Amanda Meyer shines on, off stage

Senior Amanda Meyer knew acting was her calling from an early age.

“I’ve wanted to become an actor since preschool,” Meyer said. “I was in a circus play and was cast as the ringmaster.”

She has not looked back since.

Meyer, a senior theatre major, has been one of Butler’s leading actors in previous theatre seasons.

She recently played the title role in “Eurydice,” author Sarah Ruhl’s contemporary version of the Greek myth about Orpheus.

“That was my favorite moment so far here at Butler,” Meyer said. “It was the kind of theatre I came to Butler for.”

For Meyer, coming to Butler was a logical choice.

Being from Carmel, Ind., she liked the proximity to home and also enjoyed the personal touch of the theatre faculty.

“The faculty were really welcoming when I visited and I’ve never liked big schools, so that was a big reason for my coming to Butler,” Meyer said.

The way Butler’s program is set up was a big draw for Meyer as well.

“I also liked how it was a general program compared to a conservatory where the focus is on one thing,” Meyer said.

Diane Timmerman is a  Butler theatre professor who has known Meyer since she arrived on campus in 2007.

“As a freshman she immediately put herself out there,” Timmerman said. “I didn’t need to give her any advice because she was so proactive with her work.”

Upon arrival, Meyer hit the ground running, getting involved in the theatre department in any way possible.

“She is extremely diligent and really applies herself on the stage and in the classroom,” Timmerman said. “She is a very hard worker.”

Like most college students, Amanda’s eyes were opened up to a much larger world upon enrolling in Butler.

“[Butler] has helped me to discover different types of theater—more physical types,” said Meyer. “Butler is really good about letting you do what you want to do.”

However, her heart is with contemporary theater, a perfect example being her appearance in Eurydice.

“I love theater that makes you think and that is emotive. I got into acting because of its storytelling and contemporary theater is just that,” Meyer said.

Although Butler is where she has done most of her work, Meyer has begun working outside of the school, primarily at The Phoenix Theater here in Indianapolis.

At the Phoenix, she has gotten to work with veterans of the trade and has been introduced to the professional world of acting.

“I have met many professional actors and technicians and am now so much more connected to the heartbeat of theater in Indianapolis,”  Meyer said.

Going from student productions to professional ones has been a very different, but satisfying experience for Meyer, she said.

“In the professional world, you rehearse for two weeks then run for a month,” she said. “At Butler, we rehearse for a month then run for a weekend.”

As for her strengths, Timmerman said to look to her stage presence and attention to detail.

“A few years ago Amanda was in a play written by a Dada poet which demanded absolute clarity,” Timmerman said. Many of the lines in the play were jibberish but as Professor Timmerman described it, “she nailed it.”

Describing one’s strong points while staying humble can be difficult, but Meyer explained hers like a professional in the making.

“I am good at being dynamic on stage and am always physically aware,” she said. “I always have a lot of energy on stage, as well.”

Analyzing scripts has become a strong point of hers, too-—all qualities picked up from an experienced faculty, she said.

Meyer has begun to branch out into film, as well, acting in small budgeted films from around the area.

“I love the subtleties of film,” Meyer said. “With film, you don’t have to be afraid about messing up, because you can do it all over again.”

Branching out into film, however, will not likely keep Meyer from the stage.

“I would like to work professionally in Chicago as an actor and part time as a stage manager,” Meyer said. “With theater, I love the immediacy of it and engaging the audience in the moment. “It is scary, yet thrilling at the same time.”

Timmerman believes because of Meyer’s multiple talents as an actress and a stage manager, she will always be working.

With Meyer’s hard work and attention to detail, her acting career is just beginning.

Meyer will be the stage manager for “A Very Phoenix X-Mas 5: Regifted” at The Phoenix Theatre from Nov. 26 to Dec. 19.

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