Learning Journal 2: More learning, more journaling (Isabella Martinez)

What is your unique gift? – Do you believe in it enough to invest everything you have in it?

My unique gift is communicating with people. Whether it’s through theatre, music, or just a face to face conversation, I leave a good impression on people. I’m investing in it a lot more than I was when I first started this assignment. Since then I’ve explored opportunities outside of theatre and music and broadened my job possibilities.

What difference are you trying to make in the world? – How passionate are you about doing this?

I want to be the comedic relief of this world. There’s so much bullshit going on these days. Trump, the Republicans, the poor detained immigrant children, war… to put it bluntly, the world sucks right now. I’d like to be a source of light and levity to distract people from that. To make them laugh or smile for an hour and remember that there is good in this world and that things will turn around eventually (even though I’m not quite sure if that’s true).

How do you define success for yourself? – What challenges do you face in order to create success?

My definition of success has changed over the last few months. Yes, ideally I would like to be able to support myself with my art. But as I’ve gotten to know more artists, watched more interviews, read more articles, I’ve found out that it’s not very common to live off of your art. Most people have three or four jobs. And honestly, I’d be fine with that. As long as one of those jobs is in music or theatre, I’d be okay with that. There are a lot of challenges I face (ie, finding said jobs), but I know that I am fully capable of overcoming these obstacles.  

What is career vision and a mission?

Career vision: how you hope your career will turn out.

Mission: The steps you take to get to your career vision.

I’m not quite sure what I want my career to be. I want to do a little bit of everything. I guess I’ve still maintained a child-like wonder for the arts. I want to keep exploring every nook and cranny until I’ve run out of things that interest me. I guess I used to have a career vision, but now I’m just hoping that I can move to Atlanta, audition everywhere and hope that things go well. I’m not too stressed about it.

Can you innovate and creates value and successfully communicate that value to intended audiences?


Do you have a positive attitude?


Have you set your goals? What is your road map to success? Can you set inspiring and realistic goals?

My goals are a little more nebulous than they were at the start of the semester. I wanted to finish the play I was writing and have it produced. I’d even talked to a local producer about having the show fully staged by 2020. I’m still working on that play, but I’m not sure if that’s what I want anymore. I know that I’m capable of setting realistic and inspiring goals, but I’m not quite sure what I want to do anymore. I think that’s okay for now. After all, I’ve still got a year of college left.

Do you have and/or acquire the necessary expertise to actualize your vision?

I think one of the most important attributes to have in this industry is a good attitude and confidence. I was reading a blog for directors and producers the other day, and someone who was a first time producer was asking how she could prove herself and show people that she knew what she was doing when she had never produced a show before. Most people had the same advice. “Honestly, just pretend you know what you’re doing. Most first time directors don’t know their directing style until they actually get out there and start working.” I guess it was kind of relieving to read that many professionals didn’t know what they were doing at the start of their careers. So even though I’m at a weird point of not knowing what I want out of career, I think I have the right attitude and mindset to be able to accomplish whatever new dream comes my way.

What are your priorities? Can you set priorities?

I am still learning how to set my priorities. In the past, I’ve prioritized other people and their happiness rather than focusing on myself. I used to leap at every opportunity that came my way. I was afraid that if I turned someone down, I would stop getting offers. That didn’t happen. What did happen was that I got overwhelmed and stretched thin and didn’t end up producing my best work. So now my new priority is me. Will this opportunity benefit my personal/career growth? If so, then yes, I can make room for it. If not, then I’ll have to pass.

What opportunities are you looking for? What opportunities are you creating or intend to create?

I’m looking to learn how to produce and direct theatre and encourage diversity and diverse storytelling. I’ve been looking at apprenticeships in Georgia and theatre residencies across the U.S. There are a few programs that are specifically marketed toward new directors and producers, and those have caught my eye. The programs only last a few weeks, but I’m hoping that they will allow me to network with some new people and add some skills and experience to my resume.

How comfortable are you with uncertainty? What risks are you willing to take?

I have recently become very comfortable with uncertainty. In the artistic world, uncertainty is waiting for you around every corner. I’ve changed my mind about my career hundreds of times in the past few years and it’s led me to be very uncertain about what exactly the future has in store for me. But you know what? I’m still here! I’m alive. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’ve survived so far, and that makes me think that future Isabella (whatever it is that she ends up doing) will be okay. I’m willing to take a lot of risks! I’m ready to drop my things and move to a new city at the drop of a hat.

When facing challenges, do you persevere or do you walk away?

What experience have you learned the most from?

It depends on the challenge, but I usually persevere. There are a lot of challenges I’ve faced during the last three years of college, but the one that has shaped me the most has been my battle with depression. This is not some sad boohoo “oh I’m cured, theatre saved my life!” story (but it kind of is). Anyway, there have been several moments in the last year where I’ve felt like I couldn’t make it through college. I skipped days and sometimes even an entire week of classes because I couldn’t pry myself out of bed. I still have days like that, but they are far and few between. I have always found that throwing myself into a musical or a new artistic/creative project has given me purpose and reason to go on. Which is cool.

What actions are you taking to realize your vision? Are you consistently taking action?

Now that my senior year of college is coming up, I have a lot of auditions that I am planning and preparing for. Hopefully I’ll get a few job offers, but I’m hoping that I will book an apprenticeship at a theatre or maybe even a tour. If those things don’t happen, I still have some backup options. I’m constantly updating my musical repertoire and my arsenal of monologues. I need some new headshots, and then I’ll be ready for audition season.  

How well do you put things in context? Are you able to easily respond to changes in your environment? What’s your best example?

I think I respond well to changes in my environment. I used to work at a smoothie shop and when we had a change in management, my coworkers had a tough time adjusting to our new boss. To be fair, he was kind of an asshole. They got annoyed and complained about him continuously. But I just kept working and tried to find a silver lining. Yes, he was kind of condescending, but his customer service skills were very good and I could always learn from his example. I think my attitude has gotten me through a lot of drastic changes in my life. Even when things are going to shit, I can always find the humor in the situation.

What is your plan to continually grow and evolve? How have you grown or evolved in the past year or three?

I think I’ve definitely grown in the past few years. How will I continue to grow? Here’s something I heard at a workshop in February. “I like to push my boundaries by putting myself in environments where I feel uncomfortable”. The only way to learn and grow is to do things that make you nervous or scare you. I think I’ve started doing that lately and I think that if I keep doing it, it will pay off.

How easy is it for you to reach out to others to ask for support and to offer help?

I’m alright at asking for help. I should ask more often.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *