Natalie St Denis
Senior Madison Townes has had a passion for her major, TV and video production since she was young.
“I’ve always wanted to be an actress since I was really little, and I’ve always loved editing videos and just doing anything related to TV. Whether I was watching it or creating any kind of content,” Townes said.
But her academic career didn’t start with TV video production. Townes was originally majoring in Spanish adolescent education.
“As much as I was interested in that career path, I kind of realized that it wasn’t what I was meant to do. But I was kind of afraid to switch and I didn’t really know what to do,” Townes said.
This uncertainty was amplified when COVID-19 hit right before spring break. She mentioned how hectic life was, and she was unsure whether she should take the risk of changing her major.
“I guess just sometimes you have to take risks. So when I came home I put my foot down and I was like, ‘I need to change my major.’ So I just did it,” Townes said.
A professor from her previous Spanish adolescent education major, Margarita Garcia Notario applauded Townes for being able to make such a difficult decision.
“I think that is a difficult step for students. So to be able to realize the thing you thought you were going to become your whole life suddenly is not what you think you’ll be best at and be able to switch. That’s great,” Notario said.
Once she made this switch she immersed herself in all that her major had to offer. She joined Plattsburgh State TV as a crew member and this semester got to take on the role of a manager at the station. John Chambers, Townes’ professor for multiple courses, has seen her growth while working for PSTV.
“This semester she’s just become more of a leader,” Chambers said. “She’s working a lot harder.”
Chambers enjoys having her “fun, outgoing personality” around and he can tell she is passionate about what she does.
“When she’s here, she really enjoys what she does and just enjoys the classes she’s in. When I hear her talking to her fellow crew members and managers, she’s excited about what she’s doing,” Chambers said.
Townes has learned the many different aspects and elements that go into the production, from lighting and script writing to talent positions. Chambers has been able to see her become involved in everything needed for production. She wrote and directed a show, “Chambers of Mystery,” in which she cast Chambers as a talent. On top of that, she has previous experience in news anchoring at the station. This semester, she’s a meteorologist and a talent in some of her friends’ shows.
“I think I’ve just been able to connect with a lot of the people in my major and be close with a lot of them. I’m very inspired by all of their creative minds they have and the ideas they’ve put into shows,” Townes said.
Townes keeps a positive attitude when it comes to getting a job after college. She explains that although she doesn’t have one lined up directly after school, oftentimes most people don’t. She just hopes to start somewhere and work her way up from there.
“My ideal career would be to be like Adam Sandler and be a producer, as well as on-screen talent,” Townes said. “I really just love acting, but I also have an interest in producing movies and screenwriting.”
Townes developed another passion after joining the Plattsburgh State kickline team last year. Her friends kept urging her to join and she didn’t expect to like it as much as she did. But Townes was able to get great exercise while making friends, one of which is now one of her roommates.
Another important part of Townes’ college experience was growing into a person she is proud to be. Townes said she fell in love with the person she has become and has gained a lot of confidence.
“I try to do my best to just be kind to others and make people happy because that’s what I want to do in the long run, is just entertain people and put a smile on someone’s face,” Townes said.
Notario described Townes “as someone who has growth so much from the time she arrived on campus.” Notario has guided her through challenges during her college experience.
“I think slowly she lost the fears that she had or she was willing to jump out of her comfort zone and try out experiences that seemed difficult,” Notario said.
Although bittersweet, Townes is ready to graduate. Notario thinks Townes is ready for this next step.
“She has made very important decisions. I think she has gotten to know herself much better through difficult or challenging considerations. So I think she’s ready to go,” Notario said.