Why Everybody Should Be A Diva

why everybody should be a diva

What do you think of when you hear the word diva?  Chances are you think of someone who is really stuck up, covered in expensive couture, and bossing people around.  The word “diva” has come to mean someone who is generally pretty dislikable, but still seems to get everything they want.

Hang on.  Here is the dictionary definition of what a diva is: a famous female singer of opera.  That’s it.

The term diva has evolved over time, and it is still evolving to this day.  It used to simply mean an accomplished singer, but I frequently hear it being used as an insult or descriptor word of somebody that is pretty high-maintenance.  But as the word has continued to evolve, I think the term diva has come to a completely different definition altogether.  I think the best and most relevant definition of a diva is a person who values their creativity, respects themselves as an individual, and draws attention to themselves because of their authenticity rather than their ego.

Some classic examples of modern divas would be Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, and Beyoncé (duh).  These people have achieved diva status not only because of their amazing talent but because they are truly one of a kind.  There are many other singers you may not be aware of who actually do sing opera, and sing it very well.  These people are first-class divas too.

This kind of diva sounds like someone I want to be.  In fact, I think anyone with a creative bone in their body should aspire to become their own brand of diva.  Since I aspire to be both a singer-diva and an overall-creative-diva, here are some steps I’m taking that may help you become a diva as well.

Divas don’t try to copy others, they love being themselves

Has anybody ever become successful by copying others?  No matter what field you are attempting to achieve diva status in, I’m sure you have people you look up to.  However, aspiring to be exactly like these people isn’t your key to success.  I think it’s wonderful that there are so many incredible people that feed my inspiration, but if I’m ever going to be that kind of inspiration for anyone else, I must be totally confident in being myself.

They look fierce all the time

Of course, it is natural to assume that divas “look the part” all the time, but that is not necessarily true.  Real divas own whatever they are wearing because they don’t get their confidence from the clothes they wear or how their makeup looks.  Divas wear whatever they like, even if it doesn’t conform to current trends.  In modern terms, these divas are called trendsetters.

Divas value their own creativity

One of the biggest mistakes an artist can make is selling themselves short.  It’s easy to compare yourself to others and see that you haven’t accomplished as much, but give yourself credit where it is due!  I am so guilty of undermining my success, but it is something I am working on improving.  Every diva knows that what she creates is worth her time and a success in itself.  So don’t sell yourself short!

Every diva knows that what she creates is worth her time and a success in itself. Click To Tweet

They may have fear, but they don’t let it stop them

Obviously, you can’t be a diva if you are constantly checking for approval from others.  No one can truly escape fear, but that doesn’t mean you should let it control you.  Any good diva will look fear in the eye and move on with her life.

Divas lift up themselves by lifting up others

One of the problems I have with the popular definition of a diva is that it seems to imply that divas don’t care about other people’s work, or will even slam the work of others to build herself up.  Divas are of course honest all the time, so when she sees something she likes, she will, of course, say something!  Take every opportunity to praise other divas; they will surely return the favor.  True divas are not threatened by the success of others.

True divas are not threatened by the success of others. Click To Tweet

They don’t need the approval of others to be happy

Divas sing or act or write or paint or do whatever because they love it.  Of course, it’s always nice to have the approval of others at hand, but take it or leave it because you should only be trying to make yourself happy.  If your work can make others happy, great!  But your work doesn’t need the approval of others to survive.

Divas graciously accept compliments and critique

Do you ever find it hard to accept compliments?  I know I do.  Sometimes all you need to say is a simple and sincere “thank you” and leave it at that.  When people compliment you, it’s because you earned it.  So like I said before, don’t sell yourself short and simply accept the good that others see in you.  Likewise, critique can be equally hard to accept, but the same procedure applies.  Whether or not you agree with the critique, smile and say thank you.  It’s the least you can do, and it may help you improve yourself.

While I am still aspiring to become a singer-diva, I am taking these steps so that I can become a diva in all areas of my life.  I believe that divas are a powerhouse of confidence, which they exude in all areas of their life.  In fact, I’m sure we all know plenty of divas in our own lives that are pretty fierce!  It might be your mom, or your best friend, or one of the upperclassmen at your school.  Either way, I believe we all have the power to be a diva.

Oh, and I also think guys can be divas too. 🙂

So, what do you think of this?  Do you like this new-and-improved definition of a diva?  Let me know in the comments what you think about aspiring to become a diva or some divas that you might look up to! 🙂

The Pros and Cons of Being an Introvert

the pros and cons of being an introvert

The spectrum of introvert to extrovert is something very near and dear to my heart.  I believe that understanding a little bit about yourself and the way your personality works can help you relate to others and take care of yourself.  I consider myself to be an introvert; more specifically my personality type is INFJ.  It just so happens that INFJ’s cling to their personality type the most, which explains why I wrote this post I guess!

My introverted friends and I bond through the struggles and perks of our personality type.  So, I thought it would be fun to put together this list and see if any of you relate!  Keep in mind that these are only the things I have observed from my own journey as an introvert, so I can understand if you can’t relate to all of these.  Afterall, though we may all fall somewhere on the introvert/extrovert spectrum, we are all individuals. 🙂

The pros of being an introvert

  1. People think you’re really smart because you internalize everything and emerge with earth-shattering deep thoughts.
  2. You have no problem shopping, eating, or working by yourself. It’s actually pretty fun to treat yourself to a coffee or a movie all alone.
  3. People praise you for your amazing listening skills.
  4. You can read people in an instant.  It’s like your superpower!
  5. You are energized by alone time, especially with a good book, your favorite movie, or a walk outside.
  6. You have an uncanny understanding of cats.
  7. Introverts can actually process larger amounts of information than most people in any given situation.
  8. You are able to rationalize and problem solve much easier than your extrovert counterparts.
  9. You are ambitious. Contrary to the quiet evenings and mild social lives, introverts have all the tools they need to pursue their goals fearlessly.
  10. You learn things easily and have an incredible ability for self-correction.

The cons of being an introvert

  1. It is really, really hard to relate with people who are different from you.
  2. Although you love being by yourself, other people don’t really understand why you are keeping your distance.  It’s not them, it’s you.
  3. Making phone calls is the worst.
  4. You have to rehearse what you’re going to say to someone before you speak to them.
  5. You overthink everything. Hopefully it doesn’t drive you insane.
  6. For some reason, people feel like they need to help you be more outgoing. (Please don’t)
  7. Group projects!!!
  8. You hate being late, but you hate being early even more.
  9. You feel misunderstood sometimes.
  10. You struggle developing relationships with people at the same speed as everyone else.

There you go!  Just some observations from the life of an introvert.  Despite all the pros and cons, I wouldn’t trade any of these characteristics for anything.  Do you relate to any of these?  What are your own struggles as an introvert?  To my extroverted friends, what are some of the struggles you face?   Let me know in the comments!

10 Reasons Why You Should Be a Camp Counselor

10 reasons why you should be a camp counselor

I have had my fair share of summers that are less than spectacular, but now I know the secret to having the best summer ever: camp counseling!  Last summer was my first time working at a camp, and it was truly the best summer of my life.  Even though I was hired on as part of the kitchen staff (which is totally fun and awesome, by the way!) I got to do my fair share of counseling as well as other fun camp activities.

I am happy to say that I have been hired back as a full-time counselor for this summer!  While I’m waiting for the semester to finish I might as well share with you why being a camp counselor is the best way to spend your summer. 🙂

This post is in collaboration with Tori from toriinthousandoaks.com, another college blogger who works at a summer camp.  Camp culture is something you can’t really explain unless you’ve experienced it, so there is an instant bond between camp people!  The two of us are bringing you 10 reasons why YOU should be a camp counselor for the summer!

1. You will definitely get a good tan

Listen, I had never been tan in my life until I worked at a camp.  If I can tan, anybody can!  Especially if you’re a lifeguard, you will be leaving camp at the end of the summer with a bronze glow as a souvenir of all the wonderful times you had outside!  Being outside and running around with your campers is a sure way to soak up some rays.  Just make sure to bring sunscreen and aloe, because you will get burned too. 🙂

2. You get to learn some parenting skills years before you have kids

Most of the time, campers are pretty well-behaved, but you will definitely be working on having patience with kids!  Every now and then there will be a camper who acts out severely, and you will of course have to deal with them in an appropriate way.  But besides that, you will be learning how to keep kids engaged, how to listen to them, how to have fun with them, and how to be instructive.  Maybe your campers will teach you a thing or two as well!

3. Being crazy and outgoing is practically part of the job description

I often find that when I am with campers I am a completely different person than I am outside of camp.  Even though I’m generally more reserved, I completely let loose while I’m counseling.  The excitement and energy from the campers is contagious, and they will love you for being funny and outgoing!  As a counselor, you are responsible for bringing the enthusiasm to your cabin, so go crazy!

4. The food is really good!

Um, yes!  The meals we have at my camp are often one of the highlights of the campers whole time at camp.  Not to mention you will have some great bonding time with your campers over meals while you share funny stories.  Don’t forget the constant s’mores, popcorn, and candy that we snack on all week.  I even sneak some late-night cookie dough into my cabins sometimes!

5. You get to have an impact on young lives

It never ceases to amaze me how close all the campers grow with each other and with their counselors.  In a camp atmosphere, relationships are often hyper-accelerated, so you are sure to meet people that you feel like you’ve known forever.  Not to mention, the campers often feel like they can open up to their counselors easily, so you will surely have a positive impact on their lives!

In actuality there are a million reasons why you should consider being a camp counselor this summer, but I hope this list helped peak you interest.  If you have any questions about camp life or you have a crazy camp story to tell, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.  I’d love to hear it!

Don’t forget to head on over to Tori’s Blog, Tori in Thousand Oaks, to find out the other 5 reasons why you should be a camp counselor.

 

Real Talk: Community Post + Questionnaire!

real talk community post plus questionnaire

Adjusting to college isn’t the easiest thing to do, but I think the hardest part of the whole experience was adjusting to the people and how they interacted with each other.  Have you ever been in a situation where everyone seems to be talking but nobody is actually saying anything?

I think it is natural for people to put up their defenses around people they don’t know very well, but there is something so liberating about speaking from your heart!  Sometimes showing a little bit of vulnerability is a great way to gain the trust of others and make some genuine friends.

I was having a casual conversation with one of my academic advisors recently who clearly wasn’t afraid of asking honest questions.  Amidst all the surface level conversations I have everyday, it was like a breath of fresh air!  I couldn’t help but wonder why everyone couldn’t just speak honestly?

I don’t want to make this a very wordy post; I want to hear your words!  Answer one, or two, or all of the questions that resonate with you.  Unlike the beloved Coke or Pepsi questions, I think this questionnaire is a great way to help us better understand our character.

One last thing: this is for everybody!  No matter if you found this post by accident, sought it out, or you are 50 years in the future!  It takes all kinds of stories to fill the world. 🙂

1) How do you deal with disappointment?

2) What is your greatest success up until now?

3) In what ways do you hold yourself back?

4) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

5) What book/movie/artist/musical has influenced you the most?

6) What is your greatest failure?  Did you overcome it?  How?

7) What is something you haven’t done yet, but you would like to?

8) What are you an expert at?

9) Who is your personal hero?

10) What is a belief that you cling to?

11) What is your story?

12) What do you struggle with?

Let’s not be afraid of vulnerability!  And most importantly, we must take the time to listen to others.

Here are some of my posts that in which I have a “real talk” 🙂

Adventure in New York City: Spring Break Trip!

adventure in new york city: spring break trip!

It seems like nearly everyone I know went somewhere incredible for spring break this year, so why should my trip to New York City stick out amongst the other amazing travels that you and I are hearing about?  Because this trip was truly more than the sum of its parts.  This trip changed me, and I totally wasn’t expecting it.  I really got to know the city for the short time I was there, and I know I will be returning as soon as I can!  The culture, the food, the people, and the theatres made my trip so special.  I’m not saying everything was perfect, in fact I hated some of it, but it felt like I was meeting an old friend again.  Does that make any sense?

Oh where to begin?  This was a trip that I took with the Theatre Department here at MSU Mankato, so most of my closest friends from school were with me.  We had been looking forward to this trip for months.  When I was first dropped off in the city, me and my classmates just wandered around like lost puppies for a while, looking for cheap food.  I was kind of overwhelmed.  I had been to New York before in high school, but never let off the leash to explore on my own.  It was kind of a deer-in-the-headlights feeling for the first couple of hours.

Throughout the next several days I got to experience this amazing city.  Some of the most memorable locations I went to were Central Park, The Met, Little Italy, Chinatown, and Coney Island (even though the park was closed, the beach was wonderful!) and many other places.

adventure in new york city: spring break trip! central park

Did you know there is a castle in the middle of Central Park? And what an excellent view it has!

adventure in new york city: spring break trip! the met

I played Aphrodite in a show at my school. I couldn’t really see the resemblance in this statue of her at The Met.

adventure in new york city: spring break trip! coney island

Even though the amusement park at Coney Island was closed, the pier provided an excellent view!

Well, obviously this is all great, but the real highlight for any Theatre Major going to New York City are the shows!  I saw four Broadway shows while I was in the city, and each of them were phenomenal.  Not to mention, they all taught me something about myself, or about theatre, or about life in general.

Show #1: Chicago

The Ambassador theatre was actually a lot smaller than I thought a typical “Broadway” theatre would be.  The whole atmosphere of the show was pretty intimate, mostly because of the interpretive nature of the show.  Not only was the orchestra on stage, the orchestra was the scenery!  I had never seen any version of Chicago before and I loved it!

Show #2: Something Rotten!

You guys, this is a show that everybody should see!  I’m not kidding.  In the middle of watching this show I was wishing that my family was able to see it, and there is something to be said for wanting to experience something amazing with those you love.  Something Rotten! incorporates everything that is significant about musicals, and by that I mean that there is a lot of tap dancing!  The energy that goes into these big dance numbers is unreal, not to mention, it’s a hilarious show!

adventure in new york city: spring break trip! something rotten

(A Brief Intermission from the Awesomeness of Broadway)

I was feeling really down the day I went to Something Rotten!  That was the day I was supposed to see Hamilton the musical, which I believe everybody’s heard about.  I am a HUGE fan of Hamilton, and I had been telling people for months that I was going to see it on Broadway.  However, just a couple of hours before the performance, I realized that the ticket I bought in November was for the wrong day.  Heart.  Broken.  To be specific, it was for the previous weeks’ performance, so I couldn’t even get a refund.  It was awful.  Not only did I miss out on the most revolutionary show Broadway has ever seen, I had lost all the money I spent on the ticket.  So yeah, it was a pretty bad day.

After the amazing performance of Something Rotten! a group of us decided to wait at the stage door to meet the actors.  I thought I would hate doing this, I guess that’s just my personality, but I loved it!  But the most exciting moment at the stage door was the interaction me and my classmates had with André Ward; an ensemble member with quite the impressive Broadway resume.  He took one look at the group of us and said “You guys are actors, aren’t you?”  We were all shocked!  “Oh I can tell an actor from a mile away!” he said.  I was completely dumbfounded that this seasoned Broadway actor was able to pick out the collegiate actors from the rest of the crowd.  This was an especially encouraging moment for me, and I began to have a better understanding of how special the theatre community was.  I also felt like this was Mr. Ward’s way of accepting us as fellow artists.

Show #3: The Phantom of the Opera

The day I went to see Phantom I woke up with the excitement consuming my brain!  If you know anything about me, you know that this is my favorite musical of all time, and I was about to see it live for the first time!  The anticipation consumed my thoughts throughout the entire day, and I’m pretty sure my friends were both amused and annoyed.

adventure in new york city: spring break trip! the phantom of the opera

Omigosh, I fangirled so hard.

However this was the only show I saw that I didn’t have really good seats for.  Actually, I kind of hated my seat.  I was in the way back of the orchestra.  It’s not that I was too far back, it was that the balcony was blocking my view of the top half of the proscenium, and I would have loved to have a full view of the majestic scenery, including the chandelier.  Bummer.  Not to mention, the people around me were talking during the performance!  Not only did I witness this myself, but my friends who were dispersed throughout the theatre all had to suffer through audience members talking during the show.  Please, please be respectful to the actors and other audience members whenever you go see a show!

Despite the sub-par experience at the theatre, the show itself was beautiful!  The Phantom, Christine, and especially Raoul (the Phantom Trinity) were unbelievable.  And I made a vow to myself that I will someday play Christine on that stage.  I promise that to you too!  You heard it here first folks!

Show #4: School of Rock

After my Hamilton tragedy, I felt the need to make it up to myself.  Luckily, one of my favorite actresses -Sierra Boggess- was performing in a show right down the street from our hotel!  Sierra Boggess has been a huge influence on my technique as a performer, but mostly she has been influential in shaping my character.  If you don’t know who she is, go check her out!  Her commitment to honesty and positivity is just as impressive as her theatrical successes.  So I decided to see the show she was in.

But School of Rock though!!!  This show blew my mind!  I have never been more pumped up during a show before, and it was so touching too!  I would recommend this show to anyone, and I daresay it was the highlight of my trip.  I also had a fantastic seat.  When Sierra came out for her first scene, I was about 20 feet away from her.  It was such a thrill!  But really though, all the actors were incredible, right down to the kids jamming out on their instruments.  Holy cow!

adventure in new york city: spring break trip! school of rock

My classmates and I were all touched by this show.  The message is incredible, and the theatrics are breathtaking!  Like I said, I highly recommend this show!

Oh yeah, I met Sierra Boggess.  I didn’t get to give her my 20 minute I-appreciate-you-and-you’re-amazing-and-can-we-be-best-friends speech, but hey, I guess that’s how it goes!

adventure in new york city: spring break trip! sierra boggess

QUEEN

This trip just affirmed what I am working towards while I am here at college.  Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud to be pursuing a degree for now, but I am sure I am moving to this city after I graduate!  I felt so welcomed by the very atmosphere of the city, and I must say it has been an adjustment coming back to school.  However, I now feel more refreshed, encouraged, and confident about myself because of this trip!  Farewell until next time NYC!