The Year in Review: 2011

So. Here we are again, at the end of another year. As I look forward to the excitement that accompanies a new year, I also reflect on the things I have accomplished in the past year. It’s a great way to measure personal growth and evaluate progress on various goals.

I consider this past year significant in terms of stepping out of my comfort zone and getting the “dirty work” done so I can spend the remainder of my college career having fun. Yes, fun! Now that I have completed many major requirements for my degree, I can take a small breath of relief as I continue to take on new and exciting challenges in other areas of my life. Here is my year in review:

Choreography! During the spring of 2011, I stayed involved with theater…but from the production side of things. I leaped headlong into choreographing/ staging two massive shows at two different high schools: Les Miz and Hairspray. Not only did I get paid for doing what I love to do, but I had a great time exploring a new side of the production process. I particularly enjoyed Hairspray (the faculty and students at Youngstown Christian School were exceptionally kind and wonderful).

Internships. I spent my summer interning every day for Akron Children’s Hospital. What a great nonprofit organization! While forming valuable connections with members of the community, I also received double credit for my Professional Writing major and my Nonprofit Leadership minor. Two birds with one stone! I also secured a second internship with the American Red Cross, which I start this spring. Two internships on the resume are always better than one.

Auditions. I received my first callback for a professional theater this past spring, hooray! The choreographer singled me out and praised my dancing (Fosse-style!), which blew me away.  I also auditioned for a professional director locally, and while I did not get the part, he sincerely expressed hope that we would work together in the future. I am greatly encouraged by such positive feedback as I start to get my name out there, and I have a solid idea of what to expect as I continue my professional auditions this spring.

Drama. I performed my first dramatic role this past semester in A Streetcar Named Desire. I was very surprised when I was cast as Stella; the director was a new faculty member who I had not previously known, and casting me in a lead role meant I had gained a certain level of trust and confidence from the director. It was a humbling learning experience, and I enjoyed exploring new depths of my character while building relationships with other cast members. I also relished the opportunity to refine and showcase another aspect of my talents!

Networking. From my time with my internship, my classes, my jobs, my shows, my student organizations, and my nonprofits, I have really met a LOT of people in Youngstown. And the cool thing is, I have discovered that we are all connected. It’s amazing how many creative, inspiring, caring individuals I have met this past year, and I have found great satisfaction by facilitating collaboration between organizations with similar missions. Collaboration is key to success!

2011 was a great year of personal and professional growth, and I think it has formed a solid foundation for a successful 2012!

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