An experience, early in my life, at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center opened my eyes to the transformative power of Theatre - it would shape my ambitions for performance, inform the choices I made about my acting career, and impel my passions. That single moment had a profound and lasting effect on my soul, one that would ultimately point me to the purpose of "me;" but what exactly was it? What transaction occurred between the performers on stage, and myself, and others in attendance that evening? My life as an actor has been an incredible journey of growth. Over forty-six U.S. states, and abroad, I have performed in Broadway musicals, stage plays, concerts, recordings, cabarets, as part of political campaigns and sporting events, and in universities, schools, and churches. Acting has fundamentally changed the way I see people, and challenges the way I learn, express and see myself. As my imagination, creativity, and craft has grown, I remain profoundly impacted by my experience in Tampa, and I have often wondered exactly what happened that evening? Did it have anything to do with the synesthetic elements of the performance – the lights, sounds, or scenery? Was it specifically the music, the voices, the amazing singers? Perhaps it was the daring acting and story. Did it depend on particular foreknowledge or familiarity of skill, or craft? Was it something that happened by chance, or by design? Was it because of me? Or did it, somehow, override everything I was at the time? Was it something intangible that is present at some, or all, theatrical events that enlivened the experience? This paper seeks to provide answers to some of these questions. My process in seeking answers will be to chronicle my own life experience as a person/artist. Having begun a script a couple of years ago, I decided to return to solo performance as a means to help me determine what made the experience I related so memorable. The attempt is to write and perform a solo performance piece that chronicles the foundation of this incredible journey of growth, while shedding light on the initial Tampa experience. My intention is to gain an understanding about something I believe contributes to "theatrical spirituality." I believe that the unique blending of the script and the interpretation of these words through acting can impart life. The combined force of the power of story and the spoken word can cause something tangible, something good, meaningful and of intrinsic worth to happen in an individual or audience as a result of a performance. It is my belief that the formation, articulation and expression of that understanding represents, in part, my acting philosophy – what I do and why I do it. In a broader and more important sense, however, it also represents my understanding of who I am and why I am.


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Graduation Date





Boyd, Belinda


Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)


College of Arts and Humanities



Degree Program

Theatre; Acting









Release Date

May 2016

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Included in

Acting Commons