A Pure-Blooded Southern Belle

Corinne Vance

Corinne Vance

By Corinne Vance
(Clarksdale, Mississippi)

Ask me if cheese grits are the best breakfast snack, I would say, “Yes.” Ask me if watching SEC football is the best way to spend a Saturday, I would say “Of course.” Ask me if the South is the best place on Earth, I would say “Hell yeah!” I am a born and raised Southerner, and I can’t deny that I possess the “Southern pride” gene.

I am from a place where the quarterback dates the captain of the cheer squad, Daddy takes you fishing every Sunday after church, running through the sprinkler in a diaper is a right of passage, the same families are still here that were here 100 years ago, Wal-Mart is considered the “mall,” you can see clear blue skies for days, and the only noise heard from outside your window at night is the peaceful hum of crickets.

The South takes all the credit for who I am today. The vast open space gives me peace of mind. While riding my horse the smell of wildflowers in the air captivates my senses and I feel more alive that ever before. Enjoying the Southern sunset while lying in a hammock, swaying in the breeze, makes me feel safe. These small moments that seem so insignificant have a place deep in my heart and fill up my soul. In these moments all the clutter and chaos that consume my day disappear from my mind, replaced by sheer bliss.

I love that I am from the South and I will always consider myself a pure-blooded Southern belle, but I don’t plan on spending my entire life in the Mississippi Delta. As said by the Eli Young Band in the song “So Close Now,”  “I am so close now to walking away, about to walk a path I’ve gotta take, I am packing up heading out, I can’t sleep I’m dreaming way too loud, I’m so close now, so close now, to getting out.”

This small town is my safe haven and my home and always will be. Even though it is so influential in my life it lacks the opportunities I’m craving. I love writing all the thoughts in my head down every night and turning them into something beautiful that could reach out to someone who feels the same as I do. I get a high off being thrown in front of a camera and completely consuming myself with a character’s emotions and feelings and I thrive when out of my comfort zone.

Being a true blue Southerner in Mississippi I was raised to love Ole Miss, and I do, but being only fifty minutes away from home gives me no motive to grow and stretch myself. I am comfortable, and for me that is a bad thing. I want to go somewhere where I am known based on who I am and what I’ve accomplished rather than being known as the daughter of Quimby Vance and Madge Marley.

This summer I challenged myself by taking on a role in a low-budget film called Moon Ring that was being filmed in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Previously, I had done a few modeling jobs in Memphis but never film work. I went into the audition completely green, so I wasn’t “holding my breath.” The part I was auditioning for was a girl named Kim Stewart and she had a big role in the film, so I knew it would be a stretch, but somehow I got it. I initially looked at the part only as a job to make some money during the summer but I still worked hard learning my lines and practicing with the rest of the cast. I knew I would have fun partaking in the film, but I never assumed I would love it.

On the first take of my first day of filming I was vulnerable and scared. The director, Scott Loye, had put his trust in me and was about to find out if I deserved it. I took a deep breath while the words “quiet on the set, settle, action” rang through my head and adrenaline pumped through veins, then I performed. I was tested and I passed with flying colors. The feeling I felt in that moment made the vast open spaces of my hometown and the smell of sunflowers drift away like a forgotten dream. A new dream now had complete control over me.

Do I plan on becoming a big star? No, but I want to be heard. I want to surround myself with people who know what they want in life and go after it with all their heart. I want to connect with people through my words and thoughts. If I have to walk away from the place I call home in order to find that rush again and ride it to the top, then I will make that sacrifice. But will leaving the “renowned” South mean I will no longer be a Southerner? No, I will still tell you that the South has the best food in the world, the South is where true talent is born, and if one is looking for a beautiful gal or a true gentleman, then he or she should head down South. Ole Miss football stands above all the rest, and nothing one can say will change my mind. So no matter where I go, what I do, or who I become, I am and will always be a true Southern girl, just searching for a challenge.


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