One of the thing that drives me absolutely up the wall is thinking about what I want to do after I finish school next year. I want to be an actress, and that is obviously the primary plan, but I am also excessively pragmatic, and I like things like financial stability, so I don't plan to struggle to find acting jobs my entire life if I don't start to see some kind of success within a reasonable amount of time. I also have been told forever that law school is something I should do, though lately people are telling me how miserable and soulless it is. I've been getting more and more comments telling me I should go into writing, whether it is academic writing or dramatic writing. I don't know- I've never written anything creative at all, but I do imagine it might be nice. And then of course, is English, which I am doing very well with, and working on an honors thesis (kind of- "working" is a relative term. procrastinating is more accurate.) All, well, most, of my professors in the English department seem to think the logical thing to do is to write the thesis and go to grad school and get many many degrees and get tenured. But I am certain I do not want to be a university professor.
However, the other day I was thinking about the two things I do primarily: I act, and I am a literary theorist. I've been studying Titus and learning about palimpsests and considering the role of writing and violence and vaginae (according to spell-check, vaginas is wrong. isn't that silly?) and self-loathing. I then started thinking about how irrelevant all of that is to the process of staging the play. Or is it? My professors have varying ways of looking at characters- whether it is theoretically sound to consider the psychology of a character, particularly when there is no Hamlet. In reality, Hamlet is a collection of words on a page. Yet those professors are ignoring the purpose of Hamlet: he is meant to be enlivened and placed on the stage. And to the actor portraying him, it is utterly essential that he have a real history and psychology. But does it matter if he has a complete biography? Do we need to consider what Hamlet's favorite food or color is in order to portray him convincingly and compellingly? I don't know. It's just something I am wondering about.
I think I know what I want to study after I get out of undergrad. I think I want to make literary theory something concrete- something that matters. I want to do research on dramatic literature in a way that can have results on directorial choices. I don't know what sort of career that will prepare me for, whether in acting, directing, producing, or dramaturgy (I must confess that I am rather fuzzy on the role of dramaturgy anyway). I think it would be dramaturgy. I am also unsure whether this would necessitate me applying to English departments or theatre departments. But I think it is something that could be very good, though who knows, maybe as unstable as anything else.