Andrew McIntyre ’15
When I decided to abandon a major in Biomedical Science for a major in Theatrical Design, I shocked most of my friends and family. In their eyes, I had decided to change from a major where a multitude of post-graduate options and a well-paying job were almost guaranteed, to a major that would provide the life of a starving artist. I can’t lie; in the beginning I was incredibly worried. The ceaseless question of how I expected to provide for a family, or even live on my own was daunting, and nearly impossible to answer. Armed with only my passion, I fought for an answer to the questions of how to succeed in the arts. It wasn’t until I joined the Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Advocacy, and the Public Program at Colorado State University that I had hope that my future wasn’t as bleak as everyone assumed it would be.
LEAP has taught me many things, including successful marketing in today’s culture, proper career preparation with resumes, cover letters, and interview skills, how to advocate for yourself and your art, and how to financially succeed in life; however, the most important thing that LEAP has given me is a new perspective on the world of art and its interaction with the community. I have learned that as artists we have so much more to offer the world than our work. As experts in creativity and self-expression, we are excellent communicators and innovators. As critics of society, we are activists and deliver powerful messages that move and change people. As designers we manufacture the newest trends, fashions, and models of our culture. LEAP has taught me that the arts are not a hopeless endeavor in poverty, but a tool to shape the society we live in.
The LEAP Program has already helped me in my career by giving me the skills to succeed. LEAP taught me to make a resume that sells my talents outside of the arts, and to make a website and market myself in a way that attracts job offers. I’m currently working on developing relationships with multiple artistic companies in the hopes of job offers in years to come.
LEAP has given me the tools to create a professional life for myself either within, or outside of, the arts. The LEAP Program at CSU is not only helping the young creative genius out of a life of poverty, but also paving the way for successful young artists to create the world of their imaginations.