My Educational History

My chosen major is Anthropology.  I have always loved anthropology in one way or another; even before I knew what to call it.  As a child I loved reading books of Greek myths and watching documentaries on the History Channel.  I especially loved stories that explained how things came to be like the story or Persephone entering the underworld and how the sorrow her mother, Demeter, felt from losing her caused the seasons.  

My love of archaeology grew even further when I was 11 years old.  I was visiting my father in New York over the summer when he took me to the beach.  I have always been a beachcomber, and that day I found what I though was just a really pretty rock.  My father, however, saw something special in it.  He contacted a local archaeologist and we were invited to his house.  He looked at my “pretty rock” and concluded that it was actually an arrowhead that he dated at 2000 years old!  He gave me a copy of his book that he wrote about the local tribes and signed it for me.  I have it proudly on display at home to this day. 

 

As much as I love archaeology I have two passions that split my attention.  I have been a lifelong lover of theater, and have been acting from an early age.  After appearing in multiple school and local productions throughout elementary and high school, I booked my first paying job at seventeen.  I knew I wanted to go to college, and decided to major in theater.  I went to the local junior college planning on transferring to an art school and tailoring my courses to suit that goal. 

 

It was then that I took an art history class that changed my life.  We did a half a semester on prehistoric art that rekindled my love of archaeology.  Who were the people who created these works?  What did it mean to them?  I realized then that the appeal anthropology and acting have for me, while they seem completely at odds, are actually very similar.  I am in love with the idea of understanding how peoples environment makes them tick.  Whether I’m crafting a character from a well-written script or writing an ethnography of the homeless in the Civic Center, the core of what I’m doing remains the same.  I’m trying to understand what makes us who we are. 

 

After I changed my major to anthropology I transferred to San Francisco State University and quickly became the president of the Students for Critical Anthropology.   One of my professors was kind enough to recommend me to a colleague of hers who was starting an excavation in Nicaragua.  I spent my first summer after moving to San Francisco excavating a village outside of Grenada, Nicaragua and actually got to visit with my family there!  That’s right, I’m actually half Nicaraguan! 

 

After I returned to San Francisco I acted in more plays and got a job working in the archaeology lab at SFState.  Most of what we did is confidential, but I can say I learned a lot of cool stuff.  I didn’t pass the JPET so I wasn’t able to graduate when I planned it and wound up taking 3 years off from school to just work and try to get more acting gigs.  I supported myself by taking odd jobs and finally working in a restaurant.  The restaurant has really derailed my plans, and while I’m happy to have an easy job that pays relatively well, I found myself spending more time at the restaurant than at auditions.  I finally decided to take control of my life and enrolled in some acting classes at ACT.  Being back in the theatrical setting made me get my priorities straight and I became motivated to move to Los Angeles.  Taking English 414 is one of the loose ends I’m tying up before I say goodbye to San Francisco.

Introduction

My name is Elena and I am an anthropology major about to graduate from SF State!  I’m very excited to embark on the next phase in my my life; my move to L.A. to further my acting career.  I currently live in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco and work part time in a restaurant along The Embarcadero.  My interests include cooking, dance lessons, theater, and history documentaries.  I love to read, especially old sci-fi by Kurt Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury.