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Many moons ago, on a crisp Wednesday October evening I was born into this world under "lucky stars," moments before primetime television was scheduled to air. Maybe that is why Autumn is my favorite season, why I love pumpkin butter so much, and why most of my jobs start around 8:00 PM? I grew up in Wilson, NC where I sang in the First United Methodist Church Choirs, skinned my knees on the driveway, drank my weight in chlorinated water at the Forest Hills Swimming Pool and fell in LOVE with acting when I was cast as the "Turkey Boy" in the Shoestring Theatre's 1980 production of A Christmas Carol. I had hung sheets in the garage and entertained the captive masses of neighbors with my sister, Martha, and neighborhood friends many years before that, but with the Shoestring Theatre at the Wilson Recreation Center we had ACTUAL sets, costumes, lights, sound and a DIRECTOR! That director was a genius... Bob Johnson. He revealed to me the magic that IS theatre! After A Christmas Carol I hungered for MORE! I wanted to be a part of every production that I could. I didn't care if I was onstage or backstage, I wanted to be a part of it. And so I did! One of my most favorite experiences was playing Amahl in Amahl and the Night Visitors which was directed by the brilliant Lorraine Shackelford-Giddens. She was the drama teacher at my future high school. She left us my sophomore year and went on to do bigger and better things! I learned sooooo much from her as well!!
I had a great music background thanks to my wonderful choir director, Laura Davenport and my high school music teacher, Susan Powers. With the solid foundation they provided I attended East Carolina University with the intention of obtaining a Music Education Degree. (Always practical because who knows what can happen in life!) The first week of my freshman year at ECU I auditioned for the musical in the theatre department and got a role! I spent the next four years of my life running between buildings getting my Music Ed degree, and taking classes in the Professional Actor's Training Program in the theatre Department. There I studied the Meisner Technique from another genius, Don Biehn. To this day, I count my lucky stars that I got to study this technique with this man. Words cannot express how valuable those two years with Don were. He taught me so much about LIFE, being a good person, and being a GREAT actor. My college voice teacher, Gladys White, was also an incredibly positive influence on my life. She taught me the importance of being thorough, disciplined and "thick-skinned!" The 4 years I spent in her studio helped shape me into the discerning, exacting and detailed performer I am today.
After ECU I dabbled in theme park and cruise ship work where I had a blast and made some incredible friends! I look back on those years with fond memories... How can one not enjoy a crisp fall afternoon sitting outside at Carowinds watching friends perform as the leaves are turning rusty colors on the trees. The last fall in Charlotte, I decided it was time to head north, and see what could happen for me in NYC... so move, I did.
I got the job at the very first audition I attended... after several callbacks and not being initially cast... BUT I got the job, headed to Europe and did On The Town for 5 months. Again, I had a blast and made many friends... several of whom I still am in touch with today. The next 13 years were filled with great friends, and great work at some amazing regional theatres across the country, a few national and international tours, a handful of Off Broadway shows and some on camera work here and there. All in all, it's been an amazing journey, and I'm looking forward to what comes next! Thanks for reading this much, and if you check back in a few months... hopefully there will be more to read!
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