Learning With Maya, Episode 1: How To Email Signature
And hello readers- Welcome to Learning with Maya!
2019: new year, new me. I say that every year and every year I make a list of things I’m going to do to be a better person, learn this, read more, exercise more, write more, work on my mental health, eat better, for the last three years I’ve written create a website on my new years goals and I still don’t have one…. What the hell am I waiting for?!
So hello 2019! This is the year it’s going to happen, with sheer will and you, my hopefully faithful readers (hopefully there’s more than 5 of you out there) to keep me accountable.
Join me twice a month as I stumble through 2019 with the commitment to learn 24 things. 24 things to help me survive this crazy world we live in, to help me find joy and adventure and to establish myself professionally. Keep an eye out for me on the 15th and last day of every month as I drop blogs on my learning experiences!!
To start my series this year I thought I would look not at the beginning but at the end. With all hellos we eventually have to say goodbye, and how we say goodbye, how we sign out makes a difference.
I spend a lot of my days sending out emails to people as an actress, as a writer, as a general theatre professional and one thing I’ve been putting off learning and executing is putting a damn signature on my email. And an interesting signature at that… and really by interesting, I just mean it has a picture and links.
Here is an example of one from a fellow company member that i love:
If you don’t have one, It's actually incredibly easy, between looking at youtube videos and good old fashioned asking your friends, the execution of adding a signature is a sinch. There are so many online tutorials, and even templates. I ended up creating my signature in a google drive doc using a simple table with 1 row and two columns. I won't bore you all with a step by step of how to make a signature, because you can look it up with people who can explain how to do it much better than me--- but where the real questions came for me and ultimately, the reason I put off making one for so long was
WHAT DO I PUT IN MY SIGNATURE??????
I knew I wanted a picture of me- duh I’m an actress. Name is a given, some contact info, for my work email I’d put in the links for the company’s websites and when I have my own website I’ll add that to my signature for my personal email…. But where I hesitated was title.
For my company that’s easy- but for my personal email that represents me as an performer, writer, sometimes teaching artist, this is the email I send out for everything… and so the question arises, at the very core of who I am, what do I do?
I’m an actress- but I actually rarely refer to myself as an actress, I’ve always leaned more towards Performer. Additionally I decided to add in my union status, as I frequently use this email to submit for auditions.
In the past few years I’ve found myself writing more and more. Growing from poems, monologues and short scenes to full pieces. I’m by no means a playwright, but I’m sending out emails about a play I’ve written to be produced next year. And I’ve got more writing projects on the horizon… so for now, I’m taking a leap and adding Writer to my title.
I struggled for a long time whether to just have it say performer and writer or should I add something else? Like, it felt so weird to solely title everything I do and who I am under those two things. Also, slightly limiting- like, I could also be an educator, or a director… I looked through my emails and studied different people’s signatures, people who do similar things to myself. A few of my peers put down content creator. I thought about it, sent out a draft with it… but it just didn’t feel like ME.
I often refer to myself as a teatrista, having spent my life in the theatre, in teatros specifically, it’s kinda all I do, and a big part of teatro culture as many of you fellow teatristas know is doing whatever needs to be done to get that show up. Paint, write, dance, sew costume, pass out flyers, sell tickets, set up backdrop, get props, etc. etc. I do a little bit of wherever is needed. “Teatrista” feels all encompassing, it feels me. But when I look at “Performer + Writer + Teatrista” on the screen- ugh, it feels so pretentious and maybe too many words?
And as I look at the page and delete teatrista and write it again, then delete it again, then write it again, I realize there is whole additional level I need to consider regarding spacing, do I go bold, or underline, or in all caps? What about a different color? And this my friends, is where you just have to try a bunch of different things until you find the one you like.
I landed somewhere. Is it my final place? No. But I have a signature now.
And I do think it’s kind of funny that when I see it at the bottom of the page as I’m sending out my emails, I do feel slightly more official. And I know, it’s incredibly easy to make a signature and tons of people have them, but having created a stamp to represent myself, it feels like I’m taking myself more seriously.
New Year, New Me
Thanks for reading friends! Come back at the end of the month to see what I learn next!