A BIT ABOUT ME FOR THE RECORD
I have been a character actor since the age of five.
My first stage appearance was as Gretle in THE SOUND OF MUSIC starring absolutely no one in a theatre that's been gone for some time. Shortly after that, I was to play the first of several vegetable roles like a cranberry in the school's Christmas play. Sadly, some thirty plus years later, I still remember the song. I loved the theatre, but the problem was that I stopped being cute at the age of six.
Growing up in Eastern Pennsylvania, I had easy access to the train to New York. At sixteen, I began going in regularly for non-union cattle calls. This is when I started my string of being "typed-out." I stopped counting at 286 auditions where I never made it into the building let alone onto the stage. Once, I did come across a very nice AD who told me that I was too young for the character roles and too much of a character for the straight roles and that I should come back when I was in my forties. Well, I'm in my forties, and I'm coming back!
I went to college with the idea of becoming an advertising artist. I
attended Kutztown University (then State College), but I quickly found out that I wasn't cut out for the advertising field and started taking theatre and literature classes. The result was a triple fine arts degree in speech/theatre, advertising design, and literature. After graduation, I worked on computers for about twelve years. Yes, that's what one can do with a triple fine arts degree. During college, I was fortunate to work under directors and teachers who stressed characterization and analysis, and the tools I gained from them have proven to be invaluable. I also had a great deal of training in interpreting Shakespeare Since it was a small program then, I was able to play a vast array of characters, design, build, and direct many shows. In my five years of undergraduate work, I had major roles in over 20 productions (I actually did some school work from time to time). We were exposed to many New York performers who were brought in to give classes, and the entire experience was better than many I've heard of in the major "drama schools."
I auditioned, or tried to audition, all through college and until I was twenty-five or so. Then it became too expensive not to work full-time, so I put theatre on the middle-burner. I've continued to do a great deal of theatre, but in places no one would know or care to know. That's why my resume lists mostly "Non-Equity Regional" as the theatre. It would do no good to list theatres or directors about whom no one has heard. I did those shows for "me." I did them to challenge myself. I wasn't always right for the role, but I always did work of which I was proud. I tried to get work in the larger regional theatre when I could, but the major regional theatres in this area only hire out of New York. I've always found it interesting that, in order to work locally, one had to work and live in New York. I worked in a now deservedly defunct barn theatre circuit for two years. It was glorious to be doing a show in one half of a barn that still housed livestock in the other. We had to share dressing rooms with cats and stages with chickens and roosting pigeons in the flies. What fun! It became more and more painful to do this kind of theatre where, instead of working on lines and blocking, the cast party got most of the attention. I've done my share of hole-in-the-wall theatre, I've worked hard, and I've taken classes whenever and wherever I could.
I had planned to pursue my career when I hit my late forties, but I was offered the opportunity to join the union, and I took it. Being a member of Equity has been a lifelong dream, and I'm very proud of my membership.. I got my Equity card by stage managing for a local professional theatre company. It's not acting, but it's rewarding. I think I'm a much better actor than stage manager. I think of myself as being a flexible actor who delivers honest and consistent performances.
That's me to the present. I'm currently an adjunct English faculty member at a local community college which almost pays the bills. I love teaching, but...