Composition For The Artist

13 Mar

This is a paper I had to write for my Composition For The Artist class…

Who Me?

I was 14 years old the first time a stranger called me ornery. I was sitting with my older sister in her guidance counselors office while she signed up for high school classes. I no doubt made some remark about the cramped office and how the counselor, Mrs. Snowburger, still managed to stuff eighty-seven little cat figures into every nook and cranny of the space, I counted. Or maybe it was the comment I made under my breath about her last name, it was probably almost definitely one of those two things that led her to the conclusion that I’m ornery. When my mother came home from work that evening I told her what the counselor had said and asked her what it meant, because at the time I didn’t know. My mothers first reaction was to laugh. Partly because she knew it was the truth but also because looking down at the wide-eyed scrawny 14-year-old in front of her she knew without a doubt I was indeed her daughter.

I was born in Wiesbaden Germany on January 6th 1987. Growing up my father was in the Army, so we did a lot of travelling. I’ve lived everywhere from New York to Louisiana to Colorado and so many places in between. My mother was a part-time stay at home mom and a part-time whatever job should could get wherever we happened to be living at the time mom. I was raised in a house with all girls apart from my father. I have an older sister that’s a year older than me and a sister that’s six years younger than me. My older sister and I grew up very close. Having to move around every few years and say goodbye to all of our friends, she was the only friend who never left.

My parents got divorced when I was thirteen. That is usually a pretty traumatizing event in any childs life but really it was the opposite for my family. My parents splitting up was the best thing for my mother and once the divorce was finalized she moved my two sisters and myself from Colorado to Nebraska where she took a job running a restaurant and a chance to start over. With the divorce came seeing my father less and less, when he decided to leave my mother he chose to leave us kids as well, which I suppose is the case for some people.

By the time I graduated I had attended five different high schools. Not because I ever got expelled or in trouble in school but because we kept bouncing from place to place. In fact in school I just kept my head down and did the minimum that was required of me to get the heck out of there. I graduated a semester early just so I didn’t have to be in school anymore. I remember my counselor bringing me into his office one day and telling me I had enough credits to graduate the following month if I wanted to. He told me I had to have a really good reason for doing so though, so I made up this lame excuse about needing to work more at my job to save money to attend college the following fall. He didn’t need to know that I already worked full-time or that I had no plans to attend college, like ever.

I had no idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up until five years out of high school. People had always told me I should be a stand up comedian or something like that but the idea of public speaking for a living completely freaks me out. I was living in Omaha Nebraska and working as a manager at a job that I could have very easily made a career out of when I finally realized I wanted to be a screenwriter. I had always enjoyed writing and for whatever reason people seem to think I’m funny. My initial interest was to do sitcom writing but as I explore writing more and more my interests keep broadening.

I know it’s really lame but it was the show Dawson’s Creek that first made me even think about writing for television. There was just something about those characters and the relationships build over the six season span of the show that made it click that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to write relatable characters like that and build relationships that really made you care about the actors as if you really knew them. With being a screenwriter for television you get to spend a lot of time with your characters and develop them into whoever you want them to be.

I got married in 2009 to the only person in the world that would move across the country just to help me follow my dreams. Almost two years ago my husband and I both quit our jobs, packed up and headed for California. We didn’t have a place to live or jobs to replace our old ones, we just kind of leaped head first. When we moved here I still wasn’t really ready to go to school, but after exploring the industry and looking into schools I finally decided I wanted to go to The Academy Of Art University in San Francisco. The main thing that drew me to this particular school was the fact that they don’t just teach you your major, you also get to learn every aspect of the entertainment industry, which really interests me. This is my third semester at the Academy and I honestly love it. Some people know exactly what they want to be from a young age but I’m glad I waited to go to school until I was sure of what I wanted to be. Until I was sure the debt would be worth it. For the first time in a long time I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and doing exactly what I’m meant to be doing.

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I didn’t get to move all across the country when I was little, I wouldn’t have met my husband if I had taken that job offer to run my own restaurant for the company I was working for, and I certainly wouldn’t be me if you couldn’t tell after minutes of meeting me that I’m without a doubt, incredibly ornery.


One Response to “Composition For The Artist”

  1. Cassandra March 14, 2013 at 6:03 am #

    I love you!!! And yes, you are most definitely ornery! I can’t believe you still remember that crazy ladies name!! I’m so happy for you for figuring out what you want in life and going for it.

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