As the Kentucky Center prepares to celebrate its 30th anniversary on November 19, 2013, Center staff have been discussing how they entered this business and when they felt their first "arts crush." Peter Bell, our Director of Production Services, provided the first story.
I know, I know. We are all in this industry for the money, right?
As we all exhibit to a greater or lesser extent, we are all in love with the arts, most of us with the performing arts. I caught a great article in the Arts section of The New York Times titled, “Your First Theater Crush.” It included quotes from several people in our industry, theater specifically, about what was their epiphany moment that let them know that this is what they had to do. Reading the article spurred my own memories.
I grew up in Louisville. My father died in 1979, shortly before I turned four while my family was living in Frankfort. Since Mom was going to have to raise two boys alone, she decided to move back to Louisville where the families were and where there was more opportunity. Fortunately my mother has always been a theater and dance fan, so I was exposed to those things at an early age. I remember being very small and seeing shows at Actors Theatre that were part of a children’s series they had in the early 1980’s. That and Blue Apple Players at my school were the first theatrical experiences I had.
The next big thing was when my brother started at Trinity High School. His freshman English teacher, a little pixie of a woman named Donna Kupper was on Louisville Theatrical Association's board. She would get group seating to the Broadway shows here. Whitney Hall was where I saw my first road show: Big River, January 1987. I sat in row G, house right of center. When the cast started singing “The Boys,” I knew I would love the theater forever. By the time Jimmy Lockett as "Jim" sang "Muddy Water," I was over the moon. Later that year I did my first show, a middle school production of Wind In the Willows at Highland Middle School. I played "Badger" and did the lights, my first backstage job. I ended up at Trinity as well and followed my brother into theater. After working with Billy Bradford, who some of you know, Greg Sysol, and Pat Mullaney, I knew what I wanted to do the rest of my life.
I encourage all of you to take a moment and try to reconnect with the younger, perhaps more optimistic or naïve "you" that decided you wanted, needed to spend the rest of your life doing this, with these people, our people.
As we head into a new season, please make sure that your emotional seat belt is fastened and your motivational tank is full.
Sadly, we've had too much spam come through our blog comments filter to allow comments here, but we'd love to hear the story of your arts crush! Please consider joining this conversation on our Facebook page or on Twitter.