Chair Candidates

By Katie An Siegel posted 06-22-2014 08:00

Thespian Festival 2014 is so close! I wanted to take a minute to give you a little information about each of the 2014- 2015 ITO Chair candidates. This week, they will be wearing different colored notebooks around their neck, so be sure to say hi!! 

Matthew Reindl is our first candidate! I have been so luck to get to know him some over the past couple of months. He is incredible kind and extremely passionate about what he is doing! I loved his response about his troupe director being his role model! Here is his awesome response!
I can honestly say my role model is my local troupe director. Now I know that this is true for almost every single thespian across the nation... but if you take a moment to step back and truly look at it, you begin to find a kind of beauty in this. For one reason or another, our teachers have dedicated their lives to furthering an understanding of the world among young people. They teach us how to be productive, how to create, and how to relate to the people around us. And through this their legacy, all their wisdom, all their work, every experience that has brought them a deeper meaning of life, lives on. We become a part of a tree so to speak. Branching out, ever growing and expanding, enhancing the quality of life together through the care and nurture of the whole. A single flower can not bloom without the firm roots beneath it. Through my personal growth, my director has always been there to water and encourage the grounds at which I'm planted. He has taught me so many lessons, not only about the arts, but about living in the human condition. But three lessons really stick out in my mind... Work hard for the things you want, embrace your emotions, and the power of a positive attitude. He has instilled a sense of hard work and dedication within me, teaching that nothing is deserved. If you want something, you keep working to improve yourself until you get it. You can become angry and blame the world or other people, throw all the fits and become furious at how the world is unfair...but at the end of the day, the only thing you actually have power over... is yourself. He also taught me how to feel. Far too often as people, we try to turn off our emotions, stuff them down, internalize it. Bad, terrible, horribly sad things are going to happen in life. Don't let them defeat you. Take them and turn them into a positive experience. Attitude is everything. Life is about taking negative things, and turning them into an opportunity to learn, to grow! The fact that you feel pain and hurt are signs that you are alive! You're human! Work through these problems and you will come out stronger and a little wiser in the end! As long as you are putting positive influences into the world, you in turn will have a positive experience. He has taught me to give back in the world. Use your energy to create something GOOD. He has encouraged my romantic and idealistic view of the world, encouraging me to spread this influence. We are taught to understand and empathize rather than judge and condemn. I believe this is the power of art. It makes people more open-minded and understanding individuals by giving them the opportunity to take a stroll in someone else's shoes. He taught me that it's okay to need help, it's okay to be vulnerable. Break-down, cry, lay your heart out on the table. Embrace the human experience for all that it is. He teaches us these things by leading by example, the trait I believe is the trait of a true leader. So, Thank you David Spearman. You are and will forever be, my role model!"

Next, we have Alex Minton! Alex is very creative and organized. He shared that his role model is his father.
"My role model comes from a large family, so large that his five brothers and four sisters sat at an elongated kitchen table with benches attached to the sides. The term "family style" originated in his household, their meals were larger and grocery trips were two (sometimes three) times a week.
When my role model was bored, it did not last very long, for there were always siblings to play outside with or chores to be done. My role model was known as the best dishwasher in the house (his mother confirmed), and although he was not athletically inclined he could kick the can farther than anyone else on the block.
When my role model was in school he had difficulties with about every subject. He blames it on the nuns who threw steel toed shoes at his face, his mother found that hard to believe. But he pushed himself to go further, he enrolled in summer school and could be found in his teachers office's after school asking questions about the days lesson.
When my role model graduated college he went to work for an insurance company run by his father. He quickly was awarded Top District Claims Representative, and in his first year of sales he was a Builders Club Qualifier his second year he advanced to the Presidents Club Qualifier and his third year onward he was among the top fifty salesmen in the company. My role model was actively involved with a local special needs school, volunteering his time and talent towards their operational and fundraising efforts.
Currently my role model owns his own consulting company, is the father of three, and can name the model and year of any car after one glance.
I am proud to call my father, Dennis Minton, my role model. My dad has taught me how to be a team player, how to persevere in the toughest situation, how to communicate to any audience, how to show kindness towards others, how to be confident in myself, and how to have vision and set goals for the future. Throughout my life I have observed my dad in numerous leadership positions and I strive everyday to be as great of a leader as he is." 

Last, but definitely not least, we have Grace Dai! Grace is very personable and willing to work. I loved reading her favorite theatre memory!
"Goodness is it great to be done with AP's, haha! Sorry for tardiness, this past week has been crazy.
Anyways, for this question, I'm afraid I can't abide by the rule of singularity, for the two role models I have in mind are like Fred and George Weasley- inseparable.
Meet Mrs. Donahoe and Ms. Painter, two best friends who are most likely in their late 60s yet still dedicate their time and effort into making our drama program the best in our town. In fact the show they directed at our school won best overall musical (of all Washington) at the 5th Avenue Awards last year. Their talent is amazing, and has been for a long time. They even taught our regular school director when he was in high school and to this day, they still come and help out with every show.
These two women are seriously the reason why I got so into theatre. Mrs. Donahoe was probably the scariest teacher I ever had, but despite brain problems that made it hard for her to remember names, she always remembered, and still remembers, mine. She could whip any middle schooler into shape through her toughness, yet still be loved by them. 
Ms. Painter on the hand is one of the sweetest women in the world. She could use her grandmotherly charm (and her amazing, to-die-for cookies) and make any middle schooler, even the "rebel" ones, come to respect and listen to her. She is so spunky and out there, and can still do the splits.
Let me repeat, this woman, a woman who has to be in her late 60s/ early 70s can still do the splits. That in itself is worth admiration. 
Why I respect them though is because no matter how tough life gets, they are always here for each other and for their students. They are so amazing in that every single student, every single year, knows that these two women will be there for them indefinitely. These two women care so much about their students that they go beyond what is required to make sure that their students reach their full potential. An example of this is when I first started in theatre.
I'm going to say this bluntly- I sucked. Bad. Like dead cat bad. Yet somehow, some way, they had faith in me, and even though I wasn't casted the first time I auditioned, Mrs. Donahoe convinced me to tech. And every single day, Ms. Painter would sit at the sound board with me and tell me every mistake the actors and actresses made so that I can learn from them. Granted, I'm still not amazing, but they gave me the tools to learn how to be amazing. 
I can't even begin to describe the effect they've had on my life, but let me say one thing:
These two women have changed so many lives and for this reason they are my role  models. "

 I think we have really strong chair candidates this year and I encourage everyone to find them and say hey!! 

See you in Lincoln!!!