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One Monticello Life: Rebecca Akin

January 21st, 2007 by

akin1.jpg

“There is a place where dreams come true, where wishes big and small lead to happily ever after.” This is the current advertising campaign for Walt Disney World. It can be heard on most television and radio stations. One of Monticello’s own, Rebecca Akin, just finished being a part of this magical experience. Here is her story:

Rebecca was born and raised in Monticello. Her dad is President/CEO of Akin Industries, which is a furniture manufacturing company. Her mother is a speech pathologist. Rebecca’s fond memories of growing up in Monticello are many. As children, she and her brother John spent time at Akin Industries where they creatively built trampolines out of excess chair foam. She also remembers city parades, her favorite teachers, ninth grade cheerleading, homecoming court and competing in a UAM monologue competition. She graduated from Monticello High School in 2002.

She attended Ouachita Baptist University, mainly due to the influence of her mother and grandfather. Her mother, Susan, was an OBU graduate, and her grandfather, Raymond Coppenger, taught religion and philososphy at the university. OBU had always played special role in her family and was already a special place for her. Rebecca had known from an early age that she wanted to pursue theater.

“OBU is a safe environment to do theater. I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about racy characters at their small theater,” she said.

She also enjoyed spending time with her grandfather who is now 97 years old. She attended church with him and could walk to his house from campus. She graduated from OBU in August 2006 with a bachelor’s of art, double-majoring in Theater and Mass Communications. She was encouraged to find a theatrical internship, and was excited to land one at Walt Disney World.

At the Disney Internship, Rebecca took entertainment and communication classes. The classes were hands-on, and she experienced the in’s-and-out’s of how theater works at WDW. Rebecca also worked daily as a tour guide for the The Great Movie Ride at MGM Studios. On each tour, she would read a fifty-page script to a group of 70 people. She could not deviate from the script unless the car would get stuck for mechanical reasons. This happened quite often. During the wait, Rebecca enjoyed entertaining her tourists. She would usually end up telling jokes like her favorite, “Why was Cinderella so bad at soccer? Because her coach was a pumpkin, and she always ran away from the ball’. Because most of the riders were at a point of impatient frustration, she usually received more groans than laughs. But this did not stop Rebecca from having fun and making the most of her situations.

akin2.jpgAt the end of the internship she was voted on by her peers and manager for the Thunderous Applause Award. This award was confirmation to Rebecca that although she might be different than most of her classmates, her fun spirit and attitude paid off.
Rebecca learned more than theater at Walt Disney World. She also grew in her Christian faith. Walt Disney World is known as a “happy” place, but she found herself unhappy at times. It proved to be quite a culture shock as she discovered the variety of people and backgrounds at the park. There were parts of her experience that she “hated” but that she wouldn’t trade them. She said she grew as a Christian and learned to rely on God on a new level.

Rebecca is unsure what is next for her now that her Walt Disney experience is over. Currently she is working for Akin Industries creating a furniture catalogue. She likes this stage of life where “nothing can hold her back,” and possibilities are endless. She loves theater and wants to keep that avenue open. Already, she has many credentials:

  • Stage Performances- This is Where We Came In, The Art of Self Defense, Anything Goes, Sound of Music, and South Pacific
  • Directed one-act play, The Diary of Adam and Eve
  • Created and directed Monticello Children’s Theater Camp
  • Semester study in Salzburg, Austria

It is obvious that many dreams have already come true for Rebecca. But because of her love for theater and her love for life, it will be interesting to see what other wishes of this Monticellonian are granted. She is proof that there is a place that dreams come true, not only at Walt Disney World but also in Monticello. Thanks, Rebecca Akin- one Monticello life.

3 Responses to “One Monticello Life: Rebecca Akin”

  1. Marylee Noble says:

    What a great feature story! Beautifully written and very inspiring! Rebecca sounds like such an outstanding young lady. Also brings back memories of building the EEE float at the Coppengers’ house.

  2. Dawn R says:

    AAHH Rebecca….one of my FAV-O-RITE people. She is always a breath of fresh air!

  3. Holiday Inn Expess Staff says:

    Great job Rebecca. She is the wonderful girl that you wrote of. We all love her here at the Holiday Inn Express.

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