If you were a character in your favorite fictional storyline (this could include a book, play, film, television series etc.) what would it be? How would your character be intertwined within the story line that already exists?
As cliché as this is, I’d want to be in The Sound of Music (the film not the play), maybe as one of Maria’s friends, just some excuse to be in a movie singing with Julie Andrews and running around the hills in Austria. There’s just something really happy about that movie (even though the ending is a bit of a downer) that would be fun to be a part of.

12. Talk about a defining moment of your life. What happened? What did you take away from it?
I recently found out that I have a life threatening heart condition that is pretty much nonexistent in people my age, and this revelation made me look at my life in a whole new way. I could have found out about this condition much sooner and been able to prevent it from worsening to the level it has by altering the way I lived my life, but then I would have missed out on so much of my life that has made me who I am. I never would have been able to play sports as a kid, go swimming in the river and water skiing with friends after school, I wouldn’t have been able to spend the summer before my senior year of high school in India working with orphans and lepers (an experience which truly changed my life), and I never would have been able to move to New York and become the woman I am today. I have a greater understanding of the importance of life because of the way I have lived it thus far and now because I know my life may be shorter than that of the average person, and I’m incredibly grateful I didn’t find out about it until now because it allowed me to have a well rounded childhood and early adulthood, and it gives me something to fight for now that I know I have to fight.

13.Talk about the best day ever.
Sleeping in, having breakfast with my family, going for a walk by the river, spending the afternoon reading and hanging out with friends, going out for a relaxed dinner with my closest friends and family and seeing a show or watching a movie-just a simple relaxing day.

14. Who is/are your hero(es)?
My mother

15. Create a mandatory reading list for the world:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Persuasion by Jane Austen
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Because of Romek by David Farber

For more pictures of Emily, visit:

No comments:

Post a Comment