A Regret I Learned From

In the spring of 2016 I was booked with The Theater of Public Policy to perform for a few days in Grand Marais. Not only would T2P2 be performing, but we’d also be teaching improv workshops for high schoolers.

I was pumped! I’d get to perform … I’d get to hang out on the north shore … I’d get to teach … There were so many things I was excited about with this gig.

Then my agent called.

I got booked as a model for a national brand for an out-of-town shoot happening during the same time.

I shook a proverbial fist toward the heavens, “You think you’re so funny, don’t you Universe!”

The shoot was for the Timberland Pro Series.

I took the gig and I’ve regretted it since.

At the time my head was swimming with the idea of increased exposure naturally leading to more national work and bigger pay checks.

But. That. Didn’t. Happen.

These are the only images I appeared in:

Timberland PRO #Workwear. Comfort, Durability and Performance.

A post shared by Timberland PRO (@timberlandpro) on

Perhaps this is why my ‘star stock’ didn’t skyrocket.

The worst part of the entire experience wasn’t that more national brands weren’t calling. No, that’s silly.

The worst part of the experience was backing out of the gig with T2P2. This put them in a bind and they didn’t need that. If I had a time machine I’d go back to right a lot of wrongs. This is one of them.

Hindsight being what it is though I’m glad I know now what I should’ve known then.

Open Letter to 2017

Dear 2017,

I know it’s been a difficult year for many people and unsurprisingly, I am not the exception. Thankfully, however, the majority of the struggles I faced were intrapersonal and interpersonal.

This was the year, however, when our family said goodbye to Grandpa Venske after his death in July. He and Grandma lived right next door my whole life and perhaps, subconsciously, I thought that would always be the case. It’s been six months and I still can’t believe he’s gone. But it’s the man he was, life he led, family he raised, and impact he had in my life that have comforted me most and were the point I wanted to emphasize during¬†his eulogy.

Grandpa’s words come back to me now, specifically in a card he sent me years ago where he noted, “It’s funny how things work out…” That’s kinda 2017 in a nutshell. There are pangs of disbelief in all that’s transpired, where I was and now the overwhelming relief to be here in 2018.

When I look back on 2017 I see a year of growth and transformation. Frederick Douglas was right, “Without a struggle, there can be no progress.” It hasn’t been an easy year. But I feel much better about the man I am because of the struggles experienced and shared. I’m doing the work and the efforts are showing.

One of the biggest areas of my life I’ve changed is the practice of offering forgiveness. Because: I’m not perfect and neither are you. We all make mistakes; so what a special joy it is to share grace (and patience and understanding) with myself and others. In this process my heart and capacity to love is growing… Now, when I look in the mirror I see a man who will make my grandfather proud.

I just feel so hopeful for 2018 and it’s a great feeling!

Let’s go, 2018!


Noted Happenings in 2017

1 Second Every Day Video (from the last few weeks of 2017)


A reminder of the happier moments in 2017: