2013 memories

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To say 2013 was amazing would be an understatement. This year was one that had a lot of milestones for me: turning twenty-one, getting a great job, starring in a play and landing an internship at a Seattle public relations agency. Here are some of my highlights of 2013, including some never-before-seen photos.

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I kicked off 2013 with the production of a TV segment/web series for my school's television channel (GUTV) called #trendingnow with JG. The weekly TV segment was all about what's trending in the Gonzaga webisphere. It was a great opportunity for me to combine my creativity with my television production skills, my public relations skills, and my social media savviness. Nothing like it has ever been solely produced by a student at Gonzaga. I also got the opportunity to be the social media manager for GUTV, which was really fun. You can still watch the whole series (which ended with an award show) on my YouTube Channel here.

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In the spring, I was cast in Gonzaga's student-directed production of Approaching the End of A Summer by Tennesse Williams. I tried out on a whim and ended up landing the main role, which was a completely amazing surprise. Acting is something I've always been interested in and having a taste of it by being in a musical in 2012 left me wanting more. The role was challenging, fun and hit close to my heart. The plot surrounded a gay man who was infatuated with a man who was questioning his own sexuality. My character tries to make the man fall in love with him and fails because of the other man's fear of societal judgement. It was actually kind of an ironic play, because my life was imitating the art exactly. Performing on stage gave me so much satisfaction. It's a feeling I won't forget, being able to entertain a crowd and convey a deeper message. It was one of those moments you felt uniquely alive, like everything was right.

 Backstage on opening night with my best friend Hannah.

 Roses from my best friend Morgan, the play poster and my script.

 Roses from my best friend Morgan, the play poster and my script.

Around the same time, I released my favorite original song to date called "Please." This is the first ballad I composed entirely on the piano, which was a large feat but the end product was beyond what I could have ever imagined. I think people like this song so much because it comes for a vulnerable and real place for me. It's authentic and serves as the inspiration for the rest of my acoustic album that I plan on releasing this year.

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I spent the summer at home in Seattle interning for Barokas Public Relations, which was a fantastic learning experience. I really enjoyed working at the downtown office and getting an inside look on what it means to be a PR professional. Those summer months were great because it confirmed for me that I picked the right major (well one of two majors) and could visualize myself being a PR account executive in a big city like NY or LA.

One unexpected highlight of this year was adding Misty, this adorable little kitten, into our family. She's almost full grown now, but she's just as cute as she was on the misty, gray June day that we adopted her. She's such a crazy kitty who even loves to play fetch. When she finally calms down, she's also a great lap warmer.

The absolute highlight of this year was going to Las Vegas for my twenty-first birthday. I loved getting away from Washington and trading a rain jacket for a swim suit, even if only for a week. The dining, shopping, relaxing and drinking was so much fun. If you want to read every detail of the whirlwind trip, read my Vegas Diaries here.

Also in August, I created this website and blog to document my latest entertainment endeavors. I really love blogging and sharing my life and my art with you all. I'm so glad I found an outlet I could project all my passions and work on to.

I also released my latest original song, "Your World," on my birthday. This song is also one of my personal favorites because it really stretched my skills in audio production. "Your World" has a lot of fun elements to it like Earth-inspired sound effects and a dance beat.

 When I got back to school to start my senior year, I also began a brand new job: Arts & Entertainment Editor of The Gonzaga Bulletin. I'm really thankful I got this exclusive position because it gave me the chance to write some really cool stories. I got to interview the voice of SpongeBob, got to review a pre-release CD from Warner Bros. Records and meet so many interesting artistic students. It's a challenging job at times, but it's also very rewarding. Being a public voice has a lot of responsibility. You often don't get recognized for the good you do and sometimes only get attention when you write something that pushes the envelope. But writing a controversial piece was one of my proudest moments, I stood up for my own opinion and most people respected me for it. You can read all my articles from The Gonzaga Bulletin here.

One highlight for the photographer in me was going to Manito Park with Courtney. I love nature and discovering beautiful unknown places. I remember everything about this amazing day with my best friend. It was spontaneous and beautiful, I couldn't have asked for a better person to spend the day with either. See all the beautiful photos I took here.

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Going to Seattle for a three day weekend with my best friends Morgan and Hannah was exactly what we needed during a stressful fall semester at school. I got to show them my hometown, pretend to be hipsters at UW and bond over the five hours of driving to and from. Check out all the awesome details of the trip here.

 I got to dip back into the acting world once again by starring in a short film called "Words", directed by Anthony Armstrong. Watch it above and read my thoughts on the issues the film delves into here.

The holidays were so great this year, I relaxed with my family. The end of the year is always my favorite because of the celebration of giving and receiving gifts. I was really happy with what I gave and what I got. There's nothing quite like watching someone you love smile while they open your gift.

 Photo by the wonderfully talented Morgan Willie.

Hear are some previously unreleased photos of the outfits I loved to wear this year. From a fashion aspect, I've really experienced a style revolution in 2013. I'm looking forward to 2014's clothing trends and bringing you more content to inspire you! As always, thanks for reading my friends!

 joe gooding