Tyler Sands | St. Lawrence University Performance and Communication Arts

Tyler Sands

Class year: 
PCA (Theatre/Performance)
Manchester, VT

     Over my first two years at St. Lawrence, I have been eyeing Performance & Communication Arts as a potential major. I want to do so for several reasons. First of all, I want to major in a subject where I will gain skills that will help in many different careers. In order to do this, I am majoring in “Business and the Liberal Arts”, in order to have a background in economics and accounting for any business career I work in. Since I am required to add a second major with Business, I have decided that PCA is the best choice for me. Having polished communication skills is critical in many areas of life, and can make a positive difference for me in many different situations. Also, I have an interest in the subject, both in general and from past experiences.
     When I was a student at New Canaan High School in New Canaan, CT, I worked for my school television station, NCTV. I was the Arts & Entertainment producer, and during this time, I learned a lot about news media. This was an experience that taught me about communications, not only in producing our weekly news broadcasts, but within the team as well. I learned a lot about working on a team, being a mentor to younger students, and working with older students and our instructor. Our weekly meetings would be eventful, often having the atmosphere of a business meeting for a corporation.
Additionally, as the Arts & Entertainment producer, I was responsible for filming and producing events such as music concerts, or school plays. I stress school plays, because those were my favorite events to film. I got to know students and teachers who worked in our school’s acclaimed drama program, and I became interested. Though my experience as producer was three years ago, I decided this year to audition for the fall semester play, The Adding Machine. This was a very positive experience for me, and I discovered a love I never pictured myself having; I loved acting. I had always loved film, but never had a passion for the stage. This year, however, that changed. Between my experience in the play, and classes I have taken at SLU already (Beginning Acting, Intro to Dramatic Scripts), I became hooked.
     At SLU, I also took Intro to Newswriting, and I am currently taking Literary Journalism. I have formed a great working relationship with Dr. Juraj Kittler, who has been a great mentor and instructor in this area. He has taught me a lot about journalism, and about writing in general. Even though these are English classes, I feel that I have further developed skills relevant for the PCA major. Interviewing subjects in particular has enhanced my communication skills significantly. I have had to manage people during interviews, showing respect while making sure I get my story or quote.
     All in all, I believe that skills learned in this major will be beneficial for the rest of my life. I feel that public speaking has been a strong point for me, and I only want to get better. This skill is critical no matter what career I have. Whether I am meeting clients for an executive search PR firm, trying to sell a house as a real estate broker, or winning over my boss and trying to get that promotion, I will need to use communication skills learned in many courses I take for my PCA major. I look forward to focusing on this subject and enjoying a positive educational experience for my last two years at SLU.