Time in Greater Orange County: 20 Years
Hometown: Tempe, AZ
What are you currently working on?
Presently I'm working on a digital recording of my husband's recently composed musical, FRANKENSTEIN, which premiered at the end of 2019, and in which I originated the role of Clare Frankenstein. Additionally, I've been coordinating online cabaret events, and working with fellow artists to create online context combining original music, dance, and the spoken word.
What's been inspiring you recently?
The pandemic and the social struggles our country continues to face have been in the forefront of my mind. So, having this period of time to not only spend with my family and focus on discussing challenging and important issues right now, but finding ways to express the thoughts and feelings I have regarding these issues has been something I've been working through. Reading and hearing the stories of so many has made me aware of all that I don't know, and each day brings about the opportunity to find ways to be better, especially within our community here in OC.
Who are or were your theatrical heroes?
I have too many to list, but there are those who will forever remain giants in my mind for their ability to combine artistry, education, and collaboration in their work.
Tell us a story from your childhood that illuminates who you are as an artist.
The first time I read OUR TOWN was in early high school, and I remember the feeling of awakening to a sense of self I hadn't felt before. The realization that I could be living my life without truly being mindful and cognizant of not only who I was, but whether I was actually aware of the life I was leading. It hit me hard, and to this day it's something that has stayed with me, especially in my art.
What kind of theatre excites you?
I enjoy all types of theatre, but especially theatre that makes you sit forward and invest yourself in the lives of the individuals being portrayed. Whatever the particular journey a character may be experiencing, if it's approached authentically and truthfully, with a desire to inform, educate, and broaden the views of those in attendance, then that's exciting to me. That's not to say theatre for the sake of entertainment doesn't also serve a purpose, but the opportunity to reach the hearts and minds of individuals is crucial.
What's the craziest thing you have ever needed to do for theatre?
Performing 21 shows in a 14-day period was one crazy moment, as was going on last minute to cover another actor. Both solidified my belief in the importance of solid preparation, a strong work ethic, and focus.
Outside of a theatre, what's your favorite hot spot in Orange County?
I wouldn't call it a hot spot, but I love Crystal Cove. I find it therapeutic and rejuvenating to sit on the beach, feel the breeze, watch the waves, and listen to the sounds the earth makes.
What surprises you the most about your role in the theatre community?
I think most people in life strive to find ways they can make a difference, and for me, theatre has been a major avenue for me to contribute. I love having the opportunity to shift between performing and directing, as I feel it helps me better appreciate and understand how best to communicate with fellow performers. And, I love encouraging collaboration! My feeling is that a show is never about one person but the cumulative effort of a group of people all putting forth their best artistic abilities and creating something amazing.
What advice do you have for theatre artists just starting out in Orange County?
First of all, get involved with the Orange County Theatre Guild! In the time I've been involved with this organization, I have seen firsthand the desire of those in this group to bring their absolute best to the OC community, through their artistry and passion. They are constantly putting in the work to make theatre not only stronger but more accessible. But, it takes many in a community to make it stronger, not just the few. Get involved! And even though this is an unusual and unprecedented time in our lives, with COVID-19 in particular making seeing live theatre an almost impossibility, do what you can to support these theatres and all artists. The OC Theatre Guild has a relief fund, so that's one place to start.