Thursday, September 8, 2011

Armed with a Theater Degree

I'll be totally honest and admit I was a little bit worried about going in to a VISTA assignment after having spent four years studying theater. I also studied history and religious studies but primarily my time was spent on, behind, or directing a stage. It became apparent to me somewhere during my Junior year at UWF that I was not destined for a life in the arts.I thought I knew that in high school but couldn't let go of that small flame which led me to declare the major in college. Of course, scholarships are always a great incentive to choose a major too! I spent sometime praying over it, asking why so many years of my life would be spent training and practicing a craft that would not become my living. And not just college. When I say YEARS, I mean I've been involved with productions in some way since Kindergarten. That's the majority of my life and certainly almost as long as I can remember. So you might be able to imagine why it took some time for me to accept that the stage was not my destiny.

Singing to a bunch of "fruit" in Goblin Market at UWF. Theater definitely opens the door to some unique opportunities. 
Then I became worried that not only was I not going to use all the training I had received but that I was ill prepared to enter other subjects. I wont become a microbiologist, or an engineer, or any other such highly specialized and trained field. I can sing. I can act. And I try to dance. It would seem the field of dreams would be quite narrow. That was when I realized how fortunate I am to have lived the life I've been blessed with using the skills and abilities God has given me.

A theater major is unique. It automatically says "This person can think outside the box. This person can work under pressure. This person can work as a team. This person has a skill set that not many others can claim." I'm proud of my theater degree. I may never be able to become the next Albert Einstein. But I can use my public speaking skills and stage presence to make presentations and call attention to such things as domestic violence. I am able to make an artistic display to convey the emotions of a situation, rather than trying to rely on simple words. Theater teaches you how to communicate with the world in a level beyond that of any other. I would encourage anyone considering a major outside of the "norm" to go with your passion. You may not become the next Picasso, but who knows what other ways you will be able to use your skills. God wouldn't have given them to you if He didn't have something in mind for them.

I now see that God did not have me waste years of my life on a skill I would never use, but took me in a direction that would prepare me for all He had in store for me. It's a crazy feeling when you catch a glimpse of the bigger picture and think "Man am I glad I didn't miss out on this."

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