Commit yourself to a mighty purpose.
– H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
I was saved, in large part, by reading and acting.
Growing up, my friends, my hope, my pleasure, my education all came from what I watched and read. As this was before the internet, this meant books, magazines, television shows and movies.
I had friends, sure. And a family. But I didn’t trust most people, with good reason due to early trauma. So I turned to other resources for help. To what was available to me as a child: books and television.
Through them, I could enter into other worlds and become a part of them. This saved me from the intense loneliness I felt, the extreme “otherness.”
I have no doubt that were it not for books and movies, I would have descended into a kind of madness that might not have turned out so well.
Fortunately, I had a library and a television at my disposal. They brought me works that gave me hope that another life could be made for myself. They gave me company. They gave me connection.
Today, as I navigate my life as a performer and as a writer, I can think of no higher purpose for myself than to create work that can do the same for someone else.
I am on a never-ending quest to examine and understand both the light and the dark sides of human behavior. I’m drawn to works that explore and celebrate the human spirit. Stories of how people rise above the problems of life and the human condition to make change and follow their hearts. I have a soft spot for the seemingly ordinary moments and people in life: the underdog; the unsung heroes; the quiet, small moments that can sometimes hold a lifetime.
It’s my mission to collaborate deeply and bravely as an actor and singer with all of the people who make up a production, so that together we can create stories to inspire, educate, elicit, and evoke. To wake people up so that they may live life more fully and authentically and to embrace their lives.
I also volunteer as a reader with SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s BookPALS program. I read storybooks to kindergartners in hopes of sparking a lifelong relationship between children, reading and books that I hope will help them navigate the murkier waters of growing up, of life.
That is my mighty purpose. What is yours?