Hi! My name’s Jo-Jo Steine and this is my first ever blog post. I am an actress, singer, dancer, violist, and improviser born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. That’s my story.
In less than a week, however, my story will change drastically and permanently.
In less than a week I pack up my belongings and get on a plane, moving for the first time in my life. Then I begin working towards my BFA in Acting at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Ever since I was a toddler, I’ve been fascinated with human interactions and relationships; now I get to study them full time! The idea of taking classes in which acting is considered an art form worth studying instead of an “extracurricular activity” thrills me. While actors are by nature entertaining people, I’ve come to realize theater is not just meant for socializing. It has the power to change someone’s world. Those who haven’t been affected by the power of theater yet believe I have chosen the “fun major.” Indeed I have, but only because I find analyzing human behavior and emotions, using nothing but imagination and empathy, very fun.
Despite some of the negativity looming around the words “theater major,” I’ve managed to build up an incredible network of support here in Atlanta from those people who know what being an actor truly entails. From the five year old cast-mate who came to all my other shows for the rest of the season (even Shakespeare!) to my “adopted big brother” I met three years ago who now has a quota of how many shows he and I must do together per year, I am honored and humbled by the support I receive and the talented people I meet in this community. As a teenage actress, I’ve had the unique opportunity to both be a mentor and to be mentored, often within the same year or with the same company. While it’s going to be tough to leave the only place I’ve ever called home, I know I have the love and support of some important people in my life, whether they are watching me go with nostalgia for their own pasts or hope for their own futures. I look forward to expanding my network in Dallas, and becoming a part of another web of relationships. The more I connect and learn from the people around me there, the easier my job will become; my job is telling a story, one universal story with many, many faces. The human story.
That’s my story.