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Alumna Takes a Bite Out of the Big Apple

NOTE: This article appears in the Fall 2017 issue of the Wellness and Recreation Alumni magazine. By: Heather Gately, member services coordinator Theatre and recreation might not seem like they go hand in hand, but Diana Quetti ‘14 was able to build her NC State experience around those two pillars. Diana juggled multiple jobs with University Recreation while performing for University Theatre and earning her B.A. in communication media. She now works in New York City, performing in the theatre industry as she strives toward her goal of making it on Broadway. Her story is one of passion, work ethic and balance. Diana grew up in a family of athletes, including her dad who was a professional baseball player. She and her siblings played sports while growing up, but it was her first dance class that hooked her. She was “bitten by the bug” and knew that she wanted to perform in theatre. This love stayed with her as she performed through adolescence, but she did not yet know the role that it would play in her future. Diana started at NC State with plans to prepare for a career in communication media, while performing with University Theatre as a fun hobby on the side. Her first show during her freshmen year was “Urinetown.” This show not only connected her with a community of fellow student performers, but also gave her the confidence she needed to be an actress. Through her other performances in “The Heidi Chronicles” and “Arcadia,” she continued to develop her craft. She learned the importance of researching a character to truly understand the role and working hard to study a play and its plot.  Then came her senior year ensemble part in “Chicago,” which presented demands on the physical and technical skills that are essential for survival in the industry. By this time, Diana knew that she had found her passion and the career path that she wanted to follow. Throughout all her rehearsing and performing, Diana kept up with her studies, stayed active in her sorority and dedicated herself to her job at University Recreation. Around the same time she landed her first University Theatre role, she was hired as a facility assistant at UREC. Diana loved working early morning shifts, where she greeted groups of “regulars” who inspired her with their positivity and passion for fitness. Shortly thereafter, she was hired as a member services specialist, where she was challenged with learning a whole new set of information. Diana fondly remembers the support she was given by her UREC teammates and supervisors in transitioning smoothly and helping her learn everything she needed to know about her job. As one can imagine, it is not easy to balance as many responsibilities as Diana had. She credits University Recreation with always being a flexible place to work, allowing her to build a schedule around her priorities. She valued not only the flexibility, but also the relationships that she developed with her co-workers. Diana instantly felt a connection with University Recreation and its spirit of teamwork. She learned that any challenge she faced during a shift, even in emergency situations, could be solved with the support and trust of her colleagues. Diana’s appreciation for teamwork has stayed with her beyond her time at UREC. After graduating from NC State, Diana began a two-year postgraduate program at Circle in the Square Theatre School, where she was part of a small cohort of actors that relied on one another for a sense of community and support in the hustle and bustle of the big city. She has performed in shows including “A Christmas Carol” with Berkshire Theatre Group and, most recently, “Spring Awakening” at The Egremont Barn. These shows require the actors to make the most of limited rehearsal time, trusting that each cast member has done the work to know their respective parts. In an industry that requires constant competition for parts and relentless development of technical skills, it is easy to imagine how a young actress could become exhausted. Diana auditions for parts nearly every day, while supporting herself through a job with a merchandising company. She fits in a dance class at Circle in the Square whenever she gets a chance. When she finds a rare gap in her schedule, she fills it with plans for the next audition. However, she keeps herself going by living out the University Recreation mission and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. When she needs to recharge, she takes a yoga class or visits Hamilton Park to take in the New York City skyline. She finds time to reflect on her experiences and find appreciation for all of the positive things in her life. As Diana blossoms in her theatre career, she looks back at her time at NC State and expresses gratitude for her experiences with University Recreation. It was within the walls of Carmichael where she met people who brightened her days and supported her in being an engaged and successful student. She encourages every UREC staff member to become involved in as many ways as they can, like she did. When you surround yourself with good people and do what you love, you will be amazed at the opportunities that come to you.