Introduce yourself to us! Where and what do you teach?
I'm the Theatre Director at Bridgeland High School.
What classes will you be working on this summer at Stageworks?
I am directing the teen production of Urinetown this summer, which premiers June 25.
How did you get into theatre?
My first theatre experience was when I played the Scarecrow at age 7 in Superior, Nebraska.
What advice would you give to aspiring actors?
My advice - listen! Hear what people are telling you...but also trust yourself...you are more powerful than you think. Keep your focus and work hard. Remain humble, but know that you have what it takes.
What advice would you give to parents of young aspiring actors?
My advice - support your student...but don't hover. Your student needs time and space to grow on their own. Let them learn and fight their own battles. Teach them to be an advocate for themselves.
What is it about theatre students that always surprises you?
99% of the time they will rise to the challenge.....really isn't surprising....just impressive....high expectations = high-performance quality.
Do you still like to perform? If so, what is your dream role?
My heart is on the stage. I've played my dream role twice...Emcee in Cabaret....the rest is just icing on the cake.
How are you involved in theatre outside of your work at Stageworks? If so, tell us about it.
Besides teaching at Bridgeland, Stageworks has evolved into my "home" theatre. I am occasionally involved with the Tribble School at Queensbury Theatre and was a resident company member of the Masquerade Theatre during its tenure at the Hobby Center.
What's your favorite show to watch?
My favorite show to watch....this is tricky, as my taste and likes/dislikes evolve. I typically love a high-energy, dance-heavy show. However, my guilty favorites are Spring Awakening, RENT, Cabaret, Oklahoma, Sweeney Todd, Sondheim's Follies, and A Little Night Music.
What is the most misunderstood role in theatre? (Not character role, but role in a production?)
I believe every role is misunderstood. People believe directors can just do whatever they want....not true....we are stuck in the confines of budget, scrutiny, and balancing between producers, actors, and audiences. I also feel like most people perceive actors as annoyingly extroverted showpeople. However, some of the best performances come from introverts as they have learned the art of listening and observation. I am not outgoing. I am incredibly shy at heart...and typically (when given the choice) keep to myself. I hate being pushed in the spotlight without preparation or notice. The technical crew is probably the most misunderstood and certainly the most underappreciated. The production team, producers, and technical crew are often working 10 times longer than the actors, and most people will never know what they've done...or their names, even.
What would your students say about you?
I'm sure they say plenty! What I hope they say, is that I put my all into every show and that I care...because I do.
What should we have asked you that we didn't?
I've learned that time is precious. Take on EVERY role with gusto and honor. Some of my best memories in a cast were not in the leading roles...but as an ensemble.... the third dancer in the back (because I'm tall...lol). Don't get in the headspace of "I'm not going to accept this role because it's not the lead". Put the work and time in, and your dreams of becoming a "lead" will eventually come true. Accept that there will always be someone better than you...no matter what. However, please know that there is NO ONE in this world like YOU. And YOU are a gift and have special things to offer. Just keep working and searching until you find it.
What is your favorite thing about Stageworks?
I can honestly say that Stageworks has created an environment that produces, in my opinion, some of the best shows in Houston. In a lot of ways, we are better than the high-price shows you see downtown. Why is that? Because we have a heart...and we create community, and our work is simply fantastic. Looking at Stageworks from a director's lens, I've seen more lifelong friendships, relationships, marriages, and memories than any other place I've had the opportunity to work at.