I am just a couple weeks out from wrapping up a production of Les Misérables. Not as a performer. Not as a stage manager. As a director!
Never thought I would direct. I took a directing class in college, and for my final project, I had to direct a scene of my choice. I selected the final scene in Stephen Sondheim's Assassins. (I wasn't ambitious or anything...) I hated every minute of it. I felt like a failure. My cast didn't seem to be happy. I don't recall the grade I received, but I don't think it was stellar. I was a stage manager, and I was determined to stay in that lane.
Fast forward to this past spring after I had stage managed a youth production of Peter Pan, Jr. Our producers asked me to take on a huge project--directing Les Misérables (school edition) at a premier theatrical location in our town. I was scared to death, but I accepted.
It's turned out to be the best experience I've ever had. Each moment has filled me with such joy! And today, I thought back to all the directors I worked with that have poured into me and helped me become the director I am today.
In high school, I served as student director (assistant) to Holly Kroncke. She taught me what it meant to be a strong leader.
In college, I worked with Jack Mezzano and Jack Matter. They were creative, fun, smart, sassy, and wonderful.
For a while, I left the stage. Too many other things took over my life. But after getting married and having children, I returned and worked with LuCinda Lounge. She encouraged my writing and gave me opportunities to create stories for others to perform.
Kim Castallenet helped me improve as a performer. She also gave me opportunities to fill lead roles in Mamma Mia! and The Addams Family: A New Musical.
Then most recently, the producers mentioned above have helped me grow as a theatrical professional. I am so grateful to the Mills and Paul families. They've inspired me and given me more than I can ever repay. Beyond that, they have provided community and friendship that I hope will last a lifetime.
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3