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Malissa (Maggie) Little's Blog

Wow! Wow! Wow! We have some AWESOME Region 3 Candidates this year, and I wanted to post a quick blog with their responses to some of the questions we asked them on previous Community Blogs. Please please please check them out if you are attending leadership and intend on voting on Friday. Without further ado I present the three fabulous ladies running for ITO Region 3 Representative:

Maison Kelly: When Asked, "What is your favorite theatre memory?"

Our cast always bonds throughout the run of a musical, but I have never seen anything like the closing night of our most recent musical, Annie. Last year's musical was very much overtaken by negativity and apathy, so I was nervous to see what kind of community would surround Annie.
I have never had a more incredible experience and honor in my life than to be a part of that cast.
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The Georgia Thespian Conference was such a wonderful experience for me and the rest of the Georgia STO. We had a wonderful time coordinating Coin Wars, the BCEFA Live Auction, DuckTales, and the Silent Auction to benefit our 2014-2015 Conference Grants. We raised more than $2,000 for Conference Grants (enough for about 20) and $10,000 for Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS! 

Our theme this year was "Hundreds of Stories." We tried to emphasize the part that Thespians have played in our lives. We all have our daily lives, our prologues (how we got involved with theatre), and our epilogues (what we do with the lessons we learned from ThesCon), but what we shared was that one chapter, that one weekend, that one experience for all of us to come together and share in each other's company and support. I personally believe this is why we were able to meet and exceed our fundraising goals; we were coming together and ready to do it for a cause. 

It was a jam-packed weekend full of great workshops, IEs, and performances. Personally, I spent most of my time announcing shows and preparing for my IE and scholarship audition. It was such an honor to receive a rating of Overall Accomplished as well as receive the Gerald Ray Horne Scholarship. I am so thankful for the wonderful Georgia Thespians and my home there. Without them, I have no idea where I would be today! 
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It was such a whirlwind weekend at the Arkansas Thespian Festival in Conway! Arkansas is a truly amazing state chock full of talented, attentive, and mature theatre students, teachers, and directors! It was my pleasure to get to know your SSOs, help with your leadership workshop, and simply experience all you guys had to offer! Thanks so much to Ms. Michelle Moss and the rest of the Arkansas State Board who were so welcoming! I cannot wait to see as many AR Thespians at the Festival in June . Counting down the days!
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I had the pleasure of attending this year's Kentucky Thespian Festival in Lexington. It was such a great time and I had such a wonderful experience. I cannot stop talking about it! One of my favorite things Kentucky does is their Tech Challenge. The Tech Challenge starts the weekend off right with various challenges and a lot of team building! My team (GO REELZ!) had a blast supporting each other throughout the competition thinking of cheers, chants, and mottos. It was such a fabulous experience because I left having so many friends and inside jokes with people I had just met. Overall, their conference stresses support which really hit home with me. I have played sports, sang in choirs, and been in several clubs/societies/etc. but I think the reason I really love theatre is because we are people who cherish and adore one another. We really appreciate the difference support can make and Kentucky knows just what I am talking about. That being said, never forget the power of appreciation! Something the Thespian Officers in my County just started doing was making a point to attend each other's shows as frequently as possible and this support has done wonders! I am so thankful for the lessons
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I just wanted to say how lucky I am to be a part of theatre. I am the Vice President of my school's Beta Club and tonight we had inductions. The president of our club is one of the nicest most intelligent guys I know and it was his duty to run the meeting and make a semi-formal speech. However, his public speaking skills are not of the highest quality. As he struggled to keep the crowd entertained and attentive, he looked to me. I improvised a little banter and some funny jokes and later gave him some tips on public speaking passing along the advice my old director shared with me, "fake it until you make it." The second half of our evening was a "dramatic" improvement. John was on top of it all and shining like he was under an army of stage-lights. How funny. I love little moments like this when I discover the great powers theatre has lent me. I cherish the good habits theatre has helped me develop. And what a wonderful moment of advocacy! Even if he will never recite shakespeare, I think he has become a performer!

What about theatre makes you thankful? How many times have you noticed the difference between a speaker with performance experience and one a little less seas
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As the ITO traveled to New York CIty to help out with the Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids Flea Market I found myself becoming unusually nervous! I remember the moment I made up my mind to run for ITO and it was right after skimming through snapshots of the previous ITO exploring NYC and having a blast. Right then, I decided I knew that I wanted to pursue being an ITO because it seemed so glamorous and so much fun.

Boy.      Glamorous ain't the half of it. Our trip to NYC was one that I can honestly say changed my life. Meeting and interacting with such a vibrant group of artists exposed me to the inter-workings of our theatre "community" at large. Some pun intended. Each actor, director, dancer, producer and volunteer we met had a smile on their face and a burning passion in their hearts. In the hustle and bustle of New York we saw how thousands could come together and make a difference. 

For me, the most rewarding part of the trip was having people come up to the ITS booth who were so eager to donate to the cause. I talked to several people who talked with me at length about how theatre changed their life or the lives of their loved ones or how BCEFA had supported them through rough times. It was truly touching to be a part of something that meant so much to so many people and well-deserving people at that. Without a doubt, this was an experience I will never forget as long as I shall live. 
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