Creative Process: An Aspiring Actress + Multimedia Package

I created this multimedia package, which is comprised of three separate pieces, for my media and journalism class called “Introduction to Digital Storytelling.” The pieces were assigned separately and combined for the class’s final project. My multimedia package revolves around the importance of passion in deciding one’s college major. The entire package took about two weeks to complete.

The first piece in my multimedia package is a short video featuring Caroline Greelish, a fellow UNC student majoring in media and journalism and dramatic arts, who aspires to become an actress. After we were assigned as partners, I started with a brief 30 minute pre-interview to simply get to know her and her story. Luckily, she brought up her passion for theatre almost immediately, so I knew that would be the perfect subject for my feature on her.

Next, I compiled a long list of questions for the official interview. I started by covering general information, such as her pet peeves, her favorite pastimes, etc., and then gradually shifted into questions relating to her experience with theatre and how she discovered her passion for the art. I had previously learned in my “Writing and Reporting” class that it was always better to have too many questions than not enough, so I ended up with about 45 minutes of footage. After going through all of the footage and looking at the transcript, I initially thought I wanted the theme of the video, and thus my multimedia package, to be about the importance of the arts and the corresponding benefits of taking part in art-related activities.

So for the next component, the two infographics, I decided to look for information about students majoring in visual and performing arts, why these students chose their major, and any studies about the advantages of the arts. During my research, I found a very interesting study conducted by the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) that showed the percentage of college students in a variety of departments who associated their choice of major with either passion or career-oriented goals in their personal statement essay. After seeing that statistic, I decided to focus the infographics on the correlation between passion and choice of major amongst college students. To tie the theme of this part of the package with the video, I had one of the infographics feature Caroline’s three favorite things about theatre, thus highlighting the influence her passion had on her choice of major.

Last was the multimedia package itself. To begin, I, along with my professor’s guidance, divided my content in a logical way so that the various components flowed well and came together cohesively. Next, I began brainstorming visuals that I associated with key words of my theme: college, choices, passion and pressure. This part was a little more difficult because the theme was rather abstract, so it was hard to represent those words without being too literal.

I finally decided that the overall theme of my multimedia package would be the pressure of choosing the “right” major. This is an extremely relevant issue to me and my target audience (my classmates), since we all were familiar with the pressure that is put on students when choosing what to major study. Once I had my theme set, I decided to do a little more research about passion and careers. I ended up finding another interesting study conducted by the University of Richmond that analyzed the effect passion had on work performance, cognitive engagement, job satisfaction, etc. and thought it would be the perfect addition to tie my graphics and video together.

The ideal career not only has a high salary, but also incorporates our passion(s) into the job’s responsibilities and tasks. However, many fields (including the arts) do not allow for both, and this is a huge factor in a lot of students’ choice of major. Many career paths are also seen as “unstable” or “unreliable”, and added judgment from parents and peers doesn’t make the decision easier by any means. Caroline, however, exemplifies the type of person who overlooks the instability associated with a path in the arts because her passion for acting is so strong. I find her persistence and dedication to be truly inspiring, and she reminds me that happiness is not found in money, but rather in our interests and what those can offer to the world.