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Monday, August 24, 2009


When I was in college, I had a great opportunity to intern at a theatre company that really changed my life. As a casual or regular reader of my blog, it is obvious that I am a fan and advocate of the theatre for a multitude of reasons. While I always dreamt of working in the theatre, it wasn't until I began my internship at The Western Stage (TWS) in Salinas, California that I realized just how much I loved it. I worked with some of the most incredible people and I learned what it was like to be part of the process of creating live theatre and the passion, encouragement, patience and people helped lay the foundation for my professional life. I am truly indebted to every person I ever worked with at TWS because every single one of them made me feel safe and encouraged enough to ask questions, to learn, grow, appreciate, understand and love the theatre on a new level.

Today, I received some horrible news about the death of Tom Humphrey, who was the Artistic Director of TWS while I was there. While I didn't work closely or often with him, he was always an encouragement to me either by watching him work, guiding me during an acting workshop or even with just a smile as he passed by. I've always credited every person I worked with at TWS as having a tremendous amount of influence on my life and Tom certainly was one of those people. TWS changed me for the better because every experience, every challenge or frustration, every smiling face, every show became for me, a labor of love. The process of working in the theatre is in all honesty, a cherished experience that I carry with me to this day and I owe that to TWS. I saw how important every member of the company was in creating something that mattered and was enjoyed. The enjoyment of a production was measured by the energy, applause and smiling faces from patrons after every show and witnessing and being a part of that was thrilling to me. Needless to say, the people and experiences at TWS holds a very special place in my heart. Y'all at TWS did something right and I only hope to pass that spark on to my own students -- to encourage them to believe in the magic of the theatre too.

Rest in peace Tom...and thank you for being part of something that made such a significant impact on my life, I will always be forever grateful.


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