When Emily Neves left her position at a Tony Award-winning theater to finish her degree, she had no idea if she would be allowed to return as a company member.
Neves wanted to return to Texas State to finish her degree in the BFA Pre-Professional Apprenticeship Program after leaving eight years before. Neves, now an alumna, has no regrets about the decision as returning to school gave her a chance to fall in love with acting all over again.
“I saw that the program had improved exponentially,” Neves said. “It was already really great, and it was 10 times better when I went back.”
Many of the faculty members who taught Neves when she returned, including John Fleming and Jeremy Torres, were happy to have her in class.
Torres taught Neves in his Directing II class and instructed her in the play, “Marfa Lights,” in which she played Diane.
“She’s an extraordinary student,” Torres said. “She’s truly one of the most gifted artists I’ve ever worked with. She’s passionate about what she does, and she really speaks from and works from her heart.”
Fleming taught Neves for two semesters of Theatre History, and she acted in his play, “Transposing Shakespeare.”
“Students and faculty really liked her,” Fleming said. “She’s a friendly, outgoing person. She’s very talented and very grounded.”
Neves originally left Texas State to work at The Alley Theatre and came back to finish her degree after working there for eight years. She said her time there before returning to school was not a break from her education. She grew as an actress and practiced her craft in the 19 plays she was a part of there.
Today, Neves is back at The Alley Theatre performing in shows such as “Clybourne Park,” a spin-off of “A Raisin in the Sun” that addresses racial prejudices.
“I think ‘Clybourne Park’ is probably my favorite play I’ve ever done,” Neves said. “In this play, when I go out there, I feel like I’m making a difference in the world. I feel like I’m exposing the world to a subject that they need to think about, talk about and deal with, and I can’t tell you how meaningful that is to me.”
Neves’ career is not based solely on her work at The Alley Theatre. She’s done stop-motion films, voiceovers for anime movies and has worked for companies like Sentei and FUNimation.
“Anime really stretches the range of characters I play because I’m not hindered by my physical appearance,” Neves said. “I just have to focus on how my voice sounds. So, in anime I play everything from a two-year-old girl to an older woman.”
When it comes to Neves’ talent, Torres has an idea of what makes her stand out from many of her peers.
“All your life you meet people who were born to work in their profession,” Torres said. “Honestly, Emily was born to be an actress. It’s what she breathes for.”
Neves considers her career successful. She said her success is shown by the fact she can come to work every day and love what she does.