Everything is Connected

Before I decided to pursue writing as a career, I studied acting. As I study another angle of art, I often find that mediums and outlets are all part of the same whole. I have learned more about writing from the theater than from writing classes just as I have found love and appreciation for performance when working on my writing.

The other day I was in my fiction class and we discussed To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf. I found myself analyzing the content and form the way I would a script. I asked about given circumstances, such as the time period and the implications on society that it held. How did those implications (gender roles, religious expectations, and so forth) effect the way the characters either behaved or thought about the world around them? I also related the modernist work to the realist movement in theater. Realism often deals with the inner struggles and darkness of ordinary men and women told through a rather mundane narrative. Woolf’s characters in To the Lighthouse deal with issues of mortality (of both body and work), relationships, their roles in society, insecurity, and so on. However, not much happens through the course of the novel.

This sort of cross relation occurs frequently in my studies. I am still considered a theater major with a writing minor, so I encounter both on a regular basis. Every time connections are made, I am in wonder of how closely related all art is. Artists are artists in the soul, not just in dead. We all just choose a medium to express whatever it is we feel needs expressing.

At the end of each semester, acting majors have to go to an evaluation of sorts. We sit at a conference table with all the acting faculty and talk about the work we’ve done in the past twelve weeks. I’ve gone through five of those evaluations. I remember specific comments. When I took voice class, I showed my professor drawings and writings I had done that were inspired by experiences in class. At the meeting, she told me I had the “soul of an artist.” Others around the table nodded. I was flattered.

A year later, another of my professors told me he wasn’t sure I wanted to be an actor. He said I could be, just that he didn’t know that that was where my passion was. I wrote the comment off for another semester when he told me the same thing.

Summer came around. I should have been preparing for auditions, but I didn’t do it. Instead,  is spent my free time watching writing lectures online.

I laughed. My professor was right.

I sometimes miss acting, but when I realize that all art is from the same source, I am reassured. Just as my theater peers produce art on the stage, I produce art on the page.

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Encountering a Master

I love hearing about artists who are completely devoted to their craft. Their hard work is inspirational. I realize that I have not given over to my chosen art yet and I desire to do so. Right now I’m at a loss for words (which seems detrimental to a writer) but I do want to say, damn. I am amazed.

Now Hiring…As Long As You’ve Got Experience

The “real world” seems like an impending yet elusive phantom. I am in my final semester of undergrad and all I can think about is what happens the moment I assume the title of college graduate. I know this sounds entitled, but shouldn’t a degree allow me to get a full-time job in my career track? Unfortunately, I’m feeling that it doesn’t. I applied for a summer teaching job, had an interview, and was turned down. I have to go back to the beginning, looking for some company that needs a writer to do whatever. So far, the job postings I’ve seen have been daunting.

“Seeking writer with at least 5 years experience in technical writing.” “Must have 4 years of professional experience in proposal writing.”

Not I.

There is a direct correlation between the decrease in my hope and the increase in my time spent playing the Sims. My character’s life goal is to be a professional writer. So far, she has 4 novels out and makes $800 a week in royalties. She has a cat and an amazing house. She never had to send query letters or write synopses of her work. Publishes paid her for each chapter she finished.

My character has never had a real job. I just type in a cheat code and watch the money pour in. Her bills are paid on time. She doesn’t have to worry about rent. Her life is pretty easy.

No wonder I enjoy controlling her life. Lately I feel I cannot always control mine.

If my Sim were a real person, I bet she wouldn’t feel very satisfied. If my life were as easy as hers, I may not feel that I’ve earned it. I’m proud of my grades because I put in the work to get them. The money I get biweekly is money I earned. So then the job I eventually land will be a job I sought and the writing I publish will be a tribute to the hours I spent hounding publishers. Hopefully.

And if all else fails, I can get a cat.

 

My Own

Ukulele FrontToday was a good day.

It began simply with a hearty breakfast and one of my favorite t.v. shows. I was surprised when the doorbell rang. My aunt and uncle had sent my a birthday gift. My uncle hand makes guitars as a hobby and I have always wanted one. My parents have other wood nick-knacks he’s made them, but I have never seen one of his instruments up close. Until today.

In a securely packaged box sat a soprano ukulele made for me. It’s beautiful. The back and sides are constructed out of Indian rosewood. The face is carved of Asian mahogany. The fingerboard is paduak and the head plate is bocote maple. As I ran my fingers over the various woods, I marveled at the time it must have taken for my uncle to create the instrument. I don’t think any present I have ever received has been made this carefully. Though my aunt and uncle live far from me and I rarely see them, I felt a great deal of love when I saw that ukulele. My name was even painted on the back of the head. This instrument is mine, made with care. I think I may be beginning to understand why samurai felt their soul was in their swords. It sounds dramatic, I realize, but I am moved all the same.

I practiced the ukulele until my fingers were too sore to keep going. It’s been a while since I felt so inspired.

I also had a job interview today that seemed to go well. I was nervous when the phone rang. This was my first ever phone interview. I’m pleased with how it went and I’ll know the result in a few weeks.