I've been playing phone tag for about a month and a half with my professor from my first semester of college in 2012. I've always thought college awards were silly things, something to just bring home for my mom so she could think I was doing something important with my life. My professor contacted me to let me know I was receiving an award from the Academic Success Center at UNLV for the Alumni Award of Excellence. Again, I don't think awards are something to get all worked up over, but dammit, I'm pretty proud of this one. My professor, Dan Gianoutsos, saw my website and saw all the things I was doing in New York and decided to nominate me for the award! I get really hard on myself for not doing as much as I should out here, not trying hard enough, not getting enough done. A few months ago somebody stopped me in mid rant on how I need to do more and said "You're doing a lot. You should be proud of yourself." So, I'm taking this moment to be proud of myself. :)
Moments like these are cool. When I realize "Holy fuck, I really did get on a plane without knowing anybody and came to do the thing!" It's easy to get caught up in the city and feel like nothing is being accomplished when things move so fast and people are pumping out projects left and right around you. But after reading the speech that Dr. G wrote about me, holy shit 6 years ago I didn't even want to major in acting because I wasn't sure if it was right for me. What a fucking crazy thing.
Anyway, just a post to say that I'm proud of myself for doing a scary thing, and a year later, I'm still alive doing more scary things haha.
Here's the speech he sent me that he wrote!
The ASC Academic Transitions Unit would like to nominate Ashley Rapuano for the Alumni Award of Excellence because she is an example of pursuing one’s passion while seeking to benefit others. Ashley was a COLA 100E student in the Fall of 2012, and was an Exploring Major for about one and a half years. Ashley was the type of student every professor hopes to teach; she was scholarly, articulate (and very comical), optimistic, and had an unwavering passion for learning and helping others. During COLA 100E, she found her academic (and eventual vocational) passion and chose theater as her major. Ashley graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, concentration in Stage and Screen Acting (UNLV), with a 3.60 grade point average. She also completed courses in improvisation and clown at Vegas Theater Hub, and began stand-up comedy at small Las Vegas venues. After receiving her education, Ashley set out to pursue a professional career in acting and comedy.
Today, Ashley is in New York City performing improv at The People's Improv Theater and Upright Citizens Brigade, as well as several stand-up shows around the Big City. In addition to her residential gigs, Ashley stays active auditioning for every valuable acting opportunity she sees. Throughout her career, Ashley has been involved in collaborations with the Times Square Arts Center, The PIT, UCB, Cirque Du Soleil and Nevada Ballet Theater, Las Vegas Little Theatre, the Onyx Theatre, Nevada Conservatory Theatre, Signature Productions, Vegas Theatre Hub, Asylum Theatre, Cockroach Theatre, Table 8 Productions, and many more. Ashley is an inspirational figure who sets an outstanding example for current UNLV students. Ashley not only decided to choose a major, but she decided to fully pursue her passion. She boldly moved to New York City to achieve her dream, while serving others. Ashley explains that her mission is to “explore the world, tell stories and teach lessons through performing, and spread happiness while giving a voice to those who do not have one.”