Scholarship Entrant: Ethan from Los Angeles, California
Essay Question: If you could earn a living doing what you love most, what would it be, and how would it change the world? Describe the specific goals you would set to make that dream a reality.
Vote for Ethan: 65

I’m going to attempt to explain myself. 

I am a writer, visual artist, actor, and singer. These are my “activities”.

It is strange to call them activities, and even stranger to think of them as separate acts, because the underlying energy that carries me through each of them is the same: The need to live, completely. To take normally fleeting emotions and allow them to become all that they are. 

I do not believe that an artist’s first job is to create, but to live. If we forget to live, to appreciate our wordless moments, to embrace the inexplicable flickers that pass through us, we will never be able to truthfully create. Therefore I aspire to live so much that my art becomes secondary to my self — to make a living by living.

To accomplish this, I’ve been going on long silent runs through my neighborhood at around midnight with a book of Pablo Neruda’s poems tucked under my arm. I do this to stir up my thoughts, to desire words more than water. At the end of a long voyage I sit beneath a streetlight and read before continuing on, and I feel, in that moment, accessed, like an open valve. I feel I can breathe again, from the parts of me that matter. 

This is what I hope to become in the world. I’d like to be carried in some kid’s armpit while he’s running, and for him to sit and read from me, and feel like himself.

Vote for Ethan: 65

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