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BWW Blog: 2020 - A Reflection

Change is coming.

BWW Blog: 2020 - A Reflection

2020 has been quite the rollercoaster ride, huh? Thankfully the ride is almost over. We've made it past Thanksgiving, we're on our way to Christmas, and before we know it we'll be ringing in the new year. Oh, and swearing in a new president. January 20th will be a joyous day.

While there is still some uncertainty about the future and what's in store for us in 2021, I feel optimistic, which is weird considering I am probably one of the biggest pessimists on the planet (Just ask my mom and dad. They can confirm). I am hopeful, even though times are uncertain. Change is coming. Whether or not you're prepared for it. Whether or not you agree with it. Change is coming.

I know that it's been a tough year for all of us, and when we look back on 2020 we will remember it as a very dark moment in our history. The more I think about it, though, the more I realize how much I've actually done this year despite the pandemic. There are things I did this year and it feels like they happened eons ago. Rather than focus on all the sad stuff, I want to reflect on all of the amazing experiences I've had in 2020.

I joined the BroadwayWorld student blogger program pretty early in the year, in May. I might have been doing school from the comfort of my home at that point, but COVID hadn't gotten in the way of me having some awesome experiences to write about.

In one of my first posts, I wrote about the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (or KCACTF) and how my school's production of "Be More Chill" was invited to be performed at the Region V festival in Sioux Falls, SD. That was the first thing I did this year, and it was absolutely insane. 1,200 theatre kids gathered into a theatre that is literally bigger than most Broadway houses to watch a bunch of other theatre kids put on a hit musical that had just concluded its Broadway run a few months prior.

And I had to go out there and sing "Michael in the Bathroom" in front of all of them.

In addition to performing in "Be More Chill", I had also received a nomination for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship for my performance in the show, as well as awards for dramaturgy and ensemble performance. It was a pretty eventful festival for us, and I don't think any of us will ever forget it.

BWW Blog: 2020 - A Reflection
Original SFCC cast of "Be More Chill"

Immediately after KCACTF, we returned home and started work on our next show. After a few short weeks, we opened our production of Jim Leonard Jr.'s "The Diviners", which was an absolutely beautiful show that I am so proud of. Soon after that we dove into rehearsals for the last show of the season: "Spamalot". We spent a couple weeks in music rehearsals, and the week before spring break we started to block the first act. That was as far as we got with "Spamalot" before the world went crazy.

Eric Yazell (our wonderful director) is persistent and determined to get his retirement show, though, so we might still do the show sometime in the next year. Who knows?

Spring break ended and classes resumed, and during that period of remote learning my friend Ben sent me something on Instagram. It was a post from BroadwayWorld that said they were looking for college student bloggers. I'm a college theatre student who likes to write, so I figured I'd submit an application.

Since you're reading this, I think you know how that played out.

I've been a student blogger for six months now, and it's been pretty great so far. There are so many talented students out there with stories to tell, and it's amazing that BroadwayWorld has given them this platform. I am so proud and so thankful to be among those people. I never saw myself doing anything like this, but I'm thrilled that I've been given the chance.

Moving on!

After completing the spring semester online and taking a few courses over the summer, I received my AFA in theatre from State Fair Community College. Since then, I have transferred to the University of Central Missouri where I am currently pursuing my BFA in musical theatre, which in hindsight might have been one of the bolder choices I've made in my life.

That's a joke.

I love everything about musical theatre. I don't know what it is, but I just love it. That's what really attracted me to the idea of being an MT major. The thing is that I really don't know what I'm doing outside acting and singing, so I really feel like I know next to nothing about this stuff. Luckily the theatre and dance faculty at UCM are wonderful people who are brilliant at what they do, so I have been learning a lot.

It's just been a strange semester. I transferred to a new school, I'm living in a dorm, I started taking dance classes, I learned that doing theatre over Zoom is one of the weirdest things in the world, etc. But it's okay. New experiences, however daunting they may be, are good. That's something I need to remember. A lesson that I need to learn.

I'm not in this alone, though. My friends Alyce, Ryan, Josh, and I are all on this ride together. If I didn't have their company I most definitely would have started this semester in a terrible headspace. With COVID and everything, it's been pretty hard to meet and get to know new people, so I'm thankful for the friends who came along with me.

That, in a nutshell, is what my 2020 has looked like so far. It has been an insane year, from beginning to... well, it's not totally over yet, so I guess now. From beginning to now. It's just nice that I have things that I can look back on positively. I know 2020 has been a different kind of experience for everyone, but I hope that we can all find something positive that we can look back on.

That's all for this post, folks. Tune in next time to see if I've finally lost my mind! Also, be sure to check out my previous posts if you'd like to read about the experiences that I so lazily glossed over in this one; you can find them on my student blogger profile!

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