I can’t believe it’s almost over. One whole year of college is almost behind me. That is almost impossible for me to believe! I probably shouldn’t be getting ahead of myself. I still have a lot to get accomplished in the next few weeks, but registration for next year is coming up soon and it’s made me think about much this year has changed my life. There are so many things that have happened to me this school year that I could never have imagined. It’s just a great reminder that God’s plan IS bigger than my plan. He truly does know the desires of my heart.
For starters, I’m majoring in Media Communications which is a fancy way of saying I wanna make TV. After I visited last year, I was discovered that the program was really what you put into it. But I still thought that it would take a while to get involved and even then I thought maybe I’d be observing people a lot and occasionally doing an easy simple job. Thankfully, this did not prove to be the case. I took TV Comm Lab my first semester, and even then, had a chance to work in many different roles — including Floor Directing!
After Comm Lab was over, I was perfectly okay with continuing to use my time and talent to volunteer at the TV station. I have learned so much this semester because I’ve gotten to pass along knowledge I learned last semester to other students who were taking Comm Lab this semester. Although, I still don’t know everything (obviously) and I still learn new things every time I work, I gained confidence because I knew more of what I was doing and I knew I could help other people learn. I’ve had more opportunities so far than I ever imagined and I’m so thankful for God’s blessing in my journey through life.
But it didn’t stop just for working with the TV station. Because of my hard work, I somehow had the chance to take an upper level, advanced Studio Production class this semester. It’s a class only in the sense that I get credit for it. I would call it more of a learning experience. The whole purpose of the “class” is for 14 students to produce a sitcom. 5 of my classmates wrote and original script and cast the actors; 5 of us are working on the actual production (cameras, lighting, audio, etc.); and 4 students designed the set and costumes and the look of the show. We all chose the group that we wanted to be in and have gotten the chance to fill the role that we really wanted to. I had the great opportunity to direct all the scenes that took place out of the studio (known as field shoots). It was a great learning experience, and ended up being a bigger responsibility because as the script changed, more scenes were decided to be shot out of the studio to make the production easier. Needless to say, it ended up being a bigger job than I thought, but I enjoyed it so much, and enjoyed to opportunity to direct because, if you didn’t know, my goal is to be a director. In addition to field directing, I’m also the floor director for our live taping. This means I relay messages from the studio to the director in the control room, and relay messages from her to the cast and crew in the studio.
The whole semester has been building to this week, because this week we are taping our show, “Keep the Change”, in front of a live studio audience. We have rehearsals all week, and yesterday at our first rehearsal, we were all seeing for the first time what the show will look like on camera, practicing camera angles, and blocking the cameras and actors to get the shots we want. It was hard at first, but as time went on, we really were starting to get the hang of it, and we’ll get better each night that we practice.
Along with this class, I had the opportunity to take a “field trip” to LA over spring break. We toured Dreamworks, CBS, Nickelodeon, and Jimmy Kimmel Live. We also had a chance to be in the studio audience for “The Big Bang Theory”. We were the dorkiest people in the audience. There was an MC there that was supposed to keep the audience entertained and upbeat during the breaks, resets, scene changes, etc. and he was supposed to distract us from paying attention to what was going on on the set. The whole audience was facing the MC to our right and our whole row of Studio Production students and profs were facing left watching the actors, producers, writers and director trying to glean useful tips and tricks for our sitcom! It paid off … we missed all the dorky jokes and instead we picked up a lot little things about producing a sitcom that we would have never learned without this experience.
I am going to miss all of this over the summer when I go home … where am I going to get my production fix when I’m home? What will I do for 4 months?! I’m going to experience withdrawals, that’s for sure. And that is why I know that I’m in the right place in my life. I’m heading in the right direction, and I’ve definitely picked the right major.
Thankfully, next semester will be just as amazing as this semester has been. I’ll continue working with the TV station, and I’m taking more production classes: TV Production (which is technically the prerequisite to Studio Production) and TV News. Both will teach me so much more than I know now, and I’m so looking forward to that. Somehow, God blessed me more again (how and why does he keep doing this?!). When I was meeting with my advisor, he told me that he was thinking of choosing me as one of the two directors. Me?! Really?! He knows that I want to direct and he knows that I was/am thinking about working at a news station, so I’m sure all of that factored into this. But it still floored me. It was completely unexpected. I still am having a hard time believing it.
This is all proof to me that hard work really does pay off! I haven’t asked for these opportunities. I didn’t apply for any special program. I don’t even try and sway people into giving me these chances. I honestly just do what I love to the best of my ability with no expected outcome other than my own learning and the benefit of experience.
This semester has given me so much confidence in myself, in the future, and in God’s plan for me. Father knows best. 🙂