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.
Splitting my time between Texas and Florida, I now find myself writing, teaching, doing occasional voiceover work, and earning my living in character management (I spend my days with Mickey Mouse, how magical is that?). My days are filled with costumes and show tunes, attendance projection graphs and marketing campaigns, syllabi and scripts.
Some Resume Highlights:
The Walt Disney Company 2021 – Present
Guest Talent Coordinator/Character Captain: Disney Imagination Campus, WDW Entertainment
This role is a highly interactive leadership role, with abundant opportunities for coaching young performers and theatre leaders. It is ever-changing and requires tremendous flexibility, presence, and collaboration.
- Manage student groups in Disney Performing Arts’ Imagination Campus performing arts department
- Develop working relationships with young adult performers, providing insight and development instruction
- Collaborate with fellow leaders to identify solutions to a variety of challenges that present in live performance settings
- Facilitate operations so that guest experience as well as cast experience is positive and affirming, including scheduling, costuming, safety, and performance
The Texas Renaissance Festival 2013 –2020
School Days Director/Assistant Entertainment Director/Vendor Coordinator
The focus of this role was working with both entertainment and operations to ensure best practices for safety and creativity, while working strategically with marketing to improve the patron experience and increase attendance. This position is analogous to a Disney park proprietor in scale and scope; TRF daily attendance averaged 45k-50k.
- Reorganized event operations to identify pain points, improve stakeholder management, and implement best practices resulting in the event becoming a nationwide model for educational events within the themed entertainment industry
- Cast, coached, and directed themed performers, including street characters, musical acts, and stage performers (including puppeteers, acrobats, and dancers)
- Led a staff of over 500 Festival personnel, training and equipping them to manage their specific areas of responsibility
- Promoted and maintained safe quality food, beverage, and shopping opportunities to enhance patron experience and support the venue’s story
Lone Star College 2017-present
Adjunct Professor: Theatre
In this role, I develop curriculum and provide quality instruction in multiple modalities (in-person, hybrid, and online instruction) to a wide variety of students, including traditionally underserved urban students and older non-traditional students. This role is analogous to Disney Institute facilitation or Traditions facilitation.
- Implement current pedagogical techniques, including scaffolding, collaborative projects, and critical analysis methods in the arts
- Utilize Brightspace learning platform to provide instruction, accept assignments, give feedback, and track grades and attendance
Southern New Hampshire University, Master of Arts, Communication, Completion summer 2023
Fields of Study:
- Organizational communication methods
- Managerial and leadership communication best practices
- Branding, marketing, and Public Relations
University of Houston, Master of Arts, Theatre Houston, TX
Fields of Study:
- Design: Costume, Scenic, Lighting
- Acting and Directing
- Pedagogy: Acting, Voice
- Dramaturgy and History
- Management and Program Administration
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.