XIOX MAGAZINE XiOX Magazine June Issue 12 Volume 1 - Page 15

Q: What art do you most identify and enjoy most? A: Well, that would lead me back to 4tth grade and where it all started. Musical theatre is where I am most comfortable and feel most alive. I love musical theatre because it encompasses all of my disciplines. I am able to create a character while using song, dance and acting, all the while working with an amazing ensemble and having the feedback and energy from a live audience. Q: Describe a real-life situation that inspired you? A: I recently worked with Cicely Tyson in Los Angeles on a play called, “Bountiful”. As women, we are told that we have a window of time that our career will have relevance. Cicely is inspiring just by watching her prepare her voice, show up everyday and by working next to her in theatre. She has been a vegetarian since 1967 and doesn’t touch Western Medical practices at all. Working with such a strong woman who is working well into her 90s was pure joy. Cicely is wise, connected, elegant, strong, and such a powerhouse. I recently worked with Chita Rivera, age 84 and Barbara Cook, age 89 and it is empowering to watch these women move in their ca- reers, beyond what they were told was possible. They are using their craft to move people with their art. Women like Cicely, Chita and Barbara, show us that the boundaries that we are told exist, don’t have to limit us. These are women who we look at and realize, I can have a career well into my 80s and 90s. I can be an influence and move people beyond what we think our creative years might be. Q: As you were gaining success, how did you deal with others jealousy or negativity energy? A: You learn those skills particularly in middle school. The cliques and jealousy start in middle school and then we find out that life is just like high school. It doesn’t really change and you still have the same cliques, or people trying to stab you in the back or get ahead. We have to learn how to navigate that at an early age and I think that many that learn to navigate successfully have a genetic compo- nent that helps. Coming from strong stock like I did, and having a powerhouse of a mother who remained strong in any situation, was helpful. You learn to ask your loved ones and people you respect how to navigate difficult situations. Often, you just have to take a moment and consider, what could be the worst to happen, if I did or didn’t respond. Typically, things work out and things aren’t tragic and you succeed just by learning to solve a problem. These moments teach you to dig deep and to move ahead. No matter what it is, your career or your personal life, it’s also about knowing your worth! Once the dust settles, you will get a chance to be who you are vs. what assumptions people make, or what others project on you. It just requires patience and patience can be hard. Q: Should art be funded so all can be included? A: Yes! It’s an absolute necessity for everybody. I have been involved with many private organizations that offer arts programs and we raised money because it is important. The arts are part of the human experience and whet