Ariana Arocho

Ariana Arocho
Hometown: Charlotte, N.C., via Puerto Rico
Bachelor of Arts in Theatre
2020

Give a little general information about yourself: how did you become interested in the arts? 

In terms of theatre, I actually got into it completely by accident. My freshman year of high school, my brother was in tech week for the school production of Death by Dessert. Because he had to stay late and Mom didn’t want to make two trips to pick us up, I had to stay and wait for her during his rehearsals. I was annoyed at first, but then the director had me start helping out backstage instead of sitting there doing nothing. I started seeing how much fun everyone was having putting the show together, so I decided to join the class the next semester and see what it was like. It’s all history from there! After coming off stage from my first entrance in a play a few months later, I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life.

What kind of career do you hope to have?

My goal with acting isn’t necessarily to be rich and famous. (Although who wouldn’t love to have an Oscar?) I’d love to be able to support myself fully from acting and not have to worry about a day job, but more importantly, I want to be able to do projects that challenge people’s ideas about the world, themselves, and others. I actually had to make a mission statement in one of my theatre classes about who I am as an artist, and I think it’s a good answer to your question. I would love to have a career that allows me: “To foster self-growth and an understanding of the world and the people in it through the act of empathy. By placing myself in the positions of those experiencing life, loss, joy, success, and failure differently than myself, through acting I hope to gain both a personal understanding of those with whom I share the world, as well as create a public awareness of what it is like to ‘live in someone else’s shoes.’”

What is your favorite thing about the Department of Theatre?

The faculty is my favorite part of the CoA+A at UNC Charlotte. Not only are they working professionals who are exceptional at what they do, but they are also teachers who value their responsibility to educate, mentor, and guide their students along their collegiate careers (and beyond). I have been personally impacted by instructors taking time to invest in me and my future, and it’s something I hope to pass along if I am ever in a position to mentor someone else.

Do you do any work in the Charlotte community?

I attend and volunteer at the Puerto Rican festival in Charlotte every year with my family, and because my parents are dentists, I also volunteer at Missions of Mercy with them while they give free dental treatment to those who could otherwise not afford it. I watch a lot of the community and professional theatre in and around Charlotte, and have also begun diving into the local filmmaking community. This networking has led to collaborations with other artists to make our own work, as well as supporting my friends in their artistic endeavors. 

When you are not in class, studying, working or rehearsing, what do you like to do for fun?

I love to read and unwind with a good movie or TV show. It seems that school and work have me going 110% all the time, so I try to take advantage of those rare free moments and rest as much as possible.