Senior Spotlight: Santiago Camacho

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By Jeweliana Register

Santiago Camacho is a senior psychology major with a minor in theatre. Camacho moved to Florida from Colombia to pursue higher education and experience life in a different country. Camacho wants to encourage students to get involved at NSU and take advantage of all of the great opportunities here.

How long have you been involved in the arts?

“A long time, more formally probably since I was 14 or 15.”

How did you end up at NSU?

“Honestly, I played soccer in Colombia growing up and I knew that I wanted to be a professional player but at one point I decided that I no longer wanted to go pro, but I still wanted to play. I came to the states to try and find a school and NSU gave me the best offer. It looked like a nice place so I decided to come here.”

What are your involvements in the arts exactly?

“I was in ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Every Man.’ I also did the stage managing for ‘Once Upon a Mattress’ recently. I also have done a few one acts and I hosted the PVA awards a few years ago. We also opened for Trevor Noah. That made me a little nervous but it was very exciting.”

What is your favorite part of being involved in the arts at NSU?

“The best thing for me is that you can do so many things. It’s so easy for you to just be involved in many different areas and if you have an idea it is very easy to show them. I feel like in other places it is more competitive, [and] at those schools each person may not receive as much attention. Whereas here at NSU, we are doing the one acts, the student works where students do one act plays for the school. I wrote my play that I am directing. It’s hard to have that experience and write your own play and direct it as well in other places. Here it is like, ‘You want to do it? Sure.’ I also stage managed before. I just asked if I could do it and the faculty said to go ahead and they offered to help. It’s really easy to get the experience here. If you ask, it’s very likely that you will be able to do it.”

Is there a particular moment [in your life] in relation to the arts that has been the most rewarding?

“There have been a few. I would say in general just being able to perform in a different country. It’s really cool to understand how people are in this country and translate the humor to this country and to bring it here. So in general just being able to do it here has been really rewarding. It was hard at first. It’s hard enough to become comfortable with the language, but then also being comfortable on stage.”

What is the most challenging part of being so involved?

“Of course it depends on the person, but for me it comes down to structure. I have to plan out my time. Like, during this time I will do homework and try not to watch YouTube videos, so on. I guess what I’ve learned the most is time management. I’m usually just like all over the place so I had to learn when to study and do some things I don’t really want to do but need to do.”

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be more involved in the arts?

“Just go for it. If you have an idea or you would like to do something, don’t wait. Don’t say, ‘No, next year I’ll have more experience,’ or anything, just start now. The best way to learn is as you do things. Do not wait to do something because you think you would not be good at it. At first, you may suck a little bit but no one is going to judge you here. By the end of the project you will probably surprise yourself with how much you are able to do that you did not think you could. Just go for it.”

What are your plans for after graduation?

“My immediate plans are to join Angelica she graduated last year from NSU who started an improv company. I am working with her. Improv is supposed to be funny. It’s comedy that is not scripted, so you have to just get up there and come up with it. You have to be spontaneous and not allow the nervousness to stop you. So, we are trying to make that a tool for people to be more open in their day-to-day lives and take opportunities as they come. We really want to relate the improv thing with psychology. I really want to help develop that and maybe eventually I’ll go back to school to learn more about psychology and theatre.”

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