The Voice Within: A Story Development of an Aesthetic Experience
Nguyen, Tuoc Kim
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The Voice Within is about a girl’s relationship with her parents through a plied yarn. It is a short story about our attachment to loved ones and the ability to accept the loss of someone we love. The story features a character who is caring, codependent, and in-denial. She relies on a strand of plied yarn to maintain her family ties with her parents. She correlates the yarn's physical conditions to her parent's physical health, afraid that they would leave her. One day, her dad has cancer, and the plied yarn slowly frays and breaks. When her mom's strand also starts to unravel from grief, she faces her most significant fears: loneliness. As she cries on top of the yarn holding a family portrait in her arms. A vision of her parents appears to help her realize that they are forever within her heart. My thesis project is a short story based on my personal experience of losing my dad. The Voice Within is an aesthetic experience that contributes to the animation field, a story of family, loss, and acceptance. My work is a short story for production as a 2D animated short film. It is a full animatic at its pre-production stage of the 2D animation process. The story development and animatic were made possible by Professor Todd Fechter, Casey Johnson, and Dean Terry's supports and instructions. Similarly, the Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication professors at The University of Texas at Dallas made three years of graduate school an aesthetic experience. In my thesis, I discuss my family background and the significant events that alter and influence my character and story development of The Voice Within. This project explores Alexei A. Ukhtomsky's Concept of Dominance which investigates the relationships of life and mind and human behavior. I discuss how personal experiences form and relate to my creative work. In like manner, I explain how I integrate Peirce's model of signs into the story. I believe that we each have our remarkable stories, a voice within, to share and connect with others. The Voice Within is my first short story and my journey to self-reflection. The value of this thesis experience is to deepen my self-understanding in a way that may reach others.