Short Concepts: The Arts and Their Many Meanings (Part Two)

Dennis Sporre, a theater scenic designer and writer, says, “Something happens in which humankind takes chaos, formlessness, vagueness, and the unknown and crystallizes them into form, design, inventions, and ideas. Creativity underlies our existence.”

Taking a blank canvas, be it literal or metaphorical, and filling it with creative forces is inherent for every human. Some people consider this canvas their livelihood, and in my past, I was presented with a blank canvas of my own. After auditioning for a play in my college theater program, I was given two of the roles as part of an ensemble cast.

I had spent more than four years bouncing between three colleges and five majors and still had no goals for the remainder of my life set in place. Through a chance encounter, I found myself on a full ride scholarship to a small community college where I studied acting and script writing. The first show I auditioned for was a play called Almost, Maine by John Cariani. The play consists of nine vignettes, and I was cast in two of them. Going into rehearsals with zero inhibitions, I opened myself to every experience. I wished to soak up every ounce of learning so that I could give the best performance possible.

A few weeks into rehearsal, I discovered a natural talent for acting. I had done some acting beforehand but not to the caliber required for this production. After an intense rehearsal, the director pulled me aside and gave me a few words of advice. She told me I should not allow my emotions to take control of my performance. Conversely, I noticed that those moments where emotions took over, I was expressing myself in ways I had never seen. Never had I imagined the possibility of this level of creativity seeping from my mind.

After our first show, I remember pulling a good friend and fellow castmate aside and telling him this is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. When we took our final bow, a rush of emotions filled my head. Excitement, anxiety, elation, fascination; all of these rushed through my head in a single instant. It felt like a cliché destiny had been fulfilled and the rest of life didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was the way I felt while on that stage. However, in the last few years, those feelings have become lost.

Acting filled me with a sense of livelihood. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pay the bills as well as one would hope. With much despair, I abandoned acting and decided to transcend another path of education and lifestyle. Leaving the world of acting was detrimental to my self-esteem. I promised myself that when I finished school, I would return to acting as a hobby with the hopes of one day accomplishing the same feats and emotions I once felt on a stage. I’m done with school now, but I’m nowhere close to returning to the stage.

Acting is an art. The arts have many different fields and definitions. Finding the immense amount of bottled up energy, emotions, and creativity within myself and then pouring it into a character on a stage is the penultimate form of art in my eyes. I was able to take a blank canvas and craft it into something beautiful for people to witness and experience. Everybody is capable of artistry. It just takes a blank canvas, an open mind, and the desire to convey the inner mind.

I had spent as many years as a student as those that go through medical school. In my personal experience, there are very few professions and aspects of life that goes through a higher range of emotions than a student. If I were to have a work of art created based on the life of a student, there was only one obvious answer for me: a rainbow. However, it would have to be more than just a simple rainbow. Each color would represent an emotion that students feel throughout school.

There would be no sky, no serene background, and no other surroundings. The painting would be a simple rainbow with the words of each emotion sketched into some part of the arch of each color. Below the rainbow would be a dark gray and black reflection of the rainbow to symbolize the darker sides of each emotion. The rainbow would be painted in its normal order of colors with each color touching the next to symbolize how each emotion intertwines and changes constantly.

The first color, red, would represent anger and intensity. The second color, orange, would represent enthusiasm and creativity. Yellow, the third color, portrays happiness. Towards the middle of the rainbow, the fourth color, green, would signify mental growth and hope. The fifth color, blue, shows wisdom and intelligence. Nearing the end, indigo, the sixth color, embodies extravagance and ambition. Rounding out the rainbow, the final color of violet represents nostalgia and romance.

Throughout a student’s life, a myriad of emotions rage through his or her mind. This time is when a student finally matures and grows into an emotionally mature adult. Growing into that adult requires a trial of mistakes and accomplishments that can be seen within the rainbow in this artwork. A rainbow is a good representation of what flows through a student’s mind on a day to day basis.

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