Are You What You Want to Be?

Throughout the course of my life, I’ve always known that I love to perform. But I never really thought of the activities I did as performing. I just wanted to have fun doing whatever I did and I always had the energy to compete. I have always felt the urge to do anything and everything that I can. Whether it was dancing on the stage at a dance recital, front row with a bowl cut, or getting on base for my team to start off a game.

My parents described me as charismatic, enthusiastic, and multi-talented watching me grow up and be involved in the activities I was in. They’ve told me how energetic I’ve always been since I could walk. They constantly reminded me of my potential and complimented me on my accomplishments. From what they said, I could do anything I put my mind to. These were all traits I never took into consideration when asking myself who I wanted to be. Instead, these are aspects about myself that will shape me into who I want to be.

Going into college, I had a completely different idea of what I wanted to do as a career than I do now. I applied for colleges with the idea of becoming an athletic trainer. I got into the kinesiology program out of high school at Humboldt State when I planned to play softball there. Realizing that my strong suit wasn’t science or math, I left that major behind. In fact, I left everything behind there. I transferred to Yavapai College, a junior college in Prescott, Arizona, with new ideas for myself.

I had talked to my dad about my doubts of being an athletic trainer, and he could agree that the subjects that were required for that major, weren’t my best. He also reminded me my strengths and what I have been talented at up until that point in my life. He has been my coach in softball from t-ball to high school, along with being my mentor and dad, so I was positive he would know what would be best for me to look into.

He suggested sports reporting, because of my ability to write well, my personality, and my love for sports. Sports played a major role in life ever since I was little girl and I was just about to play softball at the college level. This career would make it possible for me to use my outgoing personality and stay involved in sports in a different way. I got to thinking, and knew his idea made sense for me. I intended to do it.

My two years at my junior college, I was set on the idea of being a sports reporter. It excited me to picture myself in that career, especially since my friends and family all could envision it as well. When it was time for me to transfer for softball to a four-year university, I looked for schools with media programs specializing in television and broadcasting. Recruited by and accepted into the Radio and Television program by Mercy College, I was one step closer.

My eagerness was through the roof, to move to New York and finally be able to take classes for my major. The first semester I began taking classes, I was hooked and I knew I made the right decision to be a part of that program. I was entertained, engaged, and excited to learn knowledge for my future. I began to see different possibilities for myself- the options were endless and my thoughts were running wild.

I enrolled in journalism classes and discovered a reborn love for writing. I never considered writing to be what I was best at, but my teachers and parents seemed to like the pieces I wrote when I did write. Writing my thoughts down on paper was comfortable for me. In these classes, there was no essay prompts-  the kind of writing in my journalism classes involved being creative and writing about other people’s stories. I thought to myself, could this be another option for me?

Keeping that in the back of my mind, I decided to enroll in a different secondary concentration class since I had only taken journalism classes in that section of my degree. I enrolled in Introduction to Acting, something that I had been wanting to test the waters in for awhile.

Since I transferred in my fall semester as a junior, I had always thought about the possibility of acting since it was suitable for my major. I was eager for this semester to start to see how I would do in this field. I had mentioned it to my best friend to see what she would say and she told me to go for it. It got to the point where I would dream about acting, without even taking a class before. This wasn’t the only time where I had dreams of doing this. When I was younger, this far fetched dream had faded away into the distance and was forgotten.

I remember hearing radio advertisements in the car when I was in my early teens about auditions for Disney Channel. I got this weird excitement inside, thinking I should go and try, even though I didn’t have the slightest clue what I was doing. I had performed in athletics, cheerleading, singing, and dance, but the only experience I had acting was being in The Music Man and Seussical the Musical when I was in middle school. And so, without self and parental encouragement, for something that seemed so unrealistic, I didn’t do it.

I remember stepping on the stage in the lecture hall for the first acting class of the semester. I was shy when Prof. Palmeri had us do our vocal exercises as a class, but I left the class inspired by his passion for acting, and coincidentally, baseball. I came to find that Prof. Palmeri had discovered his love for acting when he was a senior baseball player at Wake Forest- very similar to my story.

Knowing this was the case, I shared my story with him about my ever-changing mind of what I wanted to do and my interest in pursuing performing. His evaluation of my performing and his encouragement to take this path kept me hopeful of my dreams, thinking maybe it was a sign.

Once I started blocking out everything when I performed, I have seen growth in my performing and have been complimented by my classmates and professor on my acting. From this, I have been asked to be in the theatre club and have had the opportunity to work with Prof. Palmeri to find an MFA graduate program that would suit me. I have also found the want to share with my parents and friends about my journey in discovering something new that I’m passionate about. A passion in which my loved ones could picture me pursuing.

My plans aren’t set in stone, but I do know one thing that is. I’m going to continue to be a performer in anything I do and enjoy the journey along the way.