Senior Jonathan Mushock said he wants to be a professional actor when he graduates. His aspiration isn't nearly as naïve as it may first sound, however. He knows exactly the reality of the world he is entering.
“It's a crappy life; you're a nomad for years and years and you get paid next to nothing,” Mushock said. “The industry itself is one of the most awful things ever. It's very competitive, very superficial and very cutthroat.”
Mushock said this is all worth it to him.
“I love all the different aspects of musical theater: singing, acting and dancing,” he said. “Just the feeling of being on stage is unlike anything you've ever felt.”
Mushock is a musical theater major from Skaneateles, N.Y. He's acted in 12 shows at Geneseo, the most recent being “Cabaret.” He is also a member of Musical Theatre Club, as well as Exit 8 and previously Geneseo Dance Ensemble.
Mushock said his passion for musical theater doesn't allow him much of a choice in careers.
“You do it because you have to,” Mushock said. “I really, truly can't see myself doing anything else.”
Mushock said he realizes what it takes in order to break into the industry and how difficult it is, but is prepared for the competition.
“You have to know who you are and how to sell yourself,” he said. “It takes someone serious … with a thick skin to withstand all the disappointment and rejection … You cannot survive if you go to 10 auditions in a week and become emotionally devastated after each one; you're going to be a puddle of human on the ground crying in your apartment.”
Mushock said he was originally hesitant to break into the theater community at Geneseo after doing theater in both middle and high school.
“I told myself I didn't want to theater at all,” he said. “I didn't want that to define me. I didn't want to let that be my thing.”
Starting out at Geneseo as a Spanish major, Mushock studied abroad in Costa Rica the summer after his freshman year. While there, he said he realized that Spanish wasn't for him.
“What I was trying to avoid doing was what I should have been doing in the first place because that is what I was passionate about,” he said.
He went on to join MTC and scored a role in his first Geneseo production, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”
“When I rejoined the theater community through MTC that's when I knew that was the community I wanted to be a part of for the rest of my life,” Mushock said. “The combination of those two reminded me of how much I really loved doing theater.”
After graduation, Mushock said he wants to relocate to New York City to pursue acting opportunities. He said he is not sure what the future holds for him, but is hopeful.
“I would want to be doing something I want to go and do every day. If that happens to be a starring role on a TV show, so be it,” he said. “But if it ends up being an off-off-off-off-off-off-Broadway show that I have a small role in, I'll still be doing what I want to be doing.”
“The future will be what it is,” Mushock said. “I'll hope for the best and never say no to anything.”