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  • Writer's pictureMichael Monicatti

A year on...

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

A year ago today, I announced (with great joy and massive apprehension) that I had been awarded The Fulbright Program John Wood Award to LAMDA (London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art)! The year has had its ups and downs, of course, given the nature of this pandemic. But, I'm pleased to report that over the course of this month we are rehearsing and performing three different plays in rapid succession, essentially in repertory, and all in person. It feels like we're finally diving into the work head-on and this memory popping up felt providential, worthy of both gratitude and celebration. What follows is my original announcement from April 2020.

Today I am overwhelmingly proud to share, in the midst of all this chaos and uncertainty, the news that I have been awarded a 2020-2021 Fulbright Award.

In the fall, if things go according to plan, I’ll pursue my dream program: a one year Master of Arts degree in Classical Acting for the Professional Theatre at London Academy of Music & Dramatic Arts. (That’s a mouthful!)

Some context: In 2015, I finished a three week intensive at Shakespeare’s Globe in the heart of the city’s theatre district. When I left London, I promised myself (and felt deeply inside) that I would return again to work and study. London feels like a second home.

I could not be more thrilled and grateful. Grateful for the teachers and advisors who have supported me from the beginning. Teachers have been the true foundation of my success and I’ve been really blessed with great ones from the get-go. They deserve all of our love and more of our taxpayer monies. Thank you teachers—for taking extra time with me, letting me run wild in school plays, and connecting with the oddball who didn’t always fit in with the kids his own age or gender. And thank you for writing, rewriting, submitting, and resubmitting those letters of recommendation!!

This is a moment of success for me no doubt but I also want to tell you that I have applied for SO many opportunities that I haven’t been awarded. At UW, one of my favorite events was hosted by the Resilience Lab and is called Fail Forward. It’s an annual event where distinguished UW faculty and community members share the setbacks and “failures”, both professional and personal, that have shaped their lives. I know I have had my fair share of “failures” but what’s more important than those setbacks is what happens the day after the disappointment. The rising and returning to whatever it is you do, love, and are passionate about.

Theatre is no lucrative endeavor and like they told us in school, 90% of it is being rejected. But then, the odds are always stacked against us, aren’t they?

I say screw ‘em. The world is in desperate need of more people living out their truths. I feel more alive on stage than I do anywhere else in the world. My hope is that people everywhere find their own version of nirvana and chase it like the world depends on it. It just might.

Love to all my amazing friends and family near and far who’ve prayed, manifested, visualized, and willed this into existence. I am beyond blessed.

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