As featured in the November 2023 newsletter
- Who are you and what contributions have you made to the organization?
My name is Danielle Urban and I graduated from St. John’s University in 2022. I am currently the marketing coordinator for an ad sales company in New York City. I served on the executive board for Alpha Psi Omega in 2020-2021 as Induction Chair and 2021-2022 as Vice President. I was involved in many productions between both organizations, most notably being the Assistant Director of Peter and the Starcatcher, CabaCircus, and Legally Blonde, writing and directing four shows for Alpha Psi Omega’s Evening of One Acts, and acting in Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors and King Lear.
- How was the transition from college to the real world? How was life after graduation?
The transition from college to the real world wasn’t simple. There were a lot of moving parts after graduation both in the professional world, in my social life, and my personal life. I got a job as a national campaign manager right out of college, and I started a week after graduating from St. John’s. So, I didn’t really give myself a break between the hectic energy of college and trying to learn how to be a full-time working adult at the same time. I think if my work transition had been harder it would have been worse, but I am very grateful to have been put on a wonderful team with people a little bit older than me where we were all just trying to figure out life. It made me feel less alone as I was trying to navigate and gave me another perspective as my coworkers all had various backgrounds and ideas. I, also, left college with three things I wanted to do for myself outside of work which was to still build on my relationships with friends and family while also learning to be okay with doing things alone, have a consistent workout routine that I enjoy, and travel more. I am very happy to say I was able to accomplish and am still working towards all of those. I am always working to improve myself and my relationships, I was able to find a routine I love that involves working out regularly, and I was able to travel 3 times in 2023, and I hope to travel at least 2-3 times in 2024 as well.
- Did being involved in the Chappell Players prepare you for life after college? How so?
Being involved in Chappell Players prepared me for life after college. It taught me a lot about how to work with different people, especially people who have different work styles than I do. Also, it taught me how to work under pressure and think on my toes as well. There’s a lot of moving parts in theatre and at any minute one of them can go wrong, so being able to pivot has really helped me in my job today. I cover a lot of different tasks that are all very different so being able to smoothly switch from doing one task to another is something I really learned from theatre. I think Chappell Players also taught me how to combine the technical and creative side of things, I was fortunate enough to learn from multiple different areas in the theatre, and I think it definitely helps me today where I spend a lot of time working out the “what do we want to do?” and “okay, how do we do this with what we’re given?” It’s something I have to do a lot at my job, and I’m grateful that I was able to hone that skill before I was in the professional world.
- What is your favorite CPTG memory or performance?
My favorite CPTG memory is assistant directing Peter and the Starcatcher. I was really nervous to even try my hand on the director’s side of things, but I was super excited for a new experience. Parker Young was the director of the show and he was a great leader in being able to bring his vision for the show to life while also listening to input from myself and other members of production. The cast were all so amazingly talented and had so much fun, that it made the show that much more magical. It was also the last show that was put on by Chappell Players before COVID sent us home that year, so it holds a special place in my heart, as like the start of me wanting to get more into directing.
- Have you been able to remain involved with theatre as much as you hoped/wanted?
I have been able to remain in the theatre world, but more so from a viewer. I was able to be a part of Alpha Psi Omega’s production of King Lear in December 2022, which was an amazing experience to be involved in for me. Outside of that, my involvement in theatre has been a combination of seeing Broadway shows and supporting my friends when I can come back to see CPTG and APO shows. My office is in Times Square so when I can see shows after work I will usually enter some Broadway lotteries and see if I can get lucky enough to win, or I’ll make plans with a friend or two to see a show on a certain day.
- Do you have any advice for Chappell Players going through college or those who have recently graduated?
Some advice I have for Chappell Players going through college is to remember that you are a student first, go to your classes, do your homework, sometimes half the battle is just showing up. I know balancing everything you have to do as students is hard, but we all are at college to get our degree, and that is what is important. On another note, my other piece of advice is to still have fun and be yourself, there will always be drama and different things going around so stick to who you are, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, but don’t let the pressure of what’s going on get too in your head because it is not that deep 90% of the time.
My advice for those who have recently graduated is to go explore whatever and wherever you want to, try new things because this is the time to do it. I have been told over and over again by my older coworkers that they wish they did more when they were in their 20s, so even if it feels like it’s not the time, and even if it’s the little things first, try the things you want to. I promise you that time never slows down and if you're not trying or preparing to do something different or new, time will eventually get the better of you. So, do what you have to do to get by, but also don't let life pass you by.