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When I left the Bay Area for college a little over ten years ago, I had no idea what was in store. As a life-long performer, I planned on majoring in theatre and never imagined a life devoid of the arts. But as we all know, life is unpredictable. I soon found myself majoring in political science and applying to law school. I always joked that lawyers and politicians are just actors anyway, so the change suited me well (a joke that seems a little less funny in light of recent events).
Since leaving the Bay Area at 18, I have lived in Santa Barbara, North Carolina, New York, and Florida. I have traveled the world, obtained a law degree, and married the man of my dreams. Yet, over the past ten plus years, it was clear that two things were missing.
Number One: The Bay Area. Growing up here, I (like so many of us) took it for granted. Not only is the Bay Area one of the most naturally beautiful places on the planet, it is rich with history and culture. The people in San Francisco are among the most interesting you’ll ever meet; innovation thrives here; diversity is embraced. From the gold rush days to the summer of love, the stories that come out of this place are amazing, and they deserve to be told.
Number Two: Musical Theatre. Musical theatre has influenced me in innumerable ways. Performing in front of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people in my youth instilled confidence and an ability to think on my feet—skills that I use in my job to this day. Moreover, putting on a show requires teamwork, preparation, and a healthy dose of creativity. Turns out, those skills are pretty transferrable. The arts have also always acted as my “get away.” Some of the most stressful periods of my life have been saved by the simple act of going to dance class or humming a show tune.
Needless to say, when I moved back to the Bay Area and my high school music teacher, “Maestro” Tony Asaro, asked me to join the board of FOGG—a company producing new musical theatre all about the San Francisco Bay Area—I could think of no better way to donate my time and money.
I hope that if the arts have influenced you even half as much as they have me, you will consider donating to FOGG this holiday season. FOGG is an amazing organization enriching all of our lives with new musical theatre, employing local artists, and training future generations of actors…and perhaps a few future lawyers too.
Secretary, FOGG Board of Directors
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