Written By: Michela Arlia
Danielle Kogan is a recent graduate of Brooklyn College with a Bachelor’s degree in Theater and Journalism. Graduating in the class of 2020 summa cum laude, the Vanguard caught up with Kogan to see what she has been up to.
Since graduation, her biggest accomplishment has been the formation of her own theater company, The Pressure Players.
“It’s an ensemble company by a bunch of local actors,” said Kogan. “And creating my own opportunities to be creative and employed has been nothing short of insanely empowering.”
Since the pandemic kept her from collaborating with other artists in person, Kogan was fortunate enough to give back to the Brooklyn College community during her time at home. She was recently a guest speaker in a workshop series about creating digital theater hosted by the BC Theater Department, and she hosted a live reading of The Pressure Player’s A Family Tree in collaboration with Tanger Hillel at Brooklyn College.
Kogan is very grateful for all the opportunities Brooklyn College has given her, especially in the Theater Department, and wishes to come back and assist in any way she can.
“I want to show artists at Brooklyn College that they don’t have to wait to practice the thing they train so hard to pursue,” said Kogan. “And I’m happy to share how I do it as I go because theater has honestly done [its] best, at least for me, when it’s in [the] process of collaboration.”
Kogan feels that she and her fellow graduates have had a sense of normalcy stolen from their post-grad life by the pandemic.
“I felt robbed of an opportunity that I had trained for, for at least 10 years, and suddenly every possible field that I could have gone into wasn’t just closed temporarily, it was barred from existing,” she said. “I was ready for it to be difficult, but not COVID-19 level difficult.”
Despite the challenges she has faced, Kogan has been able to make the best of the situation, through her involvement in her growing theater company, a part-time online tutoring job, and many collaborative projects.
Giving back to the Brooklyn College community allows her to share her journey with other students, and provide advice or guidance for other undergraduates who are in the process of joining the workforce, about to graduate or who are just undecided.
Her advice to students who are aspiring artists would be to make a plan, be clear about what exactly it is that you want, be specific about following it. Perhaps most important is to not go it alone.
“To…every aspiring artist, I’d say the only way up is together,” said Kogan. “If you’re committed to doing this professionally…accept the idea that you will not get there on your own.”