Kerri Strugg, Myself & I

Today, you can call me Kerri Strugg.

Not because that’s my name - it’s not, I’m sorry. And not because I had incredible gymnastics skills in the nineties, though I was famous in elementary school for my no-handed somersault. Instead this moniker comes from a major Struggle last night when I was in the middle of rehearsing a tricky choreographed musical number for a show that I’m doing this semester. Even though I’ve gone through this particular jump sequence dozens of times, I completely misjudged the height of a stage table and slammed my shin into the edge of its top. As a result, my leg is puffy and scabby and…oh, I forgot to introduce myself.

I’m Scott. This fall marks my fifth consecutive year of being a college student, though to the parents of prospective applicants, I assure you my story is atypical and my fifth year was entirely intentional. A year and a half ago, I was chosen to be a part of the world’s oldest collegiate a cappella group, the Yale Whiffenpoofs, and decided to take a year off to perform, work full-time and try living on my own for the first time ever. In those twelve months, I got to perform at Carnegie Hall twice, visit more than 25 countries and watch all six seasons of Sex and the City. It was a blast. Now I’m back at school for my senior year and am so thankful for this extra year of pre-work life to try new things and meet new people.

I grew up in Missouri and went to a rural high school in a town that most Missourians have never visited. I do not say “Missourah” - most of us don’t, contrary to popular belief - and I do not live on a farm. My academic focus is in media & cultural studies, an area of studies nested in the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Department. This fall I will begin doing research for my senior thesis, which as of yet is untitled and remarkably vague. While I am currently performing in the Yale Dramat fall show, I have also sung with Mixed Company, a co-ed a cappella group and the University Church Choir. This year, I am also serving as Silliman College’s representative to the Senior Class Council, which is basically in charge of all fun that occurs during senior year.

I love being in rehearsal for a show. I used to do some theater in high school and performed as part of the ensemble in the commencement musical my freshman year here, but none of those experiences have been as transformative as these last few weeks have been. Despite the ridiculous hours that this show and its production staff requires of me, I am never happier than when I finish a scene that makes me proud. The tensions that I discover on stage between private me (How do I feel today? What am I self-conscious about?) and public me (Am I slouching? Are my eyes engaged?) seem to me to be so important in the requisite process of post-adolescent self-discovery. The show has helped me to think a lot about my motivation for action off stage and the ways in which the subtlest physical or vocal cues can be incredibly significant to an observer.

Maybe it’s the one Tylenol tablet talking, but this leg issue is no big deal and it certainly seems like an acceptable sacrifice for the amount of joy that I usually get out of singing music with a lot of heart and acting on stage with my friends. By tomorrow, I have high hopes that I will have finished with this Struggle and will be able to get back to the intense pace of real life. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to share my life with all of you and I hope you keep reading.

Take care,