Author: Tanner Walters



I have really exciting news!

I recently auditioned for Loyola’s co-ed a cappella group, Loyolacappella, and was fortunate enough to make it into the group! Anyone who knows me knows how much of an a cappella geek I am, so I really can not emphasize how ecstatic I am to get involved. I had my first rehearsal with the group on Monday, and they could not be more welcoming. It feels a little strange coming in half-way through the year, but I am joining with new other newbies, Allison and Dana, who are both very talented and friendly, which makes it easier.

It’s a little overwhelming to have to learn their entire repertoire so quickly, but in a two hour rehearsal, we learned two of the group’s arrangements (including an awesome cover of Lorde’s “Royals”). Today, I am leaving on a retreat with the group to Libertyville (a suburb about an hour away) so that we can learn the rest of the music, as well as the new songs we’ll be singing this semester. Our first concert is on Valentine’s Day, which is only a week away-kind of crazy to think about, but I am so pumped to start singing again. I apologize to my room mates, who have already been driven crazy by my constant warbling.

If you are into a cappella, there are actually four groups on Loyola’s campus you could audition for: the Acafellas, an all-male group; the Silhouettes, the female group; and Counterpoint, a new competitive group that was founded this semester. I would highly recommend to anyone with an interest in performing to audition for these groups. You do not need to be a music major to audition, so it’s a great way to explore interests outside of your major while you are in school.

I’ll finish with a post of one of my favorite of Loyolacappella’s old songs, a cover of “Samson” by Regina Spektor. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!


“Samson” by Loyolacappella


Loyola’s Newest Tour Guide

Loyola’s Newest Tour Guide

Blare the trumpets, because I have an announcement! I just got hired as a part of the newest batch of Loyola tour guides! I figured since I love Loyola, walking, and hearing myself talk, it was kind of a perfect job for me. Two of my closest friends, Shawn and Lauren, are current tour guides and had a really good experience with it, and encouraged me to apply. To be honest, ever since on my Loyola tour I’ve wanted to eventually give a tour myself, so it did not take much convincing. Because I’ve got a break from theatre for the semester, I’m glad it will give me something to do throughout the week. My training starts soon, and soon I will be chalk-full of Loyola trivia. I hope to see some potential Ramblers on the tours!

I know I have harped on this before, but this is yet another example of great paid positions Loyola offers to its students. College is not all about the degree. It’s hard to find jobs without some kind of experience before you apply, and Loyola offers opportunities for its students to get relevant, paid career experience without even having to walk off campus. I’d like to emphasize the paid part as well-paid internships can be hard to come by, but they are plentiful here on campus. This is my THIRD job I’ve had since my freshman year on campus, and all have been invaluable experiences. Loyola offers a website called RamblerLink to its students that allow easy searches for internships and jobs all across the city. Obviously Chicago itself is full of opportunities, but students here find jobs without even leaving their dorms.

Winter Break!

Winter Break!

I’m back from winter break, and I’m excited to start my fourth semester at Loyola. I had one of the most enjoyable breaks I’ve had since I came here. I watched an embarrassing amount of Netflix (go watch Parks & Rec right now) and spent time with my parents, which I’ve appreciated more every time I get home.  Of course, it was a plus to be out of town during the freezing Chiberia weather. I also visited Denver, Colorado for a few days. I don’t venture out of the Midwest much, and I have never been out West before, but I’m so glad I got the chance to. The mountains were beautiful. I went to the top of Pike’s Peak, which was as scenic as it was scary-there were points on the trip I felt like the car was going to topple over the mountain, but I made it to the top! I wouldn’t be a college kid if I didn’t Instagram it, so you can see the view from the mountain below.

But, as much as I enjoyed break, I have to say I’m happy to be back-can’t ever stay away for too long. Now that I’ve been to all my classes for the semester, I am honestly pretty excited. Last semester was a treat because I took mostly theatre classes, and this semester I’m taking a lot of classes for my newly declared second major, Advertising & Public Relations. I’m taking the intro classes for that major and am feeling relieved to think that I made the right choice switching over.

When I first came to college, I could not imagine switching from journalism and theatre, but I am glad I stayed open-minded. The advertising major is actually pretty similar to the journalism major, so I don’t feel like I’m doing a complete about-face, but I think this will suit my interests and skill sets a little more. So listen to the people who tell you you don’t need to decide a major right away. Even if you’re set, you have time to change your mind, and I promise you will not die.

Part of the decision to switch came from my internship. While I started out mainly writing articles, my bosses gave more chance to do more writing related to public relations and marketing. I am glad they gave me free reign to explore what I was interested in. As I’ve told many people, my internship at the University Marketing & Communications department is one of the best opportunities I’ve been given at Loyola, and I encourage any future (or present)Ramblers to apply for one of the many jobs available to students.

This semester is going to be a lot of work, but it’s also my first semester here I haven’t been acting in a production. I am excited to take this extra free time to see what other ways I can get involved on campus while I have the chance.


Lost in Tech Week

Lost in Tech Week

Another day, another tech week post-but that’s the life of a theatre major.

As I said before, I am currently playing Jay in Loyola’s production of Lost in Yonkers , which opens this Friday! I spent the weekend in the Newhart Family Theatre preparing. The last time I wrote about tech rehearsals, I was on wardrobe crew for Loyola’s production of Urinetown.

Being onstage is very different, especially in this production. Because there are very few instances in which I leave the stage, me and Kaitlyn (the senior playing my little brother) are responsible for most of the scene transitions, which have to as quick as possible. There are some moments where I have to change costumes on stage, then move set pieces around. This makes the process even more challenging, because not only do we have to worry about the artistic process of performing, but the technical aspect of making the show happen. Luckily, we spent much of the weekend’s rehearsals practicing the transitions themselves, and I feel very prepared.

This weekend reminded me of how lucky I am to be a part of our theatre department. I am so impressed with my cast members, who have really made the experience the best with not only their talent but also the fact that they are genuinely fun people to be around. And our faculty constantly amazes me with their talent and experience. This production specifically highlights the abilities of our faculty designers, who have created an intricate, beautiful set with an amazing lighting design. Walking on to the stage in period costume makes it hard to believe I’m not actually in the Yonkers living room in 1942.

Whether you are interested in joining the theatre department or not, I encourage everyone to come see the show!

Summer in the City

Summer in the City

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that I’m already a sophomore, and yet here we are. Watching the new freshmen begin their lives here makes me realize how much I’ve changed in only a short year at Loyola.

But before I get all sentimental on you, I’ll fill you in on my summer.

I couldn’t bear to say goodbye to Chicago for 4 months, and decided to stay for June and July on a full-time paid internship with Loyola’s University Marketing & Communications department. After a relaxing, much-needed month home with my family, I was back to the grind in the city.

Working in the city without the safe bubble and routine of school gave me a real glimpse of adulthood. Working a 9-5, paying rent on a sublease, and (get ready for it….) buying my own groceries is a very different experience than the one I had last year living in Chicago as a student with a residence hall, class schedule and a meal plan. My internship not only gave me valuable career experience, but it taught me how to really take care of myself.

At my internship, I worked as a writer for the Advancement division. I wrote articles for Loyola Magazine (our alumni publication), proofread and wrote and brainstormed for literature to be sent out to our Rambler alumni. The job, which I expect to have all four years of undergrad, gave me an interest in a major I hadn’t ever considered: Advertising and Public Relations. I realized that I love the creative process of it and writing in a different way than I am used to. I haven’t decided to switch yet but it is something I am seriously considering. Advice to incoming freshman: you have time to change your mind, and be open to it!

What was strange about my summer was having what seemed like unlimited amounts of free time. Two months without homework or rehearsal meant I could fully experience Chicago. I went to the Art Institute, on an architectural boat tour, shopped on Michigan Ave, saw shows in the city and just relaxed. The summer made me fall in love with my city even more. Now that I’m back to the grind, I really appreciate the time I had then.

I came home in August to go on vacation in Saugatuck, Michigan with my family, which was mainly spent lounging on the beach. Midwesterners, I have to recommend Michigan for your summer vacation.

Now that I’m back, I’ve started rehearsals for Loyola’s Mainstage production of Lost in Yonkers, which opens at the end of September. I’m so excited to get back into theatre. Being insanely busy at the start of the semester will soon pay off. Anyone close to the city should definitely come see the show!


My view of the city from the architectural boat tour!


Freshman Year: Check

Freshman Year: Check

It’s crazy, but I have two days left of my freshman year of college!

It’s funny, because in high school, I always counted down, eager for the year to be over and summer to start. Now, it’s honestly more sad than happy.

I’m so happy to attend a school I don’t want to leave. The experiences I’ve had this year and the friends I’ve made have transformed Loyola into a second home.

I recently got the offer to stay over the summer and work full-time with my internship at Loyola’s University Marketing & Communication Department, and I am thrilled to accept it. I will be subleasing an apartment close to school from a friend for June and July, and I am pumped to spend part of the summer in the city. A lot of my friends who were as reluctant to leave as I was are staying as well, so I know I’ll have a blast.

Of course, I’m even more excited to see my family and friends back home for a month, with nothing to do but visit! While it will be hard to end my freshman year, it makes it easier going back to a place you love just as much.

I’ve realized that my life is always going to be split. No matter where I am, in Cincinnati or Chicago, I’ll always be missing someone. But, as my mom always tells me, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

So, goodbye freshman year-sophomore year, I’ll see you soon!

Good News!

Good News!

I’ve had a couple days off from Urinetown, but there’s no break in the life of a theatre major!

Monday I auditioned for next year’s first Mainstage production, Lost in Yonkers, a play by Neil Simon about Jay Kurnitz, a 15-year-ol d boy who is left with his brother at his strict German grandmother’s house in Yonkers during World War II after losing his mother to cancer. Because rehearsals for the production start before the academic year begins (an unusual situation), the play was cast this semester. My audition went well, and fortunately I was called back on Tuesday!

Callbacks can be a long, arduous process, and Tuesday’s call back was no different. Different actors are paired with other potential cast members to read “sides”- small selections from the script used for auditions.  The callback audition lasted about four hours. Many actors were called back for only a few roles, and it was clear that the casting decision would be a tough one for the director.

I found out yesterday, though, that I got the part of Jay! I just got my script and I am so excited. This is the best role that I have been given the chance to play so far and I am so excited to work so closely with the faculty here on a Mainstage show. I can’t wait to start rehearsals-in four months!


Tales from the Frontlines of a Musical

Tales from the Frontlines of a Musical

The first weekend of Urinetown is over! It’s been another crazy week for me (as usual), and I have learned a lot.

Although I have been involved in theatre for over six years, I have only ever acted in a show. Because our department likes well-rounded students, all theatre majors must complete “practicums”-hands-on classes in set and costume construction, electrics, and run crew. I enrolled in my first run crew practicum for Urinetown, and was assigned to the wardrobe crew.

As someone who barely passed the sewing section of my Stagecraft class, I was pretty nervous-and rightly so. The wardrobe crew is responsible for every aspect of the casts’ costumes. It is our job to check costumes in and out before and after every performance, as well as to make repairs. Because Urinetown is an active, movement-heavy musical, repairs are frequently necessary.

During the show, we wait in the wings to help actors make quick changes in between scenes. During one transition, the actors only have 27 seconds to change into a completely new outfit and get back on! This takes a lot of practice and becomes just like another piece of the choreography (of course, offstage). It is important that we solve as many problems as possible so that the actors can focus on their performance, and not the details of their costumes.

Though it hasn’t been the easiest experience, it’s been a necessary one. It is important for actors to understand the amount of time and energy that goes into a production outside of their individual performances. I always took for granted the fact that my costume would be nicely cleaned and hung every day-now I realize that this is because someone stayed up til one in the morning doing laundry backstage (and during Urinetown on a Friday night, that person was me).

I am also proud to say that I now have basic hand-sewing skills! How many 18 year-old guys can say that today, huh? z

The show closes this weekend, but I’m excited for another round of performances!


My Easter Weekend

My Easter Weekend

It’s been a while since my last post, but I wanted to fill you in on my Easter break.

I stayed in Chicago over our four-day weekend (one of the perks of going to a Catholic school is the long Easter break), and it was definitely a good call. Though I missed my family, I wanted to take the rare opportunity of an empty, rehearsal-free weekend to have fun in the city. I have only a month left before a long summer break, so it was nice to take advantage of it.

The weather was beautiful, perfect for a walk around Millennium Park (home of the Bean). I also met up with my twin brother ( a student at DePaul) and we ambled around Navy Pier for a while. I definitely felt like a tourist, seeing the regular Chicago sights, but they never get old!

The highlight of my weekend was Easter Sunday I was lucky enough to win lottery tickets to the musical Book of Mormon! We waited in line before the show and were on of twenty people who got their names drawn for $25 raffle tickets. The musical was fantastic, hilarious and well-performed. One of the best perks of being in the city is the theatre. Before I moved to Chicago, I used to come up from Cincinnati all the time to catch touring shows. I have been wanting to see Book of Mormon since it won the Tony two years ago, so I was so excited to finally see it!

But that was only the first show I saw that day. Loyola’s theatre department bought 20 tickets for a performance of Measure for Measure at the Goodman, and gave them to the first students interested! As a theatre major, we are always told to see as much theatre as we can. Since the professors know this can be expensive, sometimes they treat us with free tickets. The production was very interesting. Imagine Shakespeare set in 1970’s New York, and you’ll get the picture. Another cool thing about the production was the fact that both a Loyola alumna and a faculty member were in the cast, and we got the opportunity to ask the actress questions after the show.

Right now I’m in tech week for the musical Urinetown on the costume crew-I’ll fill you in on that in another entry!



Spring Break and Tech Week!

Spring Break and Tech Week!

Alas, spring break has come and gone, as quickly as usual. I am glad to say I had a very relaxing break back home in Cincinnati. I had not seen my family since I left at the start of the semester, so it had been almost two months since I had seen them. I was definitely starting to feel homesick, so the break could not have come at a more perfect time.

Being away at college makes me realize how much I love my friends and especially my family. My words of advice to any high schoolers looking to move away from home: don’t take your proximity to your family for granted-you will miss it! Don’t gripe when your mom wants to go on a “Family Day,” or your little brother asks you for a favor, because you’ll be missing it soon enough. And lastly (and most importantly): spend as much time with your dogs and cats while you can!

On the same note, being back home also makes me realize how much I love Chicago. I have become so accustomed to such a fast-paced life that slowing it down can be difficult for me now. While I do complain about how busy I am, I actually love it. Without my job, rehearsal, school and the city to keep me occupied, I tend to go a little stir-crazy. I was not too disheartened to come back to Loyola when spring break was over.

My week back has been happily jam-packed with theatre! I recently auditioned for the Directing Showcase and New Plays Festival. Every semester, the Directing class chooses scenes to direct for their final capstone project. These scenes are cast through auditions open to any Loyola student, which makes the scenes a fun learning opportunity not only for the directors but also for actors. The New Plays Festival uses Loyola actors to perform in original shows written by students in the Playwriting class.  It was a bit nerve-wracking to audition for forty of my classmates, but a good experience none the less.

And, of course, I can’t forget Frankenstein. Tech rehearsal started last night! Anyone who has ever been involved in a show is familiar with the crazy, exciting stress of tech week. Our crew came in yesterday to see the show, which meant we finally had an audience! I’m excited to see all the elements of the show come together. We open a week from tomorrow, so wish us luck!


I got to come home to this little guy last week!