WotW: Bethie Van Druten

WotW: Bethie Van Druten

Bethie Van Druten is not an ordinary high school student. On top of balancing schoolwork, she actively participates in theater, extracurricular clubs, and even founded her own photography business, Don’t Blink Photography. Her joy is tangible, and her story is inspiring. Read more about Her Culture’s World Changer of the Week, Bethie Van Druten!

Q:  What initially sparked your interest in theater?

A: I've been on stage for as long as I can remember. When I was 3, I did ballet, jazz, and tap until about age 10 when I began losing interest in my studio so I decided to give theatre a shot. When I found Christian Arts and Theatre (CAT), I knew I was at home. From there, I began taking voice lessons and discovered my gift of singing and acting and my passion for communicating and building relationships through theatre.

Q: What have been some challenges that you have faced in performing, and what are some of the benefits?

A: Some challenges of performing occur when auditioning for roles alongside your best friends. It's difficult to try hard for something that both you and someone you are so close to want so badly. Often it is difficult to balance performing with school but I just have to reevaluate my priories and The Lord always guides me.

Even with all the challenges, some of the most rewarding moments of my life have been because of performing: like when little kids come up to you after a show and ask for your autograph, or when the audience, people I don't know say I have impacted their lives. When just before that moment when you feel like you are just another human on this earth and suddenly you mean the world to someone you have just met. It's an incredible connection that have never felt anywhere else.

Q:  If you could play anyone in a show, who would it be?

A: I would love to be Mary Poppins. I admire her individuality yet charming class.

Q:  What is YOUR culture?  How has it shaped who you are today?

A: My culture is Christ. Everything I do, say is centered on my faith in Christ's work on the cross. Ever since I accepted Christ as my Lord and savior right before 9th grade, He has shaped my every thought and action. He gave me my personality filled with color, joy, giggles, and adventure so he is my life, my stronghold, my culture.

Q: Besides theater, what else do you participate in? Are you involved with any extracurriculars or sports?

A: I am the farthest thing from sporty so I do not play any sports; but I am currently the president of my schools top choir and the publicist of the Random Acts of Kindness club at my school. In my free time I sew, craft, adventure, visit coffee shops, bake, or take pictures for a newly established photography business with a friend called Don't Blink Photography. I basically just enjoy spending quality time with others and spreading joy through my actions and words.

Q: What advice would you give to someone wanting to make a difference in their community?

A: Don't blend in. Be the best kind of individual you can be. No one can make a difference if they are trying to fit and going along with the crowd.  Humbly be you. Stand up for the things you believe in. The greatest thing in the world is that God created everyone one of us for a specific purpose to bring glory to himself so find that purpose and be bold in your individuality. 

Q: What do you believe is the greatest problem girls face today?

A: One of the greatest problems girls face today is conformity. Everyone wants to be that model in the Forever 21 ad, that celebrity who "has it all together", but fact is, they are humans too, just like us, so why aim for someone who struggles too? Why desire the riches, fame, body, and clothes that bring no true happiness to anyone, not even celebrities.  

Q: If there is a solution, what do you believe it is?

A: If you have to change who you are so others will accept you, then first of all, those people aren't your friends and second of all you are working way too hard to find the person you already are. Be someone the world doesn't already have. Wear something you feel comfortable and confident in. Hang out with people who love you the way you come, not after layers of makeup and a shopping spree.

Q: How has your faith made a difference in the way you view life?

A:  My faith took my world and flipped it upside down but I could not be happier and more satisfied than a life with Christ. Life isn't a span of time to enjoy but rather a spec in eternity to glorify the one true king. Speech isn't a way of talking to people but a way to communicate the work of God through his Son. I am a new creation thus I see life through a new set of eyes.

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: Lord willing I want to be a pediatric nurse. In a year I see myself preparing mentally and spiritually for college (hopefully Biola in LA) and using my gifts and talents to impact the lives of young ones and their families being a light to them in difficult times. A lot of times people ask me, "do you want to be on Broadway one day?" and to be honest I've thought about it several times but I couldn't bare to see my God given passion for others be so distant from the audience. My ultimate goal would be to work at CHOC hospital and one day have a family of my own after traveling on missions trips around the world assisting others medically and spiritually making disciples of all nations. Despite my goals and ideas, The Lord will place me precisely where He needs me to bring Him the most glory.  

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