Cue the excitement! You guys, my very first news article was published today! Thank you to Voyage Magazine Dallas for this incredible Q&A piece that highlights the uncharted territory of how to pursue your passion and God's purpose for your life.
The original article can be found online at VoyageDallas.com.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela O’Neill.
Angela, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have been a storyteller my entire life. My mom would tell me stories at night and once I was old enough to read, I remember wanting to be the one to tell the stories. Who would have known that this would turn into a passion. From there, it has been a life long journey of various forms of storytelling, theatre, music, spoken word, or simply speaking. What I have learned on this journey is that stories and stories told creatively can have a deep effect. This has brought me to the journey of opening myself to be vulnerable and available to go in hopes that the stories told will be unique and have a lasting impact on people. It is one step at a time process.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
This seems to be a road that is uncharted. There is no singular formula. That in and of its self can make it difficult and cause questions. I am going out there, trying to do something that has been on my heart for a very long time, and simply trying to take the right steps along the way. It is not easy, but it is worth it. Does self doubt creep its way in? Yes. But it is beyond me. This is what I feel deep in my heart that I am supposed to be doing, and every moment I have been given to put these areas of my life into action has turned into confirmation that this is exactly what I am supposed to do. So each step forward is a step of faith, and what a wonderful adventure it has been.
Please tell us about your work.
To sum it up in a few words, I am a storyteller who uses various forms of storytelling. This includes writing and performing original theatrical pieces, using music, and speaking. In some moments, all three of these combine together for a unique experience. My goal is to write and speak stories that have a lasting impact, that touch people’s lives. Truthful, authentic stories that is my goal.
Most recently, I was given the opportunity to tell my personal story using the art form of the spoken word. It was a raw experience, full of vulnerability and real emotion. The spoken word aspect of this meant that each word was thought through and chosen very specifically. It combined art, speaking, and music in one moment. What I found was redemption. We all have a story, we all have things we can share, and for me, telling my story gave the glory back to God. It was a time for me to say, “yes, there are hard parts of my story. But I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. And I am victorious in those hard parts, because of him.” So it is now my goal to “tell stories for His glory.”
I also wrote an original musical, with the help of some very talented friends Evan and Jana Human, who wrote the music. This is a musical based on the old classic “Pilgrim’s Progress.” This had been in the making for ten years until last year it was workshopped twice. To stand on the stage and perform this labor of love was surreal. I could not believe it was happening, and my hope was that people’s lives would be touched. As a lover of musical theatre, I know that the songs, story, and characters of a musical can truly provide a beautiful setting to tell a story. I myself have been deeply touched, learned historical truths, and had deep conversations over a musical. My hope is to create pieces of art that do the same thing. That they would provide a space for people to dig deep, that they would provide a safe place to feel, and maybe even touch a life forever.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My plans for the future are to go. To tell stories! To create art! To live the story! As an independent storyteller, I will go where doors open. This could be a retreat, a church, a conference for both small and large audiences.