Category Archives: It’s What I Do

Picture This

Authors use many literary techniques in order to convey whatever emotion, message, or story they want to their audience. Among these copious techniques lies imagery, or the ability to use descriptive language in order to provide the reader with a clear visual. While Lynsey Addario can explain her journey through the use of her writing, she ameliorates her manuscript by adding actual photos as well.

“Addario is an artist of empathy” – The Boston Globe

One photo that stood out very well and resonated with me was that of the decomposing skeleton laying on the foreground of the battlefield with soldiers walking around in the background (found on the sixth page of the third picture insert between pages 210-211). The clarity of this image is impeccably gruesome. You can see the remnants of flesh on the bone, as well as the fully exposed skull. But I think what makes this photo even more impactful is the fact that the soldiers in the back have almost a complete disregard for the body. It creates this sense of what the horrible norm at that time was- a dead body was not unusual. The gut-wrenching feeling I got when I first turned to this page was immediate.

The second picture, the one that caught my eye the most, is impossible to miss. Taking up the entirety of the sixteenth page of the third picture insert (between pages 110-11) lies a young boys face. One word comes to mind when I see this image: pain. The bandaids, the dried/splattered blood, and mostly the welled up tears in his eyes made me instantly distraught. You can’t even begin to imagine what this boy has been through at such a young age, yet this photo allows the reader to feel that agony.

In my own passion blog, I use and will continue to use photos as well as other sources of media such as videos, songs, and gifs to allow my audience a stronger connection to the topic. Quite conversely from Addario, my goal is to convey intrigued readers through pleasant and upbeat additives to in turn possibly change some people’s views on theatre. I think that being able to use multi-media is crucial in my blog which is centered around being able to watch and listen to the pieces; without it my blog may almost be rendered useless.




Conflict with the Enemy: Gender Inequity

Gender roles and inequalities within the workplace, though believed to be outdated, are still very prevalent. For Lynsey Addario, being a female photographer in a war zone was not always easy, especially when her partner was also a woman, and a pregnant one at that. Being perceived as weaker made her experience a lot of missed opportunities.

“I felt like a failure and sensed the limitations of my gender.”

Her expression of regret for something she can’t control is the reflection of poor social construct and standards that have yet to be extinct. Addario attributes the reasons for her “[failure] to witness” the imperative aspects of the war to her weaker standing to that of her male counterparts. Being prohibited from being on the foreground of the action because she was a woman was just the horrible face of reality. It meant that she was unable to properly do her job by missing out on integral aspects of the war.

Another personal restriction that coincides with her gender inequality was that of her loyalty. Her partner, Elizabeth Rubin (who was pregnant), was in no place to be immersed directly into battle and trudging the horrendous terrains; and when they were they faced many struggles along the way. Addario claims that had her partner been male, she would have a stronger desire to fight for her right to capture the fatalities if it meant putting herself at risk. But she was not to leave Elizabeth behind.

As a woman myself, I can relate to Addario’s strife. Her anecdotes and the way she expresses her emotions when being faced with this adversity evokes similar feelings within myself when I think of my struggles of facing gender inequities.

As an athlete all throughout high-school, I was constantly being compared to my male counterparts, and in most cases viewed to have lesser value. For a quick example, sophomore year of high school my varsity basketball team had a terrific season; almost undefeated (except for state finals), section and regional champions, and state finalists. With some of the best statistics in a decade, our team was historic. Yet, I can assure you the audience was never half as full as our losing-season boys team. Now, my struggle may not’ve been as detrimental as Addario’s but it just goes to show how this conflict of gender inequality spans from all different types of situations, locations, and even time periods.

This is similar to inequalities within musical theatre as gender as well as racial discrimination within casting. Many roles are specific and a very certain type of person is targeted, leaving out many eligible people behind. The music Hamilton by Lin Manuel Miranda defies these stereotypes to bring light to underrepresented population on broadway. In my next passion blog with Hamilton in the spotlight, I will partially discuss how this prejudice has diminished thanks to the great Lin Manuel Miranda.

Written Illustrations

A picture may paint a thousand words, but sometimes only a few words is needed to create a masterpiece.

Being able to incorporate vivid images solely through the power of words says a lot, especially for someone who’s speciality is in photography. You’d think that an environment buried in war and despair would take a thousand sophisticated words to depict clearly, but Addario proves that it’s in fact quite unnecessary.

Part two of It’s What I Do is indubitably the most captivating portion of the novel. And while Addario seamlessly portrays the horror and the intense emotions she experiences directly in the war zone, it’s also the little details she’s able to express that tie in the entire journey. On pages ninety-six and ninety-seven, she provides her perception and impression of the circumstance of Paul’s death and how it was clear that the war was in full effect. By recollecting her memory in a precise manner, without the use of an over-cultivated or flowery diction, Addario is able to illustrate the scene clearly while still retaining the heavy emotion.

Another valuable technique is her ability to smoothy add rhetorical questions as well as her other internal thoughts to appeal to the personal connection the reader can make. By being placed in Addario’s mind, not only can we visualize her environment, but we can feel her emotions as well. Her lengthy syntax indicates the anxiety she was feeling at the time and how her mind went through a million thoughts a minute. Followed then by her epiphany and internal resolution in a short and abrupt four words; the anxiety turns to fear when she realizes “the war had begun.”

It’s easy to write in a casual tone, but to be able to maintain that intimate sense of familiarity while still being able to convey extensive emotions is something I hope I can achieve in my own blog. It’s important that the reader isn’t lost in ornate words, especially when they’re reading on a topic they may not know much about, such as theatre. I know that to be able to excite my audience into wanting more, like Addario does, I need to keep my descriptions clear, while still impassioned.  So, in that case, I need not ramble on much further about my efforts to become a captivating writer, it’s time to put my skills to the test. Head over to my passion blog to see these techniques (hopefully) in full effect!



No Room for Regrets

Passions are meant to be indulged.  Though there are boundless possibilities, there is still no capacity for holding back. As cliche as it sounds, life is short, time will end, and so each opportunity must be taken advantage of before it’s too late. Lynsey Addario portrays her take on this through the narration of her grandmother’s lost love, Sal.

Nana missed out on a life full of true love because she feared the possible challenges; instead she settled for mediocrity and comfort. Looking back upon her grandmother’s lost chance, Addario relishes the ability to learn from the past and be able to live without regrets.

“What she told me would stay with me for life”

As we look at a wider scope of life, or Addario’s life rather, this story allows her to view her interests with a greater appreciation. Not many people have the ability to follow their dreams and pursue their passions – Addario does. The wise words of her grandmother grants her an enlightened perspective, a life without regrets is one worth living.

Considering kairos, Addario unlike many other people actually takes advantage of her opportunities. One opportunity being that of using her experience and knowledge to influence others. This anecdote wasn’t meant as just a source of entertainment for the hopeless romantics who love a good story. She’s deconstructing her own thought process, resolved to an epiphany, as a mode of inspiration to others.

Although I can’t say I’ve fully lived life with no regrets, one thing I do not regret is auditioning for the school musical in sixth grade. It was not necessarily the thing a three-sport athlete would do. But I don’t regret it for one second.


The shy little girl I once knew, was gone. Getting up on stage and preforming a monologue and singing was a huge step for me. And while I didn’t land a role, it didn’t stop me from pursuing my interest in musical theatre in other ways. View my Passion Blog to hear more about the ways a little jock like me indulges in musical theatre.


So, What Do I Do?

First I’d like to preface in saying that no, I do not sit around all day just binge-watching movies and TV shows, however I realize that both of my passion blog ideas may give off that impression.

I have a lot of passions, and I’m also horribly indecisive. I’m sure you can imagine those two characteristics don’t combine to make this an easy task. So, I narrowed it down to a similar category and went from there.

Theatre for Jocks

An ironic combination, I know. But that’s supposed to be the point! You see the title and think, what? Jocks and theatre kids don’t really mix. Except for maybe Troy Bolton because clearly he could do it all. (High School Musical reference for anyone who somehow missed out on the mid 00’s ICONIC Disney Channel original movie trilogy) But there are more Troy Bolton’s in the world, like me, who not only enjoy sports, but theatre as well.

Ever since I was six years old I was a three sport athlete.  So, although I may not be a dreamy six foot guy, walking around the halls wearing a letterman jacket I would still consider myself a jock. (And yes, I realize how horribly stereotypical and cliche that definition of a jock is but you know that’s what you pictured)

But besides that point, I also really enjoy theatre. Now to be clear, I was never actually involved in any theatre, which means I don’t know technicalities. But I love to watch it! Addicting soundtracks and profound meanings and themes within theatre can be appreciated by almost anyone in my opinion. I plan to use each post as a review on one of my favorite plays or musicals and make something that was previously repulsive to someone seem somewhat interesting. I believe theatre shouldn’t just be for the kids on stage.

Everyone binge-watches tv shows on Netflix, right?

My second passion is one I believe many of you can relate to. We’re in college, if you’re not doing hours of homework you’re probably on Netflix. I’ve definitely had my share of late nights and this lovely message popping up once (or maybe five times) but it happens to everyone whether you admit it or not!

This blog, in a similar manner to my previous option, would focus on one post per tv show that I have binge-watched and why I would recommend it. With categories ranging from comedy to drama I would focus on the highlights of each show and why they’re binge-worthy.

This is the start of something new.

(Another totally intentional HSM reference)

As I’m sure this writing experience will be new for most of you as it will be for me, please be honest and let me know what I should change or keep about my writing style and what sounds good and what doesn’t. I hope you’re interested to hear more, as I am excited to write more!