A.J. Clark '16
Three years ago, A.J. Clark ’16 couldn’t miss. After graduation, the standout football player and theater major headed to Los Angeles to get an MFA in acting at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. One of only 12 people admitted, A.J. felt on top of the world. But that feeling didn’t last. “I was really in a bad place. I was depressed and had no faith in myself, no faith in this work I was doing. I think in right and wrong, good and bad. On a stage, it doesn’t help to think in those terms. Our professors tell us all the time, ‘Get out of your head.’” A.J. felt tormented that first year: stymied by inconsistent performances, stung by blunt critiques, and frustrated by others who showed up late for rehearsals or weren’t putting in the same amount of work. The dean of his graduate program urged him to let go of judgment. He didn’t have to be the one always going crazy. He couldn’t control everything. So A.J. gave himself a break. He says he now sleeps comfortably for the first time in years. “It’s not about perfection. I’m in a better place because I’m not trying to be a great actor. If I go up there and mess up, life will go on.”
That’s a Wabash man for you. Seriously.