My work as a theater artist actually began as a musician. Since I was very young I played the drums. From concert band, to marching band, Jazz Combos, to touring Rock ’n Roll I was always creating a beat and helping to establish rhythms. I’ve found over the years that my deep immersion in music early on actually gave me greater insight into the language and storytelling of the theater. Being able to hear the play differently than others and then translate that experience into movement and action through the language of the playwright helps me to connect to artists and my audiences as a director.
Many actors are not text/language driven. We see and hear the world differently. I feel the text through sound and movement but I also understand it intellectually through what the playwright is saying to us. The rhythms of language along with its definitions are how I see and imagine plays. Many artists are like this and thus they stumble when tasked with only language’s key components by directors or teachers. I believe in a strong voice program that helps create structure and intellectual discourse but having artists that imagine plays through music, creative movement, and the structures of the verse or text is key to me in formulating a fully prepared artist for today’s stages.
In ancient Greek one of the definitions of acting was: “to be a maker of ethics” according to my Greek teacher who taught at UCLA. This simple phrase guides me every day in the studio or classroom. The theater is a sacred space to sing, speak and dance our song while we experience the mystery of an ancient craft and art.