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TAAP CLASS 2017: COOPER MCGUIRE, ARTS ADMINISTRATION APPRENTICE

July 27, 2017

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I’ve been alive for 20 summers, and I can say without a doubt that this has been my best summer yet (That’s 2 decades of summers!!!) Theatre Aspen wins this summer because it has given me incredible relationships, growth in countless ways, and inspiration for my future in the performing arts.

In one month, I’ll be a junior at Kansas State University. I’m majoring in Vocal Performance with minors in Theatre and Non-Profit Leadership Studies. Just like most college students, I was having occasional doubts in my career choices this past spring. I’ve performed in shows at my school and learned lots from every production, but was unsure if a job in performing arts would be sustainable.

I applied for the Theatre Aspen Apprenticeship Program wanting to expand my horizons as a versatile individual in the industry, and was selected as the Arts Administration Apprentice. Within the first two weeks in Aspen, my fears about my life choices were eliminated. I was doing REAL work in the office from the very beginning, making true friendships with all of my fellow apprentices and cast members, and interacting daily with professionals who had even been through the same things I was worried about. Needless to say,

it. was. AWESOME.

I knew from the start it was going to be a fantastic summer, but I really had no idea the types I was transformations I was to undergo.

My weight is a challenge that has been ahead of me since I can remember—it was a challenge that seemed so huge, I thought I could never really do anything about it. But something was different this summer. I am so fortunate to have been in Aspen where the atmosphere and the people have beckoned me to leave my old habits. In 8 weeks here I lost over 20 pounds to get to my target weight, then began working on converting my fat into muscle (aka tryna get YOKED). All of this progress has been made just by eating healthier and going to the gym/getting some significant physical activity every day. This is a major life improvement that I will keep with me forever.

I will always cherish and benefit from the friendships and experiences that have been made in Aspen. I’ve loved my time as an administrator, but also learned that I want to be onstage for a little while before I return to administration. Though it will be hard to leave in several weeks, part of me is also excited—I cannot wait to return to college a new person who is always ready to live for the moment and embrace the future. Theatre Aspen has led caused me to think of my aspirations in greater ways. While I want to perform hope to be successful in my musical endeavors, my impact as an administrator is something I am incredibly excited for. If I can eventually give aspiring young artists the type of experience I’ve had this summer, I can consider my life well spent.