Where is your home neighborhood?
I grew up in a small town in Ohio and moved to the big city of Pittsburgh 15 years ago. Living in a city is exciting, but I miss the quiet that comes from living in a rural area. Pittsburgh is loud.
What do you do during the day?
During the day I work supporting faculty and students at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute. I've been working from home during the pandemic and love that I get to spend all day with my little cat named Chai.
We would love to hear a brief history with Stage 62 and/or your local theater/creative work.
My first show with Stage 62 was as part of the ensemble of Big River in the summer of 2006. I have worked on many shows since then on stage as a performer, and behind the scenes as stage manager and set painter. I consider myself to be incredibly lucky to have found Stage 62 during my first summer in Pittsburgh. Many dear friendships have been made over the past 15 years.
What do you do as a creator?
Part of being a creator for me is making messes. When I'm painting a set for a theater production, I end up wearing almost as much paint as I get on the set piece I'm painting. For this project, I have been learning how to create digital art. It's been fun and rewarding to learn new techniques.
What do you think makes a really good story? What do you think makes a really good song?
I like a story that teaches me about people who have lives that are different than mine. By listening to their stories, my world expands and I grow empathy and compassion for people. Art plays an important role to help us 'see' the story. Sometimes it's hard to see the story in our minds so we use illustrations, photos, and moving pictures as ways to visualize a story.
What about these stories made you want to make something new with them?
It can be challenging to recreate well known stories, but it's a good practice to challenge yourself.
Which character do you most relate to?
Probably Turtle. Slowly and calmly is my motto.
What recommendations do you have for someone who wants to be a writer/musician/lyricist when they grow up?
Practice. Try everything. Make messes. Don't be afraid to make a mistake.
Is there anyone you'd like to say thank you to for making these happen?
We had an amazing team working on this project and I'm thankful any time I get to work with my friends. Thank you to Becki and Seth for their leadership.