Rounding out my interviews of folks my age, I needed to interview someone who constantly reminds me of the joy that I continue to find in life and in my art. My girlfriend: Alexandra Cooke.
Weston: What is a good artist?
Alex: I think a good artist is someone who first, takes pride in their work, regardless of how big or small the project may be. They take pride in what they do because if you put your best foot forward, the product is going to be good no matter how big or small. I also think being a good artist is being kind to yourself and others because very rarely do you create art alone.
Weston: Because our profession is one that relies on other people. Even if you are doing a one person show you are working with others.
Alex: I think also it is being authentic and allowing yourself to be vulnerable to let the work consume you, in a healthy way, is how you give the best and most authentic performance that you can.
Weston: What is your view of success for yourself in regards to choosing this as a career?
Alex: Success for me, again going back to the pride. If I work on something and feel pride in it that’s already a success. There are also people who choose this a career because they want to make an impact, they want to educate people through storytelling. If I can make one person’s day better performing a silly musical, that’s amazing. I was inspired to do art by watching others. I remember being super young and I would cry at the bows. There is just something beautiful about knowing you can impact people.
Weston: How has being artist affected your mental health, how you see the world?
Alex: I think that with regards to mental health it has forced me to be more in tune with my emotions, how to channel different emotions. Because when you are playing a character they go through life too and they have different emotions and you have to channel those.
This is an industry that is very competitive and its very hard not to compare yourself to other people and so it can be a little difficult and hard on your mental health. But there’s are also a big chunk of people in this industry who are they to help and will lift you up.
Weston: How has the expectations and standards that other people hold in this industry affected you?
Alex: Your always told be yourself, but then there’s always that fear that they aren’t going to like you, you aren’t the person they want. You then take that as well they didn’t like me, they didn’t like what I had to offer. There is also the side of it where a lot of people are are very open minded and open hearted, and easy to connect with. I have found that some of my closest friends have come from theatre because of the nature of their persona. They themselves are not judgemental.
Weston: When it seems overwhelming or you get in your head about a lot of things what keeps you grounded?
Alex: Going back to the why I do this, it is the joy that can come out of it. The kind of people you get to connect with. With theater it doesn't feel like a “normal” job the people you work with aren’t just your co-workers they become your family for that extended period of time.
Weston: So it’s the relationships you have with other people that brings you back?
Alex: And it’s the joy that can come out of making art. The recognition that you –
Weston: – did something.
Alex: That you impacted someone.
Weston: Has there ever been a point where being “good” has had a big impact on you?
Alex: I think for some having to have standards and living up to those expectations can be scary and there is a little of that inside of me, but I like to think of it as a challenge. It makes me work harder. If I can be good at something I’m going to work hard because at the end of the day I want that recognition because it motivates me more.
It’s okay to make mistakes. You don’t learn from being perfect.
Hi there! My name is Alexandra Cooke i a performer located in the New York Capital Region. She was raised in Queensbury, NY, a town right outside of the beautiful Adirondacks. Her love theatre started when I was seven years old, and her passion for performing has grown ever since then.
She now attends Nazareth College in Rochester, NY where she will soon be obtaining her BFA in Musical Theatre in Spring of '23. Since starting her training and working professionally, favorite credits include Curtains (Carmen Bernstein) directed by Kurt Domoney, Love's Labour's Lost, The Musical (Jaquenetta) directed by Trey Compton, and Last Stop On Market Street (Madam Butterfly) directed by Martha Banta.
Outside of theatre she loves spending time with her family and friends, listening to her favorite artist, Lizzy McAlpine, being a Dunkin' enthusiast, and eating Nature Valley Oats n Honey granola bars. Who doesn’t love a good crunch?