Clive is the head of Artistic Learning with Cal Shakes. He has supervised me (and supervised my supervising) in numerous roles, and I count myself so blessed to have worked under him.
Laura is the coordinator of the Actor Training Program at San Francisco State University. She is also the author of several acting and text manuals, including The Shakespeare Audition (Hal Leonard Publishing), a project for which I contributed extensive research and a full chapter. I have also had the pleasure of co-teaching and doing radio spots with Laura. I find her to be enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and above all: energetic!
Full disclosure: Meg is one of my longest and dearest friends. She is also an exceptionally talented writer and editor, and the winner of the Phillip K. Dick Award, and her feminist sci-fi works appear on the Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of the Year list and the Amazon Best Books of the Year list. I am an occasional member of Meg’s critique group, The Naming Convention, where new works are put through their editorial paces. Because she is unflaggingly generous with her time, even after gaining so much notoriety, Meg wrote this letter in support of my first one-woman show.
Amanda is the head of the Children’s Literature program at Hollins University. I took several of her classes while working on my MFA in Children’s Literature, and she supervised me through an award-winning manuscript and a published story. Amanda can speak well to my habits as a graduate student and also as a teacher/director (something I managed concurrently with my school work). She has a warm spirit and is a highly creative soul.
Jessica and I co-founded Cut Glass Theatre as members of the expatriate theatre community in Seoul, Korea, and it is partly due to her encouragement and expertise that the company is still thriving after a relocation to California. Together we produced several English language plays with the goal of cross-cultural communication. We also worked together with the Seoul Shakespeare Company and with the Seoul Players. I know no one else with Jessica’s level of compassion in action. She really sees people, and her vision helps to elevate them; I am grateful to have been seen by Jessica.
Ryan began as a coworker and then became head of the English Department at Yongsan International School of Seoul. He and I taught in adjacent classrooms for four years. Ryan was in a good position to observe my work in the Drama Department, and my efforts to involve YISS students in the Seoul theatre community.
Seth was my principal for four years, and although he was not directly involved in the Drama department, his children were. He was in an excellent position to observe administrative skills and my passion for my students. I often say that I could never have thrived under a different administrator.
Though she was already busy with a great deal PTO work, Stephanie quickly became the most active parent volunteer of the YISS Drama Department. She was on hand to observe auditions, rehearsals, tech days, and performances. I chose Stephanie as a reference because two of her younger daughters participated in productions, so she can comment well on my ability to work with younger learners.
I performed in three Probationary shows (A Doll's House, Good People, and Medea). In addition to being directed by Liam, I worked closely with him on technical aspects of the Seoul theatre scene, and he was in a good position to observe my work from multiple angles. I know few people as humbly giving of their time and expertise.
David was a mentor and supervisor during my time with the Covenant Players. He and I also flew to Taiwan to lead a week-long Drama camp at Hsin Chu National Experimental High School (my third year leading the camp). He is a gentleman and a scholar.
Vonjah was a coworker for an intensive four and a half month Theatre-in-Education tour, and when I became a unit leader I requested to have her on my team again. She is as intelligent, diligent, and talented as they come.
Annick was an instructor and mentor during my teacher credentialing program. She oversaw my development and was a trusted mentor with a kind soul. She is the principal of Downtown Magnets High School and an adjunct professor for California State University, Northridge (CSUN).
Jean was one of my master teachers during my student-teaching experience. She welcomed me into her room, allowed me to contribute meaningfully, and was always a source of ideas, encouragement, and insight into Shakespeare education at the middle school level.
Jamie was my first master teacher. She gave me valuable advice regarding classroom management and streamlining. Even after her many years as a teacher, she is still in love with literature.
Mike and I worked together intensively in the first season of the San Jacinto Valley Shakespeare Festival at the Historic Ramona Bowl. As a Julliard attendee and a passionate Shakespeare scholar he has wonderful insight into text and performance.
Brandon was my fight choreographer for two years. He and I also had the opportunity to take Shakespeare workshops into a local middle school. He is a talented performer and an energetic addition to any cast. Brandon currently manages the Pasadena Playhouse.
Dennis is the current director of the California state play, Ramona, at the historic Ramona Bowl Amphitheatre in Hemet, Ca. I will never forget meeting him for the first time. I was a middle school student waiting for my music teacher in the scene shop. He was teaching a class on Classical Theatre and had left the studio door ajar. I crept closer and closer, engrossed in what was happening inside. When Dennis spied me lurking there he said, “You know, we just happen to be one person short today,” and invited me to join the class. Soon after, I became one of the high school students that were admitted into the ensemble productions at the college. After high school graduation I stayed on at MSJC to complete my AA in Theatre Arts (and around sixty units of theatre arts credit in total). I was directed by Dennis many times before he eventually moved on to become Vice President of Instruction. He is a brilliant person, and a truly community-minded theatre practitioner.
Jay was a favorite AP teacher of mine in high school—so much so that I allowed him to talk me into joining one of the most all-consuming activities of my young life: the United States Academic Decathlon. I was hooked! I went on to coach the team for a few years. In that time, Jay was the driving force behind creating an award-winning team; his hopeful demeanor and personal connection with his students has touched many lives. In 2012 he was named a Carlston Foundation Outstanding Teacher of America. I always try to carry a bit of him into class with me when I teach.
Jackie was the most formative teacher of my young life. Not many people can say they had the same teacher for third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade. Fewer can say they were blessed and strengthened by that experience. Jackie taught me many things, but if I were to choose only one to highlight it would be to always encourage proactive creativity in my students. I have stayed in touch with Jackie through signing and playing handbells with her, and also by visiting her elementary and college level classrooms to speak and/or lead Drama exercises. She is currently an instructor at Valley City State University; wherever she is, her students are lucky to have her.