Thesis Thoughts

Photo by Angie Fiedler Sutton

Note: most of this is curtailed from an e-mail to my advisor.

I’ve been thinking about what to do as my master’s thesis. My main goal is to do something that will hopefully look good on a resume and/or in a job search, as when May rolls around, I’d like to think all my time and money ends up helping me with finding a job somewhere.

I know I don’t want it to be writing – or not JUST writing, if that makes sense. I love writing – don’t get me wrong. But I love it the same way I love acting: so much that I’m not sure if I could do only that and not somehow lose what I love about it. I’ve never been good at the whole freelance thing, pitching a story to media I’m only tentatively familiar with. And I have virtually no self-control when it comes to working at home. I need an office to go to in order to get anything done.

On top of that, since November, I’ve really burned out on writing. It’s a combination of personal issues, being burned out on the performing arts, and just not enjoying writing much any more.

I’ve really enjoyed doing what I’ve been doing with KC Stage over the past 10 years, most specifically over the past two years since going to the NEA Fellowship. That producing/editing aspect, where I get to do a little bit of everything: writing, photography, even – as much as I’m not a people person, I tend to be too brusque and have a very low tolerance for idiocy – managing and networking. It’s the same reason I love directing. I love seeing the picture as a whole, to be able to vary what I do from day to day.

As I wrote in my last column for KC Stage, it frustrates me that there is so much ‘drama in drama’ – that there is this sense from a lot of people that the arts are good for you, and therefore must be swallowed like a bitter pill and taken because you have to. Wrapped in that is my frustration of the idea of the pretension of the arts that many people place on it: that it is Art, something that should be placed on a pedestal and admired with awe and not love.

I wish the arts were covered with a little bit more fun, like we see with entertainment news; but at the same time, I hate overall how entertainment news is done, how it’s all about the celebrities and not the craft behind the work (don’t get me started about late night television’s supposed interviews). As obsequious as he is, I love watching James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio (when I catch it) because it’s all about the craft and how that person got to be where they are. It’s exactly what I hope to accomplish when I write up a spotlight for KC Stage.

I think television specifically, and some movies, lately has been overall better and better, and some of the best storytelling that’s out there. Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, Sherlock – even Supernatural and Warehouse 13, while not the best out there, are still tons better than we’ve ever seen on TV before. I also think that webseries are really starting to make a place in the entertainment industry, and there’s some really original and fun stuff that’s being put on the web that is challenging what we think of when we think of consumable media.

I know I want to do something web-related, as I know having web skills (even minimal ones) will make me marketable. And I’ve been leaning towards doing something that is somewhat based on what we’ve already been doing with KC Stage – a community-based arts website (with assuming TV and movies as part of it) – but am thinking that may be too big of a project to tackle.

But I could also see myself doing something that’s more geeky related – covering the arts aspect of fandom (costumes, props, fanfiction, etc.). Geeky stuff is rapidly becoming more and more an area with news coverage.

So, I think something that involves storytelling, and web-based. But other than that, I’m still up in the air.

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