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Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

From DC to London, Taking Artistic Passion Abroad

GEORGETOWNPHANTOMS.COM Alexandra Waldon (COL ’15) has starred in numerous Georgetown theater productions.
Alexandra Waldon (COL ’15) has starred in numerous Georgetown theater productions.

Sing? Act? Dance? Psychoanalyze? Alexandra Waldon (COL ’15) can do it all. Following professional training, Waldon came to Georgetown to extend her education. The psychology and theater double major has not only been in a Georgetown show every semester, but is also very involved in the Phantoms, a campus a cappella group. This past semester, Waldon studied at the prestigious London College of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMBDA), where she envisioned a career performing on the London stage.

What is your involvement with theater?
I’ve been doing theater all my life. I was trained to be a theater person and go to college for theater. I travelled all over the country to interview for all of these musical theater programs. But instead I decided on Georgetown, which ended up being one of the best decisions of my life.
Georgetown had a small but in a positive sense intimate and budding theater department. That was the most attractive thing for me because I didn’t want to be a fish in the sea of 250 chorus girls at Tisch. I wanted to be a part of the department’s growing process.

At Georgetown, what we do is straight plays, so I’ve gone from mostly musical theater with dancing, music and singing to mostly dramatic plays. And, of course at such an international school like Georgetown, there are a lot of shows with underlying political and social climates: plays that make a statement. This really attracted me. They are not like gaudy, selfish theater, which just showcases the actors’ talent.
In the spring, I went to the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. I did a classical acting program there, so there was a lot of Shakespeare, restoration and classical work. It was more traditional conservatory work, so I got a chance to supplement the acting I’ve done at Georgetown with more traditional acting classes.

Why did you decide to go to LAMBDA?
I knew I wasn’t going to have a typical college study abroad experience where I was speaking another language and partying. My family is British, so I was very familiar with London. I am a dual citizen there, so I was able to study at what is known to be the second-best conservatory in the world. The connections I made there and the knowledge I gained will definitely help me if I decide to pursue acting in London in the future, which is a very feasible option.
I will probably take a year off to audition in New York, but after that I want to go to grad school in London because they have some of the best programs in the world. I love the theater in London, they are doing incredible stuff over there. When I was there, I was seeing a show a day, and I loved it.

What would be your dream job?
I used to always want to say I would do improvisational sketch comedy like SNL, but I am just not that good at it. So realistically, I really just want to be working. I want to be in work. You know, acting is such a hard job. It’s so scary. Especially since I am graduating from a school like Georgetown, where everyone is going into finance and political jobs and have jobs lined up years before they graduate. To graduate knowingly and willingly without a job is frightening. Especially because I have to start auditioning after I graduate, which has such a high level of rejection. For a normal Georgetown student, that level of rejection only happens once or twice, but I will be having it 20 times a week. So, I want to be working. Ideally, I want to be in pushier, edgier, grunge stuff in cities.

How was your school different in London?
In London, we had very specific, targeted classes. I would wake up every day and have vocal classes, moving classes, I had an entire class devoted to warming up your vocal chords before an audition. I would come home after a day doing what I loved, and I was so enthused. You just don’t feel that way after a day of academic classes. But the first few weeks I got there, I wrote to a director at Georgetown and told him how much I missed being on campus. I had never appreciated Georgetown as much as I did when I was in London.

What has been your experience in the Phantoms?
When I got to Georgetown, I thought a cappella was super nerdy. But, I thought, “What am I going to do to keep singing?” I met some people at NSO, and I thought, “These people are super weird.” But when I started talking to them, they were also amazing. Phantoms has been amazing and has afforded me so many opportunities. I mean, we are the official a cappella band for the White House; I’ve performed for the president five times. We’ve gone on amazing tours, got to meet people from all of these other schools. I have never experienced the high life as much as I have while on a cappella tours.

What was your favorite experience with the Phantoms?
My favorite probably is D.C. A Cappella Festival. It is always sold out, and I will remember the experience of singing a solo in front of that many people for the rest of my life. I only audition if a song is gut-wrenchingly special for me, so I will never forget the emotion of those moments.

So I hear you are also in a band. Can you tell me more about that?
I was just in New York with two of my friends who are Phantom alums. They have an established band and needed a female vocalist, so they contacted me. We do small gigs – I am actually going back to the city to perform with them in late August. What they are doing is incredible, incredible music: kind of like indie-rock folk. I love to perform with them, although we don’t have a name yet.

Here, I am hoping to start a band with my roommate. We have a stage in the back of our house, and I am hoping to make house shows a thing. Washington, D.C. has such good music, and I want to be a part of that. I just want to jam.

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