“It was the best decision I made since graduating high school,” she said. “HCC helped me to really immerse myself into my craft. It has been such a welcoming community of staff and students. Being in the theatre productions has been a blast and a fabulous learning experience.”
Liliana has excelled in HCC’s theatre program, making her professional stage debut last fall playing “Sherri” in Rep Stage’s production of the comedy “American Hero,” by Bess Wohl.
It is not often that students get the opportunity to perform with Rep Stage, the professional regional theatre in residence at the college. Liliana wanted more acting experience before tackling a professional stage, but her teachers, family, and friends encouraged her to audition.
“It was a little scary at first,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh, I am not at their level.’ But, as I got to know the cast, they were some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. They were so supportive and were constantly asking about my process.”
Liliana said her teaches do everything they can to prepare students for real world situation and skills for a career in theatre. And the students have a blast learning the process.
“Making the classroom a fun place is really important,” she said. “You can’t learn if you’re not having a good time and it’s important to have a good time, especially when you’re acting.”
After graduating from HCC in May, Liliana will head to Chillicothe, Ohio, where she will spend the summer performing as an ensemble member in the outdoor drama, “Tecumseh,” directed by Jenny Male, a theatre professor at HCC.
“It’s my first big move away from home, but I get to do what I love and get paid for it, so it should be a very fun-filled, thrilling summer,” she said.
When she returns to Columbia in September, Liliana plans to work part-time, apply to universities for spring 2018, and perform in more shows in the area.
“Ultimately, I want to be happy in whatever I end up in,” she said. “I know theatre will always be a part of my life. To have a secure job in theatre is my ultimate goal.”
What would she say to someone considering HCC?
“Stop considering it and just do it,” she said. “So many people who went straight to a university after they graduated (high school) have told me they wished they went to community college first.
“It’s a no-brainer I think.”