Giancarlo Filippi | St. Lawrence University Performance and Communication Arts

Giancarlo Filippi

Class year: 
PCA (Theatre/Performance)
Dekalb, NY
Studio Art and Dance

     When I first got to SLU, I had do idea what to do; socially, academically or extracurricularly. I struggled to find something that made me feel fulfilled and happy here. I felt as though I was in need of something, but I did not know what that was. I was not very involved with the wider campus community, and found the transition difficult. I lacked focus, purpose. It was not until I discovered performance that I began to “find my niche”.
     In my first semester, the theme house “The Artists Guild” did a production of Almost, Maine. I had dabbled in theater in high school and enjoyed it at the time, but was nervous and overwhelmed by the idea of acting in college. Since this particular production was student run and felt like a low pressure situation, I did it! And it ended up being one of the best decisions I made while here. I enjoyed it so much, that I desired to do more.
     After that semester, participated in two PCA SYE projects and was inspired to take Beginning Acting. I enjoyed theses processes and desired to do more; and so in my Sophomore spring, I did two things that fell outside of my comfort zone. I, A) tried out for the mainstage production; Romeo and Juliet, and B) decided to take beginning ballet. I ended up getting cast in the show, immersed in ballet; and it turned out to be the best semester that I had had at SLU up until that point. I had the ability to get truly lost in multiple facets of performance that semester. Because of this immersion I was given the opportunity to go to Poland to work with the Grotowski institute, and participate in multiple physical theater workshops. These events shaped the rest of my college career. I ended up doing two more main stage productions, taking dance classes every semester since, and along the way ended up taking more acting courses purely based on interest in the subjects. I even ended up taking voice lessons and joining multiple vocal ensembles on campus in the pursuit of becoming a better performer. Going into St. Lawrence, I had no intention of acting, dancing, and singing; but I found something that I thoroughly enjoyed while here, something that pushed me to do and try things I has been anxious to previously.
The reason I want to become a PCA major is because while here at SLU I discovered a whole new artistic realm to explore. My original intent was to be a Fine Arts major, and I still completed that goal; but as I navigated through my college career I found something else that inspired me. I realized that I wanted to be a multimedia artist, that I wanted to explore multiple facets of artistic expression. I know it sounds cliche, but I didn't choose the major as much as the idea chose me. I pursed what interested me academically and without even really meaning to ended up taking enough courses in PCA to justify becoming a major. My college experience has become considerably more interesting and diverse that it would have been if I had decided to simply commit to one area of study. Performance is something that has been important to me in the last four years, something that I desire to continue exploring post graduation. It has pushed my boundaries, inspired me, and given me something positive to commit myself to and get lost in. It is a world that is relatively new to me, but that I am excited to continue my involvement in, and so by becoming a PCA major, I hope to further that involvement.