2017: My Year in Review

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Hello, lovelies!  Before you know it, here we are at the beginning of the year 2018!  While blogging has definitely taken a back burner in the latter half of this past year, I assure you that plenty of productive things have taken its place.  So to say farewell to the old year and to give an update on my life, here are my highlights of 2017!

Getting into my degree program

In February, I had a very early morning, during which I auditioned for the faculty of the theatre department.  The audition consisted of a short dance call, 2 songs, 2 monologues, and a brief interview.  Just a few hours later I got an email that I was accepted into the BFA in Acting program!  That day was definitely one of the best this year.  The support of my friends, family, and classmates was amazing.  Of course, this was only the beginning…

My first professional audition

I had never auditioned for any professional theatres before last spring.  In case you’ve never heard of a “cattle call” audition, it means you audition with hundreds of people for several theatre companies at once.  Kind of scary, right?  I attended the Twin Cities Unified Auditions with the understanding that the most important thing I would get out of this audition was experience itself.  It was actually the most fun I’ve ever had at an audition before!  I ended up getting a couple callbacks and a job out of the whole ordeal.

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All staff reunion at camp

In case you haven’t been reading my blog for a while, working at my childhood Bible camp was definitely a highlight of my life.  This past summer celebrated 50 years of the camp’s existence.  Bluewater invited any and all former staff to return for one weekend in June to celebrate.  It was so fun to return and see old friends that I had worked with and several of our predecessors that made Bluewater last to 50 years.

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I made my professional debut

My school provided the opportunity for me to be a Mersister in The Little Mermaid for their professional company.  The role of Margot in Legally Blonde was the gig I got from my professional audition.  Legally Blonde happened to be at the summer stock company in my hometown.  Both of these shows were so much fun and I learned a lot from both of them.  I got to cross these two off my massive list of shows I want to do.

  • The Little Mermaid- This show was the closing show for the summer season, which means it was a big cast and a lot of fun!  I was so excited to play not one, but five different characters in the course of the show.  The whole two hours consisted of me changing between a mermaid, a lionfish, a flamingo, a maid, and a princess.  I was practically changing costumes the whole time!  I had a blast working with my classmates without the stress of school and all our other classes.  Not to mention, the audiences loved this show.  There were so many little kids dancing around in the aisles!
  • Legally Blonde- This was hands down the most fun I have ever had in a show ever.  Unlike Little Mermaid, I didn’t know most of the cast before rehearsals started.  It’s amazing how close everyone became after only ten days of rehearsal.  I was incredibly impressed by how professionally this little company conducted themselves.  From this experience, I now know actors from all areas of the Midwest and learned a lot from working with them.

Wig by Cam Pederson Costume by Angela Sahli

I got a really cool job

Completely unrelated to everything else I did this year, I started a really cool part-time job on campus. The Adventure Education Program at MSU is responsible for the indoor and outdoor rock walls and the high ropes course.  I especially like working with corporate and educational groups out at the ropes course.  While I work at the rock wall during the school year, this job was especially fun during the summer.  Finding something I’m good at that is completely unrelated to theatre is so rewarding.  I have a lot of great coworkers and overall, it’s a pretty laid back and fun job.

And some small details…

  • I was thrown from a utility vehicle
  • Became 51% fluent in German
  • Tested several vegan coffee creamers and hated all of them
  • Saw Wicked again
  • Listened to a lot of 80s music
  • Only cut my hair twice this year
  • My sister broke a foot and a wrist- but survived 🙂

All in all…

2017 was a pretty good year with many, many blessings (and a few things that weren’t very fun.)  It’s true, most of my highlights have to do with school or theatre, but I feel like I hit so many milestones this year, I have to mention them.  I can hardly believe all the progress I’ve made, and it makes me all the more excited for 2018!  I’ve heard a handful of people say they have a good feeling about this year, so I’ve decided to adopt that feeling too!

What have been some of your highlights of 2017?

Some Words on Positivity

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Positivity is something that has been on my mind a lot recently.  It’s just so easy to be happy when it’s a beautiful outside and you don’t have to go to class.  But, I have found that embracing positivity consistently takes a lot of thought and effort.  I am going to try to not be too “preachy” with this.  I just have a lot of information that I genuinely want to share with you guys for the sake of everyone’s well-being!  Friend to friend.

It begins with gratitude

The journey to positivity begins with gratitude.  Just taking some time to remind yourself of all that you have to be grateful for can seriously change the outlook of your day.  Here’s a challenge: write a list of 100 things you are grateful for.  I am certain that this will help you look at your day to day life a little differently.  There is always someone that has it worse than you do and we all have so much to be grateful for.

Finding gratitude for some of the smallest and most obvious things in life is often incredibly impactful.  Summer weather, the sunshine, and good health are all things that I am incredibly grateful for.  It can be quite moving to just realize how lucky we are to be alive.

Positivity takes effort

I spent a lot of time and effort in high school training myself to think positively, and I am just now realizing how much it is paying off.  Choosing to look on the bright side is always the right choice.

You may not realize how much negativity is engraved into our culture.  It is statistically proven that bad news sells better than good news.  Negativity excites people, but it can also be very damaging in the long run.  Fighting this natural tendency takes some effort.  Ultimately, you have to choose what kind of impact you are going to have.  You can let other people’s negativity influence you, giving way to more negativity or you can choose to inspire positivity for other people in your life.

Know Yourself

You should make an effort to know how you respond to both positivity and negativity.  How do you set up defenses against negativity?  What makes you happy?  I happen to be an introvert, so having some alone time is not only necessary for me, I actually get really excited to spend time alone!  Just taking a walk by myself helps clear my head and refocus my energy.  If you’re an introvert like me then you can probably relate!  No matter what your personality is like, just make sure you take care of yourself.

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Keep a Record

Sometimes it helps to keep a record of things that make you happy or things that you are trying to accomplish.  For a while in high school, I would write down all the goals I had for the day during breakfast.  My goals were usually small things like compliment 3 people today, smile at someone you don’t know, get my homework done early, etc…  (I lost the journal I kept these goals in, that’s why I stopped.  Oops. 🙂 )  Even if you never get around to your goals, it helps to focus your mindset on positivity at the start of your day.  You can also keep a Pinterest board with positive quotes or motivational inspiration just to stay in the right headspace.

Rely on God

If there is one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that the ultimate peace comes from our God.  I think keeping positive relies on emotional stability, and for me that 100% comes from God.  God didn’t create us to live in a sludge of negativity.  Through Him, we have so much to rejoice in.  He is the one to whom all our gratitude should be directed.  He wants us to be happy.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  -John 14:27

All in all, it sounds pretty simple to keep a positive outlook, but I’m sure it’s no surprise that many people fail daily at this simple concept.  The good thing about being positive is that you get points for trying!  So, from a friend to a friend, I hope these points were helpful.  Please leave any advice on positivity!  I’m sure we can all learn from eachother.

Why I Started Blogging

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I don’t know about you, but I really love to hear stories from other bloggers on how they got their start!  What’s cool about the blogging community is that everyone comes from different walks of life.  There are certainly more bloggers that never had a formal education in regards to blogging (this girl included!)  There is no required education for blogging, you just need a vision.  While I don’t have a degree in social media marketing or creative writing, I am happy to share with you how I got my start and a few things I’ve learned along the way.

When Did You Start Blogging?

In February of 2016.  I was a freshman in my second semester in college.  You could often find me doing a boatload of research in regards to blogging in my dorm room.  I had been thinking about starting a blog for several months, even though I barely had a clue what blogging really meant.  In fact, at the time I started blogging, I didn’t even follow a single blog online.  Other blogs might as well have been unicorns or leprechauns to me. 🙂

The kickstart to my blog was the result of a disappointment.  Unfortunately, I had a lot more time on my hands than I had anticipated.  I hadn’t gotten into the big musical of the semester that I really thought I had a chance of getting into.  (I’ve since learned a lot about how to get into shows too!)  So all the evenings that I thought would be used for rehearsal were open and I had nothing to do.  I spent a lot of those evenings figuring out the logistics of blogging.  I am glad that I turned a disappointment into a time of personal growth.

 

Why Did You Start Blogging?

Like I said, I had been thinking about starting a blog for several months.  It goes back to the summer before college, when I worked at camp.  Working at camp had been a time of great personal growth for me and everyone on staff.  I had learned so much about myself, and about God, and about personal relationships.  I felt like I had a really positive message to share.  I just didn’t know how.

I hadn’t ever really considered myself a “writer.”  You know the type: people who just have a natural thirst for writing.  That usually means they’re pretty good at it too!  That wasn’t me, but I knew I had some thoughts and ideas I wanted to share.

My blog has evolved quite a lot from my original visions.  I always planned on writing content about faith and my life though.  Then I discovered the college blogging community and I realized that blogging was a great way to meet other people!  Now I love writing content about college; anywhere from writing papers to study help.  I would call my blog a lifestyle/faith/college blog, which are most of the topics I write about.

Here is a special treat: this was the first header of my blog!  I don’t know why I wanted an off-center orange theme, but that’s just what I had envisioned!

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Why Do You Like Blogging?

My blog was the first thing I built completely from scratch and completely by myself.  I had to go through some really frustrating moments to get what was in my head onto the screen in front of me, but I’m really glad I did!  Starting my blog really taught me to dream big and pursue my goals.  Furthermore, people are impacted and respond to what I write.  I didn’t think there would be something in my life besides theatre that would have an audience!  The months after starting my blog was when I felt the most empowered I had ever felt in my life.

The cool thing about my blog is that I can make it whatever I want it to be.  If you are thinking about starting a blog, I would absolutely recommend it!  Please feel free to reach out to me and ask questions.  Most people are quite willing to help out a new blogger!

If there is a story behind the start of your blog, I would love to hear it!




Mid-Semester Update on My Life

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Guys, it has been a while since I could sit down at my computer and not feel guilty about spending time on my blog.  As much as I love investing in this blog, my schooling comes first.  Let me tell you, my studies require a lot of time and energy!  It’s good to be reminded that it is important to take some time to do things you enjoy.  We shouldn’t be working all the time.

But seeing myself improve within my program has been so rewarding.  The difference between the beginning of this semester and where I am now kind of blows my mind a bit.  I am extremely proud of the progress I have made and it further motivates me to work even harder.

Things have just begun to slow down a little bit for me, and I am looking forward to a time where I can invest in this blog as well as other things in my life that I really enjoy.  Perhaps these kind of updates are super boring to you, but I feel like I need to explain the changes that have happened in my life in order to prepare for the next chapter!

So What Has Happened?

I got into my degree program

Well, I guess the biggest thing that has happened to me in the last couple months is the changing of my degree.  I am happy to announce that I was accepted into my schools Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program!  Right from the beginning, this has been one of the biggest goals in my academic career.  I know every school runs their program a little differently but in the case of my school, being in the BFA program is exactly the kind of edge I wanted to truly be challenged in my education.  I feel completely ready to take on the extra responsibility of being a BFA student.

I got cast in not one, but two musicals this summer

When I decided to major in theatre, I didn’t anticipate how hard it would be to actually get into shows.  They kind of take it easy on you in high school I’ve learned.  But in college, simply getting into a show is a big deal.  I haven’t actually been in a musical since my senior year of high school.  You can imagine how excited I am to be in two this summer.  Through my school, I will be playing one of the mersisters in The Little Mermaid.  I get to be a mermaid!  Who doesn’t love that show?

I also attended my first professional cattle-call audition this spring.  It wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be.  Through this audition, I was cast in the role of Margot in Legally Blonde the Musical for the summer stock company in my hometown!  I am super excited to return home to do a show!

What’s Next?

As I escape the most stressful parts of the school year, I can feel my mental health becoming more balanced.  I am hoping to have much more time to invest in this blog.  I am already coming up with a lot of ideas I would like to bring to life.  I can’t wait!

One decision I had to make was whether or not I would return to camp this summer.  Getting into these shows were a pretty good incentive to not return.  However, I believe I made this decision quite some time ago.  My summers devoted to camp are over and I am at complete peace about it.  Of course, I will be making plenty of visits to see my friends and my brother who will be working on staff at camp. 🙂

Thank you so much for tuning in to this life update.  There will be much more to come and I can’t wait!

The God of Everywhere

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I have this great opportunity that allows me to get paid for singing in church.

A member of the congregation at the First Presbyterian Church in my college town donated a grant to the choir program for college students to get paid for singing in the choir.  I love singing and I love church (and of course wouldn’t mind being paid!) so this is an ideal opportunity for me.  Every Sunday I go to the Presbyterian Church at 8:30am for choir practice.

I really enjoy singing in the choir.  It’s a small and informal practice every week.  Most of the other choir members are retirement aged members of the congregation, except for one or two other college students.  Everyone is extremely friendly and I think the typical conversation in the room is quaint and polite.  The music is lovely too.  I like to be kept on my toes by sight reading music once a week.

However, I didn’t grow up in a Presbyterian church.  I’ve found them to be a bit more traditional than I’m used to. At the same time, I am missing all three services at the church I prefer to attend.  When the service seems to drag on, I think to myself this:

The God of Hillside Church is the God of the First Presbyterian Church too.

In more applicable terms: God is present everywhere.  Where you are now, and wherever it is you want to be.

I would be will willing to bet that everyone has wanted to be somewhere else at some point in their life.  Maybe you have wished that God would have placed you in a more exciting line of work.  Or perhaps you wish you were in a slower pace of life.  Maybe you have been in a place where you don’t feel appreciated.  Human beings are pretty good at finding fault with what we have.

I have a lot of friends who are literally all over the world.  They are pursuing the desire that God has placed in their hearts to know Him and his people more.  It really seems like they are “out there” doing God’s work.  It often seems to me that going to college and getting a degree in theatre is a less glamorous option.   It seems like it doesn’t exactly align with the following verse.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:19-20

How often do we let that sink in?  God is always with us.  When you try something new, and when you fail.  When you do something scary or something bad, He is with you.  God is with you even when you wish He wasn’t there, and He is most certainly there when you need him most.

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It’s hard to comprehend because there is nothing in this world that we can compare to the presence of God.  Recently God has been revealing to me some things that are simply head knowledge versus the things I truly believe in my heart.  I would say there is a difference between knowing that God is always with you and actually knowing.  This is something I am working on making more than just head knowledge- closer to wisdom of the heart.

What I’ve come to realize is that going to college and getting a degree in theatre is going out into the world.  God doesn’t make mistakes when He decides what direction your life is going to take.  Not everybody is called overseas to experience the vast world God has created, and you are no less of a servant because of the path you’re on.   The God of the world is the God of where you are right now.