When I was younger, my sister and I would sit on little plastic chairs in front of a bed comforter hung on the wall, with a camera in front of us, and put on a talk show. Back then, our most exciting topics included our favorite foods, what we planned on wearing to school the next day, the movies we had recently seen, and of course, the importance of Barbies. We would sit in front of the camera for hours discussing these arguably mundane things that we found interesting and important, somehow thinking that our imaginary audience would soon become loyal fans. When I was seven years old, this was called playtime.
Years later, I’m still standing in front of the camera discussing what I find to be interesting and important, only at age twenty it’s now called news reporting.
Who am I? I’m a junior at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in broadcast journalism and theatre (concentration on acting). I’m twenty years old and heavily involved in the sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi, Communication Council, and Texas Student Television, where I am a volunteer/reporter/anchor/photographer/all of the above (though we sum up these positions with the title ‘Associate Producer’) for KVR News, Austin’s leader for live, local, UT coverage (yes this is our tag line, no it does not make it any less true).
In seventh grade we had to do a project on where we wanted to go to college and what we would study there. My poster, and I am not making this up, presented Journalism at the University of Texas. Though it’s far from one of those heart-wrenching, coming-of-age, deciding where to start spending the rest of my life stories, it’s nonetheless a very true fact that I was an aspiring reporter, and a longhorn, from a young age.
That same year, I went to see the movie “Rent” with my family in theaters. I was already heavily involved in theatre in junior high, having acted in several performances, and had seen a musical or two (exactly two, actually: “Mamma Mia!” and “The Lion King”), but was in no way prepared for the excitement, enjoyment, and sheer love I felt for the musical unfolding in front of me that evening at the movies. From the opening bars of the title song, to the closing lines of “No Day But Today,” I was hooked. Sure, it was a little eccentric for a thirteen year old to dance in her room to songs with lines about sex and drugs, just as it may have been a tad strange for this same girl to dress up as the characters with her younger sister and attempt to recreate the movie (complete with her ten year old sister dressing as provocatively as possible in an attempt to reenact Mimi’s “Out Tonight”), but it wouldn’t be very far off to say I had found my calling. Without the voice for musical theatre (unfortunately), I was happy to merely become a fan of Broadway.
Over eight years later, that revelation has turned into multiple trips to New York City, autographs from Sutton Foster, Andrew Rannells, Laura Bell Bundy, Jeremy Jordan, and more talented and well known Broadway stars, and tickets to countless musicals, both on Broadway and around the country. I am (finally) unashamed to admit that Glee and show tunes take up the majority of space on my iPhone, and signed Playbills adorn my college apartment. I could probably recite every word to musicals such as “Newsies,” “Spring Awakening,” and “Wicked,” amongst others, and will gladly accompany you to any musical, whether I’ve seen it once or four times.
The amazing thing about theatre is that it can prepare you for so many jobs outside of acting. As a theatre student and actress, I have gained the confidence and charisma it takes to work as a news reporter or anchor on television. I can take what I’ve learned all through high school about working as a company, staying focused during rehearsals, and marketing an upcoming show and apply it to the comrodery and work ethic we have at KVR News. I can successfully tell a story; whether it be as a character with the mission to tell a playwright’s story, or as a reporter telling audience members breaking news across the city. I can also tell a story through my blog. Through this blog, I hope to network, share my passions, work towards my goal of being a reporter, and, at the end of the day, simply tell you some stories.
Thanks for reading, and more to come 🙂