Transcript of PMA Orientation Video

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<Title Card: PMA Logo>

<Question Card: Briefly Describe The Major>

Speaker 1 (Ellen):

Hello, I'm professor J. Ellen Gainor. I'm the director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Performing and Media Arts. And on behalf of my faculty and staff colleagues, and our undergraduate and graduate students, I'd like to welcome you and introduce you to the PMA community. The PMA major explores live performance forms, such as theatre, dance, spoken word, and intermedial performance, as well as film, television, and digital media productions. Our students examine these forms creatively, critically, culturally, and historically, to learn how art is made and about the dynamic relationship between the creative process and the world it engages.

<Question Card: What’s a typical first course(s) for students interested in a major or minor in your department?>

Speaker 2 (Talia):

Hi, I'm Talia Lefkowitz. I'm a PMA major, a psych minor, and I'm premed. The first class I took at PMA was Intro to Acting my freshman year. Being able to take a class like that with people from all over the university gave me a sense that the PMA department would be a great place to explore theatre and film and other opportunities that I was interested in and really encouraged me to pursue the major.

Speaker 3 (Carley):

Hi everyone. I'm Carley Robinson. I am a senior human development major and education and theatre minor. So I first got involved with PMA through a production. And through that experience, I met a grad student who had taken directing and I was getting really interested in directing. Everybody was very welcoming and we went over all of the terms, all of the things that I needed to know, I learned in that class.

Speaker 4 (Levi):

Hi, my name is Levi Wilson. I'm a senior PMA and Feminist Gender and Sexuality Studies double major. I got involved with PMA, reluctantly. I thought theatre was just a high school passion. And so I shouldn't do it at Cornell. I was wrong, obviously. So because of that, I took three classes my freshman fall.

Speaker 5 (Amaris):

Hello, I'm Amaris Janell Richardson-Minor. My intro courses to this department were Vampires: Performing Death and Desire On-Screen and Onstage. That class just really opened up my eyes to the academic aspect of my major and this department's studying what it means to be a subversive character in literature, as well as onstage, and I really latched onto this concept..

So I selected the PMA major because I'm a singer-songwriter and being a musician is just as much about performance as it is about musical composition. So if you're interested in communication or writing or just performance on its own, this is a perfect major for you to realize that life is about performance and connecting with people and making sure your message gets across well.

<Question Card: Becoming a PMA major>

Speaker 1 (Ellen):

Students are encouraged to declare the PMA major as early in their time at Cornell as possible, so that you can take advantage of individualized, academic, and career guidance from a PMA faculty advisor, and also so that you can take fullest advantage of PMA courses, especially those with limited enrollments, as well as opportunities to participate in the many events and special programs that we offer. Our requirements for the major are very manageable. Nevertheless, it can be challenging to complete all major requirements and core sequences if you declare beyond the start of your junior year. Students can usually complete one of our minors with a later starting point, but it is hard to complete the major in a short period of time.

Speaker 4 (Levi):

I got to meet my advisor after I declared my major. And from there, I've gotten an internship through her help and summer work and built these long-lasting connections that have helped me pursue things like maybe go into grad school or maybe trying to make it in theatre. They actually get to know who you are and what you want to do with your life and help with that.

Speaker 3 (Carley)

There is always someone to help you. And like, if they don't know the answer, not only will they say like, I don't know, but they will find the person who does know and then put you in contact with them or make sure that you figure out that answer. They never just leave you in the dust. They're very responsive. 

<Question Card: What can you do with the PMA major or minor?>

Speaker 1 (Ellen):

The PMA major assists students to develop foundational skills in the study and practice of our art forms, preparing them for graduate study or for beginning careers in the arts. Our alumni include award-winning theatre artists and filmmakers, dancers, designers, and arts professionals. Other students choose to apply their PMA skills into fields such as law, medicine, industry, or in public service professions.

Speaker 2 (Talia):

PMA has given me a lot of tools to use in my professional endeavors, but I also think it's given me a lot of, like, people skills and creativity that I could use in any other field like medicine. ­

Speaker 3 (Carley):

In terms of working in the community, I am also involved with Civic Ensemble, which is a local community-based theatre company in Ithaca. So we do education workshops and we use, you know, the theatre in order to teach things in schools. We're doing, we're currently doing anti-racism work in schools. And my education background comes into that. We do a lot of facilitation. So that's been a really amazing, amazing way that I can connect what I'm learning through PMA, through education and human development, all of those things, and really take it out and apply it in the real world. I'm doing theatre for social change and creating conversations with people that are phenomenal.

So that's been really exciting. I'm like, I don't know how long I'll stay at Civic, but I'll stay as long as that they want me and can pay me.

Speaker 5 (Amaris):

I had the great privilege of studying abroad in New Zealand. I think by studying abroad as a performer, you just by any means of inspiration and that's really what you needed as an artist. What I hope to use as my elective is kapa haka. So kapa haka is war dance from the Maori people in New Zealand. While here I was really exposed to the different forms of kapa haka, the different occasions that through use for, and not only did I learn like the history, I also learned the language cause I was, you know, singing in Maori. These are stories that are important. And I think that's probably the most valuable saying you could bring back from a study abroad experience.

Speaker 3 (Carley)­:

And there's always someone on your side. And sometimes you have to do a little bit of work to find that person, but they are 100% there. And whether it be students, whether it be faculty, whether it be, you know, staff and the department. The department really is a community. And we try to be better every day.

Speaker 1 (Ellen):

If you'd like to find out more about the PMA program, please feel free to visit our website, pma.cornell.edu. You can also contact me directly by email at pma-dus@cornell.edu. We look forward to meeting you.