The Success Project aims to reframe how we define success for performing arts majors after graduation and throughout life. Because the performing arts are a public-facing field, it is easy for the concepts of "success" and "fame" to become intrinsically linked in the minds of young artists as well the general public. Full-time, lifelong careers in the performing arts are rare, but that fact should not keep students from pursuing a degree in the arts if that is where their passion lies. The Success Project seeks to banish outdated mindsets about the occupational limits of an arts degree, promoting instead the vast array of skills that performing artists bring to non-performance jobs and the wide range of professions in which they thrive. We also wish to highlight the many paths that a professional performance career can take, teaching young artists to measure their own artistic success not in terms of job prestige, but rather in regards to their happiness, stability, personal fulfillment, and how they are contributing to the greater good.
The Success Project was started by Brianna Borger, a career theatre performer who has also found great fulfillment as an administrator, director, educator, graphic designer, and mom. After seeing so many of her peers and students disheartened by the realities of pursuing a career in the arts and struggling with the decision to pursue other interests for fear of being labeled a quitter, it was clear that a shift in training and mindset was needed for future generations of performing arts students in order for them to enter the professional world with a healthy mindset, a defined sense of self, and the confidence to pursue whatever interests and passions make them happy and fulfilled. Thus, The Success Project was born.
While working in admissions for a well-known collegiate music and theatre conservatory, Brianna loved talking up the benefits of a performing arts education and the countless life and career skills that performing arts training affords its students, whether or not they choose to pursue a career in the arts after graduation. She is also a big proponent of students seeking out college programs that fit their individual needs so that they can best learn and thrive. As an educator, Brianna has taught and mentored young arts professionals through their college years and beyond, helping them navigate life after graduation and supporting their individual journey in the arts. She encourages her students to examine what is important to them every time they are presented with a job opportunity: Is this a valuable use of my time? Will this be artistically or personally fulfilling? Will it being me joy or stress me out?
Brianna holds an MM in Music Theatre Voice Pedagogy from Carthage College and a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from Millikin University. She is a proud member of the Actors' Equity Association (AEA) and the Musical Theatre Educators' Alliance (MTEA), an active performer and director in the Chicagoland area, and teaches private lessons in musical theatre voice and audition technique. She is also a Student Advisor and Assistant Professor in the Theatre Department of Northwestern University.
To contact Brianna about The Success Project, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow The Success Project on Instagram to read about the career paths of Performing Arts majors
and the many ways in which they define Success for themselves.