9/3/14- Oren Christopher Lilly is a communication major and student at Southeastern Louisiana University, but he originally had different plans. He initially planned on majoring in biology and intended to find a career based in that field. His plans were soon brought to a halt.
Lilly said, “I came in here planning on majoring in biology, because in high school, that was my favorite subject. I took biology, I took advanced biology, I took a CLEP test and I got out of two courses right off the bat. I got six hours in college credit just from taking this test about biology. I know this stuff. I’m going to major in it. It’s going to be great. I’m going to get a great career. If you can get into the science field of that you can make a lot of money, but then I discovered that with great science comes more annoying math”.
Having failed a geometry course, but passing his other lower level math courses, he realized that math classes would only become increasingly more difficult. He further discouraged himself from remaining a biology major due to the struggles of his cousin who he said was “like a math savant.” He would take this unfortunate event as a learning experience and thought about what he had other interests or talents in.
One interest, starting from his childhood, was being a voice actor. Lilly said that when he was a child, “I watched cartoons a ton. You know, like every kid does, but one thing I always loved to do was listen to their voice and be like ‘oh they sound funny. I wonder if I can do that’! So I liked to do the different voices and I thought ‘well that could be an interesting career’. That is once I discovered they weren’t the things, but real people”.
Voice acting, however, was not as simple as he thought. It would require him to travel out of state for auditions. Unable to fulfill that requirement, another interest was brought to his attention – radio. Radio would allow him to make use of his interest in voice acting and satisfy another interest – informing people of current events.
This chain reaction of interests would further shape the direction in which he would want to find a career. Lilly said, “I’ve always had an interest in acting too, but I discovered something else was radio and doing announcer work. I’ve always been interested in the communication field. Once I started looking into it, after I did badly in math, I thought ‘that’s pretty cool’. I’ve always wanted to broadcast the news.”
He further relates his current concentration of electronic media to his childhood, he said “I love the news. I’m that weird kid that likes to watch the news with his parents. I always thought it was really interesting. Them [reporters] going up and telling people about what the world is going through right now. They get to tell people what the real stuff is.”