Get to know Quentin Madia, an aspiring theater artist who just finished his freshman year at Pace University in downtown Manhattan. He was involved with activities at Pace like Aspire (a welcome committee club), helped with various shows at school and performed in a Broadway Cares concert. He greatly enjoyed his time at school, and is looking forward to another exciting year, full of work experience and travel. Take a look at our one-on-one interview!
Patch: In three words, how would you describe your freshman year experience?
QM: crazy, challenging, rewarding
Patch: What was one highlight of your freshman year?
QM: A 15-minute piece that I wrote and directed was performed in April in a New York theater festival called Poetic License—Generation Now. Other reputable theater companies had pieces in the festival and I was an independent contributor so that was awesome. I got the opportunity through one of my professors at Pace and some of my friends were able to perform my piece. It was cool because the program actually listed my first and last name among these other professional companies.
Patch: What’s it like going to school on a city campus?
QM: I love the city campus! I don’t think I could do a regular campus because in New York you can say that all of Manhattan is your campus. I can go to Times Square, or take a train to come home, or go to the other five boroughs. If you’re not taking the subway you’re walking everywhere. There’s just so much to do!
Patch: How many Broadway shows did you see over the course of the year?
QM: Overall I’ve seen about 30 shows. I’m really lucky because I got to see about six or seven shows for free, through Pace and I saw about five shows for only $5. Sometimes I get up at 6 a.m. to wait in line for four hours for a $20 tickets. I do homework while I wait, and then reward myself with a show. I work hard to see shows for cheap!
Patch: How many times did you come home over the year?
QM: Probably three times first semester, and a little more often second semester because I was working on a show in South Brunswick. I don’t mind the train because it’s a quiet hour to do homework and the food is a lot better at home! Home is kind of like a vacation because I can’t do school work there. Working on the show during school kept me busy.
Patch: What’s it like being home since you’ve been away for a year?
QM: It’s nice. I’ve been taking time to sleep in, but I need money to go back to school, so I’ve been working. I ran a few workshops with New Jersey Repertory Theater and I’m also giving private acting and dancing lessons from home. I’m also working at Villagers Theater camp, a theater camp for 8-12 year olds. I just finished working on a show, and I’m directing another show for NJRT, which will premier August 1 and 2.
Patch: What are you looking forward to in the upcoming year?
QM: I’m in a program called International Performance Ensemble—we’re a group of students who write, direct, create and act out our own shows. In February 2015 we will do an off-Broadway run of our show for a weekend, so we’ll have an off-Broadway credit to add to our résumés. In spring 2015, right after the school year ends, we get an all-expenses-paid trip to perform our show overseas. The location is undetermined, but I’m so excited. I’ll also be directing NJRT’s Disney Performance Troupe and we’ll be traveling to Disney in November.
Patch: Any advice you can offer to high school graduates as they head off to college this fall?
QM: Remember to have alone time—don’t feel like you always need to be with people. You won’t be missing out if you go to Starbucks or the library by yourself. Also find free food and take advantage of it!