Senior snapshot: Communication student to head to NYC after serving as co-chair of Waa-Mu

Tom Meyer

During the spring of her sophomore year, Communication senior Melissa Lynch was not cast in a theater performance. Instead, she decided to help with the annual Waa-Mu show as a production assistant.

Now, more than two years after that spring, Lynch is getting ready to graduate from Northwestern after serving as co-chair for the 2011 Waa-Mu show, and she will go on to look for acting jobs in New York City.

Lynch was a cast member in Waa-Mu and served on its executive board during her junior year before being selected to serve alongside Communication senior Liz Olanoff as co-chair.

“This show in particular was very therapeutic for me,” Lynch said. “It was about college, and you follow this group (of friends). The characters in the show learn that it’s OK not to know what you’re doing, and that’s just so relevant in my life too.”

After she graduates, Lynch plans to work at home for the summer while she applies to agents.

In the fall, she intends to move to New York City to seek employment either as an actor or on the marketing side of theater, she said.

“I’ve done a lot both in performing in shows and working on the business side, and I want to try to pursue that,” Lynch said.

Lynch said as she moves on to try professional acting, her support system from NU will be an invaluable resource for her.

“Watching my peers has been just so inspirational and amazing,” Lynch said. “I learn more from watching them than I do from (my own rehearsing). And knowing that even when I’m not physically on campus anymore, that they’ll be there to fall back on is amazing.”

Lynch particularly cited the influence that Olanoff and Waa-Mu Director David Bell have had on her time at NU.

“David Bell has served as such a blessing,” Lynch said. “He’s really a generous and inspiring individual. And Liz is such a hard worker and so supportive. I couldn’t have asked for a better co-chair.”

After all the work that Lynch and the other performers and writers did, including hours of rehearsal each night for weeks, the opening night proved to be a special moment, she said.

“We had a massive audience. It was Greek Night, and there were like 1,000 students there,” Lynch said. “And during the overture, just hearing them cheering and responding like they did to this thing that we had worked on so hard. It was amazing.”

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