"I would like to see myself … hanging out with Brad Pitt or something," junior theater major Jake Roa said of his life 20 years from now. "Maybe tossing a couple beers back with Brad."
Hailing from nearby Scottsville, N.Y., Roa's second home wasn't always Brodie Hall. He originally started off as a childhood education major but switched to theater after his freshman year.
"I don't have the attention span for anything else," Roa said. Although he said he possesses a love for many different voices of study, especially psychology, theater is his calling.
Roa said that theater is an all-encompassing art that involves a cohesive collaboration of creative minds including sound and visual people as well as writers, who put down blueprints for the production.
"Everybody works together and puts everything they have into an illusion that can show an audience a separate reality for a while, bring them out of their comfort zone or help them laugh at life," Roa said. "It's something that I've grown to really truly love."
Roa credited professors David Munnell and Melanie Blood for truly helping him to grow as an artist and human being. "They helped me expand my mind in the realm of theater, art and life," he said. "They are two of my favorite people."
Recently starring as Roger in "RENT," Roa claimed that he has never worked with such an amazing group of people who clicked so well. "We all fit together like puzzle pieces, both on- and offstage," he said.
"We are very lucky to have as great of a theater program as we do," Roa said. "People should go to more shows. In the 'RENT' cast alone there was so much talent." He added that he encourages everyone to support the School of the Arts because with the budget cuts, its integrity has been threatened. "We've got a gem here at Geneseo which is very rare," he said.
As a theater major, most of Roa's classes veer from the typical lecture-style classroom that many non-arts students are used to. "Acting classes are very different," he explained. "They are all class participation. You get a monologue, you work on it and you present. You get notes on it from your professor, hone it in and make it better."
Roa compared it to a painting or sculpture class where a student is working on their craft as an artist. Although there are some lecture-style classes, such as Theatre History, Roa said he prefers the acting classes.
Roa said he loves that Geneseo is a small enough college that merits plenty of contact with friends and acquaintances. "The town itself is just so cool, very comfortable," he said. "The whole Geneseo mindset to me is just a big bear hug. It's a great place to grow as a person and discover who you are."
Life after graduation is a mysterious plot for Roa. "I've got a couple of different ideas," he said. "I want to go into film. I'm flirting with the idea of going to New York, LA or Toronto, where they have an amazing film school." Roa added that he is unsure as to whether he will be taking a year off to audition or go right into graduate school, although he still has time for that course of events to play out.
Although Roa sees himself attending family parties with Brad Pitt in the future, realistically he would "love to be acting, writing, doing theater and film for the rest of my life. That would be amazing."