Talent Tug-of-War: Array of talents complicates identification


Amy M. and Carlos C. showcase their talents.

A nervous Carlos peers through a small aperture in the curtain. No seat in the auditorium is vacant; an impatient crowd looks back at him, waiting for the curains to rise and unveil the artists that will gracefully perform on the wooden canvas, judging every step and hand gesture with severe scrutiny. No pressure. A prayer eases his mind; a few stretches loosen his muscles. Carlos takes his spot on stage next to his nervous partner. Being the center of attention is nothing new to Carlos; after all, just 12 hours ago he and his trumpet left another crowd in awe.

For some, talents aid the long quest of finding one’s identity. Labels such as painter, actor, breaker, and musician often give much to brag about. In contrast, some find that identifying oneself becomes a bigger obstacle when nurturing more than one talent. Carlos C., a junior who is a member of Alief Jazz Ballet and band, often finds himself questioning which of the two arts he prefers. His passion for both gives rise to a tug-of-war

“Whenever I am getting ready for a dance performance, it’s really fun,” Carlos said. “Sometimes I have so much fun that I don’t know whether to see myself as a dancer or a musician.”

Both, he explained, are ways for him to express himself and help him forget about the outside world; it relieves him of his school-related stress while providing him with many memorable experiences.

“I get to have fun and interact with all sorts of people,” Carlos said.

Senior Amy M., who doubles as an actress and artist, has found it easier to identify herself. The similarities between the two arts have helped her choose one over the other.

“An actor carries out an art through a performance, so they go hand in hand,” Amy said.

Unlike Carlos, her identity struggles stem from her primary talent, art. Since elementary school, a brush, a canvas, and paint have been the only tools Amy has needed to convey her thoughts and emotions. Despite how natural it comes to her, she still has struggled to identify herself as an artist.

“The term, ‘artist’ is a really big title to hold,” Amy explained. “I’m a painter, I’m a drawer, I do Photoshop, but I feel like the term ‘artist’ holds a lot.”

Regardless, Amy’s outlook on having multiple talents is simple.

“There’s so much to do,” she said. “What you think you might like now, you end up not liking later, but then you find something new to pick up. It all comes down to yourself, I remember this quote from somewhere, ‘if you don’t believe in yourself, no one will.'”