(I took a break from blogging last year as I was working on my undergraduate thesis. This academic year, as I go through my graduate studies in public policy, I am hoping to become more consistent with blogging.)
When I tell people that I’m doing my masters in comparative public policy, I have many people comment on how far that is from my first undergraduate major of theatre. I have gone through three phases of fields; theatre, anthropology, and now public policy. It seems like my goals have shifted a lot over the years, but I don’t believe they have. While the nuance of my academic and artistic approach has grown, these fields all remain focused on what my life goal is: to improve the lives of societies and people groups.
If I had stayed on as primarily a theatre artist, I would have worked towards theatre for social change as I had started to do, but I would have been working primarily for my own desires and dreams of doing what I love. Art (of all kinds) is a passion of mine, and I have the incredible privilege of having the resources to train those skills and work on my own projects.
Many people in the world do not have the resources to do what they want to do. They do not have the money because they grow up impoverished. They do not have the support because they are not accepted in the job fields in which they wish to work. They do not have the time because they are gunned down in the streets before they can mature.
As I started to step back from the idea that I only wanted to do theatre, I came to some other realizations.
By doing anthropology, I could study culture in a way that could broaden my view away from only the arts. I took classes on indigenous archaeologies, the anthropology of addictions and recovery, and the connection between language and migration.
By doing public policy, I can help put policies into place that can change the world for the better. I can use the skills I learned in anthropology to see the ways people are actually living on the ground and help make it easier for them.
Each of my fields has expanded the ones before them and re-affirmed my commitment to changing the world.
I have not changed my love for theatre and art or my mindset on its importance in the world. I have deepened my mindset on where I stand in relation to my fellows.
If I had stayed with theatre as a career, I would be doing what I love. But if I switched to public policy, I could help so many others with fewer resources do what they want to do, regardless of the field.
What’s not to love about that?