“I don’t remember how the bug first bit me. Storytelling has always been my passion. I love reading books aloud, and as the oldest of 7 children, I had plenty of opportunities to experiment with accents and captivating telling styles. My parents invested in piano, horseback riding, ballet, tae kwon do, and it was all wonderfully expansive. I would have happily traded every extra-curricular activity for theatre! I remember as early as when we first moved to Carbondale in Southern Illinois, hearing about the Stage Company, and knowing some kids who were acting there. I would have been about 9 years old, and already the story was that theatres are unhealthy places and that acting was not an appropriate pursuit for a good Christian girl.
Thankfully, I had a few theatre experiences in my childhood that were sanctioned and supervised enough, and they kept the dream alive. Eventually, I moved out of the house, and began pursuing more projects. Although it’s taken some time to deprogram my training against the performing arts, I am gradually learning to celebrate my love of performing. I’ve done some screen acting, children’s theatre, started a few talk radio shows, and sung with a big band and a jazz quartet!”
The theatre is catharsis, for the actors and the audience. Cloistered in the dark, breathing, laughing, and crying with strangers, or staring into the stage lights imagining you’re the only person left on Earth – live theatre holds space for emotional experiences that most modern Western lives don’t make room for any more. How relieving, to be sad, and go to see a play, and have the opportunity to weep along with a character on stage, protected by the privacy of the darkened theatre.
As an actor, I love the immediacy of theatre. My real-time emotions and actions, my castmates’ organic and calculated reactions, and the delight, or horror, of the audience, all combining in a delicious soup of Here, Now. Co-creating. Working on the production side of plays and musicals, I get to be the magician. I know the tricks behind the sudden wardrobe change and the seamless decor. When kids and adults alike gasp and giggle, my team and I were pulling the strings.”