My life has been a series of sure steps…and steps that were decidedly less so. I grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas, known as the buckle of the “Bible Belt,” a metroplex known even now for the evangelical conservatism that coexists with rampant materialism and Texas snobbery. My mom was a Christian drug addict, so I carried lots of baggage into adulthood: toxic parenting skills, damaged spirituality, and ultra conservative values.
With abundant gratitude and the help of mentors, I managed to soothe my spirit, set my faith free, and sow seeds of life magic. I have raised three kids, earned a Master of Arts degree in Theatre from the University of Houston, lost the physical ability to speak, and then rediscovered my voice and power as I turned that dreaded, hair-raising, spine-tingling age of fifty.
Still in Texas, I now find myself writing, teaching, doing occasional voiceover work, and earning my living in Renaissance festival management. My days are filled with incense and art, attendance projection graphs and marketing campaigns, syllabi and rough drafts.
Current: I am the Craft Director at the Sherwood Forest Faire, a medieval faire near Austin Texas, where I manage over 150 shoppe owners. This work enables me to build relationships with lovely, talented people, while I facilitate their success and the faire’s. Since I supervise all the product as well as food service, a typical day might include a visit to a jewelry shoppe, a sample meal of the traditional turkey leg, and overseeing the daily parade.
Former: Texas Renaissance Festival: the largest festival of its kind in the country, I worked as Vendor Coordinator, School Days Coordinator, and Assistant Entertainment Director.
Published: “Somewhere Between Manolos and SAS” July, 2018
Official Blogger, Texas Renaissance Festival, 2015-2019
Blog contributor: Hello Minder.com
I spent 22 years in Texas classrooms, starting in young primary grades and ending up in high school theatre auditoriums. Now, I enjoy teaching as an adjunct professor with the Lone Star College system.
The best part of being a teacher was the relationships I forged with students, several of whom remain dear, precious friends today.
Career highlights include:
- Completed training at UH which included classes in Program Management, Scenic/Costume/and Lighting Design, Acting, and Directing
- Master’s study also included workshops with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (London) and the Acting Studio of Chicago, and Lincoln Center
- Awarded the Lynn Murray scholarship for Outstanding Theatre Educator (a Texas statewide award) in 2010
- Theatre Under the Stars Tommy Tunes nominee for Best Costuming, Best Lighting, Best Scenic Design (2011); Best Lighting (2012); Best Lighting, Best Orchestra, Best Direction (2013), Best Scenic, Best Lighting (2014)
- 2012, 2013: three students qualify for Nationals in the Texas Thespians competition, two students qualify for Texas All State Play Cast
Favorite roles have included Chelsea Thayer (On Golden Pond), Lenny (Crimes of the Heart), The Chaperone (Drowsy Chaperone), Muriel (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Annie Oakley (Annie Get Your Gun), Jo Galloway (A Few Good Men), Rose Alvarez (Bye Bye Birdie), Sarah (Company), Julie Jordan (Carousel), Nellie Forbush (South Pacific), Miss Mona (Best Little Whorehouse), Sarah Brown (Guys and Dolls), Marian Paroo (The Music Man).
I’ve also had the privilege and joy of choreographing musicals for two local theatre companies, and have recently begun doing voiceover work.
A little note about the dandelion: I use the dandelion as the logo and symbol for all my work because in 2018, I wrote an essay about the dandelion field at the end of my street when I was just ten years old. I used to catch little tickle-bees and carry them to school and put them in my pencil box until recess. The interior of my pencil box, and my hand, would be covered in yellow pollen. I made wishes on the dandelion seeds.
When I hit “publish” on that essay, I knew I wanted to redirect my life. I wanted to reconnect with spirituality, write, and find a place to work that was healthy. And so the dandelion became the symbol of a reimagining of what my life could be.