Let me tell you a little story.
|Five years in and stronger than ever - happy birthday Compendium!|
The date is September 2012. I'm one year past college graduation and have been supplementing my full time job, where I'm relatively bored, with writing on the side for Metro Magazine. As a journalism major I am really hoping to step into that world full-time and feel like I'm on track to at least be a regular columnist and maybe editor someday when BAM! I find out the magazine is closing in a week.
Although the writing had probably been on the wall for some time, I was absolutely devastated. I felt like I was finally hitting my stride; I had just run my first major print piece (which I still have a copy of today!), an interview with the new incoming director of the Minnesota Opera. It felt like all of the hard work I'd done over the last year+ was flying straight out the window. Worse, as 90% of my work was online, I knew it would be lost to the wind if I didn't do something quickly to save it.
Thus, Compendium was born. I created this blog initially as a place to store my work for Metro and to keep it alive online. I took a little hiatus from the media world but then realized: this site didn't have to be static storage space to hold old articles. Why wait for a publication to pick me up? Why not start my own blog, share my own thoughts, and build the kind of coverage I always wanted to see but had to pass through gatekeepers before? I decided to re-up my work with my local media contacts and began slowly building a brand, a process that continues to this day.
It's been a long road to here, but I can safely say that five years later, building and running Compendium is one of the most fun, rewarding challenges I could imagine. I've had the opportunity to connect with so many amazing readers - YOU! Tens of thousands of you! - and I'm so grateful for the opportunity. If I hadn't started Compendium I would have missed out on so many amazing projects, performances, and people. I would never have met the incredible folks of the Twin Cities Theater Bloggers, who blow me away every day with their ingenuity and compassion. And I wouldn't have the ability to keep planning for the future, for more performances, ways to give back, and a few really cool new business ideas up my sleeve that I hope to share in coming years.
As a token of my gratitude to all my readers for five years of incredible theater and blogging, I want to give back to you for a chance to show my appreciation for following me on this journey. Chanhassen Dinner Theatres (CDT) has graciously agreed to give me four tickets to give away to a lucky reader (or two!) to enjoy Grease (review here), currently showing and the best selling show in CDT's history.
CDT has always held an extremely special place in my heart for a few reasons. One is that it was the first theater I ever attended outside of the small town I grew up in up north. My younger sister and I were taken to a production of Brigadoon by my parents, and I will never forget the magic of seeing one of our favorite movie musicals come to vibrant life on stage. For kids whose biggest travel adventure was camping at state parks a short drive away, it was an unfathomably luxurious and inspiring experience. I also adore CDT's strong community outreach. They have been excellent partners with local school programs and are always working to make their shows more accessible, be it through ticket promotions (make sure to check for family discounts as they always do series where children's tickets are included free with adult ticket purchases) or bringing their performances outside of Chanhassen for others to enjoy.