I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb when I say that fewer things shape your life more than discovering your passion. I found mine when I was about 14 years old, playing Poopsie in my high school production of “The Pajama Game.” From that moment on, I threw myself into musical theatre with absolute abandon, and it fed my soul for many, many years. Even now, on those rare occasions that I have the opportunity to perform, I experience a thrill that reminds me who I am.
As I got older, roles became scarcer (“and that’s showbiz, kid!”), and I found I needed a new creative outlet. So I turned to the camera, and it quickly became my new obsession. To be honest, I was more interested in Photoshop than actual photography, but I needed to learn how to capture the shot before I could manipulate it. I spent hundreds of happy hours reading and experimenting. I loved taking everyday objects and giving them a new perspective. I also found that I had a pretty good eye and a special connection with people through the lens of the camera. And since I had so many actor friends, and actors need headshots, it became my perfect side gig. For more than ten years it gave me the chance to stay connected to the theatre community that I loved so much, to spend one-on-one time with my friends, and to meet so many of the younger actors that will become the new stars of our Richmond stages and beyond.
But as sometimes happens, my well-loved hobby has now begun to feel like a job. I miss the days of going out to take photos just for the fun of it – doing theatre calendars and all of those crazy projects with Audra Honaker.
So, I’m giving the business a break. I may get back to it some day – and I may not. It might end up being something completely different. I’m not putting down the camera, but rather going on a journey to discover the joy I once found behind the lens. I already have some ideas!