I have a knack for understanding instructions and carrying them out. I’m a hard worker and I’m dedicated to a quality product. I am able to sense subtleties in people that help me to be better equipped to deal with them. I’m from the South, so I know how to write a good thank-you note. I pay attention to detail and I try to be as thoughtful as possible. I’m not petty or self-absorbed. I absolutely adore my family.
I’m able to push myself physically. I can draw well. I understand English and enjoy writing, and I generally do well on papers.
I could use work in the self-control area, and I also think I could do a better job of owning my opinions and who I am in general. I’m not fantastic at working with other people—sometimes, in certain cases, I would prefer to work independently. However, whenever I’m part of a group, I’m generally the one who steps up to lead, unless I feel like I’m not in a position of power (like if I’m the youngest among veterans). I have no problem being enthusiastic about things that some people are “too cool” for (like Mustang Corral).
I have a sound moral compass and a good head on my shoulders. I’m eager to learn new and more things in any field, because I want the most liberal of arts educations for myself.
Blog 6: My (Tentative) Plan
Where Am I Now?
An objective look at my current situation: I am a 19-year-old freshman theatre major in an exclusive audition-based program at Southern Methodist University, one of 24 current members of the graduating class of 2016. My experience here consists of one show, for which I have been the ensemble crew. I have also participated in 2 directing scenes. There has not been an abundance of publicity for me as an actor. Skills that I can count as my own: I have a strong work ethic; I mesh well with many types of people; I have always done well in school (and I am on a scholarship here); I can draw and paint proficiently; I believe myself to be capable of learning and adapting quickly. Weaknesses include a still-developing sense of identity, tendency to over-commit, struggle with time-management, and any sort of ballet.
Obviously, the department is a very competitive environment, as is most of the working artist’s world. My dream, to use Jose Bowen’s phrase, is shared by many, but only a small fraction will achieve it. My competitive advantage is my ability to take direction, my humongous mouth that shows up well from the stage, and my propensity to visual design, which I want to use on set or costuming projects in the future. I can read music, sing, and play the piano and flute.
My Mission and Vision
I would be happy with many outcomes to my artistic journey at this point. So I will propose a few different missions and visions.
First, I could see myself working for a company as a designer, actor, playwright, etc. Really any capacity that I fill well in light of the composition of the working group I would be happy to perform, as long as I’m contributing to the theater in a positive way. I don’t really mind if it’s not a huge, well-known group, either, as long as I’m a part of a group that is passionate about living in the community and sharing the theater in its most honest, rich and giving capacity. I could even see myself working in my hometown at one of our community theaters; I would love to promote the arts in Mobile, Alabama, because let’s be real: they could use some serious attention.
Second, I could see myself as a theater critic! I would love to live in Chicago or New York and write about plays all day long. Now I have absolutely no idea how one goes about becoming a respectable critic, but hey, that’s what dreams are all about—all ends, no means. Right? Right.
Third (and yes, the placement of this as the last option is intentional), I would not mind being a teacher—at the college level. I do NOT want to teach high school or middle school. I would like to be an English professor or maybe even an acting teacher (maybe). This option would have to happen after I had lived my life a little, perhaps once I decide to start a family and need a more stable schedule for my kids.
How Am I Going To Get There?
Here at SMU, I am pursuing degrees in Theatre Studies and English while also focusing on networking with my peers, many of whom are future professionals and potential collaborators. I want to develop a strong personal style in my writing and learn as much as I possibly can about acting, as well as theater history and literary history and process. And of course, I want to find myself along the way, perhaps in some life-long college friends and future coworkers. I would also love to get some summer internships and possibly participate in the study abroad program in South Africa where Meadows teams up with a South African University and puts upWest Side Story, apartheid-style. That would be sweet.
How Will I Know When I Have Arrived?
When Things Are Typed About Me In Newspapers. And I Have Lots Of Money. Just Kidding! I will know I have arrived…probably never. I suppose I’ll feel like I’ve “landed” if I find myself in any of those three possible visions, but even then I doubt I’ll declare myself “arrived” because that implies that my work is done. If there’s one thing my mother has taught me, it’s the value of life-long learning. I never want to stop maturing and learning as long as I live, and I don’t think there will ever be a day when I can say to myself, “You’ve contributed enough to the arts. Your life purpose is complete. Congratulations!” That would just be depressing, because then what else would I do with myself? I hope I never arrive, so that I’ll continue to thrive. J