I’m Writing A BOOK!

This past year I vowed to become a more dedicated reader, establishing a routine to pick up my kindle every night before bed. After reaching ‘my reading goal of 35 books’ I read 39 novels in 2018! Woohoo!

Whilst reading each book I would observe how they were successful and why. In books I loved, I realized:

  • There was never a dull moment: the plot progressed on every page.
  • I could personally connect to one, if not all of the characters on some level.
  • Each chapter left me wanting to turn the page and find out what happens next, thus reading later and later into the night.

Since I was little I have always wanted to be a writer. I have been fortunate to have several of my plays produced professionally, written a couple short stories, but in my adult life- I have never attempted to write a novel.

I had tried writing ‘books’ when I was growing up but always threw in the towel after trying endlessly to write the first chapter. “This is too hard. I don’t know what’s going to happen.” After writing several plays, I learned that planning out my story helps my writing immensely. I don’t have to think about what should happen next, I already know- I just have to focus on fleshing out the current moment.

After reading so many books this year, I have decided: I’m going to write my own novel. This is what I want to do next, be an author of my favorite genre of book: a young adult fantasy novel.

Since September I have been creating my own world: Midon, crafting characters like Morgan, Leon, Tabitha, and developing an epic story full of villains, magical quests, and fantastical powers. I have successfully outlined the first two books in the series and am currently working on the third (out of my expected four).

“The fantasy world of Midon is divided into four parts: Nexton, Corton, Susston, and Eracton. Each realm’s citizens possess supernatural abilities of sight: Nexus seers can touch an object and see that item’s past or future, Sussurus seers can communicate with spirits, Eractus can speak to one another silently in their thoughts, while Cortus seers can project their visions to people all over the continent. All four types of seers protect their own sacred relic that keeps the universe in balance.

On the millennium anniversary of the relics’ creation, Morgan discovers that she is part of an epic prophecy to protect the relics from falling into the hands of The Elice: a resurrected Darke cult. Join Morgan as she sharpens her sight, joins forces to protect the relics, and discovers more about her family history than she could’ve ever imagined.”

I know that writing a novel is going to be ten times harder than I already imagine it to be, and I know that I have not received a formal education in writing fiction, but this is something that I really want to do, and I’m going to do it! My goal for completing my first draft: approx 60,000 words, will be due on December 23rd, 2019.

Wish me luck!

2018: A Year In Review

This year could not have gone by faster. What the even heck! I swear that we just rang in the new year a month ago! I had so many wonderful moments in 2018, getting to continue stretching myself as an artist and a person.

I am so grateful for all of my friends and family for their continuous love and support. Below I have compiled my top 18 moments of 2018! 🙂

Top 18 Events in 2018

  1. Celebrated my 23rd birthday in rehearsal for Frog & Toad, Spring Awakening, and then going out to dinner with Travis & the amazing MMT Apprentice Company
  2. Raised $280 on my birthday for The Trevor Project
  3. Boyfriend Travis & I celebrated one year together in June.
  4. Traveled to Europe for the first time: family vacation in Portugal- see the video blog here
  5. Saw 22 movies #RequiemMoviePass (Mary Poppins Returns, Crimes of Grindlewald, First Man, Mister Rogers, Ant-Man, Jurassic World, Incredibles II, Solo, Isle of Dogs, Tully, Avengers, Quiet Place, Ready Player One, Jumanji, Wrinkle In Time, Love Simon, Lady Bird, Winchester, Black Panther, Call Me By Your Name, Insidious, and The Post)
  6. Read 39 novels- see the list here
  7. Saw 17 theatrical productions, the majority at Mill Mountain Theatre and two on Broadway (Waitress & Once on This Island)! AND HAMILTON!
  8. Taught 256 students in the spring & fall semester, and in summer camps.
  9. Travis & I traveled Emerald Isle, North Carolina to our friend Sammy’s beach house
  10. Performed on stage in Spring Awakening (Otto) and A Simple Gift (Sam Cameron) at Mill Mountain Theatre
  11. Traveled to Los Angeles to see Travis’s production of Spring Awakening
  12. I was Pikachu along with my boyfriend Travis (Ash) and friend Michelle (Jessie- Team Rocket) for Halloween
  13. I voted in the midterm elections
  14. I directed ‘Shakespeare’s The Tempest’, ‘Auditions’ (Write Stuff!), and ‘A Year With Frog and Toad TYA’.
  15. I wrote Mother Goose Tales, a short play for young audiences, that also had its premiere in May at Mill Mountain Theatre in May of this year.
  16. I wrote 18 articles for BroadwayWorld, my blog, and The Ensemblist
  17. I went back to Shenandoah to speak on an Alumni Panel
  18. I continued meditating every day currently, my streak is on day 595

Thank you if you were involved in my 2018– I am so appreciative of you making this year wonderful!

College: A Working Performance

The opportunity of obtaining a higher education is one of the greatest gifts to receive, as I like to think of knowledge is synonymous with power. College can be a crazy time as you discover career options or even identifying what your core values and beliefs are. Between all of the soul-searching and study guides, I think one of the most pivotal components of my University experience was been dipping my toes into the workforce.

Let’s be real here: college costs a lot of money, being a full-time student is a full-time job, and you should always put your education before anything else. In my life, I found having a job while being in school was a great developmental experience.

I majored in Musical Theatre but worked in several office environments, call centers, even a farm (definitely a unique experience) and more throughout my Undergrad. Working in a plethora of different atmospheres taught me many skill sets that I wouldn’t have learned in my education, but also emphasized ideas and concepts that my professors have taught in the past.

“But I can’t find a job in my intended career field…Shouldn’t I just focus on learning and then worry about working about paying off my monumental student loans when I graduate?”
~Hypothetical College Student

Even if you are unable to be employed in a realm related to your major, I think it’s still beneficial to work in a professional atmosphere. That way you can discover a handful of abilities that a classroom only scrapes the surface of.

Whether it’s related to budgeting time or money, navigating professional relationships, or developing a further understanding of “value” there’s always something you can learn to further your personal progress.

My supervisor Carly, who I worked for at my University’s Office of Admissions

Thankfully, a University schedule is not as cramped as a high school timetable, giving you an opportunity to finesse your time management skills. Once you have a job and a class schedule it only amplifies your duty to prioritize tasks and obtain a better understanding of your time.

When working a job and being a full-time student you are given the opportunity to notice the rate at which you are able to accomplish certain duties. Limited free time helps teach you how to optimize your remaining time effectively.

Seeing that direct deposit drop into my account at midnight is definitely one of the universe’s greatest gifts…Being employed and making your own money teaches you the value of a dollar. “Am I really willing to spend thirty dollars on this sweater that looks just like my other one? Or should I save that money for another time?”

I studied theatre performance & employment in undergrad.

In life, we have to navigate relationships with people of many different categories. One of those sub-genres is a “Working relationship”. I like to think everyone wants to be a good boss one day, but the only way to know what that is is to have been on the other side of the table. Learning how to communicate effectively while still maintaining a position of authority is difficult, and from having worked under many supervisors, I have learned from their example.

College is a crazy, fun time, where you spend lots of time in the classroom and late nights at iHop with your friends. But also allow those years to be a time of professional growth in addition to educational and personal exploration.

Having many different jobs during my undergrad taught me how to be accountable, manage my time and money, and gave me time to learn about having working relationships. I greatly recommend all students have a part-time job while being in college.