Arts vs. Sciences: The Johns sisters


Emily Johns

Rachel and Emily Johns at a Japanese steakhouse of for Emily’s 26th birthday.

“Sometimes I’ll walk into work, and since some of the farmers like to bring all their animals in, I’ll just have a clinic full of goats,” veterinarian Emily Johns stated.

Since graduating veterinary school, Emily has been working full time as a veterinarian. Her life as a woman in STEM can be very stressful as she often has to deal with emergency calls regarding her larger patients, such as horses, while also receiving new animals to tend to every 30 minutes.

Sisters Emily and Rachel Johns have pursued careers that are polar opposites. For example, while Emily’s job is very centered around STEM and animals, her sister Rachel enjoys working more with people in the acting and arts community.

But despite the fact that her sister, Rachel Johns, is an actress, her life is not as different. Rachel states that while her job allows her to be more relaxed and open at work, she also has to deal with immense pressure from those around her, as many actors feel the need to, “be someone they’re not.”

Rachel also notes that when she tells people she’s an actress, she often struggles to break the stereotype that others create of her.

“People think you have to fall in that whole kind of stereotypical path where you move out to LA to work, and you audition and audition and audition and never get anything until the big break happens and suddenly you’re on the red carpet,” Rachel states, “That’s a lot of times the image that people think… they think that’s what it means to pursue acting as a career or even just to pursue any really any sort of performing arts, but I don’t think that’s entirely true.”

Both women, despite their opposing occupations, highlight the very real fact that stereotypes surrounding a particular profession are often untrue. For example, Rachel states that, “..many famous actors and actresses are just normal people who work just as hard as people with other jobs, in order to be the very best that they can.”

Rachel Johns, backstage, getting ready for one of her performances. (Rachel Johns)

She goes on to emphasize that many actors even break the stereotype of a “broke waitress struggling to make it in the acting world,” by maintaining more ‘professional’ or stereotypical jobs. Rachel reveals that she has met many people, such as nurses and office workers, who despite pursuing an acting career, still have a secure job as well as a family.

Emily, while seemingly having a traditional job, reveals that her life as a veterinarian is not as conventional as some might think. “I work in a small town in Georgia called Hoboken, Georgia, which is a very rural area,” she states. “You know, coming from a large city like Jacksonville, it is a really drastic difference here when you see that this town doesn’t really have the facilities that a place like Jacksonville has. Not to mention the fact that many people here can’t afford special treatments for themselves, leave alone their animals.”

However, both sisters, despite their high stress jobs, reveal that they genuinely love their work. Emily states that while she often has to deal with putting animals to sleep, the amount of joy she gets after helping animals and seeing the happiness on their owner’s face, overrides any feelings of sadness she may have.

She stated that her favorite part of the job is, what she calls, “puppy Vegas. It’s like when you get to take care of all these puppies, and I mean like, who doesn’t love puppies?”

Emily Johns with another one of her healthy patients. (Emily Johns)

On the other hand, Rachel’s unconventional job allows her to easily express her thoughts and opinions at work, while creating a comfortable environment that many people don’t have when they are at work.

“When you see people at work they’re usually more uptight and formal, but I feel like with the acting community, your job really allows you to be yourself and loosen up. And not only that, but I love people. I love working with them and spending time with them and get to know who they really are,” Rachel recalled.

“People think that just because we have such different jobs and lead such different lives, that we don’t get along with one another, or that we don’t respect each other, but that’s just not true,” Rachel remarked. “I think it’s important to be respectful of everyone’s thoughts and opinions, no matter what they do.”