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?

Book Review: “Unoffendable” by Brant Hansen

 

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Have you ever considered what it means to be Unoffendable?  On this day I am bringing you my thoughts on a book that I believe to be capable of changing the world!  From the very first pages, I knew it was something I wanted to share with a large number of people, and I have already recommended it to several friends, and now I get to recommend it to you!  Shall we begin?

This book was recommended to me by my mother.  (Who also has a blog, where she shares her artistic adventures.  How about that?)  When she explained the concept of this book to me, I was immediately intrigued and wanted to know more.  Now, I can easily tell you that this book is, like, my jam.

The concept that fuels this book is that Christians can not only choose to be unoffendable, but that Christians should be the most unoffendable people on earth!  In order to become “unoffendable” we must renounce our right to be angry.  The book also answers many questions about judgement, entitlement, justice, and human nature.

“I used to think it was incumbent upon a Christian to take offense.  I now think we should be the most refreshingly unoffendable people on a planet that seems to spin on an axis of offense.  Forfeiting our right to anger makes us deny ourselves, and makes us others-centered.  When we start living this way, it changes everything.”

I can tell you firsthand that it does change everything.  I have been seeing this world differently since reading this book, and honestly, I think it’s the way I wanted to see all along.  I remember specific times in my life where I’ve wanted to tell someone “You can’t offend me” in order to establish the trust that they needed and comfort them in their insecurities.  However, I felt that cultural-barrier that told me I was entitled to offense.  If someone treated me horribly and slammed my Christian beliefs, surely I would be justified in my anger, therefore it must be okay.

Since reading this book, I have told people that I can’t be offended, and it is such a relief!  While some people may not bat an eye at the thought of offending others, for some people that’s all they think about.  They are worried they are a bother to others because of their personality or character.  Yet there are other people who go around provoking offense because they expect others to be angry with them.  My decision to remain unoffendable has broken down the barriers between both these types of people, and I am so grateful that I am learning to look past our differences.

The real replacement for anger and offense is love.  I’d say the most powerful effect that this book has had on me is the release of the obligation to get upset at everything that doesn’t line up with my beliefs.  By just letting it go, I have found a great sense of peace in the world around me.  Just learn to accept that everyone has sinned and move on so you can love that person!

“Anger is extraordinarily easy. It’s our default setting. Love is very difficult. Love is a miracle.”

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Anger is extraordinarily easy. It’s our default setting. Love is very difficult. Love is a miracle. Click To Tweet

Unoffendable explores the tender balance between striving to be like Christ and being completely aware that we are not Jesus: a concept that we should all explore and try to understand.  The book is an easy-read with several stories, quotes, and a sense of humor that the author, Brant Hansen, uses to illustrate his points.  It’s entertaining!  I also appreciate Hansen’s honesty in his own mistakes when it comes to being unoffendable and loving others.

Not gonna lie, I got super pumped up reading this book.  I can only imagine what the world would be like if we all chose to be “unoffendable”, but for the small part I play in this world, this decision has done me good.

“Yes, the world is broken.  But don’t be offended by it.  Instead, thank God that He’s intervened in it, and  He’s going to restore it to everything it was meant to be.  His kingdom is breaking through, bit by bit.  Recognize it, and wonder at it.”

So, what do you think about being unoffendable?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  I really believe that this is an important subject, so don’t be afraid to bring it up with me, or your friends, or family.  Also, if you read this book, let me know!  I love talking about it!  Follow me on Twitter or comment on this post and we can have a nice little chat. 🙂

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