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Time for an update

It's been a month since my last update and a lot has happen since then.

I've started on my annual summer long blogging for +CBS Detroit in recapping episodes of +Big Brother! Though it's still a hope that one day (hopefully next season) that I will be on the show competing, manipulating, sabotaging, creating drama and winning the show! In the interim I'll take to writing about it and connecting with fans! 

Sad news, I've been let go as a resident Actor at The Flea Theatre, however I am now an alumni. My time at the The Flea has been positive and learning opportunity as an actor. I've met some great people and hope to continue to do some great work with many of them. Though I may not be at The Flea, I'm still a proud supporter of the theatre and look forward to what the new artistic director as well as The Bats have in store! As one door closes another door opens. This is just another chapter ending and a new one beginning!

I throughly enjoyed my time this year at the Thespian Festival, held in Lincoln, NE at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, campus. The UNL staff and the Educational Theatre Association were great. Being someone who was a student and now coming back as a guest artist has been great! I hope to continue to come back an inspire more students. Plus I was able to reconnect with other artists and make new connections as well!

Last summer I decided to make a hair change and again this year I decided to do it again! I just wanted a summer look you could say but also I just really wanted to do something different. Change is good and change is bad. But it's all an experience! 

This has been a sufficient update I do say so myself! I'm going to try and update more because I think it just feels right. Also this is another way to be an outlet other than my Big Brother recap blogging! 


Three Trips in May

As I'm awaiting to board my flight, I'm stopping near a food place to eat and to also blog.

The past two weeks, I've made trips back to "Pure Michigan," for my friend's graduation as well as surprising my mom for her birthday.

My first trip was only three days and I was able to see my friend graduate with their master's degree from Wayne State University! So proud of them and it was great to see some friends graduate with their undergrad from WSU as well.

I may have missed some friends my first trip back but I assured others that I would be returning the following week for a surprise but planned visit. My mom's friends' were planning her a not so surprise birthday party and I knew about this weeks in advance but didn't know about it until after I had booked my first trip. Knowing the cost of travel it was something that was weighing on my mind. But to surprise my mom was a great moment. She had know idea and was brought to tears. It was a special moment and I'm glad I was able to keep it a surprise.

Overall it was nice to visit friends and family from Michigan, but I'm ready to get back to the hustle and bustle of NYC, my new home! However I still have a home in Michigan.

Now in a week I'll be traveling to Mexico for a vacation/birthday celebration! I'm looking forward to my trip abroad, even if it's just Mexico. I look froward to warm weather, hanging out with friends and working on a tan!

May has been great for traveling, I'm thankful I'm Pre-TSA where I am able to skip the line.

My food is here and I'm starving! I've got work tonight as well back home so I'm back to me regular routine!


Opportunities Abound

It's a new month and I'm really excited because I've just been working hard to pursue what I love and it's slowly coming together.

I'm part of an AMAZING organization, the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) and this year I've finally paid my dues (literally) to become a professional member. I had been a part of the organization through the International Thespian Society as a Junior Thespian (Troupe #88331) and Thespian (#Troupe 6513). Now living in New York, I've been asked by the Chapter Directors of the state to be the new Student Thespian Officer (STO) Coordinator. Which I was thrilled to have been asked and honored to have been consider. I of course humbly accepted and now I'm getting to work with a great group of kids. Though I'm still relatively new to the role, I have plenty of leadership experience and hope that I can make an impact.

Also with the organization, since the National Festival, held every year at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, I've been making a push to reach out to other state festivals/conferences to help out. I'm happy to say that I'll be getting to go to the Georgia Thespian Conference in February to teach Beginning Hip Hop. I'm really excited for the opportunity and it'll be my first time visiting the GA Thespian Conference. Hopefully this will be the beginning of more to come! Here's a link of me dancing during a Hip Hop Class at Alvin Ailey taught by David Terry to see my moves.

I also had the privilege last month to help out with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids annual Flea Market. It was great getting to be a part of the event and help out! So many theatre goers at the event supporting the cause! Here's a pic from the event, where I was at the EdTA table along with this year's International Thespian Officers (ITO)

Last month I made my debut on a New York Theatre at The Flea Theatre performing in #serials@theflea in a show called, "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dragon," by A.J. Ditty. The best part of doing it was the show was selected to come back this month and I'll get to perform with it (hopefully) in two weeks. It just needs to survive this next week and I have a good feeling it will! The writing and the cast has been great! Plus the audience has been very receptive and loving it! However it will have to place in the top three against four other shows!

I've also been cast in another Flea Production in The Cutthroat Series: Grand Guignol Duels - Night Terrors in the show "The Blind." I'm excited for another great opportunity with this theatre community. I look forward to the rehearsals and the experience! 

Besides my theatre involvements, I've finished another year of blogging as a freelance writer for CBS Detroit for the show Big Brother. Now that it's been announced for two more season, only continues to fuel my desire to be on the show! But I'm thankful for the opportunity that I've had to write and even though I'm not getting paid for it, I'm doing it for the experience. Plus the byline isn't so bad as well as the exposure I've gotten. I love reading the comments (both positive, negative and random) as well as emails from fans of the show. I get into weekly conversations with a friend of mine who now lives in Canada about the show! Check out all my articles on CBS Detroit!

My job has been good too! I've been giving the opportunity to train the new hires as they start with the company. It's always great being able to mentor and resource for my new co-workers. Plus I'm thankful my job has been able to work with my passions of acting and be able to have a "survival job" and do what I love. 

This weekend I head back to Michigan (or home you could say) to be the photographer for a friend's wedding. I am honored and excited for this opportunity. This will be my third wedding I'll be photographing. I'm just hoping the rain won't be an issue as this will be my first outdoor wedding I'll be doing, but rain or shine I will be capturing the moments! I look forward to the challenge!

My "Dear Anonymous," post was very therapeutic and much needed. I was finally able to get all the emotions I wanted to get out. But it's shown me that it's ok to make mistakes, friends come and go as well as you can lose touch with some but then pick up where you left off. Ironically after I wrote that post I looked over it and thought, "Man this sounds like a good monologue," and laughed.

But keeping up with my New Year's Resolution, to always stay positive which hasn't been easy however many of my coworkers are annoyed with my positivity so I must be doing something right! 

All in all, NYC was the right decision. I may be working my butt off, but I know that with determination, drive and passion I can achieve my goals and dreams. Though it may be in a different form, I take all the experiences and learn something from them. Again trying to stay positive. Who wants to be sad and negative? I know I don't!


In Flight Recap

After my Oscars predictions, I pretty much fell off the from blogging, not because I didn't want to, but because I just didn't. But I'll try and recap what has happened since then...


My Grandlittle and very good friend came to visit as well as perform in his senior showcase in NYC. It was great to see him and know that I'll have another friend coming to the city! We also caught "A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder," which is nominated for 10 awards! Fun fact a former professor is a part of the talented group and it's great to see this show doing well. If you get the chance to see it, you should!

While my GrandLittle was visiting, a friend from Michigan was also in town for a conference and I was able to catch up with her.

I also auditioned for a Broadway show that featured a hip hop dance audition, which was interesting because the musical typically doesn't have hip hop in it. The audition was so much fun and it got me really addicted to the song they used for the piece.

Since I attended nine of the same theatre festival, I have made countless friends and I had the great opportunity to catch up with a one of them. It had been over seven years since we last met up.


On the 1st of April, which is also known as April Fools, I entered the Book of Mormon lottery for NY residents, to win discounted tickets for the following day's performance. To my luck I had won, which I thought was first a prank, but turned out to be a great surprise! I was able to go and bring a friend to the show. It was also my friend's first Broadway musical and they and definitely enjoyed it!

I decided on a whim to go and visit my friend in DC to see the Cherry Blossom Festival. It was my first time in DC and I had a great time! I even got to catch up with my Senior RA from my first year at my university as well as another friend. 

For Easter I was able to spend some time with family and meet some new relatives in the same process. With work my schedule, I now have the weekend off, so I was able to catch up with family and friends who normally work a 9-5/Mon-Friday job. 

Went to the New York International Auto Show with some co-workers from work. I had mentioned to some that I really wanted to go and it would be my first time going in the City. I have gone to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but wanted to see what NY had to offer. There were definitely some similarities as well as differences. Also was a great opportunity to hang out with co-workers outside of work and make new friends!

That's pretty much what has been happening, it doesn't seem like much but after writing it all down, I can say I've kept myself busy and look forward to this month as well as what the rest of the year brings.

Oh and I also started the process of straightening my teeth, meaning I got braces. I have overcrowding in my teeth as well as an interesting bite. So I finally made the decision to get them fixed. Definitely worth the investment and luckily I'll have them off in two years. Though definitely changes the types of roles I'll go for, but again will be worth it in the long run. I'm thankful to have a job that has a good dental plan and I'm able to make this investment affordable.

I'm currently on my way back to my Alma Mater to wish one of my Little, GrandLittle, fraternity brothers and friends the best as they graduate today and tomorrow! 

(Hopefully I'll be able to add more pictures later)


Day 309

I've been off on my days this year by 10....whoops! At least I was consistent. Anyways it's November already and the year is almost over!

Last week I moved into my new apartment with new roommates. Now living in NYC has been a little difficult for me because I had been missing friends back home. The first place I was living just wasn't the place I wanted to live and so I made the decision to start looking for a new place. Now I am a person who hates to say goodbye or leave, but luckily my landlady understood. However there was of course it's roller coasters. With the roller coasters I took it with stride and in the end come out of it learning more about myself.

Trying to balance work and pursuing a dream is never an easy task. I'm definitely still trying to figure it out, but right now I'm trying to really get my feet on the ground as well as get them wet too. I had an unexpected opportunity last month and I did my best. Even though it didn't turn out in my favor I learned from it and I'm moving forward. I am thankful for having a full time job and it's been work trying to adjust to the time difference. I remember in college (which is only two years ago) that I was pulling some late night shifts, going to class, going to rehearsals and being a leader on campus. Now it's just working late shifts, trying to pursue my dream for acting and trying to sleep.

Funny thing about moving to my new place is that I wanted to live closer to a friend. Now ironically that friend is leaving the city. Which I'm sad to see them go but happy that they're doing what makes them happy. I can't be selfish about that and besides my new roommates are great. Also since my family visit, I've been in touch with my "uncle" or my mom's cousin and will hopefully soon be meeting more family members. Glad to know I have family around the city and am slowly making new friends in the city.

Anyways today should be a good day. I'm off from work, going to the bookstore to do some research on some plays to look for monologues for auditions and going to meet some cool people tonight. Then tomorrow a friend from out of town is coming in for the weekend and I'm going to an alumni event for my fraternity.

Things are looking good!


Day 299

It's been a few weeks and I can't believe that I've already been in living in New York for a little over two months!

Learning a lot about myself and trying to live the dream.

Adrian Wilson (look him up on Google+) did an awesome event at the Apple Store in SoHo last week and from it just reignited my fuel to continue to do what I love. But it also got me to thinking that I should blog more. Since I call myself a blogger, I should be doing more of that! Also I love to take pictures and I'll start posting more photos here as well!

My family came to visit to see how I was doing in the city and while visiting we took a trip to see the Statue of Liberty. While on the ferry, I took this show of NYC! 

I've been trying to find some Filipino food in the city and luckily I have found three places! With the help of my co-worker back home and my own search, I was able to find them. 

Maharlika & Jeepney are sister restaurants and on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The selections are great and their menus vary from lunch and dinner. 

My lunch when my family came into town! 
If there was a fast food restaurant that I would go daily and feel no regret it would be Jollibee! It's a Filipino company! It's the Philippine's version of McDonald's but even better! They have a burger, chicken and pasta menu. Plus something new that I discovered they serve SPAM sliders!

Located in Queens, NY - worth the trip!

So the new Pokemon X & Y games came out and I'm a fan of the series since it's introduction back in 1998! The game is really fun and it continues to challenge me. However just like every time I play the series, I get bored after beating the Elite Four. Even though there are more fun things to do after, I just get bored and move on. We'll see how long it takes for me to get bored with this series. After four days I've complete all the gym leaders and am training to defeat the Elite Four. I'll be honest, I totally use the strategy books before hand instead of going blind. I want to make sure my Pokemon are leveled up higher than the Elite Four or at least enough for me to win as well as the Champion.

I think I've done a really nice recap of what's been going on.

I will try blog again later this week about more things!

It's almost November and the year is slowly coming to a close! 


Day 90

So obviously there is a big gap from Jan 26 to now....

However I am back!

So for Lent this year I decided to give up Social Media; which meant the following

I wouldn't actively participate or go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pintrest, GoodReads, Blogger, etc.

I would however still read blogs but not comment and use e-mail.


What did I learn from all of this?

I am addicted to Social Media but I did learn how to control my addiction/obsession over it. I actually had so conversations with people outside of social media. Whether that be a face to face meeting, text messaging or phone conversation or email.

I did enjoy however not always feeling like having a need to check everyone's business on social media and posting about things going on in my life. But at the same time missed that as well since it seems like that's the only way to really keep communication going with anyone anymore.

Social media is a great outlet and I definitely wish I didn't give it up some days. However I remember that it's a privilege to have the accessibility to check always, when their are people who don't even use it or know how.


However my life continued on through my sacrifice of Social Media, so here's what happened.

  • I did my first video submission and after countless hours of filming, editing and getting feedback....I submitted it. Then afterwards (fast forward a couple weeks) I reflected and realized I am not great at video submission and MUCH BETTER in person. Why is this? I over analyze and try too hard, but if it was a face to face audition I know I can rock it out. So it just means I need to continue to work on working for the camera. Maybe one of theses days I'll muster up the courage to do a video blog entry
  • Went to a Fairie Ball, where my friend Courtney was in a major promoter of the event and was the previous year's Fairie Queen. It was a lot of fun getting to hang out with friends and people watch but the best moment was...being crowned this year's Fairie King! I know that sounds ridiculous but I dressed up in my Fairie costume with make up and wings to win the title. However I wasn't expecting accolades to happen after. So there was a photographer at the event and of course took pictures of the event and pictures of the new Fairie King and Queen. 
    Click the photo see more from the event!
    Fast forward to the following week to hear that the pictures are online and was featured in my local newspaper. So my face was plastered online and on paper. It was kind of crazy but I literally thought nothing of it since, A) who reads newspapers still? and B) who's going to look to read about the Fairie Ball?....However I was WRONG! Turns out the director of one of my shows I was in saw it and then brought the paper to rehearsal to show me and my cast mates. THEN I go into work the next day to hear that one of my co-workers saw me in the paper. Embarrassed? YES but ASHAMED? NOPE! It was good publicity for the event and was at least flattered to hear that people I knew where excited to see me in a paper and that they knew someone in it. So as much as I was embarrassed (A LOT) I still had a fun time!

  • I went to see an advance screening of a movie I was in and It was awesome! Though it wasn't a movie premiere it felt like one. Plus it was good to see old friends and I even got a picture with one of the executive producers of the film! Such a honor to have had the great opportunity to be in a film and see all the hard work come together! 

Photo Credit: John Maiuri
Photo Credit: John Maiuri

  • I had to say "See You Later" to one of my co-workers as they transferred to another store. I can say however Ryan, has been an amazing person. I saw him as a mentor at my work and I was sad to see him go, but I know that our paths will cross again!
Photo Credit: Katie Moore

So that pretty much catches you (the READERS of my blog, and THANK YOU) on what's going on right now! Hopefully in the near future I shall continue updating what's going on!

In the meantime, Happy Sunday, Happy Easter, Happy Zombie Jesus, Happy Day!


Holiday Wish List

As always, I'm neglecting to blog.

But I have however been busy working on things, whether that be for work, life or pursing to be a working actor.

Anyways, this blog entry will be about what I would love to get for the holiday season. I originally was  just thinking to tell everyone to just get me a gift card, but let's be honest. People like to get meaningful gifts to others. So here's what I'm thinking I'd like to see for myself. Yes, that may sound conceited but at least for my friend's who may be "struggle bussing" to get me something here are some ideas:

1. Business Cards - Pursing my dream of being a working actor (in both LA & NYC) I'm going to need some business cards. Granted I could easily go to a store and get the create your own, but I would really love to get some professionally made. I've already got the design if someone want to get me this that would be cool!

2. Personal Chef/Nutritionist/Personal Trainer/Food/Fuel for the gym - This might sound crazy but I'm actually starting to go to the gym to work out and as much as America is trying to usually lose weight I'm trying to gain weight in the form on muscle. So something along the lines of getting myself into shape would be nice. Plus I won't turn down food, but usually trying to gain muscle weight you need to be eating right and not just junk.

3. Apple Store Gift Card - I know I said besides a gift card but cell phone company is going to officially start getting the iPhone 5, I would really like this as a gift. Preferably the 32gb black/slate, but I'll take what I can get. Also buying it without contract/unlocked starts at $629 (the 32gb is $100 more) asking for small increments of gift cards would be so bad. The minimum amount you can buy for an Apple Store gift card is I think $15. So it's a cheap gift, but if at least 50 friends got me $15 gift cards I'd be able to get it!

4. Handmade gift - This might sound cheesy but handmade gifts are still pretty awesome. The person making it had to think of what to make and do it. I like bow ties, scarfs, gloves, blankets, hats, trinkets, w/e you can think of making I'll be happy to have. Plus handmade food...well granted that may conflict with #2 but I'd be ok with it.

5. Hanging out with friends - One of the best gifts is the company of friends. I would enjoy spending time with friends, especially during this busy time and to just take a day, hour, moment to just catch up or play some board games or eat.

There is probably more things i can think of but we'll leave it at these. Also check out my Pintrest to possibly get an idea of what to get me too. Granted I've started slowly getting into pintrest but it's a start!


Pictures from road trip

Not all but some of them

The Open Road
Where I was auditioning at UMKC
Cool vintage license plates at a store along the trip
More vintage license plates
In one of the stores...reminding people NOT TO STEAL!
Saw on a book
In Kansas City near one of the Kansas City Rep Theatres

My mind is on overdrive

My mind seems to be really active at night and granted I should be asleep, but I can never seem to fall asleep instantly when there are some any thoughts going on in my head. From reading many articles it's good to jot down your thoughts and to come back to them later. So that's what I'm going to do...time to jot down the many thoughts going on my head right now. All while listening to my itunes library as background noise/winding down to get ready to sleep.

Thought #1
I've really been evaluating my friendships that I've developed and trying to figure out which, to continue; to pursue; as well as to try and fix or build a better friendship.

The past few months have definitely shown that I lack communication, but I feel that it's more of a fear that I'll say something wrong or that I'm just really over thinking situations or I'm creating unnecessary conflict/issues. I know that I can easily where my heart on my sleeve but I can also be very guarded. Which sounds really ironic but it's really true thought. I'm very talkative but also very private with thoughts. It takes a lot of trust from me to trust people I can effectively communicate with. There have been people that have broken my trust which has saddened me but I've learned from that mistake and have continued to better myself as a person.

A good friend of mine has said, "they'll forgive, but never forget," this statement has definitely stuck with a negative way. I always seem to think of the negative in the situation. Again, I'm trying to grow as a person, but I hate to disappoint others.

Also I really want to call people and catch up with them....I need to do this or if you're reading this and we're friends (obviously we are) call me and let's catch up! hahahaha

Thought #2
I really am stressing about this whole Grad School thing. I want to make sure I'm preparing myself in the best way possible. Researching schools, which is already a big feat in itself, trying to figure out which Colleges would be best for me and what they can offer me in my growth of higher education.

The GREs are going to freak me out. I'm not the best of test takers and so I've already invested quite an amount of money to make sure I'm studying and focusing to do my best. My main task is keeping focused and actually studying; then retaining the information learned as well as implementing what I've learned into real life situations.

Statement of purpose....blah, I need to really start on writing this....I know I've said that earlier but it's definitely something I NEED to start doing too. Which also brings up getting letters of recommendations from professors/faculty/people I've had good relationships with me who want to see me continue my education and who will recommend me into graduate schools. I think I've got a good handful of people I'd be honored if they'd write a letter of recommendation for me. Hopefully they'll feel honored that I asked them.

Thought #3
I really miss a lot of hobbies right now. I've been really busy focusing on finding a job(s) and relaxing.

But I miss theatre. I miss acting, singing, directing, do something in theatre right now. However I did check out three plays from the library to read...which I haven't done yet. I also want to sign up for a dance class or two or three. But that involves time and money, which right now I don't have the money but time could easily do. However with the job searches, that may effect when I could take the class(es).

I miss running and I really want to work out, I want to get some muscle definition as well as mass on my freaking scrawny body. I'm not saying I'm not happy with my body, but I definitely would like a body that's in shape. I miss competing and doing xc races. I should really e-mail may coach randomly and see if I can attended a practice...even though it's been a few years and I could easily still look like someone who's in high school...hahaah

I really want to do a photoshoot. One for myself to get some new headshots but also take some photos for fun! I just really need to go out and take some photos. It's a possible grad degree I'm looking into so I should really start working on building that portfolio up.

I know I'll eventually get to it each of these missed hobbies, but right now I'm really trying to get a stable job(s) in tact.

Thought #4
Job search, trying to think when enough is a enough searching and be happy with the jobs I currently have.

I recently accepted an offer to start working at the Apple Store, which I'm really excited for the opportunity and look forward to the Orientation which is three days for eight hours. However since I accept the job offer, I'm going to be missing my family reunion. Which I'm sad because I haven't seen many of them in years. A sacrifice that I had to take, but I'm sure my extended family will understand.

But yeah, my job search is still going. I need to make sure I have a job(s) that will help pay off debt (credit card & soon Student Loans). Plus I want to save up for Grad School/moving and for a car. I really need to get my own car to own. It's the next "grown up" purchase I need to do along with getting an apartment.

Thought #5
I want to TRAVEL! Like really bad! I want to go overseas experience different cultures visit different continents and countries. ::sigh::

Those are pretty much what's going on in my mind currently...lots of rambling but this had definitely helped. Therapeutic and just good to keep doing something I said I wanted to do on my "Summer To-Do List."

I'll post a blog entry of some pictures soon. I really like how most of the months I've averaged seven entries. This is entry no. six, so I definitely need to get another one in before the end of the month. Which is totally do-able!


Part Three: My story/journey to ITF

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!

Part Two: My story/journey to ITF

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 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 =]

My story/journey of ITF

As I reflect the events of last week, all I can think is WOW! How thankful I am to have had the opportunities I've had, friends I've met and experiences I've had because of this week long event!

I'm going to go WAY BACK.... back to 2002. I was in Eighth Grade and I had chosen to do a solo mime piece for the first Junior Thespian Festival, a three day event which was held in Pittsburgh, PA. My middle school was also chosen to present our show, "Give and Take," by Michael Scanlan, which I can still remember performing. I had just been inducted as a Junior Thespian that Fall 2001 and my brother was born just before the school year. 

So back to Junior Thespian Festival, I went with much excitement and nervousness going. I had worked hard on my solo mime piece as well as continually go over lines for the play and taking as meeting as many people as I could. Two fellow middle schoolers stood out, my friends from Westerville, OH; Dayle and Megan. We were in the "Yellow," group, which the theme for the festival was, "Show us your colors!" Also two more very important people I met were at the festival, Nancy and Gloria. These two amazing people were inspirations to me. Nancy, who made the festival happen and Gloria, was my judge for my solo mime piece. Which during my Solo Mime piece, I was nervous as any other teenager could be performing and getting critiqued. My cassette tape (yup back in the day when they were still in use, lol) wasn't rewound and there I was looking like a fool. I felt like my world was over and I failed. Gloria however was calm and polite and just told me to rewind it and start again. So I did and well...I made callbacks for being a performer at the end of the conference....I remember hearing and seeing the other solo mime performer go and really thought I didn't have a chance...but I still went on and performed. Somehow I was chosen and I was ecstatic to perform for my peers the piece I had worked on so hard. The whole festival was so amazing! I thought that was it, there isn't anything else to do after this. Also another person stood out at the is conference, some high school girl who followed Nancy around and was like the MC for the show. I was annoyed by her but I would soon later realize this high school girl and I would soon have a similar experience we both would share. But at different times.

As we were driving back from PA to MI, my beloved teacher Mrs. C, went over our critiques with us on the bus ride. However she was very proud of three of her students; Katherine, Maya and myself. Mrs. C said three of her students received a Superior at Junior Thespian Festival (which from now on be referred to as JTF) and was eligible to attend the International Thespian Festival (which from now on be referred to as ITF). I was in complete excitement, I couldn't believe there was another place I could experience theatre! Then Mrs. C, said she was really proud of me because I received a perfect score on my solo mime. Let me tell you, I was not expecting to get all Superior, I was expecting a "good" or an "excellent" but all Superiors?!?! I was baffled and also very humbled that my hard worked paid off. I seriously thought I was going to be grilled on technique and character, but I apparently did well.

While back as an Eighth Grader in East, I was then given the choice of furthering my opportunity in Theatre or take an AWESOME trip for orchestra/choir to Mackinaw. Let me tell you if I could I would have done both. But in the end I decided to cancel my check in going to Mackinaw to go to ITF! Which many of my friends were surprised I didn't choose to go, but ITF felt honestly like a once in a lifetime opportunity to go. Plus, when would I ever get the chance to go back again. I had worked hard asking for donations and sponsorships. Which thanks to Mrs. C I learned many skills I still have today.

So my first ITF, it was surreal, only Mrs. C and I went from our troupe. I thought I would know NO ONE! I was wrong, remember Megan, Dayle and Caitlin? Yeah a few paragraphs up, they were at ITF! Their middle school went and brought a one act to perform! I pretty much hung out with them as well as with some high school students! It was all surreal. I was experiencing so much theatre and for a week! What more could I have asked for? I even performed my solo mime piece and I was very out of my element, but I learned so much because of it.

Then I entered high school....Theatre was something I know I wanted to do but I also had other aspirations. Also I was overly involved. But thankfully by the end of my freshman year we established our Thespian Troupe at Harrison. Troupe #6513! But nothing really happened afterwards...Sophomore year went by...not much UNTIL JTF 2004 when it so happens that my middle school was hosting the event! I couldn't believe it! However I did remember a member from EdTA checking out our school as a possible host school my eighth grade year after JTF and before ITF.

I, coursed helped with the event! I was a co-team play create director with one of my classmates. It was fun our theme was Antartica, and I'll be honest our group WAS the BEST! Then I ran into another high school girl wearing this yellow sash and was an emcee for our event. Just like the girl two years earlier. Then it was finally explained, the girl was an International Thespian Officer (ITO for short). This girl was from PA and taught a dance workshop during JTF 04. I got to know her and found out about ITO and what they do. Of course once I found this out, I was completely amazed and fascinated by the possibility of becoming one and making a big impact.

Then that summer, I was thankful enough to be able to attend my second ITF and this team it wasn't just Mrs. C and myself. But an actual group! It was fun and interesting. I was the only high schooler at the time and then there were middle school. But that's beside the point. Still had an amazing time! I woke up EARLY every morning at 7:45 attending the leadership workshop at ITF 04. I campaigned and met even more amazing people. I really got to know the ITO and what they did. I really wanted to be involved really bad with Thespians and EdTA. I worked really hard to try and win Region IV position. There were two other people running and I really thought I did a good job in my campaign, however I didn't win. I was crushed! I felt like my life was over, however after ITF, I maintained good contact with the upcoming year's ITO and one even lived in Michigan. I made sure I'd work really hard to build up my credentials but also confidence in being a leader. After that ITF I literally worked my butt improving my leadership, continued loving theatre and being an academically minded student.

Summer 2005 and again went to ITF. By this point my friends thought I was crazy for going to a week of theatre camp. But at this point it was obvious that my friend had other aspirations with their life other than theatre. However my life was theatre and I loved going to a week long event of theatre! So again I went with my middle school troupe director Mrs. C and only one other student. An incoming freshman Dylan and his dad. I definitely tried hard to win this year. I was a junior going into my senior year, it was my last shot. I even had help along the way too. People were wondering whether or not I'd be running as well as what position. It was good to know I had people actually remembering who the heck I was and actually hoping I'd run. It felt reassuring that I was doing the right thing in running and doing my best into running. I applied for Publications Editor/Secretary/Webmaster position for ITO. It was against one other person, a girl from I honestly can't remember now. But as always with anything involving campaign and running for a position there is politics. Of course I played them too, but I hope that I had played it fairly, I'd like to think I did. There was some kid interested in running for Region IV that year but just didn't get his stuff in on time. Little did I know that person would become my best friend and I would completely forget meeting him that year. Fast forward to Saturday, they've already announced the regional representatives the previous day. Which were Casey, Ryan, Lee and Siri; while today we were electing who were our Chair and Pubs Ed/Sec/Web. I of course throughout that whole week, went over and over my speech. Making sure I was on time and stating what I wanted to say. I felt very confident but also very worried that I'd lose again. However with the politics of elections and trusting in my fellow peers, I had somehow won! I originally wasn't going to tell Mrs. C that I had one, but I really couldn't hide that secret from her. She was ecstatic to hear I won! It was definitely a lot of work paying off.

Which was only the beginning....

I'll blog more, but I'm getting tired! But you can tell that ITF definitely has been a life changer for me and my experiences in theatre!