I’m a part of history and here’s how it happened… Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had a passion for performing arts and everything involving theatre. I started working with theatre companies when I was young, and throughout the years have become more persistent in pursuing my dreams of acting. I’ve always prided myself on being resilient and being able to overcome any obstacle in my path. That is until the pandemic pushed everything to a stop. With everything being put on pause, I felt like part of me was missing. The lack of rehearsals, auditions, and performances made me realise how much I missed being on stage. So when restrictions started to lift, I was delighted when my drama teacher (shout out to Mr. Collins!) wanted to put together a theatre Troupe at my school. Our Troupe, Troupe 10336, made local history as the first performing arts Troupe in all of Manitoba. As a ratified Troupe of the Educational Theatre Association of Canada, members of Troupe 10336 can earn points towards their induction into the International Thespian Society through their engagement in theatre programs in the school. In our first year, the thirty members of our Troupe participated in three festivals: the Manitoba Drama Youth Festival (MDYF), Destination Imagination, and The Canadian National Thespys Festival. Each member put in a tremendous amount of work to prepare for these events, and it definitely paid off. We received Gold from the adjudicators at the MDYF, earned first place in the Fine Arts and Improve Challenges at Destination Imagination, and three of our members received Blue Ribbons of Superior Achievement at the CNTF (only 15 handed out across Canada). I was fortunate enough to be one of the 15! The Troupe spent months practising for those three different festivals to make sure we were ready. Through those months, I became quite close with the other members of the Troupe. They all became my close friends and had a big impact on who I am as a performer and as a person (they still do to this day). At the end of the year, I earned enough points to be inducted into the International Thespian Society. When I got the news that I was being inducted, I felt extremely nervous because it was something new and out of my comfort zone. Luckily for me, acting is all about going out of your comfort zone and finding new things about yourself. The ceremony for being inducted was such an honour to be part of. Standing alongside my friends and fellow inductees on stage and holding our ribbons all together felt like a huge accomplishment and a fresh breeze filling my sails. This was so important to me because it meant that I was part of the first Induction in Manitoba! It was without a doubt one of the highlights of my performing career and I’m honoured to be considered a member of such an accomplished association. Joining the International Thespian Society means that you’ve made it to a new level of acting and performing. Since my induction, I have put more thought into the actor that I want to become. One of my favourite things about being a Thespian is that people respect you for your craft. As I’m still a young teenager, I often feel overlooked by many people (especially adults). But since becoming a thespian, I feel more confident in sharing my art and my process. In addition, many great actors are in the ITS, and it’s so cool to know that I’m in the same organisation as them. If it wasn’t for our Troupe Director, Troupe 10336 wouldn’t have been possible and I wouldn’t have had the incredible experiences or wonderful relationships I have built. Being part of the Troupe and earning induction into the ITS helped me figure out who I want to be and shaped me into the person I am today. This is why I am eternally grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. No matter where life takes me, I’ll always be a part of history and grateful for the memories. My name is Salina Lupu and I’m a member of the International Thespian Society.