Hands on Experiences in the School of Theater, Film and Television

My name is Malcolm Wilson, I am a second year Theater major with an emphasis in lighting design, and I am here to talk to you about UCLA and TFT! First, congratulations on getting accepted to UCLA and welcome to the class of 2024! I remember getting in several years ago after the exhaustive college admission process. I knew this was the school for me after my interview. I knew I would fit in and learn a lot, not just in theater, but in all areas of academics. UCLA seemed to be perfect for me so when I was accepted, it was a no brainer: I had to go!

After the excruciating long summer before my freshman year, I started my first quarter, or what my department calls the Freshman Experience. In Theater we almost exclusively take theater classes in our first quarter with everyone in our year. This allows us to get very close with our classmates. It was also great because I started my college career studying what I love, immediately making me feel more certain that I made the right choice in pursuing theater as both a major and a career. It also meant that I could immediately apply what I was learning to my shows within and outside of the department.

A big part of being in the School of Theater, Film, and Television is doing shows. If you are not working on a department show one quarter, there are plenty of student organizations that produce shows, both large and small, that you can participate in or work on. I met great people and made a lot of friends working on shows in the department and with student organizations. This is nice because I spend so much of the day with them since during the production of shows, I could be in class starting at 9 and not go home until after midnight. It is often that it seems that I live in the theater or at school.

Now as I am in my last quarter of my second year, I have done over 10 different shows. Every time I learn something new and experience new wonderful things. For me, being involved in TFT has given me a different kind of college experience than many other students. The size of my classes is very small, and because of this, my professors and TAs have asked me to work on professional shows in theaters outside of UCLA with them. I am currently one of a group of students working on a collaboration with TFT and Amazon Studios, adapting one of their TV shows into a immersive theater piece. This has been a wonderful opportunity which we plan to show to everyone in the Fall Quarter. UCLA has allowed me to have the college experience that I wanted by allowing me to make and meet wonderful friends, colleagues, teachers, and connections to help me in the future. I hope to experience even more great things and people in the second half of my college experience. I hope to see you all make your own journey here at UCLA and be a force for good, positive change, and most importantly be yourself.