Never mind that graduate Jordan Merritt had not set foot on stage as an actor prior to attending Lone Star College-Tomball. Her acting talent must have been percolating under the surface, waiting to be tapped and polished in a college theatre environment. For, this fall, she will be jetting to the United Kingdom to attend Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, a leading drama conservatory located outside of London for which she had to go through an extended audition process.
After graduating from Cypress Creek High, Merritt began taking classes at LSC-University Park. She had been involved in drama during high school, but behind the scenes, on the technical side, and LSC-UP did not have a drama program at that time. So, Merritt switched her classes to LSC-Tomball and the rest, as they say, was history. “I was a nursing major. I didn’t start acting until I came here to Tomball,” Merritt said.
Merritt credits Drama program coordinator and theatre professor Sherri Ryan White for her rapid development as a thespian. “Since I did crew in high school, I never paid attention to the actors’ notes. But the way Mrs. White develops her characters and pulls out our strengths and has us build on it . . . She lets you find your own character”
The application process to Rose Bruford involved a live audition in New York City as well as an essay about what theatre means to the applicants. Merritt did not have to think long before composing her essay. “Theater teaches you understanding of people. I didn’t start acting until I came here to Tomball. On a crew, it teaches you teamwork and how you can come together for a common goal and I think you can apply that to any aspect of life.”
Merritt will study for a year and then perform before a panel of acting professionals. Based on the feedback she receives, she’ll decide her next step, whether that be more education or a professional job.
Guiding Merritt even now are words her high school drama teacher told her at the end of her high school career. “When I graduated from high school, my teacher, Ms. Miller, came up to me and she grabbed me by the face and she goes, ‘Whether its theater or nursing, just do something. I want to be able to look you up on Google in a couple of years and results should come up.’ About a month and a half later she passed away. So, the last thing she said to me was, ‘Be Google-able.’ Now, I want to make her proud. I want something to show up, something good.”