From The Archives,  True Life

Major Changes

Hey, y’all!!
If you haven’t read my post right before this one, I strongly suggest you stop reading this post and read the former first. The first part explains a bit about me and gives you an insight into my reasons for the reason behind this post.

Recently, (like last week…) I made the decision to change my major.
Some of you may be wondering why, when I haven’t even gone through my second Acting proficiency. The reason is not because I may not get into that program, but because I didn’t feel that it was the right path for me to take.
Lately, I’ve been feeling stressed out about what I want to do with my life and where I should go and do. While I love acting, it has never been my actual one true love. More than any other activity, I love singing. However, that isn’t what I want to necessarily do with my life. If I had the opportunity to sing professionally, I would not turn it down, though I don’t want to major in it. (However, that explains singing, not my acting…)
I’d been praying to know if acting was the right path for me to take, but I wasn’t getting an answer. Or so I thought.
With all of the stress I have been feeling (and had felt last semester) I realized that I needed to do something about it. In talking to my faculty adviser (who is also my acting professor this semester) I was able to get a better grasp on what I was doing and what I needed to fix. She told me that I had the potential to “make it” in the major and in the professional world, but that it seemed like I wasn’t fully committed. She advised me to pray about it and find out what the Lord wants me to do.
That talk made me stop and think about how I was praying. I had been praying to know that Acting was right. I wanted it to be right. So, when I realized that I wasn’t really listening by continuing to pray and expecting a sign that it was right, I was able to see where I was in error. I began praying to know the Lord’s will for me and to know what path I should take, not for the path I thought I wanted.
It’s amazing how quickly the Lord can work when you are willing to soften your heart and submit to his will. It was a scary process, but I realized that acting was not the right choice. Now that I have changed majors, I have been able to look backwards and see what exactly was wrong with being being in it.
Before I explain those, I should explain my process.
When I discovered it was time for a change, I looked at the majors I could possibly go into. I ended up narrowing that list to English, History, and Communications with an emphasis in Journalism.

After looking more into each major and praying some more, I found that I fit the best with Communications/Journalism. One of the things that really stuck out to me about it was that over 60% of my total credits would need to come from other areas outside of Communications! This was perfect, especially since I already have so many theatre credits.
From there, I made an appointment with my Academic adviser. (The cool thing is that I will still be in the College of Fine Arts and Communications!) When I met with her, it was to find out if changing to Communications/Journalism (Let’s abbreviate to C/J, shall we?) was even a feasible thing. However, when she told me it was and asked if I would like her to change it, I said yes without realizing that the word was coming out of my mouth! And that’s how it happened.
Now, I will have to take the prerequisites, then apply next Fall to see if I can get into the program. She believes it is possible, since I am a good student. I will also end up with a minor in Theatre and possibly either Editing or English if I need more credits. Though, I will cross that bridge when I come to it. 🙂
Looking at the change from a different perspective, I realize that I made the right decision. I’ve never really “fit in” with the theatre personality. I love those who I have worked with or come in contact with, but I don’t think I’ll ever fully be able to mesh well because of my own personality. I am slightly more logical in some aspects, I am very conservative, and most in the department would say that I am a prude. To me, I feel that my dislike of talking-even in joking terms-about certain subjects just isn’t what I feel comfortable with. I don’t think that I am better, though. I’m just different.
Personality clashes aren’t the only reason, nor is it the biggest, though it is important. I feel that one should connect on more levels than just profession when working together. Yes, in every field of work there will be differences, but generally people with similar personality types will work together. (Hence calling those who love and want to do theatre “theatre people” or classifying math majors as “nerdy” or what-have-you.)
Another reason (which is most likely my biggest reason) is that I don’t feel like I am being heard. When I am acting I am a character, not myself. Because of that, I have to use the character’s voice, not my own. I am intelligent and I like my personality. Being in classes where I am told that I am “smart” and therefore need to “get out of my head” and stop thinking has been hard on me. I like thinking.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand what those things mean in an actor’s world and why it is important to not be in your head. I know that. The thing that bugs me is that I feel like acting is too restrictive for me, when I know others may see it as freeing.
I guess, in a way, I just want to be me.
In my voice production class last Winter we did an exercise where we had to tell the entire class if we wanted to be seen by them and if we wanted them to hear us. I am tired of hiding behind characters. I want to be heard and seen as me, Savannah M. Hawkins. The times when I feel the most passionate are the times when I am able to write my desires and my feelings out. Writing is how I express my emotion. I never realized it fully until this month, but the only thing that matches the feeling I get when I sing because I am happy, than that of writing my own thoughts for others to read, or even just in my own personal journal where I keep the thoughts that are just meant for me. One day, I may even show those things to my posterity, so that they can know me as me.

Being me is one of the most important things I want in life. My relationship with my Father in Heaven and with Jesus Christ is the most important above all. That relationship helps me know who I am and what my divine heritage is. That knowledge of who I am helps me grow closer to God. It’s a beautiful, wonderful cycle, isn’t it?
I want to be seen. I want to be heard. I want others to know who I am and what I stand for. I can’t do that with acting as someone else or by pretending to do something. I want to do. I want to stand up and say “Hey, world! These are my opinions! I have a voice and I am going to use it!”
My name is Savannah M. Hawkins and I am a redhead who loves singing and wants to be a writer when she grows up. I love reading, crocheting, sewing, dancing (for fun), watching movies, musicals, and plays, children, sometimes people in general, and most importantly I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father who is beginning to realize who she really is. And that is a beautiful thing.

So that’s my post for today. My big announcement, my big secret that I have been itching to tell everyone about, but couldn’t because I didn’t know when the right moment was until now.
If you have any questions about my decision, or my personality, or anything else, please just ask! Don’t infer, don’t assume. If you want to really know me, ASK ME. That’s all you can do. I know there are some out there who feel they know me well, but may not know me as well as they think. This may actually be the majority of you. It’s not a bad thing, but an opportunity to really find out what I am all about. What defines me is how I think and how I act, not the circumstances I came from, nor the place that I am in now. I am defined by who I am, not what I am.
I will give one last disclaimer to all of the “theatre people” I have met: I STINKIN’ LOVE YOU GUYS!!!! If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have made some of the decisions that have led me to this new path if it hadn’t been for your friendship. I have learned many things that I will never ever forget. Also, this isn’t goodbye. I’ll still have classes in the HFAC and we may even see each other in places outside of the HFAC. (Weird thought, isn’t it?)

Now you know! Do with the information what you will. Just know that I am happy. I am scared beyond belief, but I am happy. I know that as long as I follow what the Lord wants me to do, I will be able to do anything necessary and anything I set my mind to. The world is my playground; therefore I shall play.

~Savannah M. Hawkins

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