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Times welcomes new LJI civic reporter

Posted on April 13, 2022 by Taber Times

By Ian Croft
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Hello readers of the Taber Times, I’m Ian Croft and I have the pleasure to write for you once again as the Local Journalism Initiative reporter. I have lived in Taber for nearly my entire life and look forward to giving back to the community by reporting on local stories.

Not much has changed about me since I last wrote for this paper, but I’m excited to be back in a job that requires a degree of creativity such as writing. I have always enjoyed doing things that require creativity leading me to have a strong passion in the arts and to participate in several theatrical productions throughout my life.

The first theatrical production that I was ever in was the Grade 5 musical during my last years in Central School. Yet considering it was a requirement for every student in Grade 5 to participate in the musical, I don’t necessarily count it as one of the theatrical productions that I was in, as it was just like another class I had to be in then a true theatrical production. The very next year in Grade 6 at D.A. Ferguson Middle School would be the first true theatrical production that I would participate in that being their production of The Music Man. Despite only having the role of an ensemble member in the cast, I still enjoyed my time in the musical enough to audition for the next show that the school would be putting on. In Grade 8 still in D.A. Ferguson and the school is now putting on Oliver Twist.

Yet again, an ensemble within the cast and no need to memorize any lines, I was just singing as one of the many other voices in the cast on the big non-solo numbers. In Grade 10, another musical is being put on this time in W. R. Myers High School. Despite a little bit of a bumpy start to it, the high school will be putting on Little Shop of Horrors and once again, I was an ensemble member but only for the first half of the musical. For the second half, I would be working backstage as the puppeteer for Audrey II, the human eating plant.

Finally in Grade 12, I would escape my fate as always being an ensemble member of the cast in the Annie musical where I would play Oliver Warbucks. So far this theatrical production was my grand finale within musical theatre as I have not participated in any musicals after this, but I did participate in one other show after leaving high school. In 2018, I took to the stage at the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod as one of the jury in the production of 12 Angry Men. I have not yet participate in any other theatrical productions due to a mixture of being engaged in other endeavours and the COVID-19 pandemic preventing in-person events for the last two and half years.

Besides participation in theatrical productions, one of the other creative endeavours that I want to take part in is writing. Not only have I been writing and running some tabletop role playing games since high school, but starting in December of last year, I have been on and off writing a fantasy novel. I do not intend to just exclusively write for my own enjoyment but also to make a career out of it.

My plan is to eventually attend classes at  Lethbridge College to complete a Digital Communications and Media program to help secure future employment in print and digital written media.

Finally, the one creative activity that I enjoy doing the most combines both my experience from theatre and my love of writing, that being the previously mentioned running and playing in tabletop role playing games or TTRPG’s for short. There is something just mesmerizing and relaxing for me to be able to spend a few hours a week enriched in another world playing a character of your own creation. It is much similar to reading a really good book except you are doing it with your friends and you all have the ability to shape and alter the narrative. Then there is running the game. Yes this requires a fair bit of work but the enjoyment of sharing your creation with others is all worth the extra effort in my opinion.

Now that you know a little bit more about me I hope you look forward to reading my future stories within this paper.

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