Paige Pulaski, a senior with a double major in theatre and mass media arts, has spent a lot of her time at UGA on the stage when not in the classroom, and the experience has helped prepare her for a future in the entertainment industry.
South Forsyth High School
A.B.J. in mass media arts, A.B. in theatre
University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:
I’m most honored to have had the opportunity to perform in a number of roles in my time doing theatre at UGA. Neil LaBute’s “Shape of Things” holds a special place in my heart, having been my first university show that I was able to tackle with three other cast members. I went on to play Miss Nebraska in a wacky road trip adventure play; a sickly, reminiscing, neurotic British woman in Wallace Shawn’s “Aunt Dan and Lemon”; and Mrs. Givings in “In the Next Room” (or the “Vibrator Play”), which is an aptly named Sarah Ruhl play about love, intimacy and electricity. All experiences were efficient teaching tools and serve as unforgettable moments in my time at the university.
At the end of last school year, I was gifted with the legacy of the Eddie Lambeth Scholarship for Screenwriting and Acting. I also received honors from the 2012 GradyFest Student Film Festival. My production team and I were beside ourselves to have our short film screened, and astounded to receive awards for Best Screenplay and the Turner Entertainment Best of Festival awards.
This year, I’ve been selected as a student judge for the internationally acclaimed Peabody Awards, which recognizes excellence in an entrant’s field or category.
I’ve also been a part of UGA’s own Commedia dell’Arte Troupe for three years. I now lead I Commedianti Georgiani in our further study and play of the traditional, physical, improvised form of comedy that was founded in Italy. I’ve served as a student leader of the oldest student-run organization on campus, the Thalian-Blackfriars, for four years at UGA. I now serve as vice president and help realize students’ creative dreams by producing four to five funded plays per year.
Perhaps what I’m most proud of is the experience I’ve had with the SHARKwiNG Sketch Comedy Troupe, which was founded by students six years ago and that I am now ecstatic to lead. The troupe of seven players (give or take) works to write, produce and perform 45-minute sketch comedy shows in downtown Athens.
I’m a student worker in the publicity and administration offices of UGA’s Department of Theatre and Film Studies.
Family Ties to UGA:
I’m the lone attendee of UGA in the Pulaski family, having grown up a Tech fan with parents from upstate New York and New Orleans.
I chose to attend UGA because…
The HOPE Scholarship was a huge deciding factor in my decision to attend UGA; I’m very grateful to have that privilege as a Georgia native. I’m also very close with my family and wanted to be just a short drive away from seeing my little sister’s plays and dance shows.
My favorite things to do on campus are…
Sleep in the undergraduate theatre lounge in the Fine Arts Building. There’s a VHS player, a mummy and the occasional large bug in the lounge to induce sweet dreams.
When I have free time, I like…
I’m a big puzzler and like to solve whatever I can get my hands on, be it crossword puzzle, Sudoku or logic puzzle. When spending time with friends, I usually campaign to play board games and parlor games, which is only met with partial success. I’m also never opposed to belting Gwen Stefani or Alanis Morissette at Walker’s karaoke on Thursday nights.
The craziest thing I’ve done is…
At the beginning of this school year, I was part of a cast of three that produced a full, two-act play in six days. Working on “Pizza Man” was one of my most prideful moments in my time doing university theatre; everything was student-run and my teammates and I got the chance to play roles that juxtaposed our personal selves. It was a difficult process, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
My favorite place to study is…
I actually retain more information and work faster when I’m surrounded by sound and people, so anywhere that fits that description is beneficial. A lot of my best work is done on the floor of someone else’s living room, when my friends have been raucously reveling for some time; I tend to not let myself wander around on the Internet when the incentive of socialization is at stake and the only thing thwarting me from partaking is writing a 10-minute play or reading for Communication Law.
My favorite professor is…
All of the time that I’ve spent in the theatre department has led me to form intimate relationships with the performance, academic, design, administrative and custodial staff and faculty. There’s something about teaching a form of art and manipulating personal skills that opens a student up to her professor as a mentor. I am particularly enamored with John Bray’s capacity to entertain dramatic writing as a flexible, creative medium. His explicative powers are impressively coherent for an art form that is so deeply personal. I’ve learned things about story structure that I’ve been able to apply to my everyday life and can never hear or read a piece of text without analyzing it ever again. There’s no escape.
In the telecommunications department of Grady, I have been spoiled by James Biddle and Jennifer Smith. I am constantly reminded of the importance of filmmaking as a communicative craft when I sit in their classrooms and offices. They have both given me endless support and shown uncontested confidence in my abilities. I owe them each so much for the opportunities that they have provided for me.
If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…
I would have to say I would like to spend the afternoon with Tina Fey. I know there are a plethora of more sentimental, intellectually prestigious and historically famous choices, but I think that a lunch with Tina Fey would be incredibly entertaining and informative. I devoured “Bossypants” and have read some of her comedic theories several times over, so I can only daydream about what a candid conversation with her would be like. I’d love to pick her producing brain and ask for some career advice, but, above all, I’d really just be trying to make her laugh. It’s a bucket list thing. John Krasinski is a close second, but, honestly, a lot of that has to do with my attraction to intelligent, tall, Polish men.
If I knew I could not fail, I would…
… teach myself to fly. I would fly everywhere. I’d be forced to take up the windswept look as my signature, but, oh well. Small sacrifices.
If money was not a consideration, I would love to…
… have houses in Paris, London, Amsterdam, New York City, Boston, Seattle, Rio de Janiero, Los Angeles and Chicago so my family, friends and I could readily travel. I would be able to produce theatre and film with benefits proceeding to nonprofit organizations.
And I also would eat only cheese. Expensive cheese.
After graduation, I plan to…
If Atlanta has nothing to offer immediately, I’m ultimately planning on saving up enough money to make a move to Los Angeles in late October to start climbing the ladder to a writer’s assistant job. It’s also a dream of mine to someday be one of the thousands of NBC page program applicants. I’m looking forward to beginning improvisation and sketch comedy writing classes as well as living off ramen and PB&Js for the next four years.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…
A memory that I’ll always associate with UGA is the sketch comedy show that I wrote and performed with my sketch comedy troupe. SHARKwiNG packed the CineLab to capacity with our “Harry Potter Show.” It was my first performance with the troupe and I’ve never felt closer to any group of people. It was something that we produced and put on the line; it’s always a risk to put your new work in front of a critical audience. The rush was incredible and, although, in my opinion, we’ve had better shows to date, the first one was terribly exciting and was a night I’ll never forget.