Rolfs, a North Oaks resident, is beginning her sophomore year at the renowned Tisch School of the Arts at New York University in Manhattan. The school has produced a slew of notable graduates including Oliver Stone, Joel Coen, and M. Night Shymalan.
Rolfs, a 2013 graduate of Mounds Park Academy, knew she was interested in pursuing a theater degree, but when she began applying to colleges she applied to Tisch almost on a whim. The Tisch School of the Arts is selective, with an acceptance rate of 24 percent. The admission process included a formal audition with a Tisch faculty member and though Rolfs had acted in theater productions in high school, this was her first formal audition.
“For my audition, I had to prepare two short monologues, one comedic and one dramatic, and participate in a short interview with a representative of the Tisch program,” Rolfs said. “I flew out to New York to audition and ended up auditioning for a representative from the same studio I was eventually placed in - the Atlantic Acting School. I decided to enroll in NYU almost immediately after I found out I got in. Tisch is such a dream school for me.”
A typical week for Kim consists of three 10-hour days of studio training with the focus on script analysis, performing, movement, speech and voice, and two days of regular academics which for her include creative writing and theater studies courses.
Her classmates are from all over the world! Not only is there diversity in geography, but also in ages within the freshman class. “This diversity, as well as the diversity of age in Tisch means that the experiences people are bringing to their work are incredibly varied,” Rolfs said.
When Rolfs is not in class, she tries to attend theatrical performances as often as she can. “Thankfully, NYU offers a lot of discount tickets and lotteries for free tickets for its drama students,” she said.
Rolfs resides in NYU housing, which is spread throughout downtown Manhattan. This year she will be living in a dorm in the Soho/Chinatown area. It is a short distance from campus, but she relishes a chance to get to know a new area of the city. Last year she lived a few blocks from Union Square. Rolfs loves living in the city and said the best thing about it is the pace. “It truly is the city that never sleeps, so at any hour of the day there is something fun to do, somewhere good to eat and someone interesting to talk to. Also, the bagels are better than anywhere else in the world,” she concluded.
As for the future, Kim plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. “Then hopefully with the experience and training I’ve received,” Rolfs said, “I will be able to go on to combine my love of writing, directing and acting into a career creating my own work for stage, film or TV.”
For now, though, Rolfs is happy to be a part of New York. “It’s easy to forget sometimes how lucky I am to be going to school in such an amazing place, but I only have to look up at the skyline around me to remember.”
Editor’s note: Kate Thrane lives in North Oaks and is a junior at Mounds Park Academy. She is writing for the North Oaks News to gain experience in journalism and will be doing feature articles throughout the year. If you have any story ideas for Kate, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.