Anderson, Indiana

Alumni: Lisa Ermel

Tue, 2013-07-16 14:07 -- univcomm

Alumni: Lisa Ermel

Studying theatre at Anderson University was one of the best decisions of my life. I discovered fantastic one-on-one coaching with Ronn Johnstone, the head of the department and now one of my most steadfast mentors. I experienced influential professional connections and extensive stage time that I would not have been able to get anywhere else.

The Audition Workshop class was key in preparing me for my career. In most auditions, I am given a minute and a half to perform one or two monologues, show them I am great to work with, and prove that I am perfect for that part. Audition Workshop taught me to be prepared, work well under pressure, and network properly to ensure future jobs. Not only did Professor Johnstone prepare me in that way, but he also challenged me to formulate my own faith and how it intertwines with my art.

My first professional job as an actor was at Shawnee Summer Theatre, a summer-stock in southern Indiana. The audition opportunity came about because of a requirement for the Audition Workshop class, and I was offered supporting lead roles that summer. I worked there for three summers, later playing leading roles. This exposure was enormously helpful. It kick-started my career, allowing me to build my résumé in a short amount of time, make connections, and escalate to regional theatres in Indiana.

Wisdom Tooth Theatre Project was extremely influential in preparing me for my career. As one of the founding members and actor with the company, I learned what it takes to run a theatre company, and it made me aware of all the facets of the business. Wisdom Tooth also gave me the opportunity to perform in the 2009 Indianapolis Fringe Festival, allowing me to infuse my collegiate experience into the professional theatre scene.

Fellow students with Covenant Productions® gave me film experience, which instilled confidence in me to join Helen Wells Agency upon graduating. Since joining Helen Wells, I have played principle roles in three regional commercials, as well as sales training videos for large companies. Also, interning as a DJ for WQME my freshman year at AU greatly aided in the growth of my speech skills.

My goal is to be employed as an actor full-time and live comfortably doing what I love. I am currently deciding upon whether to move to Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York, as I want to pursue my endeavors where even more opportunities await me. I strive to consistently challenge myself, affect audiences in their own life journeys, and learn and grow not only as an actor, but as a human being.

The training and experience I received as a theatre student at AU was unforgettable. The relationships, leadership, and guidance from my professors gave me everything I needed to make my dream of having a passionate, fulfilling career a reality. I feel blessed to have been a part of the department.

Lisa Ermel
BA 2009, Anderson University
Theatre studies major; psychology minor
Professional actor