Upon entering the Professional Actor Training Program, I already held a bachelor’s degree in music, had had many college theatre roles, had taken acting classes since childhood, and had a great agent in Nashville; however, the training I received at Chattanooga State is unlike anything else I have ever known. The two-year program is designed to create an autonomous actor. Why does this matter? Doesn’t every educational program encourage autonomy? In a word: no. The PATP training is highly specialized, sensitive, and magnanimous. Through rigorous work in scene study and improvisation, a culture of free self-expression, self-exploration, and emotional generosity weaves a small group of people together forever, beyond the span of two short years. Did I become a better actor? Undoubtedly. I filled my toolbox with the essential practical skills that make me feel easily prepared for any performing situation. The best reward, however, is that my perception as an artist and human being was truly cultivated in that time. The training is absolutely professional and intimately personal. What makes it special cannot be conveyed literally. It can only be felt first-hand.