"I was really good at it and it made me feel good about myself."
These arrived in the mail after I spent a few days working in a classroom on a program designed to use drama tools to get kids excited to read. Many people often wonder what exactly I do all day as a resident teaching artist for Hartford Stage. The job takes me on many great adventures and over the past few months, I've been working in Hartford Schools on a really valuable program. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. I love getting mail from kids!!! If you'd like to know more about the program, then read this great article written by a colleague of mine.
"I have learned more with you over these past few months than I ever did over a period of semesters when I was studying. "
Those sweet words appeared in my inbox this week from one of my current adult students. As an acting coach, there's really nothing more exciting than helping my clients define their goals and exhibit growth. I love the freedom we have to explore and play outside of the pressures of an audience or outside eye. We're simply free to enjoy the process of discovery.
I'm so grateful for all of my students and am inspired by their trust and willingness to work hard and have fun, all the while keeping an open mind and bravely facing whatever I might ask of them. What a beautiful process, indeed.
One of my goals for 2014 is to learn what it means to brand myself. I’ve been reading a lot about how important it is to have a consistent presence online; with so many social media sites and platforms available, this can be a daunting challenge. I decided to start small and with the help of a very talented friend, we designed a logo that captures the essence of my professional and playful sides.
I love my new logo and think it’s an essential step in the right direction. Welcome, 2014. I have a lot to learn, discover, and enjoy in this new season.
I'm thrilled to be directing a new short play by Anders Lustgarten at Playhouse on Park as part of Theatre Uncut. The whole idea of this project is to create an international forum for some cutting-edge social and political issues. These plays are being produced around the world this week, including right here in West Hartford, CT! I hope my local friends can see the plays. I'm completely blown away by the well-written script and talented actresses I've been given, and know you will be, too!
I currently have the pleasure of teaching an acting course to a fantastic group of adults at Hartford Stage. The students consistently delight me with their dedication, insightfulness, and eagerness to improve their craft.
Also, they're having FUN and learning to PLAY through performance.
Last night, I asked one of my more senior students how he felt after performing his monologue.....a large grin formed
on his face as he enthusiastically replied "It was EXHILIRATING!"
You bet it was, sir! And how wonderful it was to watch him let go, take a risk, and enjoy the ride! Bravo.
I recently learned about an exciting organization called UNIFIED THEATER, run by the inpirational Micaela Connery. She had a vision ten years ago (when she was in high school herself) to establish an in-school arts organization for students with and without disabilities. Today, the program exists and thrives in nearly 50 schools across the country! She decided to reach out to the Education folks at Hartford Stage to help support their creative efforts. I know I learned A LOT myself from this student leadership summit, held at the CT State Capitol. How inspiring to work with students and advisors that are eager to include, rather than exclude. Sometimes it's nice to be reminded that theatre has the power to do just that: bring people together.