Tricia Wiles has had a busy month. She moved out of her parents house, started a work study job, got involved with the campus ministry and is working with several different theater productions. None of these have slowed her down though.
Wiles moved into the Chi Alpha house two weeks ago. The Chi Alpha house is part of the VCU Christian Ministry.
Wiles was invited to live in the house after she feared her rehearsal schedule and commuting would not allow her to attend as many Chi Alpha events.
“I was at the Wednesday night meeting after rehearsal one time and I was really overloaded with stress and stuff. I let one of my friends know that I wasn’t going to be able to go to the small group anymore because of rehearsal and she just said ‘No,’” Wiles said.
Living in the Chi Alpha house does require that Wiles remain a member of Chi Alpha, but Wiles has welcomed the commitment that it needs.
“I’ve always grown up in the church and having that (has) been really nice because I’m living with a bunch of girls who are Christians, who go to church and have the same morals and beliefs that I do,” Wiles said. “It’s good to surround yourself with people who believe the same things you do so you can maintain your own values.”
Even though the house has nine people living in it and she shares her room with another student, Wiles is enjoying the change from the hectic commuter lifestyle.
“As a commuter, I was out late with school, rehearsal and work. … Everything in my personal life … got out of hand because there was no time,” Wiles said. “Because I am doing so much, having a place that is only four blocks from campus is really nice.”
Wiles is working on several different theater productions and she is currently a production intern with the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community (SPARC) for her work study job.
Wiles’ basic job is to help wherever she is needed in the production. SPARC is currently working on a production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.,” which can be seen Nov. 8 through Nov. 18. at the SPARC center.
“Today at work I painted glow-in-the dark paint on … body suits so they can be all fishy and slimey and eely in the black light,” said Wiles.
Wiles is also fortunate to be a part of the production of Croaker, which includes professional actors from Richmond. She was invited to be a ensemble girl during the staged reading of the play.
Croaker is raising money on KickStarter to fund a recording of their reading, which will then be sold to theater productions across the U.S. If they reach this goal, the profits will go to the actors, including Wiles.
Wiles is also working with the Jewish Community Center on their production of Children of Eden, in which Wiles plays the daughter of Cain, who falls in love with one of Noah’s sons.
“It’s really exciting because it’s the first show that I’ve auditioned for, got a call-back and got the part that I wanted,” Wiles said.
Wiles is also enthusiastic to work on this project because of the musical element. “It’s got so many different styles in there. It’s got gospel and it’s got some jazz in there. It’s really cool to have all these musical connections,” Wiles said.
Wiles auditioned for a cappella groups earlier in the semester and said that she had even considered starting an a cappella group at VCU.
Added to all her outside activities, Wiles is also acting within her classes and will be auditioning with the Virginia Theatre Association this weekend.
At VTA, Wiles will perform a song and monologue. If she does well, she will go on to the Southeastern Theatre Conference competition, which could send her anywhere to act over the summer.
“This is exciting because I already know that I want to work professionally … and this is just another step towards it,” Wiles said. “I could get cast and go to Wyoming to go perform in ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’ for the summer.”
Especially since she’s moved closer to campus, Wiles said she’s been handling the demands of her schedule pretty well. Part of that is because she’s been expecting it since she began preparing to come to VCU.
“I’ve always been a busy person. I’m used to that, so it’s not a surprise,” Wiles said. “I knew that going to college that I would be busy and that I would always be involved in something in some way, shape or form.”