Since I haven’t posted much lately and I don’t have the motivation to write up my cooking-recipe-food post at the moment, I thought I would give you an update on my USC application in the form of my personal statement. I have to give it a once over for grammar, but otherwise this is the final product. 


Like most children, though perhaps with a greater fervor, I wove stories from and about everything. From the epic struggle between Barbie’s and Beanie Babies, to a crayon masterpiece about talking cars — the first story I ever wrote— storytelling was a part of my life. As I grew, I developed a relationship with stories crafted by other people. I became that oft-depicted, but rarely sighted, child reading from the dim glow of a book-light until the sun rose.

My love for stories, and the act of sharing them, led me to experimentation in multiple mediums. I found my first love in works of prose, a relationship which would spill over into dalliances with poetry. I realized a deep appreciation for the performance of stories existed in me, and six years in a theatre ensemble allowed me to be both author, participant, and viewer—  often simultaneously. Each medium brought something new into my life, and I loved all of them, but I did not truly find my passion until I began writing screenplays. Though I set out to write works that my friends and I might produce over the summer, my final product was often well beyond our production capacity. For a long time I believe writing and directing to be the ideal path for me, but then began my love affair with television…

While I had always been the first to point out errors in a films continuity, or to offer up a critique of an actor’s performance, television inspired new areas of investigation. Perhaps it was the episodic nature, or my familiarity with characters and settings, but something in television sparked my anthropological and sociological interests in a way other mediums had not. I was no longer just asking what is this story saying? I was asking what does this story say about our culture? What does it say about the author and the audience? I began to ask three questions again and again— why do we tell the stories we tell? How do we tell those stories? And, what do those stories say about us? Even a medium as vast as television could not contain these new questions— every piece of work I had created or engaged with needed to be inspected with new eyes.

In many ways those questions became the center of my academic pursuits. They led me to a course in Australian and New Zealand Cinema under the instruction of film and cultural studies scholar, Eva Rueschmann. They also led me to courses in history and philosophy, journalism and creative writing— all in the interest of gaining perspective and new avenues of inquiry. Now my questions have led me to Critical Studies, and the School of Cinematic arts. As a Critical Studies major, I will have more resources than ever before to ask, answer, and complicate my questions. I will be surrounded by students who share my interests, but also have questions and insights of their own. Perhaps best of all, I will be working with faculty who are experts in their field, having devoted their life to the same kinds of inquiries that fill so much of my own life. Critical Studies will be key in helping me prepare for future critical and scholarly work, in sharing my questions and theories with the world. More over, it will create an excellent foundation from which to launch my career in writing and producing for television, so that I might come full circle by shaping and sharing stories of my own.