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Seema Sheth '08: "I want to do things important to me"

Seema Sheth's interest in performance started "when I was teeny - six or seven," with dance. As a child she performed at the Festival of Lights, and she has been involved ever since in Indian dancing.

Last spring's production of Ramayana at William & Mary further incited Seema to explore many forms of Asian dancing. And why? What distinguishes it from other forms of dance? "It's a controlled tension that's very interesting and different from Western dance."

Active in theatre at William & Mary, Seema has appeared in numerous productions, including As Bees in Honey Drown, and participated in both director's workshops and the summer Virginia Shakespeare Festival. One of her favorite behind-the-scenes roles took place outside William & Mary - an internship with a crew filming a documentary about Washington, D.C.'s Latino community. She interned with MAYA Advertising and helped to create Through Our Eyes: 20 Years of Latino History in Washington D.C. She notes, "It was a lot more work than I thought I was getting myself into! But it was totally worth it."

Currently she is participating in the joining of International Performance Art Exchange (IPAX) and African American Theatre Club (AATC) to produce For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, where she played the role of "Lady in Purple."

Seema's passion for acting extends into other areas of her life, including the philanthropic work of her sorority, Chi Omega, for the Make a Wish Foundation. Through Karaoke contests, jewelry and fashion sales, and promotional "California Tortilla Tuesdays," Chi Omega has raised more than $3,000. Last year, Seema was given the chance to fuse her stage skills with service as the host of Chi-O Karaoke: "I have never had so much fun watching people make fools out of themselves for a good cause."

Working for the W&M admission's office as a tour guide, Seema was a walking (albeit backwards) advertisement for the college. "I love the environment - and not just the physical." An out-of-stater from Kentucky, she says that at William & Mary she "feels at home. The people are very genuine." Including the professors. Seema feels that William & Mary professors have been supportive of her. "In the Theatre Department the professors are actually experienced actors," which, to her, gives students a greater understanding of theatre and the theatre business.

Theatre business is what Seema wants to pursue after college. After she graduates in December, she wants to go to New York or Los Angeles to act, knowing that along with success comes the possibility of failing - "If I fail too, much I'll come home" and go to culinary school.

She's not really worried too much about failure, though. Her advice is to be persistent and positive: "Don't get discouraged - we're all so young." She will pursue her acting with this positive attitude: "People value different things - I want to do things important to me."