I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss my background and dive in deeper on how I got into planning! I had an amazing childhood, growing up in Columbus, Ohio. Our house was on a very suburban block with cookie cutter houses and our backyards coming together like a big pizza. It was very “Sandlot-esque”.
From a young age I was always bringing people together. I can remember, for Christmas one year, I got this Teacher Set…it had everything you would find in a classroom. I had already recruited my younger sister Madison to be my student I just wanted a few more. After school I would run around and gather all the kids, bring them back to school in my basement. It didn’t last too long as these poor kids had just finished a whole day in actual school. But it was fun and brought the neighborhood together. Not too long after I closed the doors to my classroom I decided to produce my first play and I choose The Little Mermaid”!
I had all the parts cast, Madison was to be the star, my jack-pot friend Jenica was Eric, her little sister Sam was Flounder and their Mom, Denise would be Sebastian and my Dad was to narrate. The VHS recorder was set to record and a masterpiece was made. I’m not sure what happened to that tape but the memory is still fresh in my mind and looking back I’m so appreciative of my parents and Denise for supporting me and putting on a costume.
Those two moments stick out in my life as evidence I was a natural born planner. Not much changed as I got into high school. I was always planning the Sweet Sixteen’s, renting the limo reserving the restaurant, making sure no one was left off the guest list. And of course when it was time for Prom and Homecoming I was the go to to make all the plans. Let me tell you finding a limo that will fit 25 sometimes means finding a bus that says OSU on the side…we made it work!
Somewhere along the line I got the acting bug. While I never was in a single play growing up I always knew I would be “famous". I talked about it so much that I was voted “most likely to be famous” in high school. I knew College would be my moment so I packed up and moved to Chicago where I attended Columbia and ended up graduating with a BFA in Theater. I did what I set out to do…got some exposure doing plays, even booked a commercial and had to fly to Nashville to film it. I’ll let you know the commercial was for the Marine Corps as they have their own stations overseas and the content is meant to be uplifting and encoring. My commercial was about staying in shape…lets just I was the “before”.
I lived in Chicago a total of 7 years and all the time I noticed that I was enjoying producing much more than actually acting. It was such a rush to have this list of things that needed to happen in order for the show to be successful and knowing you only had so much time to check off that list. Each check mark was an accomplishment…I would write lists for days. Sometimes getting too detailed just so I could have more items to check off! Organizing the list of actors, lists of props, schedules, rehearsal spaces, marketing, ticket sales…all leading up to opening night. During the actual show there this is energy, coming from the actors and from the audience that everyone feeds off of. Being aware of the fourth wall that can be broken at any minute or actors forgetting their lines and having to improve…its exciting! Then that last moment when the audience is applauding and everyone takes a bow…that exhale of breath and feeling of accomplishment is a smile I never want to wipe off my face.
That is the feeling I chase, the feeling I love and the feeling that planning and coordinating events provides for me. I didn’t always know this would be the path I would follow but I’m so happy I found it.
Besides…who doesn’t love a good party ;)