TMA student Sophia Acedo shares how an experiential learning opportunity has enhanced her time at BYU
As an ambitious 11-year-old, I dreamt of working at Disneyland. As a theatre arts study major, I knew I wanted to work on the entertainment side of the magic. So, when my opportunity to be part of the Disney family came true, I was ecstatic and prepared to apply my knowledge of theatre to my dream. However, the role I received through the Disney College Program this summer was as a custodial busser in Frontierland. Taking out the trash, restocking ketchup and other tasks humbled me and taught me that theatre could be applied in various environments. Bussing in Frontierland meant I got to work at The Golden Horseshoe—home of some of the best shows in Disneyland’s history. Though I longed to be on the stage, I danced and sang with the audience to get them involved. I made friends with our actors, learned the history of the land and volunteered to go in on my days off to help with the show. The best part of it all was the guests.
What I was able to apply most from my time at BYU was service. We are taught to serve our fellow men—those who love us and those who don’t. Disneyland may be the happiest place on earth, but it doesn’t mean everyone that walks through its gates are happy. Serving and providing happiness to my guests was my daily goal.
For the girl who entered the Horseshoe crying, I hope the sundae helped. For the little boy who tripped chasing a duck in our seating area, I hope that the “Honorary Citizen” button, deeming you Disneyland’s best duck chaser, made you feel more courageous. For the sweet, 76-year old man experiencing the magic kingdom for the first time, I hope our conservation about our spectacular night-time show made you excited to see it. Though some days were hard, especially when the heat of the sun made me hesitant to leave the shady patches, the smiles and napkin-scrawled “thank you” notes were worth every moment. I look forward to the day I get to make magic again.
The publication of student articles allows the College of Fine Arts and Communications to highlight the experiential learning opportunities and behind-the-scenes experiences of students and faculty and tell stories with a unique voice and point of view. Submit your story at cfac.byu.edu.