Armando asked if I would share a few words on this blog, so I will begin by saying “thank you.” So many people have reached out to us since we made the decision to accept the position at Tuacahn. From administration, to faculty, to parents and students, we have been encouraged, helped, and supported in ways that made our transition from Salt Lake City to St. George so much easier than we had originally imagined, and we couldn’t be more grateful.
Here’s a quick introduction to our family, we’ll start from youngest to oldest:
Gavin is eight (but will be nine in October). He loves to read, swim, play the guitar, draw, and play with his dog “Sy.” Gavin’s the celebrity of the family and has been on the cover of a few magazines, started his own ocean rescue campaign (http://www.rescuingtheocean.com/), and spent a weekend as a special guest with the Jonas Brothers. He originally asked if I could get a job in California, somewhere close to Disneyland if at all possible. While this isn’t exactly what he wanted, he said that at least we’re moving in the right direction.
Colleen was born in Salt Lake City and her early interest was in ballet. She was fortunate to train with Willam F. Christensen and danced with Ballet West for a number of years. She graduated from the University of Utah 2nd in her class, and then later did her graduate studies in Youth Theatre at BYU. She went on to create and be the Artistic Director of Theatre Arts Conservatory in Salt Lake City (which accounts for the boxes and boxes of homeless trophies in the garage). Colleen is also a member of Actors’ Equity Association, but puts her career on hold to be the best mother a little boy could ask for.
Then there’s me. I was born in San Francisco, California and grew up moving up and down the coast. My father was in the United States Navy. We moved to Utah as I was heading into my final years of high school and that’s when I gave up a career in visual art (and dreams of a career in basketball) to pursue theatre. I graduated from Weber State University with a degree in Theatre Education and completed my MFA in Directing at Arizona State University. I’m a member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (one of only twelve members in the state, the rest of them are either university professors or artistic directors for companies like Pioneer Theatre Company or the Utah Shakespeare Festival) and, like Colleen, I’m also a member of Actors’ Equity Association. I’ve been honored as both an actor and director by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. I’ve been the President of Utah Theatre Association and State Coordinator of Theatre for Utah High School Activities Association. I’ve even been accepted to, and fortunate to attend, Lincoln Center Directors Lab West. But my favorite accomplishment to date is the role of father. When I’m not in class or on the stage I sketch, teach myself to play guitar, and play with Gavin.
We had some choices to make when the offer was made to come to Tuacahn. We looked at the options, discussed what was best for our family, relied a bit on gut instinct, and now here we are. If what we have experienced thus far is any indication of what’s to come, I can’t imagine a better outlook for the future. This should be a fantastic year at Tuacahn. Thank you.