My plans for my future are constantly changing and developing. Of course, they always include acting, but my eyes have been opened to all of the reasons I love the art form and all of the places I can take it. I have always love psychology and known that I wanted to incorporate the help profession in with my love for acting. What has been revealed to be since I have been at school is the idea that I may want to teach. I want to reach people, and I absolutely love speaking and discussing with people younger than me, namely middle school and younger high schoolers. I am passionate about people and seeing them find freedom. I am reminded daily how big of an impact high school theatre had on my life, and that is a gift I want to give back. That may be in a school setting or that may be in a prison or detention setting or even in therapy, but I know I want to use art to reach the hearts of others.
I love to imagine. I am often caught in the middle of a daydream, disoriented and disappointed by the interruption. I love creating and imagining new things, new ideas, new plans for the future. I do, although, have trouble organizing those thoughts into attainable aspirations. I’m not good at planning or always getting things done efficiently, but I want to.
I love to communicate with people. I love to share stories and hear stories. I love to discover new truths about people. I want to use this skill to connect to people, to find out what a small world this place really is.
I am flexible. I tend to go with the flow; I actually prefer it that way. I am very indecisive and passive. I don’t like having the burden of making decisions, and I know that my ability to be flexible is just the positive slant of a problem with being indecisive.
In a lot of cases, these skills are positive but can have a negative impact on my overall success in working with a company.
We all long to see and to be seen. I act because it teaches me how to see. I have the privilege of seeing life through a different set of eyes every time I step on stage. I get to experience empathy, empathy for people’s stories, stories that tell the truth. I act because I am passionate about people, about understanding people, and about truly seeing people. I want to combine by love for people and the help profession with the power I have found in acting. There is no other art form that moves and touches with such immediacy and intensity.
I don’t like to think of myself as lazy. I despise the word, complacent. It is an ugly state of being, and something I fear. Sometimes I fear it so much that I find myself idolizing productivity and despising days that aren’t productive. Productivity looks different to me than accomplishing a to-do list. I’m actually not a fan at all of to-do lists. I’m more a fan of yes, getting done what I need to, or spending really quality time with a friend, or having time for myself that I know I need. I guess I like having something to show for or significant to share about my day. I receive love through words of affirmation, and I like to be affirmed that what I am doing is valuable. This can lead to encouraging relationships or a severe reliance on people that, as per human nature will at some point let me down, as I will them. I want to impact people with my art, with the way I interact with them. If I was the only doing this for myself, what a lonely life I would lead! Ultimately, I believe I have a calling on my life to impact people through acting, and I don’t know specifically what that means, but not knowing makes it so much more motivating to learn and to grow. I have so much to learn. I have so much to learn from my professors, from my friends, my family, my peers, from people I know as no more than an acquaintance.
I am definitely someone who needs quiet time every day. I don’t always make time for it, and I can significantly pick out the days that I don’t make it a priority. It is so important for me to center myself and be filled up before I can even attempt to pour into other people. My best creativity comes from moments I get to process alone. I love collaboration, and I need it as an artist. My heart just also needs quiet processing time.
I get distracted. I get distracted by comparison and self-consciousness and discouragement. That is why it is a daily battle to find my purpose. Even though epiphany has happened, I find myself getting complacent in that one when there are new epiphanies to be had ever day. I am journeying. I am growing.
I am motivated by beauty, by growth, by relationships, by newness, by strength, by the quiet, by excitement, by the touching of lives, by uniqueness, by community.
I walk around SMU, around Dallas, around Knoxville, around anywhere. I walk around, and I am exposed. I am vulnerable to the evil of comparison. I am competitive. I am insecure in my unique gifts and talent, and it is made known through my constant comparison. I firmly believe that the Lord has given me a unique gift in my talent for acting and my passion for the arts, but in the company of unbelievable talent, I am shaken. I’m not in high school anymore. In so many ways, that fact has come back to hit me in the face. It hurts. I’m not comfortable. I have been stripped of my community and my “status” in my high school theatre program. Theatre for me has always been about reaching people, reaching the audience and reaching my fellow cast and crew. I believe that all of this, this school, this opportunity, this experience of growth, was brought forth from a gift. How else can I respond to it but with a gift of honor in return. I want to succeed, yes, but success is not necessarily a multitude of money and lavish praise. Success is building community and making beautiful, touching art. The only way I can count on being successful is by performing for an audience of one, the only one that will always approve of me. It is of the utmost importance that the art I take part in is honoring to God. That doesn’t mean that I want to limit myself to only working with Christian companies and Christian productions, but I never want to get to a place where I am treating acting like a right and a means of making money instead of the gift that it is.
August 26, 2012
As I sit down to write this blog, my natural tendency is open it in a witty, perhaps unconventional way to grab your attention. I think as humans we are hard-wired to believe we must prove or earn our uniqueness, or give people a reason to notice us. If only we could all see that we enter the earth as unique beings. We are innately unique. What a gift! So I will not force out a humorous hook, because that is someone else’s gift, not mine. And I am not in the business of pretending; I’m an actor.
I act because God has given me a calling. I thank Him for the gifts I have, and in obedience, I go out into the world to reach people through what I regard to be the most accessible medium. God has made complacency my enemy, and I refuse to ignore the call I have been given for fear that I might fail. I have, and I will. But fear will not cripple me. And as I am 841 miles from my beloved hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, I must trust even deeper in my calling. I am desperate to share the art of theatre, and I am in love with the journey I am on.
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