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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Timna Mayer at 11:08PM   |  1 comment
Timna Mayer Profile

Blog posting written by Timna Mayer, Violin Performance,'15, FLEFF blogger, Salzburg, Austria

My name is Timna Mayer. Yes, it’s Tim-na (people usually have trouble understanding my name so I’m just making sure). Anyway, I’m Timna and I come from Salzburg, Austria.  Austria is the tiny country right next to Germany (just in case you were wondering). I came here to Ithaca about 1.5 years ago, with only one suitcase and a violin.

I left my home, because, even though Austria is a wonderful country, I had always been feeling as if I didn’t quite fit in- into the bigger picture; a bigger picture drawn precisely, in simple colors (not too bright) and planned out into its greatest detail. I had always been spontaneous, a bit dramatic (as my parents would say) and, most of all, driven by the idea of living a life as a free artist (call me an idealist!).

Born in Austria, the glory land of mountains and Dirndl-dresses, there was no place for an alternative musician like me- with terrible yodeling skills and a natural disinterest for Mozart. I was, as you will, the part of the picture where the artist accidently sneezed or spilled color- a part in blurred lines that was unplanned. In my world, the world of music, they’d call me a dissonance.

So there I was, a dissonance in a perfect Mozart piece, and after 23 years of searching for release, I finally decided to get on my feet and make a change. At a slapping pace, I left everything I knew, packed my life into a suitcase and got on a plane. Aiming for something greater or, without setting my expectations too high, at least something different.

For those who know Ithaca, the fact that I ended up here shouldn’t be a surprise. Ithaca: home for people of any kind and hot spot for artists, intellectuals and hedonists; a place with a sweet aftertaste of homelike idyll. 

It didn’t take me a long time to find myself a home and a place to study. Ithaca College welcomed me with open arms, with a sense of personal warmth I had never experienced before. In Ithaca, and at Ithaca College, I immediately felt as if I had finally arrived; as if I had finally found a place that wouldn’t only allow me to be me, but would also help me embrace it.

No one has ever told me how to live my dreams. There’s no recipe for it and no manual. I’ve surely heard stories of princesses being rescued by a prince in shining armor, but I never thought it could happen to me. It sounds cliché when people come to America and talk about the “American dream”, but it happens- at least sometimes. At least it happened to me. My dream came true; I could finally be me.

Today, 1.5 years after my arrival, I can say that Ithaca and the people here have changed me; they have changed me in so many ways. It was here that I grew up, found my voice as a violinist and was culturally and intellectually encouraged on my way to becoming a professional musician. I performed countless concerts, I was taught and supported by highly qualified professors and I was engaged in many astounding cultural events such as the FLEFF film festival.

When I was younger, my mom used to tell me “When you find something good- share it”. After “finding” Ithaca, I felt the strong need to share my luck and what I know about this wonderful place. I wanted to become an active part of this city.

During my first semester at Ithaca College, I stumbled on a class called FLEFF Festivals: Politics and Practices in Creative Industries. Even though this class had nothing to do with my major (violin performance), I was fascinated by the idea of being part of such an important event for our college and city. But not only that, because I grew up in Europe where film festivals are highly celebrated for representing nations, I also saw this film class as an opportunity for me to finally be involved; involved in getting this city “out there”.

One year later, after experiencing FLEFF 2013, I can say that participating in this festival was one of the best decisions I have made. Only in Ithaca can a student like me get the chance to experience all kinds of cultural features this city has to offer, in only one week (and there are plenty, trust me!). Film screenings, concerts, international guest speakers, flash mobs, intercultural exchange, etc. I knew from the start: This festival is Ithaca, the way I love and appreciate it.

After participating in this event for the first time, I was sure there was no better way for me to share my fascination with Ithaca than by being part of FLEFF. Ithaca has given me so much more than I expected and I want to share this experience by representing this place in the best possible way. I want to give more people the chance to experience what I’ve experienced and to become as happy with Ithaca as I am.

My name is Timna Mayer and I’m proud to say that I’m here now, representing Ithaca as a blogger for the FLEFF festival 2014. 

My team and I welcome you to Ithaca, our home.

1 Comment

I appreciate you sharing your journey with us, Timna! The image of you arriving in Ithaca with, as you put it, "with only one suitcase and a violin," is a powerful one. I'm so happy to hear you have found a place of acceptance here at IC and I can't wait to continue reading your blogs!

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