As mentioned in my previous post...I am truly honored and blessed to have gone another year of ITF! I'm reflecting on the past eight years of going leading up to this year's experience.

Where I left off....I just became an ITO!

My Senior Year of high school was very bittersweet to say the least! It definitely had it's moments of greatness and times of stress/sadness/frustrations. But all in all my experience in being a ITO my senior year was nothing but AWESOME! I got to experience my FIRST TRIP to NEW YORK CITY! I couldn't tell you how awesome that was! As well as being able to help Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids with their annual flea market, where I was pretty much star struck! It was a great time and getting to know my other fellow ITO! I can not tell you how much fun it was planning for ITF as well as my own state conference. I had blast working with a variety of people. Plus I got to even go to my THIRD JTF, this time it was held in GA! Which I had only driven through, so I got to experience it and ATL airport...lol AND I even got to attend another state conference, which was OHIO's! I was lucky enough to borrow my parent's car for the weekend to drive to Ashland University, where it was being held. And guess who was at the conference....DAYLE, MEGAN & CAITLIN! It was always nice to see them! Plus I got to see the Ohio Student State Officers (SSOs for short) and Gloria my judge from JTF as she is from Ohio. It was an amazing reunion going to the Ohio Conference. I taught a leadership workshop and little did I know inspired a thespian to become a ITO and would later win in becoming one!

Then I got to visit the home office of EdTA, which is down in Cincinnati and is totally drivable from Farmington Hills, MI. Didn't really have a car to use so I flew down for the meeting. It was still a TON of fun! So quick story about the trip to Cincy, we had a change in advisors for ITO as well as a new ITO come in midway through the year. But in the end, with these changes we managed to over come them as well as did our best to roll with the punches. Plus since being the Pubs Ed/Secretary/Webmaster, I was pretty much our Historian/Photographer, so I pretty much documented everything too! Plus I was lucky to have a fancy camera....a Nikon D90 (which is now been replaced with my Nikon D5000) and took some cool pics! Plus I was fortunate enough to have Photoshop too! So Photo editing was fun! =]

So finally my year as an ITO at ITF was SOOOO MUCH FUN! But it was a lot of work. We arrived three days before festival would start to prepare for the 2,000+ thespians/sponsors/chaperones coming. That's also the same time when I'd reconnect with an old acquaintance. It was the same kid who had previously wanted to run for ITO back at the 05 festival but didn't get his chance due to lack of turning in application on time or something. Either way, he was back and running again but this time instead of Regional rep but as Chair. However he also was auditioning for the National Cast of "Throughly Modern Millie," and did I mention he was the son of an EdTA staff member? Well within that time at festival we became good friends, which would throughout that year become even better friends then eventually best friends.

It was weird being on the other side, seeing others run to become ITO, but it was a relief that I wasn't running again, though a part of me wished I could have. However through it all, it was a great festival. The workshop ran well, presenting shows was fun and doing the auction was good too! It was a week of work but also a week of fun! I even did the scholarship auditions, which I was fortunate to be called back. In the midst of being an ITO and I took time for me for my future endeavors in an education in theatre. Unfortunately I wasn't chosen to receive a scholarship but I learned so much from the experience and was just glad to have had that opportunity. Yeah, I was disappointed but I kept trucking! Plus I loved meeting my judges as well as the coordinator for the scholarships. All were people who truly cared for the success of students and those passionate about theatre.

So when my term of being a ITO was over, I literally thought I wouldn't be able to experience ITF or do anything as awesome. But I was wrong. I was fortunate enough to continue working with my state conference in 2007 and even attended the Ohio Conference that year too! Then I was surprised to hear I was able to volunteer to help out at ITF 2007! I was so excited and willing to do anything to help out! And that's what I pretty much did. I helped out that year with the Thespian Playworks Auditions being the stage manager as I did when I was an ITO, then helped answer questions at the info desk, was the theatre manager for the one of the one act theatres. It was so much fun! I even got to see my best friend, Michael and many other friends I've made throughout the years at ITF. It was crazy but so much fun at the same time!

Then I did it again in 2008, right before I moved to Greeley, CO. Where ironically Sam & Ryan went to school too. It was like an ITO reunion for our year, half of us going to the same university. Then while at UNC, I experienced my first Colorado state conference! Which was a lot of fun and I got to see familiar faces of EdTA.

From 2009 & 2010, I again helped with ITF! However in 2009, I was cast in a show, where we performed that Friday of ITF and had to unfortunately leave early. Which was a bummer but still a wonderful opportunity. Then 2010 I was back for the whole week and enjoyed it every bit!

Getting tired, I'll finish off with my actual reflections of this past week's experience in my next blog entry...but until then =]