Q – How long have you been involved in theater?
I made my stage debut when I was two, singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little STAR” (with that emphasis…I mean, that’s really the focus of the song, right?) in front of my church congregation. My first speaking role was in first grade in the original musical “Oh My Deer”, about a town overrun with an abundant deer population. I was a concerned citizen that was surprised when a deer sat down next to me at a cafe and ordered french fries.
Q – What are some of your favorite recent productions?
I have been humbled to be a part of Back Alley’s production of Marie Antoinette: The Color of Flesh, as well as Billy Butler’s new musical Missing: Wynter, both at the Players’ Ring The cast and crew of both were strong, talented, and so full of life and light.
Q – Have you performed in the Vagina Monologues before?
I last performed in the Vagina Monologues in college in 2003 (I believe). We were kind of shocking for a smaller town in WV, but brought so much awareness to the aid available for domestic abuse. To speak to people after the show about their experiences, and how empowered they felt…that was an amazing experience.
Q – What made you want to be involved in V-Day this year?
The Vagina Monologues and my schedule have been evading each other for YEARS. When I moved to the seacoast a few years ago, I heard nothing but amazing things about Back Alley’s annual production, and the amazing positive impact they were able to endow on local advocacy programs helping those affected by domestic and sexual violence. I wanted in. This year, I made sure my schedule was clear on the chance I could be a part of this wonderful, warm, wicked little show.
Q – Who is the most influential woman in your life?
I have many influential women in my life. The woman I’m thinking about as I type this I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing a very long time. We maybe said hello in passing a few times. But this woman was a powerhouse. A force of frankness and grace and food and lovely that trained many of the fine actors of Memphis, as well as held up a mirror to their soul, their psyche, and their spirit; forcing them to look, accept, change, and ultimately become storytellers that would help them be a communicator, an amplifier to any character they picked up. Josie Helming was a force, and such an inspiration to me just in the resonance of voice within her friends, students, and community. Accepting oneself for who they are, finding their strength through their fragility/vulnerability, and being the most honest person you could be. I hope to have an eenth of the electricity she had in her fingernail clippings. “Get out of your own way”. “You are enough”.
Q – What or who inspires you?
Warm socks inspire me. Dark brown eyes. My goddaughter Leia inspires me. Music and puppies and kittens and Bretton Reis’ light designs inspire me. Strength in humility, courage in adversity. Dancing flames in bonfires stripes on mittens emotion through eyes. Sandalwood myrrh candles and delicious red wine inspire me. You inspire me. Yes, you.