My Epiphany (Or How I Figured Out What I Want to do with My Life) This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

December 3, 2013
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The fascination with the concept, creation, world, and character building found within television shows or movies has never been new. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been an avid film enthusiast. While other kids went out to play tag or walk around the block, I stayed in and added to my collection of TV shows and movies. My parents fondly called it laziness, I called it studying. It wasn’t, however, until Sophomore year’s seventh period Advanced Honors English class that I truly realized what I wanted to spend my life doing: writing as a screenwriter for TV shows and movies. I’ll narrow the discovery of my passion into three major parts, or ‘phases’ as I like to call them: accepting an award for screenwriting, being constantly obsessed with rewriting scripts in my favorite television shows, and pondering my inane talent for movie trivia.

Like most teenagers, I had a myriad of career choices I was absolutely sure I wanted to spend my life doing: marine biologist, dolphin trainer, FBI agent, and surgeon. If it’s a career, I probably invested my time in trying to be one. English class that day opened my eyes. We had been studying Greek tragedies, common for a sophomore. But my teacher had us do something new. She had us script, direct, plot, and design a skit modernizing what the Greek Tragedy Kings had perfected hundreds of years before. In short, I loved it. I adored almost single-handedly writing the script, I loved collaborating with my team members deciding what we were going to dress up as; and I discovered that I was pretty good at it. We took home the Academy Award that day (well, Academy Award picture taped onto a paper bag) for best play. I realized then that all of those careers I had strived to be when I was younger? They all stemmed from TV shows I had seen or books I had read. They were all fantasized in my head. But acting out the play that my group and I had written, I truly understood my passion was writing and directing invented scenarios. Sort of like make believe as a career.

As an ardent TV and movie watcher, I have come across films and shows that have everything they could ever hope to have. They have big budgets, attractive leads, well –equipped set designs; but one thing they lack and eventually lead to the shows demise? A terrible script. The script is crucial to a film or TV show’s success. When I, as a sixteen year old, am confident that I can write the script better than college graduated, professional screenwriter, the show has a problem. A specific example of this would be my once favorite show, The Vampire Diaries. It had everything a successful show needed in its first three seasons. It had compelling characters, storylines, and the perfect blend of action and romance. Then it all went downhill. Compelling characters turned whiney, storylines suddenly didn’t make sense; the show basically turned into soap opera. That was when my passion for writing began to take serious forefront of my mind. I began re-writing scenes in my head, fixing plot holes, and eventually having to stop watching the show. But that did not stop me from fixing the scripts in my mind. If anything, it encouraged me to write more and more until suddenly, I was performing that Greek tragedy play in the middle of English class.

When watching a movie, most people’s attentions are firmly on the movie presented. Not mine. I’m constantly flitting in between watching the movie, wondering how the writers came up with this witty one-liner, or that intricate plot twist, or reciting the movie’s trivia and fun facts that I had read before even going out to see the movie. Sometimes, it can be exhausting having to multitask when I’m meant to be watching a movie. But that part of my brain that cannot turn off during the movies feeds my passion for the film industry. It also feeds my newfound ambitions. My passion led to a whole new world of options available. I’m suddenly thrust into viewing colleges that look fun as well as good academics; as opposed to the stuffy schools I thought I had to put myself through for an eventual job.

My discovery has seemingly saved myself a lot of time and money studying careers that I now see I was never really passionate about. But now that I understand who I am, I’m confident that someday –when I’m standing on a big stage accepting either and Emmy or an Academy Award- I’ll reflect back on my sophomore teacher’s seventh period class and thank her for allowing me to unlock the part of myself that wasn’t fully realized beforehand.

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