Name: Bethmari Mârquez Barreto
Major at ISU: Performing Arts
Graduation Year: 2021
Hometown: Guaynabo, Puerto Rico
Current Residence: St. Paul, MN
What were you involved in during your time at ISU:
I was involved in the theatre program, the Puerto Rican Student Association, and the social activism that happened in ISU and surrounding communities. I also was a member of Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Inc. I worked for several years for the ISU Insect Zoo and their educational programs for the CALS department. (I feel like I am missing some stuff, but these are the basics)
What do you currently do for a living:
I am currently a Media Program Specialist for Outsell, which is a marketing company for dealerships— but during the evenings and on my weekends, I have been involved in acting in different theaters and shooting commercials.
Can you share a particularly interesting or inspiring story that occurred in your career?
When I first started working as an artist in the twin cities, I worked for a non-profit theatre that consumed all of my free time, and at the end of the day, its quality on employee treatment was very upsetting to the extent that I ended up quitting. You might be in the right place but in the wrong space. I was afraid to quit because I was unsure of finding other opportunities with other theaters, but I did find other opportunities and my networking grew. Change is always scary, but when it is for the better, is always fruitful.
Are there other ways that you participate in your community and/or how you engage as a Citizen Artist?
There is so much to do in the community! As a Citizen Artist, networking is very important. And if you lack of network, the best way to create it is by engaging in art activities that are happening in the community. The way I engage is by searching for things that I love/like to do and going to events that promote those activities. I have been engaged in dance classes, film festivals, theatre festivals, and even art exhibits.
How did your time at ISU prepare you for your career?
There is a lot of things that ISU prepared me for, but I think the most important ones are the following: 1. Being involved in multiple organizations has helped me to be involved in multiple community engagements while also balancing my personal life and knowing my boundaries. 2. ISU prepared me to know the quality of the space that I deserve to be in. If there is no respect and there is no willingness to learn from one another, then that space is not for me.
What was your favorite class while you were at ISU? Why?
My favorite class at ISU has to be musical theatre with Cason Murphy. I come from a place that has always seen theatrical musicals not being part of our culture because of the lack of representation. Therefore, I never took an interest in learning something that it was never meant for me. But Cason completely changed my perspective and expanded my knowledge to such an extent that words will never describe how grateful and lucky I am for the opportunity to be his student in this class. The class was so eye-opening, exceptionally weird, and so innovative that to this day, I miss being there.
How was your involvement in music and theatre beneficial in different parts of your life?
My involvement in the arts has allowed me to have exceptional conversational skills, and writing skills, and allowed me to be more confident in myself.
Any words of wisdom for current or prospective students?
I think it is important to not overlook the work and efforts that you have made as an undergrad into the post-graduation world. People will try to take advantage of you just because you might be a recent graduate, but know your worth and stand your ground.
Is there anything that you would like to share?
Take all the opportunities that ISU offers because, without those opportunities, I wouldn’t be where I am today.