My PS - need to trim it but having difficulty!

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pdrez
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:45 pm

My PS - need to trim it but having difficulty!

Postby pdrez » Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:59 pm

Here is my P.S. I'd call it a second draft. I need to trim it down because right now it is just over 3 pgs double-spaced (12 pt font).

Please rip into it with what you think is no good, I am looking for constructive criticism so have at it!

--


“Missed call: Dad.” On the surface, just three harmless words prompting me to call my father back. But this time, as a dark April storm brewed in the sky above, an ominous feeling shook me to my core. This wouldn’t just be the normal afterschool drive to the hospital which had become a staple of my freshman year at the University of Texas. No, I knew this was the drive I had dreaded for 12 months.

My mother’s cancer was officially terminal, and she had just two months to live. When I heard those fateful words I suffered some sort of symbiotic meltdown and collapsed to the floor. My mother was my best friend, the glue of my family. I write about my mother’s passing because it is the foremost moment that has shaped my life. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, she overcame many obstacles and was the first to speak English or graduate college in her family. Through her indefatigable work ethic she created her own successful business and built a great life for herself and her family. She was truly an inspiration. At each of life’s crossroads, her spirit has guided my every decision.

Growing up, I was her “artist.” Whether it was acting, painting or music, she yearned for me to build my life around these talents she saw in me. This was never an abrasive, demanding encouragement, but gentile and unconditional support for what she and my father assumed I’d always wanted to do.

Unable to complete my freshman year as we tended to her, I faced my first major adult life decision: return to school or pursue my mother’s dream for me. I decided to leave UT for LA to become the next Robert DeNiro. The inner anguish I felt as I grieved would translate into acting gold, and my mother’s dreams could become reality, even if only posthumously. This goal consumed my next two years, yet I found it was never truly for my own satisfaction, but rather to satisfy “what I was supposed to be doing.” LA was not what I had expected, nor was the entire acting game. The rejection, the humility, the loneliness and the lack of intellectual challenge caught up with me in a hurry. Perhaps at 19, it was too much too soon.

I grappled with these internal dilemmas for months, before finally reinstating myself at UT. I continued my Radio-TV-Film degree, yet my favorite classes were outside my major: international relations and business law. Studying the dynamics of labor law, contracts and torts captivated me. The next two summers I worked at a local law firm in Austin. While primarily a clerical position, I was like a hawk in pursuing tasks that brought me closer to the intricacies of the firm’s pending cases. Proofreading briefs and gathering pertinent information for future arbitration enthralled me, and I thoroughly enjoyed each day at the office. Simply put, it felt right, whereas the LA experience had felt forced.

The classes and my time at the law firm imbued my first impulse to abandon my mother’s artistic vision and, instead, apply to law school. I discussed it with my father, himself an attorney. It was an unsettling conversation. He made me feel I was “settling” and not challenging myself enough to fulfill what he and my mother saw as my destiny. Never fully understanding that law school was something I truly wanted, he advised against it.

Guilt eventually overrode my instincts, and upon graduation I decided to move to New York. This, the concrete jungle of opportunity, would provide the clarity I needed. My father and I grew extremely close after my mother’s death, and he saw New York as my opportunity for musical or acting success. After three months without steady work, fate forced my hand and I took a comfortable job as a media planner for a top media firm in NYC.

Despite success, including a promotion offer, my soul grew weary. The job lacked either of my two passions: creativity or the intellectual intrigue of my law experiences. Thoughts of my mother surfaced, as they always do when I face a decision. I know she only ever wanted what is best for me, but she was so influential in my life that I have always believed her vision was the right one.

After yet more soul searching, I left my job and returned to acting. However, this time was different. I found an excellent Commercial agent and was booking national television commercials within months. Things, on paper, seemed right. Then, one of those moments like the one in my car freshman year struck like lightning. Waiting to audition for a McDonald’s spot, my fellow actors and I discussed the current state of online compensation for our vocation. Learning how the major studio bigwigs were chipping away at the livelihood of working- and middle-class actors angered me, and I began to regularly attend Screen Actors Guild meetings. As I argued in favor of expanding our rights to more and fairer online royalties, I felt a passionate energy that had been missing.

Despite the success it had brought, commercial acting left me with more questions than answers for my life’s true purpose. Arguing on behalf of my fellow actors’ right to maintain their livelihood despite economic downturn restored the intellectual and emotional passion I had been sorely lacking, and has steered me to my current decision to attend law school. I want to represent creative talent, such as actors and athletes, in contract negotiations and other areas that directly affect their professional potential.

My life’s trajectory has been atypical, yet the unorthodox path I have taken has afforded me a great deal of real and raw life experience. From dallying in the cutthroat business media world, to self-starting an acting career not once but twice and enjoying success the second time around, to standing up for union rights at a pivotal moment for middle-class actors, my experiences have brought me to this moment of unmitigated clarity: to finally act on my own instincts and pursue the law degree I envisioned many years ago.

I realize now that my mother’s passing, the most devastating moment of my life, had convoluted my decision-making with my attempts to satisfy her lasting visions for my life. I have learned to focus on me, to block out any guilt, and to make the tough decisions that my mother and father might second guess. I have finally put myself and my vision first.

pdrez
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:45 pm

Re: My PS - need to trim it but having difficulty!

Postby pdrez » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:29 pm

Anyone out there? I really need some advice if anyone has 5-10 minutes.

Thanks!

shastaca
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:00 pm

Re: My PS - need to trim it but having difficulty!

Postby shastaca » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:54 pm

I'd cut the first two paragraphs and the last paragraph at a minimum.

pdrez
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:45 pm

Re: My PS - need to trim it but having difficulty!

Postby pdrez » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:01 pm

Ok, thanks for the advice. So you think just start the PS with a sentence or two about my mother's death and then dive right into the heart of the statement?

kayljsh
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 3:11 pm

Re: My PS - need to trim it but having difficulty!

Postby kayljsh » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:10 pm

I cut out some stuff, I like to edit in word rather than in these tiny little boxes, so I know its down to about 850 words. The cuts made some phrasing a little awkward, and you should probably still pare it down some more.


“Missed call: Dad.” On the surface, just three harmless words prompting me to call my father back. But this time, as a dark April storm brewed in the sky above, an ominous feeling shook me to my core. This wouldn’t be the normal afterschool drive to the hospital which had become a staple of my freshman year at the University of Texas. No, I knew this was the drive I had dreaded for 12 months.

My mother’s cancer was officially terminal, and she had just two months to live. When I heard those fateful words I suffered some sort of symbiotic meltdown and collapsed to the floor. My mother was my best friend, the glue of my family. At each of life’s crossroads, her spirit has guided my every decision. Growing up, I was her “artist.” Whether it was acting, painting or music, she yearned for me to build my life around these talents she saw in me. This was never an abrasive, demanding encouragement, but gentile and unconditional support for what she and my father assumed I’d always wanted to do.

Unable to complete my freshman year as we tended to her, I faced a major life decision: return to school or pursue my mother’s dream for me. I decided to leave UT for LA to become the next Robert DeNiro. This goal consumed my next two years, yet I found it was never truly for my own satisfaction, but rather to satisfy “what I was supposed to be doing.” However acting was not what I expected and the rejection, the loneliness and the lack of intellectual challenge caught up with me in a hurry.

I grappled with the decision for months, before reinstating at UT. I continued my Radio-TV-Film degree, yet my favorite classes were outside my major: international relations and business law. The next two summers I worked at a local law firm in Austin. Proofreading briefs and gathering pertinent information for future arbitration enthralled me, and I thoroughly enjoyed each day at the office. Simply put, it felt right, whereas the LA experience had felt forced. The classes and my time at the law firm imbued my first impulse to abandon my mother’s artistic vision and, instead, apply to law school. I discussed it with my father, himself an attorney. It was an unsettling conversation. He made me feel I was “settling” and not challenging myself enough to fulfill what he and my mother saw as my destiny. Never fully understanding that law school was something I truly wanted, he advised against it.

Guilt eventually overrode my instincts, and upon graduation I followed my father's advice and moved to New York. Unfortunately acting jobs were hard to come by so I took a job as a media planner. Despite some success, including a promotion offer, my soul grew weary. The job lacked either of my two passions: creativity or the intellectual intrigue of my law experiences. Thoughts of my mother surfaced, as they always do when I face a decision.

After yet more soul searching, I left my job and returned to acting. However, this time was different. I found an excellent Commercial agent and was booking national television commercials within months. Things, on paper, seemed right. Then, one of those moments like the one in my car freshman year struck like lightning. Waiting to audition for a McDonald’s spot, my fellow actors and I discussed the current state of online compensation for our vocation. Learning how the major studio bigwigs were chipping away at the livelihood of working- and middle-class actors angered me, and I began to regularly attend Screen Actors Guild meetings. As I argued in favor of expanding our rights to more and fairer online royalties, I felt a passionate energy that had been missing.

Arguing on behalf of my fellow actors’ right to maintain their livelihood despite economic downturn restored the intellectual and emotional passion I had been sorely lacking, and has steered me to my current decision to attend law school. I want to represent creative talent, such as actors and athletes, in contract negotiations and other areas that directly affect their professional potential.

My life’s trajectory has been atypical, yet the unorthodox path I have taken has afforded me a great deal of real and raw life experience. From dallying in the cutthroat business media world, to self-starting an acting career not once but twice and enjoying success the second time around, to standing up for union rights at a pivotal moment for middle-class actors, my experiences have brought me to this moment of unmitigated clarity: to finally act on my own instincts and pursue the law degree I envisioned many years ago. I realize now that my mother’s passing, the most devastating moment of my life, had convoluted my decision-making with my attempts to satisfy her lasting visions for my life. I have learned to focus on me, to block out any guilt, and to make the tough decisions that my mother and father might second guess. I have finally put myself and my vision first.

pdrez
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:45 pm

Re: My PS - need to trim it but having difficulty!

Postby pdrez » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:39 pm

kayljsh - Thanks so much for the help. It is much more streamlined now, cutting out excess but maintaining the overarching theme.

As far as the content, what do people think? Is it a solid PS with good structure and theme? I have a 162 with 3.72 GPA from Univ of Texas, and am trying to go back to UT for law school. I am 3/4 Mexican and feel I may have a shot with a solid PS...

Again, thanks for any and all help!




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