Three years ago I launched Through the Looking Glass as an assignment for an intro to PR class at Indiana State University. I didn’t have the slightest idea what public relations was, but I believed in the “fake it till you make it” maxim. I proceeded to create content each week, praying Jennifer Mullen and the rest of the Indiana State crew wouldn’t catch on to me. I was also praying I would figure out what PR was so I could stop faking it and finally make it.
A lack of direction in my life and a calling to go home led me to Olivet Nazarene University. Public Relations wasn’t a major when I transferred so I entered as a Corporate Communication concentration. During that year I offered my services as an independent PR consultant to a startup shoe company. I figured I didn’t need to be a PR major to do PR. It’s only now after taking a year’s worth of PR classes that I’ve realized how necessary adding the program to the Communication department was.
Humans are complex and I don’t think one blog post could adequately represent who I am as a person. One day I will write a memoir highlighting the bizarre reality of my existence. It will be hilarious and I will make lots of money that I’ll invest into my super talented film/music/art friends. It will feature some of my most embarrassing moments all for your entertainment. For now, I’ll share a few facts that will hopefully give you a glimmer of the person behind the blog.
I grew up in Bourbonnais, Illinois where Olivet Nazarene University’s campus is located. There are many charming qualities to Bourbonnais. Some of my favorites include the parks, the local businesses, and the sunsets. The thing I’ve come to appreciate the most is the way this community comes together in a crisis.
I subscribe to the school of thought that home is where the heart is. I apologize for this cliché statement. I’m not one of those people who has inspirational quotes framed in my house. In fact, I’m that person who gets annoyed that a picture is trying to tell me how to live my life. For me the feeling of home is synonymous with a sense of peace. Rarely have I found peace in my physical home. Instead I find it driving down Old Chicago Road on a summer evening,or listening to my favorite song.
I love to brainstorm. Put me in a room, give me something to write with, and leave me there for an hour. I will produce a bullet point list of solutions to any problem. Brainstorming requires the ability to maximize something’s potential and the desire to dream of the future, two of my strong suits.
I love Saturday Night Live. I have seen almost every episode. I own the trivia board game. I spend a large percentage of my free time reading comedians’ autobiographies or reading articles on how to score an audition. I have written countless papers including a rhetorical analysis on the subject. My dream is to perform sketches as a cast member and eventually become the head writer. I’ll rule late night sketch for ten years until NBC offers me a sitcom.
I have several career goals. I want to do standup, write sketches, and write a comedic memoir. I want to start an all-girl comedy group that writes and performs social commentary. My biggest dream is to own and operate my own theatre company. I have no idea how to do that, but I imagine a lot of networking is involved.
I’ve listed my aspirations of writing sketch comedy, performing standup, and acting, but where does PR fit into all of that?
At the core of these goals is a story. My passion has always been to tell stories. There is power in a good story. It can change perspective. It can change the world. Stories are how we relate to others, how we make sense of this chaotic world.
Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass is an excellent representation of public relations. Yes, he was on an acid trip when he wrote the book, but he got it right. Nothing is as it seems. Somehow the western world has adapted this distorted reality where everything is supposed to be perfect. That way of living has caused problems. It’s up to the PR professional to tell the real story, the honest story. The name of my blog is a silent reminder to remain transparent in this strange world where nothing is as it seems.