My official hometown is Evansville, Indiana. I've recently relocated to the Hoosier State from Huntington, West Virginia. I spent my middle school and high school years there. Before that, I've lived in Charleston, West Virginia, and also Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
My immediate family consists of my father (David), mother (Janet) and two brothers—one older and one younger (Ross and Nick, respectively). I've always thought that my brothers and I have fantastic relationships with our parents compared to those relationships between many of my peers and their parents. We're all pretty open with each other, which is great because it allows us to have discussions regarding politics, religion, sports, school, and other everyday things without being "preachy." We have two cats: Moe, who weighs roughly 25 pounds, is an easily excited and eccentric old cat that simply can't stop himself from eating. Lizzie (my cat), is sweet and agile, but I have a sneaking suspicion that her inner monologue is quite similar to that of a rebellious teenage daughter. Add in my extended family, and we're a pretty crazy bunch—but you've got to love us!
3) High School:
I attended St. Joseph Central Catholic High School in Huntington, West Virginia. As a member of a small graduating class (only 25 seniors!) in a school of roughly 160 students, my high school experience was unlike many others. I'd attended school with most of my classmates since the seventh grade; we were like a family. The ability to walk into school and know the name of everyone you meet is truly an awesome thing.
4) Extracurricular activities:
In a high school as small as mine, you're kind of pulled into everything. I've actively participated in Key Club International by serving on the state board for West Virginia, Student Council, Mu Alpha Theta, and National Honor Society. In addition to these school-based groups, I've performed in numerous productions (musical, theatrical, or otherwise) with local, state, and national organizations. Right now, I'm taking some time to work on my own writings, which is really exciting.
5) High school career highlight:
During my senior year I had the good fortune to be cast as "Jesus" in the musical Godspell. Not only did I have a blast working with the First Night company, but all the proceeds of the production went to help sponsor a local Ebenezer Clinic. The role was challenging on a vocal, emotional, and mental level; it pushed me to work harder as an artist and as a person. Also, as a result of this production, I know more passages from the Bible than I ever have in my life.
6) Favorite past "My CENTRE Lifer":
My favorite "My CENTRE Lifer" is easily Erin from the freshman class of 2005-06. Her writing style is very straightforward, and I always get a genuine vibe from her entries. Perhaps the most singularly spectacular event described (albeit, in passing) was the Ugly Sweater Party that she had with her friends at the start of CentreTerm. Receivers of awful holiday sweaters, rejoice—your time is here!
7) The thing you are most looking forward to about Centre:
I'm really looking forward to being a member of the close-knit Centre community. Because the student body is small yet diverse, students benefit in a myriad of ways: in the small classroom discussions, extracurricular activities, and personal relationships. Being able to walk into Cowan and instantly recognizing friendly faces, and having your teachers know you by your first name. Trust me, that doesn't happen at every college.
8) Your greatest apprehension about college:
Every year in high school I always had a massive panic attack before classes resumed for the fall term; I'd frantically review texts and notes for a week, utterly convinced that I'd forgotten everything. Thankfully, I've grown out of that fear. For college, I'm definitely most apprehensive about choosing a major and sticking with it! I simply enjoy too many subjects to definitively pick one field (that I'll presumably pursue for the rest of my career).
9) The way your parents feel about you moving out:
Although my parents are sad to see me "leave the nest," I think that they're happy that I'm embracing my future as an independent adult. An open invitation always stands to return home to visit for the weekend (or whenever); however far I go, I know that they'll always be there when I need them.
10) Intended major(s):
I'm currently planning on dual majoring in dramatic arts and English. I love math and science, but unfortunately neither subject is terribly keen on me. With my degrees, I'm looking into pursuing law, publishing, teaching, and performing. I've still got time to decide, so I'm not stressing just yet.
11) If you could bring one performer/group to the Norton Center for the Arts, it would be:
If I could bring one performance group to the Norton Center for the Arts, it would probably be the cast of the Broadway show Spring Awakening. Adapted from an old 19th-century play, the show juxtaposes life in the late 1800's with inner monologues typical to teenagers today. The music is edgy, fun, and beautiful.
12) Worst movie ever:
For me, the worst movie ever is the film adaptation of Stephen King's IT. I suppose that it gained this title because it essentially ruined a perfectly good book for me. I enjoyed the acting, however the film itself was too campy to really ever capture the fear that the novel instilled in its readers. Every time I see the clown (or for that matter, the giant claymation spider) on the screen, I can't help but laugh.
13) Most memorable trip/vacation:
My most memorable trip was on a mission to the province of Dandriga in Belize. While there, I helped build and repair a parish, as well as worked with school children on perfecting their English. What struck me most was the immense contrast in the nation—its beauty is extraordinary and its local economies thrive, yet the people themselves have almost nothing. To be so truly content with one's lot in life was great a lesson of self-acceptance for me.
14) Favorite smell:
My friends and family all think I'm incredibly nerdy for admitting this, but my favorite smell is of a new book! Before I read every book, I open to the midsection and smell the recently printed pages. Additionally, it reminds me of libraries and bookstores—two types of places that I love to explore!
15) Person you most admire:
The person that I most admire is an old history teacher of mine. Not only is she an incredibly intelligent lady, but she's a cancer survivor for over 4 years now. Students are drawn to her commanding, innately intellectual nature; she taught me what it was like to work hard, take pride in your research, and always to try and look at every situation from both sides of the story.
16) Person (living or dead) you'd most like to meet:
I would love to meet Jane Austen. As one of my favorite authors, I can't help but wonder if (while alive) she had any inkling that the works she penned would become so wildly popular. Her elegant prose over seemingly simple themes is enviable. To discuss with Austen about her life, artistic styles, and creative process would be fascinating.
17) If stranded on a deserted island, what would be the one non-survival item you'd want with you?
Admittedly, my first instinct was to scream "WILSON!!!" when I read this question. Then, it occurred to me that Tom Hank's character created Wilson using his own blood. So, in light of that fact, the one non-survival item that I would want with me is my copy of the complete works of William Shakespeare. With numerous plays, sonnets, and other writings at my disposal, I could mentally plan numerous re-stagings of some of the greatest scripts in literature ever penned. I may not be able to actually perform them, but the constant mental challenge of designing difficult theatrical pieces will keep me lucid until salvation arrives.
18) If you had thought of it first, the invention do wish you could have been credited with:
I would love to have invented the piano. So much musical progress has been made through this medium—everyone from Beethoven to The Frey has key piano instrumentation in their music. Additionally, there are so many different musical styles that can be expressed on its keys; the only limit is the players personal skill and/or imagination!
19) Describe yourself in a haiku:
Singer of songs—Loud,
quiet, at once. Acting out
my role on this stage.
20) Why did you choose Centre?
My decision to choose Centre was multi-layered. I graduated from a small high school (my graduating class had only 25 students!), so I wanted a school that was small and would provide more individual attention. The fact that Danville is, in my opinion, a rather cinematic depiction of the ideal college town is only a plus! Additionally, I wanted a school where I would have the freedom to pursue two majors, one being in the dramatic arts. Many other schools didn't offer the freedoms that Centre's curriculum did. Finally, the deal was sealed when I visited campus. Not only was the staff helpful, but the student body was courteous. I guess that sounds like a weird thing to comment on. But to me, it makes all the difference that the students take the time to hold doors for each other, to say "thanks", and to offer correct directions to a confused perspective student.