Community: Reflections on the Present and Hopes for the Future

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

At this point last year, I was feeling happy with my academics, but feeling sad that I wasn’t performing anymore. As relayed in a previous blog post that I wrote, performing is a passion of mine that kind of went on the back burner when I started graduate school.

Then a girl that I was interviewing for my M.A. thesis told me about UMD’s Vagina Monologues. As a huge fan of the monologues and previous performer (Yes, I was the moaner in the 2008 TCNJ Production, thank you) I saw this as an opportunity to act again. Plus it’s for a great cause, so it was a sure win-win.

Luckily for me, I was cast in the 2010 production and had an amazing time with my fellow cast mates. It was at this point that I discovered a community that I wanted to continue to be involved in, and so, with the prodding and poking of my good friend Stanley Absher, I decided to be the director of the 2011 UMD Vagina Monologues production.

And now, with the show coming up this February, I am once again amazed at the talent and vitality of the young women I work with. The dedication and hard work they put into their pieces is really awe inspiring, so much that I actually cried at the end of one of our rehearsals, because I was so effing proud of how far they’ve come.

Who knows who will direct the 2012 production, but in any case I WILL continue to be involved with this community, whether as an actor, producer, or advocate. I learn so much from these women and from this experience year after year that it is just something I can’t give up, no matter how busy or overwhelming the semester may be.

UMD's TVM Cast 2010

In terms of this upcoming year, I would like to try to become more involved with the Twitter community. I made some great strides in 2010, but I feel that the school year got in the way of me totally engaging with the amazing people that are out there in the Twitterverse. There is so much to learn, and so many more connections to make! This is actually so important to me that I added it to my ongoing New Years Goals list for this year and next.

So whether it is online or in person, with friends or complete strangers, I think having a community is vital to surviving, thriving, and staying sane. After all, Paul J. Meyer once said that “the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.”

About Rowena Winkler

Passionate Performer, Speaker and Writer by Calling, Dancer of All Good Beats, Yoga Practitioner and Enthusiast, Spiritual Trustee of the Universe, Traveler of Many Distant Lands, Lover of Derek the Logical but Amiable, Mother of Eponine/Dex/Teyla, Architect of Spoken Word Poetry, Trainer in the Craft of Communication, Unapologetic Individual, First of Her Name.
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