“Hello, my name is Tharmella Nyahoza, today I will be performing a monologue from Romeo and Juliet as the character Juliet, by William Shakespeare, Thank you.” This is called a slate. One of the first things you learn in Acting 1 or in my case, by Alysia Giakoumas. I was 14 when I met her.
Alysia taught me that when I am performing, I am not throwing away Tharmella, I am simply being Tharmella in the characters situation. Upon the many cases that Alysia has inspired and trained me; She encouraged me to work hard for everything, as she worked tirelessly as our thespian president.
One of the most special experiences I was honored to have was getting chosen to have Alysia as my mentor for our Rising Stars showcase. She coached myself and another girl with our monologues and drove the truth and tears out of us in each rehearsal. Alysia has a genuine heart and love for people and I felt that within every rehearsal. During our first rehearsal, she took time to go through my monologue and broke it down piece by piece with me and helped me bring out my truth within this monologue. Before working with her I had my own preconceived ideas and thoughts for how I wanted this piece to look like, but she challenged me and pushed me to strip away my assumptions and helped me bring out honest emotion, tactics, and objectives for this character. Our last rehearsal, though I know Alysia was a very busy girl, invited my friend and I over to her house, bought us food, and helped bring a sense of true comfort to let us know, this is a safe place to work, and speak our truth within the character.
I have many fond memories of Alysia, training, encouraging and inspiring me throughout the time I had with her before she moved to Dallas, Texas to pursue Acting. I appreciate Alysia for all she has done and thank her for being a continuous role model, enormous joy, and an incredible mentor and friend.