Arts & Humanities: Don't Leave College Without Them

I’ve always agreed with that quote that says “Without Art, the Earth is just Eh.” It’s so easy to see peers going on to study engineering, medicine, or law, and think to yourself “Oh man, I really should do that there is some stability there. There’s money there.” The reality, of course, is that nothing is guaranteed in this life. You could fail as an engineer just as easily as an artist of any kind. The difference is if you fail as an engineer after only following that path because it’s what your friends were doing, what your parents wanted you to, or what guidance counselors said was a good idea, then you’ve failed yourself more than them. Dropping out of col- lege was a scary time for me but I decided that if I did not do it that I would be lying to myself for the rest of my life...and I’d be the only one who would have to live with that for that rest of my life. So I say, live! Follow your heart because... Happiness is free. Everything else we can work at.

~ Aaron Marquise ”


I grew up knowing I was always going to be involved in the performing arts. As a kid on the playground, I at- tempted to gather friends and put on plays. This over- active energy crossed over into the classroom where I was often reprimanded for making my peers laugh. As I got older I had the opportunity to perform at the former New York State Theater Institute (NYSTI) in Troy, NY. NYSTI was an educational professional equity theater that was funded by the NYS legislature. I spent countless hours in the summer program as well as a child actor in several productions during the season. After interning my senior year of high school, I went on to study Musical Theatre and Playwriting at Marymount Manhattan College in NYC. However, for a number of reasons I found myself very unhappy during my time there.

Ringling Bros. clown. He ran an afterschool and sum- mer program teaching circus to young adults. For a public speaking course, I decided to talk about circus as it was so prevalent in my life at the time. During my research, I came across a website for this school in Montreal called “Ecole Nationale de Cirque” or the National Circus School. After a little encouraging from a friend of mine I was dropping out of Marymount Manhattan, self-training myself, and auditioning as a clown at the National Circus School. Flashforward to 2019 and I am now a graduate of the National Circus School and have had the opportunity to perform in France, Switzerland, and Germany. Currently, I am the Executive Director of the Contemporary Circus and Immersive Arts Center in Troy, NY where we are work- ing to establish the first circular performance space dedicated to promoting the circus arts here in the US.

At the same point in my life, I had come into the cir- cus would through a friend of mine who was a former


Arts & Humanities

Don’t Leave College Without Them


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