Elon College Fellows

Meet the Fellows: Eric Mann '10

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Theater
Arts and Humanities Fellows

The Elon College Fellows program was an incredible experience for me. As an actor and performer, it is a necessity to reflect on and evaluate your own craft in order to grow and mature. The Fellows program and its professors definitely helped me hone in on more specific questions dealing with my research expression project, challenging my own perspective and viewpoint of the meticulousness of the art of acting. I got to create my own project and my own questions, but the Fellows program allowed me to further refine my inquiry.

For my Elon College Fellows research expression project, I researched what causes actor’s to have inhibitions when seeking a truthful experience in the moment of “acting.” As actors, we struggle and strive for this idea of letting go all inhibitions and being a free emotional conduit for all impulses to easily shower forth without question or judgment or fear. This is not easy in a world that binds us to rules and social mores. There is such a heightened pressure of success and failure in our society it is no wonder that every little exercise, every little misdoing, becomes life or death.

With such high levels of stress, pressure, and anxiety, fear is inevitable and it coerces our craft and our art. We instantly judge ourselves, are worried about other’s judgments, and perhaps even afraid of our own light and our own potentiality. My research has been exploring this fear and starring it right in the eye. It has been through the teachings of Zen, Taoism, Tibetan Buddhism (Shamanism and Dzogchen), and even sports psychology that I have gained a deeper understanding of trust in one’s potentiality.

I must thank the Elon College Fellows program and all its professors for being wonderful teachers and mentors. I would have never been able to go to such depths without them.

This summer (2010) I will be performing in Annie at North Carolina Theatre, and in the fall I will be playing the role of Mike in the National Tour of A Chorus Line.