Updated: Nov 16, 2020
I was pretty much born to be in the spotlight. I started performing when I was three years old. As my mother tells the story, it all started during my first ballet recital. I stepped in front of the line of other girls in my purple tutu dancing the entire routine, one step behind everybody else. If that wasn’t enough, our performance ended with tossing out lollipops to the audience. While all the other girls threw out a handful and ran off stage, I proceeded to throw mine out one by one, refusing to leave the stage until I was done.
In middle school, I got my first part in a school musical, and that was it for me. Once I discovered how it felt to speak on stage, that was it. I was hooked. I love theater and the thrill of performing for a live audience, especially when it’s a comedy! Laughter brings me joy, and love making other people laugh!
In 2006, I got my dream job at The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC. In 2007, I began teaching Acting for Business Professionals, a class for people who wanted to improve their leadership and public speaking skills or reconnect with their creativity and love of theater. I shared the techniques that actors use to create presence, command a room, engage an audience, and tell compelling stories. Then applied them to giving presentations, job interviews, leading teams, motivational speech, and more. My class became so popular that it was featured on NPR and in the Washington Post, with journalists from both participating in it.
My students wanted to continue working with me, so they became my clients and referred me to their Talent Development Departments. I began creating corporate workshops and seminars, developing the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Corporate Professional Development program, also called Acting for Business Professionals.
In 2014, I finally got pregnant with my first child and decided it was time to start my own business. You probably think that’s crazy! But the idea of being responsible for another human being fiercely motivated me to create as much financial security in my life as possible. However, it was still a side hustle. I coached clients and taught seminars because I loved doing it and appreciated the extra income. All my work came from referrals. It was enough to fill me with joy and still work a full-time job and be Mom.
In 2016, I had my second child, and everything in my life got a lot harder. Two children felt like quadruple the work of one. I had to rebalance my life and found I could not teach evening classes anymore or dedicate my time to individual clients. I cut back to only providing corporate seminars. Over the next few years, I continued to pour myself into my full-time job and give what was left over to my children. Trying to maintain as much of a balance as I could. It became clear that all my joy now came from spending quality time with my daughters and facilitating leadership and public speaking seminars for adults.
Here we are now in 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic has decimated many industries, including the performing arts. It has changed our way of life and tragically taken thousands of souls from us. I am grateful that I have not suffered the loss of a loved one. But I did lose my full-time job, along with thousands of others. At times like these, it is valuable to see the silver linings.
I am spending a lot more time with my family. I have the opportunity to slow down and take stock of what matters most to me. Not having to commute to D.C. every day has given me two precious more hours in my day. I’ve been reminded that my health and the health and safety of my loved ones is more important than everything else. And I have learned how to connect with people in a time of extreme isolation.
For me, losing my job has turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me. It has finally given me the courage to commit to my business full-time. I choose to focus on doing what I love and what gives me joy, helping people increase their self-confidence and leadership skills. I finally have the time and courage to put the energy and effort into my own business that I gave to my employers for 15 years. It is invigorating.
I hope you will join my community and that it helps you feel more confident, valuable, appreciated, creative, and compassionate.