In her own words –
“An empty theatre, an empty stadium – these have always been happy places for me. In truth, empty is not quite accurate, as I’m surrounded by the people who actually work in these spaces. It’s the behind-the-scenes, the “empty” before the audience arrives, that I have always loved. I can quite honestly date it back to high school, working on theater productions for our drama club – painting sets, sourcing props, adjusting costumes. Looking back, it’s what ultimately guided me to my work as a television producer.
I have always loved what I do, but it took me a long time to realize that, at the most basic level, I am a storyteller. It is difficult to describe how I do what I do – the big picture and the nuance, the perfect visual, the right phrase – it is hard work, but I love what it takes to get stories to the audience. At the end of a long day, I often don’t feel like I’ve “worked” at all.
The last big shoot I produced before the country locked down – or more specifically, before professional sports and theaters shut down – was with a long-time, arts-focused client. We were in Houston working with the national tour of Come From Away, a musical telling the story of what happened in Gander, Newfoundland, when dozens of planes were diverted there on the morning of September 11, 2001. Yes, a musical about 9/11. It is a remarkably uplifting story set in the darkest of times.
We are again in the midst of turmoil and uncertainty, this time courtesy of coronavirus. The global pandemic has shut down our economy, closed our borders, and shuttered so many of the traditional avenues we use to convey stories. How do we capture stories for a captive-at-home audience when sports, television and stage production are not considered safe?
The stories are still there to be told, the audience is still there to watch… and not just because we’re supposed to be staying at home. Thus the short answer is – we think of new ways to tell them. We take technology invented for distance meetings, for remote learning, and turn it into a new vehicle for storytelling – the Zoom recital, the livestream of a favorite play, today’s commentary added to shows and games past.
We face a long road back to capturing stories in person, whether those you see on traditional screens, on the playing field or on stage. For now, theaters and stadiums remain empty; production remains dark. So for now, I will look for a new happy place as we continue to look for new ways to tell the stories that really matter.”
Participants in this project will be supporting the efforts of Dress for Success Worldwide – Central. We are all stronger together and it is my sincere hope that we will be inspired by each other’s stories. Now is the time to celebrate as well as encourage one another. Tell your story!