Rawlanda Hercules ’20

Rawlanda Hercules sits at the piano

Music feeds my soul

The multi-talented Rawlanda Hercules ’20 has been performing all her life. Growing up, she listened to and sang the music her mother, a child of the 1970s, loved. Performing religious skits at church and later full-fledged productions in elementary school was the foundation of Rawlanda’s love for acting. “When middle school rolled around, I began to see how my performances impacted other people. I played the lead role in our talk-show-esque performance for a gala at Richards Middle School. After the performance, someone came up to me and said I could be the next Oprah Winfrey! As I continued to act and sing, I realized I could make a difference in people’s lives. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a performer.”

When considering her major, Rawlanda considered the two things she loved most, theatre and music. “I recognized that I would need a specific skill set to succeed as a performer. I wanted to combine practical and theoretical skills for both majors into one; therefore, the two majors separately would not be the best choice for me.” She met with professors and advisors, and set forth a proposed list of requirements for a major that would satisfy her aspirations. It took minor tweaking, but in the end she got full approval for her self-designed major: music-theatre. “When I graduate, I can go into any music- or theatre-related field. I could become an actress on stage or screen, a teacher of theatre or music, a vocalist, composer, or musical artist.” 

Rawlanda has performed in three shows and directed one during her time at Wesleyan. In 2018 she played Pearl in These Shining Lives, Teacher in the student-written show All in One, and Sister Mary Hubert in the musical Nunsense. She directed “The Larson Plays”, a series of short, comedic scenes. Recently she performed the National Anthem for a Macon Mayhem hockey game.

Hailing from Columbus, Georgia, Rawlanda is the second person in her family to earn the prestigious full-tuition, room, and board Corn Scholarship. Sister Seychelle graduated in 2018. Currently serving as president of the honor society Alpha Lambda Delta, Rawlanda is also a member of Black Student Alliance, theatre club, and the tennis team, and serves as a resident advisor, a peer mentor, and a peer tutor. 

So what is her dream job/career goal? “My dream job and career goal are very different. My dream job is to be a working actor and musical artist. My career goal is to found a performing arts school for underprivileged youth. No one should be at a disadvantage based on their socioeconomic status. I want to encourage youth to embrace their talents.”

This article ran in WESmag Spring 2019 issue.


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