Anna Fontaine, ’13, has set the stage to show how Georgia College theatre students can be successful. Through acting, directing, teaching and working behind-the-scenes, she learned how to persevere toward the path to success and wants to help others do the same.
Since graduating, Fontaine volunteered for a spot on a panel with fellow alumni to discuss how Georgia College students could achieve their goals after college.
“It was wonderful to interact with students and share what it is I’ve learned post-graduation to hopefully set them up for a successful future,” she said. “I tell them that there are some things you just don’t know until you’re out in the field going from audition to audition and job to job as an actor and director. So I think it’s essential to pass along this knowledge and show how a career can be managed.”
She continues to share her keys to success with current theatre majors.
“There isn’t a straight-line path to success in this field,” she said. “You must discover for yourself what it is you want, be open to change and new possibilities and go after your goals whole heartedly. Know that each opportunity to perform, which includes every audition, is a chance to grow as an artist.”
Perseverance, flexibility and self-motivation are important for a career in the acting field, according to Fontaine.
“Always make sure you’re pushing yourself to give it your all,” she said. “In this career, often you are your own boss, you’re the driving force, and while there are challenges in that, there is immense freedom and possibility.”
Through her interactions with students, Fontaine provides essential, real-world insight about dedication for actors in this field.
“Theatre and performance careers don’t have a clear step-by-step path to success,” she said. “It will vary for each person, but having someone out of college reminds students of this. I tell them that it’s normal, and with perseverance you can take your career journey any direction you want. Being an experienced resource for others is important to me, and I enjoy it.”
Fontaine is grateful for the liberal arts focus at Georgia College that helped enrich her studies and her career.
“It allowed me to explore my major, while connecting with other fields such as history, literature, visual arts, science and language,” she said. “I discovered how all of these areas can intersect making my work in theatre all the more layered and insightful.”
Not only is Fontaine a mentor to students, but she and her mother want to help theatre scholars ease the burden of the cost of college. To do that they created a scholarship for students who major in theatre.
“Having a scholarship means students have little less stress and pressure on them financially,” she said. “Offsetting the cost of books can be a huge weight off their shoulders. It also means instead of worrying so much about the costs of supplies, housing, etc., they can focus on preparing for auditions or writing a new play or taking on a directing position. Working in theatre is a huge time commitment and requires a lot of you which, because we’re theatre majors or minors, we passionately enjoy.”
Fontaine plans to continue her work as an actor in theatre and film at national and international levels. Eventually, she would like to develop a theatre company centered on the classics that delves into nontraditional casting. That way performers, especially women, are able to perform classic characters and roles they usually don’t get the chance to explore. In the meantime, she will begin working toward her master’s degree Sept. 19 at East 15 Acting School in London.