Jonathan LaGuer

Jonathan LaGuer Is “The Toxic Avenger” At Middlesex County College 

By: Jonathan LaGuer

jl‚ÄčMaking the transition from high school theatre to college theatre was an exhilarating adventure for me as an aspiring actor. I was stepping into an environment where people were actually studying theatre and had a talent for it, so when auditions for The Toxic Avenger were announced, I knew I had to give it my all, and that included everything I had learned at Collier. Being back on stage no matter what part I would have gotten was a rush and I hoped to be a part of more shows in the future. 

One of the things I learned is that college productions operate at more of a semi-professional level than high school productions. Rehearsals can be extra-demanding, with some days lasting up to ten hours! There’s not a whole lot of room for error in college shows; you have to fully commit all our lines and choreography to memory and keep up with the rest of the group. Needless to say, being on top of everything will make rehearsals go more smoothly, especially in college theater. You also get more recognition and stage time than in high school, since you to perform in front of a larger audience for more than one night. However, the bonds and friendships you make with your fellow cast members remain the same, and there’s something valuable in that sense of togetherness. 

The one thing I underestimated at Middlesex County College was the importance of staying on top of emails and registration dates. By the time I decided to register, I had to make a mad dash to apply for financial aid, grab my transcript, and figure out a reasonable schedule with general education classes, since the classes I needed for my major were already filled to the brim! Once I got myself situated, I learned that keeping up to date on assignments was just as important as checking emails on a daily basis. Collier’s Dual Enrollment program definitely helped with the transition into the college lifestyle. It prepared me for longer classes and larger workloads, and it gave me a sense of freedom and independence.

As I end my first year of college, I have many highlights to reflect upon. Firstly, everyone in the musical was a theatre major while I was studying game design and animation, so I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that I had gotten the lead role as the Toxic Avenger . I had honestly thought that I would have gotten a lesser part since I was new to theater scene at MCC, but my hard work and experience from Collier’s productions wound up paying  off. Second, I found out firsthand that my professors were actually very cool and were always there to help, which made it easier to get used to being a full-time student. Between juggling rehearsals and a twelve-credit schedule, I managed to end the year making Dean’s List, with a 4.0 GPA and a few good friends along the way. Lastly, I was awarded a Pell Grant for the summer session, so I decided to take two classes, which moved along rather quickly and I'm proud to say that I ended that sessions with a 4.0 GPA as well.  As someone who has successfully completed their freshman year of college, I can say that your first semester will likely be the hardest one to get through. Being new and not knowing anyone is temporary. As long as you stay focused and motivated, you will eventually find your niche. There are plenty of groups, clubs and activities around campus, so stay positive, active, and involved!