Journal Entry: Graduation

***This was written on May 23, 2015***

Dear Journal,
How’s it going? How have you been? I know this is two weeks too late, but I’ve graduated! As of Saturday, May 9, 2015, I’ve become a graduate of Ashland University! I’ve earned my Bachelors of Arts degree in General Theatre! It is fantastic! I am a college graduate! This is what I worked for the past 5 years toward! This is one of the major milestones of life I’ve been looking forward to!…And I’m going to miss Ashland so much. I miss it now. Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve had a number of dreams about Ashland. That’s been my home for the past 5 years, and now I’m done. I won’t be returning again in August. I can’t believe it. I had to say good-bye to the people, the city, the campus, the buildings, and my room…OK, so I’m a sentimental. But, can you blame me? I’ve spent almost a fifth of my life at Ashland! Whether time was spent in the theatres, the radio station, at a BSU/DOC event, in the classroom, in my room, or wherever, I loved my time at Ashland!
In fact, what all have I done at Ashland? Hmm…Let’s see if I can remember:
Freshman Year: Move onto campus (08/20/2010)
University Choir (08/2010 – 05/2011)
Scene Shop scholarship hours (08/2010 – 04/2011)
Member of BSU (Black Student Union) (09/2011)
Lip Sync Contest (09/2010)
The Bro. B.I.B. Show (09/2010 – 04/2011)
• Creator/Actor/Writer/Producer/Director/Recording Engineer/Editor/Sound Designer
Of Mice and Men, “Crooks” (10/15/2010 – 10/24/2010)
• Irene Ryan Award nomination
Adjusting Focus, “Chris” (11/2010 – 04/2011)
KCACTF (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival) (01/2011)
Recital Crew employee (01/2011 – 04/2011)
Surround Sound (01/2011 – 05/2011)
Evening of Celebration 2011 (02/23/2011)
• Actor
BLACK: a one-man show (03/23/2011)
• First original stage play
• Solo show
• Actor/Writer/Producer/Director
Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Running Crew (04/08/2011 – 04/17/2011)
Inducted in APO (Alpha Psi Omega) (04/2011)
Leadership and Recognition Awards: Emerging Leader nomination (04/2011)
WRDL Award: Outstanding Newcomer (04/2011)
University Choir Tour (05/2011)
Sophomore Year: Pathways Leader (08/2011)
88.9 WRDL, Operations’ Director (08/2011 – 03/2012)
BSU, Secretary (08/2011 – 04/2012)
APO, Member (08/2011 – 05/2012)
University Choir (08/2011 – 05/2012)
Scene Shop scholarship hours & employee (08/2011 – 04/2012)
The Bro. B.I.B. Show (09/2011 – 03/2012)
Whistle Down the Wind, “Vicar” (10/28/2011 – 11/05/2011)
Meet Michael Kaeshammar (11/11/2011)
Meet & Interview Take 6 (12/07/2011)
KCACTF (01/2012)
• Irene Ryan Award partner
NIMH’s Last Comedian Standing (01/30/2012)
Evening of Celebration (02/29/2012)
• Actor/Writer/Producer/Director, Black Out
Mr. University (03/07/2012)
• Won
One-Act Experience/Experiment 2012, Running Crew (04/18/2012 – 04/21/2012)
Junior Year: Pathways Leader (08/2012)
BSU, President (08/2012 – 04/2013)
88.9 WRDL, Production Director (08/2012 – 05/2013)
APO, Member (08/2012 – 05/2013)
Scene Shop scholarship hours & employee (08/2012 – 04/2013)
Bus Stop, Sound Designer & Sound Board Operator (09/27/2013 – 10/06/2012)
Retirement Video for Ric Goodwin (01/2013 – 04/2013)
WRDL BHM 2013 (WRDL Black History Month 2013) (02/01/2013 – 02/28/2013)
• Writer/Recording Engineer/Voice Talent/Editor/Producer
Little Shop of Horrors, “Audrey II, Manipulator”/“Wino I” (02/22/2013 – 03/02/2013)
Evening of Celebration 2013 (02/27/2013)
• Writer/Producer/Co-director, Our Journey
My Me: Stage Play (03/06/2013)
• Fourth original stage play
• Second solo show
• Actor/Writer/Producer/Director/Music Arranger
A Life in the Theatre, Sound Designer & Sound Board Operator (04/10/2013 –
04/14/2013)
Theatre Award: Outstanding Performance Award, Little Shop of Horrors (05/2013)
Senior Year I: Theatre Senior Project (05/2013 – 04/30/2014)
• Playwright, The Response
Pathways Leader (08/2013)
APO, Liason (08/2013 – 05/2014)
Production Director (08/2013 – 05/2014)
Member, DOC (Diversity On Campus) (08/2013 – 04/2014)
• Formerly known as Black Student Union
March: 50 (08/28/2013)
• Celebration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington
• Creator/Organizer/Student Leader
The Servant of Two Masters, “Florindo Silvio” (11/01/2013 – 11/09/2013)
KCACTF (01/2014)
• Student Directing Institute, A Raisin in the Sun
WRDL BHM 2014, (02/01/2014 – 02/28/2014)
Evening of Celebration 2014 (02/19/2014)
• Actor/Writer/Producer/Director, Thank You
• Plaque of gratitude
One-Acts & New Works 2014 (04/02/2014 – 04/06/2014)
• Tennessee Williams’ Moony’s Kid Don’t Cry, Director
• Jay Kunzi’s That’s What I’m Dreamin’, “Booty Magnet”
• Benjamin Isaiah Black’s The Response, Writer
Leadership and Recognition Awards: Diversity Enhancement Award (04/13/2014)
WRDL Award: Outstanding Senior Award (04/2014)
Theatre Award: Green Room Award (05/2014)
Theatre Award: Outstanding Performance Award, The Response (05/2014)
Senior Year II: Pathways Leader (08/2014)
88.9 WRDL, Production Director (08/2014 – 05/2015)
APO, Member (08/2014 – 12/2014)
Saint Joan, “Robert de Beaudricourt”/“Gilles de Rais (Bluebeard)”/“Bishop Peter
Cauchon” (10/03/2014 – 10/11/2014)
• Irene Ryan Award nomination
Homecoming King (10/11/2014)
In the Event of My Death, Assistant Sound Designer (10/30/2014 – 11/08/2014)
Black Magic (11/15/2014)
KCACTF (01/2015)
APO, Secretary (01/05/2015 – 05/02/2015)
Meet Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian (01/19/2015)
WRDL BHM 2015 (02/01/2015 – 02/28/2015)
The Wizard of Oz, Assistant Sound Designer (02/13/2015 – 02/21/2015)
Evening of Celebration 2015 (02/25/2015)
• Actor/Writer/Producer/Director, Motown: a Concert Experience
• Certificate of gratitude & Eagle Head
The House of Blue Leaves, “Billy Einhorn” (04/09/2015 – 04/17/2015)
Leadership and Recognition Awards: Diversity Enhancement (04/19/2015)
FINALE: Curtain Call (04/22/2015)
• Eighth original stage play
• Third & final solo show
• Actor/Writer/Producer/Director/Music Arranger/Editor
Theatre Award: Performance Award, Saint Joan (05/02/2015)
Theatre Award: Inaugural Brother BIB Award (05/02/2015)
• Award named after me
• First presentation of this award
Spring Commencement (05/09/2015)
Wow. I mean, wow! It’s been an unbelievably fantastic ride! I remember the day I moved on the campus almost five years ago. As a young freshman, I could not have imagined doing everything I did – or, at least, I wouldn’t have been able to predict doing it all! I’ve produced eight original productions (including my radio show), I’ve written eight original stage productions (including The Response), I’ve performed in a total of fourteen shows at Ashland, I’ve gained a number of awards and honors, I was in a web series, I produced a couple of films, my voice was heard on the radio a countless number of times, I met Take 6, I shook hands with Dr. C.T. Vivian, I created and led an event that celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom – and it has been phenomenal! Between everyone I met, everything I learned, everywhere I went, and the great and many things I did, I’ve enjoyed my time at Ashland so much!
I often wondered how I’d survive the “real world” after graduation. I was afraid because I didn’t know what was going to come next. While I still don’t know, and I’m still applying to places all over, I’m at peace now. I’m comforted. I realized that this was the same way I felt that very first morning, the day I left for Ashland, nearly five years ago. And look at everything God allowed me to do. If He allowed me to soar at Ashland, I know I have nothing to worry about, so long as I put Him first. With that being said, I look forward to applying the lessons I’ve learned at Ashland and moving on to bigger and better things. My Jesus is SO good! Thank You, Jesus! Praise You, God! HALLELUJAH! BOOYIKA!

Sincerely,

Benjamin Isaiah Black

(c) May 2015, B.I.B. Productions
(P) BOOYIKA!, Inc.

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