This year has been nothing but an amazing experience!
Though being home for almost a week now, this year's festival definitely wore me out, but in a good way. I learned so much while being there as well as having the best of time!

It was so cool being able to see my best friend Michael and hanging out with him as well as the other EdTA staff. I've definitely built some long lasting friendships with them, notably Kat...hahaha But all in all everyone on the staff has been such an amazing inspiration to me. I see all of their work paying off in one week because what they do is for the students and for theatre arts education! They see that come to life through the shows, workshops, auditions, NIES and events they put on throughout the week. It's amazing to have been a part of as well as to see all come to life!

The week was a very tiresome week but so much happened. From Sunday - Friday I ran early in the morning each day...yeah I know crazy, but I was feeling the need to work out. Plus it kept me up and with energy throughout the day. Though I did cave and had some starbucks...hahaha

Monday: The general registration day and I was stationed at the T-shirt area and it was one of the first tables where I'd see troupe directors come by. A lot of those troupe directors I've become good friends with and it's always great to see a familiar face as well as welcoming those new to festival. I always seem to get attached to a group or people each year and this year was no exception. The lucky people were this year's ITO candidates. Six years ago I was in their shoes and knew how they were feeling. It was good to meet all the candidates and talk with them. It's funny I just seem to be a random person but really, I was just like them...wanting to do something big with thespians and show my love for theatre.

Tuesday: Very hectic day, started with running Thespian Playworks Auditions which was from 9am - 12pm...Then a very quick (one hour) break and it was off to Tech Challenge, which was from 1pm - 6pm. Finally dinner and some much needed recovery. But then it was off to the official start of the festival with the first mainstage show being the World Premiere of the school edition of "Avenue Q," which I have never seen the show and I was actually looking forward to seeing. Plus I even got to take a pic with Princeton! lol

Thanks to Musical Theatre International for sponsoring the show and taking the pic!

Wednesday: I helped out with EdTA staff member, Julie with her early morning workshop..."Broadway Workout," which started at 7:30 am. Which I had already did a run earlier than I definitely had a work out! Plus I took some pictures of the event and I was fortunate enough to even have one of them featured in an article for the EdTA website!!!! (Click here to see!) That afternoon I had my actual job for the week which was to be the Theatre Manager for the Johnny Carson Theatre for the Freestyle Theatre Shows! Also new this year, I had the privilege to be the Dance Moderator for the dances. Which was interesting but still fun to do. Besides it was good to interact with all the students.

Thursday: Nothing to crazy, did my Theatre Managing and then stopped over by where the Scholarship Auditions were and chatted with students there as well as the coordinator for it Donnie, who I've made a good friend with. Plus he was the same person to coordinate it when I had auditioned and was telling those auditioning about when I had applied. It was nice to remember stories of yester-year even though that was only five years ago and not like 10...hahahaa Oh and I happend to stop by earlier in the morning to the Leadership Workshop run by the ITO! Good times!

Friday: Theatre Managed and yeah sums up the day...and realizing that Saturday was the end.

Saturday going into Sunday: SUPER STRESSFUL DAY! Went to the last leadership workshop and heard the announcement of Chair and Webmaster for ITO. Then photographed the current ITO as requested by them. Then I was off helping run the NIES showcase, which was really hectic, managing people from two different theatres. Then it was straight to theatre managing...after that off running to grab a bite to eat got food delivered to eat, all while getting Scholarship Recipients photographed and then the newly elected ITO photographed...After that running backstage making sure the newly ITO and old ITO were all there going from both theatres. Then finally watched the first half of the final mainstage, "Anything Goes." After that it off to help pack the office with the staff and then off to Dance Moderate the dance. Once the dance was over, which was around 12:30am, finally started packing all of my stuff, then took a quick shower and then took a hour nap. Then I was off to my shuttle to Omaha at 4am, the ride there took another nap, then stood in line for what seemed an eternity to check in my luggage. Then getting through TSA and finally making my flight with 40 minutes to spare. Took another nap while on the plane ride to St. Louis...then another nap during my layover there, immediately got on my flight and had another nap going back to Detroit. So pretty much total amount of sleep that day was like 5 hours. Got home and did errands and then eventually had a quick break. Then not stopping headed to my store meeting, after just arriving back home, but with good reason, because they wanted me to attend the other meeting the next day at 8am and then work two hours later...being the smart guy I was chose to suck it up and deal with jet lag/but really exhaustion and went to the meeting. Finally headed home, ate and went to bed. Literally slept until I had to go to work that next day.

ALL in ALL this festival definitely put me to work and in a good way! I love every single bit! Plus I've been ask to do leadership workshop as well as other opportunities! So I'm very thankful!

WOW! So this has been one long blog of an entry! But it's been worth it!