Me

I was born and raised in the Boston area except for a short time when my parents moved the family to Ohio. I was only seven when we moved back here, but I remember Ohio was flat, people got nervous in a light snow dusting and the pool around the corner celebrated the season opening by filling the pool with fresh water and goldfish that we could catch with nets and take home as pets. Although I spent most of my life in MA, I consider myself a NH girl where we bought a cottage on the lake when I was one. I spent every summer making memories there until I hit the real world of paying your own bills after college (Now I go up there on weekends and vacations).

When I was in 5th grade, my school (Hopedale Jr/Sr High) did a production of Oliver. I had no intention of trying out. I’m not even sure I would have known it was happening if my best friend hadn’t told me. I am sure that I didn’t know what theatre or a play was. I was cast as an orphan boy and at the first rehearsal I fell in love with acting and the stage. I was in a space that encouraged me to use my imagination and play! I immediately went home and learned everyone’s songs and lines and during rehearsals I would sit backstage where I could watch the “older” kids work and I would mouth everything along with them. I think it was after one of the performances that I told my parents I was going to be an actor when I grew up- and they have been my greatest supporters ever since. I knew I wouldn’t change my mind because my father always told us as kids “spend your life doing what makes you happy.” There are few places I am happier than being in a rehearsal room. I had a few very important mentors in highschool, but the one who really made the most impact on my life in the arts was my paino teacher, and now friend Margaret Fairbanks. I fell in love with music and theatre on my own, but she challenged me to work hard at them and fall in love with the work itself.

I graduated from Salem State in 2004 with a degree in theatre and a restlesness to get out of Boston. I was convinced I was headed to Chicago, NY or somewhere overseas. Instead I hung around for a few months and started auditioning in town. I’m glad I stayed because I formed relationships with two young theatre companies in town who were bringing a fresh look at theatre to Boston; imaginary beasts and Whistler in the Dark. I met Meg and Whilster at auditions for their innaugural production of Howard Barker’s The Possibilities and I have been a company member since. Having found a home within a company that shares my beliefs in theatre and does work that is daring and exciting to me, I can say that I am no longer restless to leave the city. I am especially looking forward to Mary’s Wedding as Meg and I have been discussing it for months- now it’s time to play! And that is me in a nutshell.

Jen

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