Q&A with October Artist of the Month

Caitlyn Selby opens up about her personal experiences as a performing artist


Ocean Pham

Artist of the Month, Caitlyn Selby, gets ready to take action in directing Warrior TV’s next episode.

Q: What is your intention when performing in marching band, on stage or on Warrior TV? Do you have a certain feeling that you hope to express and/or reveal to your audience?

A: “Definitely for all of them, it’s just to put out a good performance. Definitely immerse the audience in what you’re trying to put out…For marching band, I think it’s more to involve them in the performance because our marching band is called the Entertainment Corps so we want to entertain the crowd, we want to take them through that story that we’re trying to show- visually and musically. For orchestra, it’s less of a visual thing and more of just performing and hoping to express that emotion in the music.”


Q: How would you describe the feeling you get after a performance? Is it a positive feeling? Is it motivational?
A: “Yeah definitely! Putting in that effort when you’re practicing to do a good performance definitely is something that motivates you. For marching band, we spend every morning practicing and then again after school and Wednesdays. It’s hours out of your week. On Fridays and competitions, we go and perform. To be able to have something to show for all our work is definitely something that is motivating. Especially because marching band, specifically, is a team thing so you’re all putting in all this effort together and then you get this amazing product afterwards.”


Q: Do you have any inspirations that you look up to? When you’re performing, do you think of anybody? 

A: “For marching band and jazz, I think, definitely an inspiration is my sister, My older sister. She played trumpet and she was in marching band and jazz, so she was definitely the one that was like, ‘Oh Caitlyn! Play trumpet!’ She was the one who really got me into that aspect. For orchestra, at my elementary school, they made us choose an instrument in fourth grade so I kinda just chose cello and stuck with it. I’ve been to a lot of orchestral concerts so I don’t really necessarily think about it when I’m performing but it’s definitely something that keeps me going. For Warrior TV, I think one of my biggest inspirations, he graduated last year, but Jake Sanjongco. He was Media Commissioner, and he was a really good cinema photographer in the class. It was definitely something that I saw him do but he loved it because he goes to Chapman for film. Seeing him be able to do that really made me want to immerse myself into film as well.”

Artist of the Month, Caitlyn Selby, gets ready to take action in directing Warrior TV’s next episode. (Ocean Pham)

Q: When did you realize you wanted to pursue performing arts?
A: “In fourth grade, my elementary school, we had to do an instrument. I was just like ‘Oh! I’m just gonna do cello, I like it.’ It sounded the best out of viola and violin. That’s kind of what started it, but what kept me going was that I found out that I really did enjoy performing and making music. I even went so far as to get a private teacher and practice hours a week.”


Q: Do you have any advice for those that are new coming into the performing arts, all of them, if they’re in Warrior TV, jazz, music or even marching band? What do you think you would want to suggest to them or what they should anticipate?
A:  “Something that I would say is don’t lose motivation. In the beginning, it’s really hard because when starting anything new, it’s obvious that you’re not going to be the best at it, so it’s really easy to just wanna give up and quit but if you do put in that work, you can get really good at it.”


Q: Do you intend to continue to do all of this in the future? Do you want to pursue something that you’re working on now?

A: “For college applications right now, mostly, I am not really applying to any art schools,  I’m not even applying as an art major. I’m thinking of business or econ so it’s completely different. But,, I am applying to Chapman and I’m doing that under film, so I think I do want to continue to do it in some aspect. No matter what college I get into, I’ll probably join either an orchestra group or band group, just so I can keep in touch with that part of myself because I’ve been doing it since fourth grade. If I quit randomly, I feel like it would be a piece missing.”


Q: What do you think is the most important part about all of it?

A: “I think, again, about just being motivated, I think is really important because if you don’t have that motivation to continue to improve, your work just won’t get better…Also, it kind of goes along with motivation, but since performing arts is a live experience, like every concert or competition or band is live, some mistakes will happen, it’s inevitable. To be able to still feel like you did your personal best is important because you might have made a really blatant mistake in the show but to overcome that and say, ‘oh that’s something I can work on towards next time,’ I think is really important to have that mindset of ‘yes, I made a mistake, but I can use that information to do better next time.’”