Finding A Place For Her Creativity To Flourish
By Priya Joshi
Actress, writer, photographer, traveler, dreamer. Any of these words can be used to describe 19 year-old Therese Whelan.Growing up in Springs, NY, Whelan always dreamed of moving out of her hometown and moving on. New York City was her destination and now she couldn’t be happier.
Little Therese thinks it over
“I have my dream apartment on the upper west side of Manhattan,” says Whelan. “ It’s a great little studio and I have a balcony. When I step outside it looks like Europe!”
Currently majoring in communications at Marymount Manhattan College, Whelan says her true love will always be the stage. “I could never stop acting,” she says with a smile. “I believe that I am the happiest right before a show begins and the cast is waiting for the curtain to open. The anticipation is amazing.” When asked why she chose not to pursue acting as a college major, Whelan said it just wasn’t practical. She doesn’t want to risk being broke and out of work once college is over.
As we talked in the quiet corner of the school library, Whelan and I took on more of a conversational tone and the nervousness of the interview soon faded. Her easygoing personality immediately put me at ease. I learned that her favorite music artist is Regina Spektor (she even got to meet her!), and her favorite television show is The Office (the American version, of course). Whelan grew up the oldest of three sisters and says that her large and interesting family has greatly shaped the person she is today.
“My father is one of 12 siblings!” says Whelan with a laugh. “I have 43 cousins on my father’s side of the family. Sometimes I can hardly remember their names but we always have so much fun at family gatherings. I have a family member in every state of the U.S. If I ever need anything anywhere, I know I have someone I can call.”
Aside from her passion for acting, Whelan is also an accomplished photographer. Using digital cameras, Whelan says she loves taking street photography, especially around her apartment building. “I would have majored in photography, but Marymount doesn’t really offer the kind of photography that I enjoy doing,” says Whelan regretfully. “I am just sort of waiting to graduate and then go off and do my own thing.”
Taking photographs from all angles, and many from her balcony, Whelan captures the unique beauty of New York City in what she calls “my piece of the city.” Her photos and more can be found on her FaceBook page.
Photo by Therese Whelan
When asked where she saw herself in 10 years, Whelan paused for a few moments and said, “I love New York City and I know I’ll stay here for at least a few more years, but after that it’s anyone’s guess,” says Whelan. “I really like France and England. I might want to eventually end up back here. All I really know is that I don’t want to be working a 9-5 job that doesn’t interest me at all. I know I don’t want to be another number on the payroll. In 10 years, I just want to be in a place where my creativity can flourish.”
Wherever Therese Whelan ends up, letting her creativity flourish won’t be a problem. And if she gets stuck, she’s probably got a family member somewhere close by.