11:42 AM

‘No time for a routine career’

Student of the Week: Elias Merlo

“My main motivation is my future self. Aiming to be as good as I am tomorrow, and keeping that mentality running infinitely."
Student of the Week, Elias Merlo

With a dislike for routine, Elias Merlo says having a theatre-oriented career is his ideal choice, enabling him to always be doing something different while at the same time enjoying his career.

Elias is currently a Drama Major at South Texas College, and entered STC in the fall of 2019 with the hopes of pursuing a career in dramatic arts. Born and raised in Brownsville, he recently moved to Hidalgo County with the hopes of starting fresh.

“STC just seemed to me like the obvious and best choice for me, and my experience has been great, especially when it comes to the Drama Department.” Elias said. “I was welcomed with open arms with amazing people who were eager to help and teach me the ways of the theatre world.”

With an Associate of Arts degree in Drama from STC, students receive a pre-professional foundation skill-set necessary to compete for beginning positions as technicians and/or performers.

The program is intended to enable students to develop the necessary academic, technical and analytical skills that will provide them with a measurable foundation in the basics of sound theater practices. This degree is useful to an individual seeking employment in the entertainment and media industries.

Students who desire a career as Drama educators and who earn a Bachelor's degree in this field would be eligible for employment in most public school districts, providing they obtain the necessary teaching certification. Students who earn a BA or BFA degree in Drama can also expect to be marketable in the business or corporate world in areas requiring a combination of verbal, visual and leadership skills.

The AA and BA/BFA degrees also serve as the foundation for specialized studies in Drama such as Scene & Lighting Design, Costume Design, Technical Direction, Playwriting, Directing, Performance, Arts Management and Dramaturgy.

Elias said his career plans can include everything from acting to set designing or directing.

“My approach is simple. I see the goal and work on it a step at a time. Patience is key,” Elias said. “My main motivation is my future self. Aiming to be as good as I am tomorrow, and keeping that mentality running infinitely.

“In a way, I am my own rival. Striving to be better than yesterday every day,” he said.

As a message to students, Elias said managing time is one of the most important skills they can learn while in college.

“College is not hard at all. Time management is the biggest factor when it comes to college,” he said. “If you slack you willingly set yourself up for failure. It really just comes down to that.”