What your definition of misery?
I think misery would stem from going through a dark period, either in mind, body, or spirit, and believing that it would never change – that you would never get out of the darkness. Hopelessness may be a form of misery.
What is your greatest fear?
I just took some time to think about this. I don’t believe I have true fears. Sometimes I worry (I try not to) and at times I live too much in my head weighing things (also, try not to). But I have adopted a way of living that doesn’t invite these things. I try to always remain present, and believe the best of people and situations, and accept things as I find them. I have strong faith – not unwavering – but strong faith. Perhaps that doesn’t allow for fears.
What was your first real job working in the theatre?
I started acting at the age of 10 or 11. And while I was a child, the man who ran this particular youth theatre, Jerry Leonard, truly gave me the discipline, dedication and work ethic that I still have to this day. Even at that young age. I really count that as a ‘real’ (if not ‘job’) introduction to this life. My first paid job was at Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in Cleveland, OH.
Are you good at waiting tables?
Absolutely not! So it’s a blessing, both for myself and patrons, that I only had to do it a few months when I first arrived in New York. I am really a shy person, so approaching the table was always torture for me. I wanted to give people a pleasant dining experience, but I always felt so nervous. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen crying. . . .
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Again, contemplating this question. I wouldn’t say I identify with anyONE – I admire many. Perhaps specific traits and qualities from many different people – but no one person in particular do I identify with. I spend so much time and energy getting to know myself, liking and having belief in myself, that going outside to “identify” with someone else, has never really been an issue.
Who are your favorite heroes of theatre?
I am floored by so many actors: Meryl Streep, Robert Duval, Katherine Hepburn, Myrna Loy, Mike Leigh, George Walker, Sam Shepard, Ashley Judd, Johnny Depp (perhaps not theatre, but actor), Viggo Mortensen, Carmen Decker. I really could go on and on.
Who are your favorite heroes in real life?
My mother. Gandhi, Barak Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Martin Luther King, Jesus Christ, The Dalai Lama. Again, I have great admiration for many people . . . .the list could go on and on.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
What do you consider the most underrated virtue?
Love (I think that embodies man of the others)
What is your favorite painter?
Johannes Vermeer. (There is a lovely young painter in this area. In fact, his is the first really fine piece I ever bought for myself. His name is Kyle Stuckey, and people should know his work. Really lovely.)
Your favorite musician?
So difficult. I love music. I listen to all kinds of music and am moved and touched by so many different artists. . . . I honestly don’t know if I can name one. I love Mozart, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Lyle Lovett, Bonnie Raitt, Dwight Yoakam, Johnny Lang, K.D. Lang, the late, great Stephen Bruton, Jackson Browne. . . . and on and on. How do you chose?
Your favorite playwright?
Not to be cliché’, but Shakespeare.
When and where were you happiest?
Ah, I try to have that moment always be: Right Now. But of course, there are memorable trips, times, etc. If I have to chose one for the sake of this article, I would have to say a couple years ago when I took a trip to Tanzania. Life changing. Cannot wait to return and spend some real time.
What do you most value in colleagues?
The courage to bear their souls and speak a universal, human truth.
Is there a class in which you wish you had paid more attention?
No – but there are some classes which I wish I could take again at this point in my life. Just to see what I would glean from them all these years later. My philosophy classes more than any other.
If you didn’t work in theatre, what would you do?
I’ve been wondering about that lately. In an ideal world, I would have loved to have studied and applied myself in Archaeology. Also, I think perhaps a minister or priest. That has great attraction for me.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Staying in love with the world and people and life when at times it seems easier to be doubtful, angry, and again that word; hopeless.
What you’d like to be the world’s best at?
Talking with animals!
What book would you read more than once?
Look Homeward Angel.
Who would play you in a movie of your life? Why?
Well, if Ms. Streep is available, get her! She has a depth and light to her that radiates from every pore in her being. She is funny and smart and can make me laugh and cry at the turn of a hand. She is hooked into something bigger than the rest of us. She seems to be Grace incarnate.
What sports teams do you follow?
Sorry – none at all. . . .
Where would you like to spend a vacation?
I want to go everywhere. I love travel. I come from a long line of gypsies! I think my next trip out of country should be Bruges. In States, I’ve never seen Sedona and think I’d love it.
What car would you like to be seen driving around in?
I truly don’t care, as long as it’s comfortable and safe. I’ve never really paid much attention to automobiles. I’ve been in the top of the line Mercedes, and I’ve been in wonderful, old, beat up pick up trucks. It’s always a grand journey.
What book is currently on your nightstand?
Three: The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein; Touched with Fire, by Kay Redfield Jamison; and The Bible . . . by, well, you know, a cast of many.
If you could see a great production of a classic play, what would it be?
The Scottish Play . . . . by Shakespeare. You know the one I’m speaking of? It is my favorite.
If you could travel back in time to visit of live in any time in history when would it be?
I would like to go visit the beginning of Tsar Nicholas’ reign in Russia.
What actor will see I see in any project they do?
Not surprising, Meryl Streep – Johnny Depp – Robert Duval – Will Patton – Jessica Lange – (and many others. . . .)