is this thing on?

Hello! *tap tap* Is this thing on? Welcome to my very first blog post. 

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I've never been one for new years resolutions, and I've never felt as if a new year brought a new me. Somehow that changed for me at the turn to 2018.

I've never felt a stronger urge to floor the gas pedal. I've been out of school now for close to 9 months, drifting from project to project, held 3 different jobs, and having absolutely zero idea what I was going to use my degree for. It took 3 years and 9 months of calling myself an artist to find the words to articulate how and why.

Film school was an entirely different experience than I was expecting. With 20 credits a semester and 2-3 jobs at a time, I honestly was going to my classes with a clouded mind full of frustration, doubt, and worry. The phrase, "sorry I can't, I'm busy" was ready on my lips at all times. With my social life consisting only of my roommates (who are amazing don't get me wrong), late-night television, red vines, and my cat Lana, I questioned my studies every day. Why was I paying thousands of dollars for a stressful life without the energy or time to fully immerse myself in a creative lifestyle. I wanted to be a filmmaker. I wanted to be a storyteller. But so far, the only stories I knew were about a stressed out college student with bad eating habits.

My 2nd semester I took a course called "Intro to Storytelling." I've been thinking about this course more now, two years later, than I ever did whilst enrolled in it. I had no expectations, other than "oh great, more work." It was taught by Professor Lance Gharavi, a man whose presence demanded attention and brought excitement into any room he entered. He had an energy more tangible than any other educator I had encountered. Wild tangly hair, large expressive eyes, extravagant hand gestures, and an Oprah-like passion for storytelling. I enjoyed his class immensely but as one of my last classes of the week I usually felt more exhausted than inspired. Most of my most basic knowledge of storytelling in engrained in my mind from his course: story structure, tropes, perspective etc. All things I had obviously learned previously in all my english classes growing up, but somehow newly re-imagined. Despite merely stumbling through all my classes and just trying to survive these simple building blocks of storytelling held new meaning for me in a way I did not yet understand. 

After graduation, in the midst of my quarter-life crisis, I began reviewing my courses and all my studies - with questions like:  "Do I even deserve this BFA?" "Did I learn anything?" "Am I even qualified to be out in the workforce?" "How can I call myself an artist when I've barely created anything?" 

I thought about Gharavi's class and how badly I wanted to have the passion and drive he had. I had the basic skills, but no stories to tell. I sped through college thinking all I needed was a degree, when in reality I sacrificed so many life experiences for an A on a paper. Don't get me wrong, education is invaluable and I'm glad I got an A on that paper. But I also wish I had camped in a National Forest during spring break and edited a travel video out of it. I wish I had asked that girl I met in FMS 394 to produce our crazy screenplay idea with me. I wish I had taken on more set jobs and taken more chances. I wish I had taken more advantage of the help  my parents offered so I didn't have to work 3 jobs that I hated and drained the soul from my body. But there is no use in "i wish."

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Since graduation I premiered a feature length documentary that I filmed, produced, and edited in college. I travelled to Peru and hiked Macchu Picchu. I worked as a photographer/videographer and counselor at a major summer camp in the Poconos Mountains. I began working at my favorite retail store, Buffalo Exchange, not because it had anything to do with photo or film, but because I love it. I started carrying my camera around, everywhere. I decided to be happy

I'm an artist who wants to tell stories worth telling, which requires me to live some stories worth telling. I hope you'll join me, cause I'm gonna tell them whether you like it or not.