Heather Gilbert

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Interview: Boz talks to Heather Gilbert about training and working as a lighting designer, the privilege of training in the same place you want to work, Carnegie Mellon, John Bridges, John Culbert, Theatre Communications Group, the NEA, Topdog/Underdog, Stacy Caballero, Keith Parham, analytical geometry, the alchemy of passions that compose lighting design, Trinity University, Kendra Thulin, David Swayze, Manifest Arts Festival, The Big Funk, Steppenwolf, Suzan Lori Parks, Don Cheadle, Jeffrey Wright, Mos Def, storefront theatre, Buried Child, Everyman, The Libertine, Bar San Miguel, David Cromer, Miracle on 34th Street starring Tracy Letts, The Hypocrites, Sean Graney, The Adding Machine, Our Town, the magic of good artistic partnerships, Sam Rockwell, Sheldon Patinkin, Next to Normal at Writers Theatre, The Band's Visit on Broadway, Come Back Little Sheba at The Huntington, Michael Halberstam, Adam Rapp's The Sound Inside at Williamstown , Studio 54, Franco Colavecchia, Nan Cibula, Bug by Tracy Letts, not apologizing, being process-oriented vs. product-oriented, Macbeth at the NY Shakespeare Festival, Angela Bassett, Alec Baldwin, Zach Braff, Liev Schreiber, Michael C. Hall, and Carrie Coon.

FULL TRANSCRIPT (unedited):
Speaker 1 (0s): I'm Jen Bosworth and I'm Gina Polizzi. We went to theater school together. We survived it, but we didn't quite understand it. 20 years later, we're digging deep talking to our guests about their experiences and trying to make sense of it all. We survived theater school and you will too. Are we famous? Okay. Hello. Thank you so much for joining me. My

Speaker 2 (32s): God. I'm so

Speaker 1 (33s): Excited about it. So the first thing we always say is, congratulations, Heather Gilbert, you survived theater school. I did. I did. Okay. And you really survived it with, with a flourish. I would say you're kind of fancy and a big deal

Speaker 2 (52s): Is a lighting designer ever really a big deal

Speaker 1 (55s): In my view. So we have a lot, the thing that I love about reading about you, and also I know you teach and you're at, but is that there is a, I would say you're a master of your craft based on what I would say that based on what I've read about you and what I know about you and your successes, and also your trajectory during school. And post-school like, if there's a master of a lighting designer, crap, you've you're, you're it.

So thank you. Yeah. It's amazing to lo to, to read about you. So one of the things and people also post what you can, for me, I can tell when someone is a bad-ass at what they do, because they don't actually have to promote themselves that other people around them will post till they'll say, oh my gosh, congratulations. So that is a sign that you're a bad ass is that other people are like, I'm shouting out your name without you having, you know what I mean?

Like you don't do a lot of self-promotion,

Speaker 2 (1m 60s): I'm terrible at it actually,

Speaker 1 (2m 1s): Which is, which is amazing that you, that you're able to anyway, other people sing your praises, which I think is like really what we all want as artists, you know? So, yeah. So, okay. So why don't you tell me like how you ended up at the theater school, where you're from, like how that went down?

Speaker 2 (2m 19s): So I I'm from I'm from Michigan. I'm also from Texas. I mostly grew up in Texas. Like the important years were there and I was working after, so I went to the theater school for grad school during this super brief period of time when there was a grad degree in design, I was the first lighting designer. I came in with someone else who only lasted the first quarter. He was like super unhappy. He kind of made me, I kind of glommed on to that. And I was like, oh, are we unhappy? I'll be unhappy. I, this

Speaker 1 (2m 46s): Complained about everything.

Speaker 2 (2m 48s): And then he, he left after first quarter and then it was awesome because they gave me all the things that he was supposed to do. But when I came in, I wasn't, I wasn't interested in the program. If I was going to be the very first person without a cohort, a word we did not use in 1994, there was no cohort. No, we just had classmates. Right. And yeah, he, so he, so, but I knew about him and then he ended up not finishing the program. So I was actually the first lighting master's lighting student since they had left the Goodman.

Speaker 1 (3m 19s): Great.

Speaker 2 (3m 20s): Yeah. And I had, so I'd been working in Houston doing an internship and Kevin Rigdon, who was the, at the time the resident designer at Steppenwolf had come down and did a show production of our town, which ultimately became a very important part of my life, my adult life in my own career. And so he came down and did our town with Jose Cantero directing. There was this huge thing. And I thought Kevin was great. I thought he was funny. And I loved his work and I was really interested in it. And he was adjunct at the theater school.

And he actually told me not to, he was like, don't come I'm adjuncts. And they're just starting this master's program. You kind of want to find a place that's that's has more stuff going on. And then when I decided to apply to grad school the next year, for sure, I was looking at different places and somebody gave me the advice that you should really look at the people who design the team, the design work of the people that you're going to study with, because that's what they're going to teach you. Right. Great,

Speaker 1 (4m 17s): Great advice.

Speaker 2 (4m 18s): It was, it was really great advice. And the other was to look at the market, right? Like look for a market that you would want to be in. Like, you can get an amazing degree in Idaho. There's actually really good programs there, but the market's not there. And I'll tell ya. I did not realize until I was a college professor. This is so like blind of like the blindness to your privilege. Right. I did not understand the benefits I had in Chicago from going to school in Chicago until I watched my students graduating into it.

That's when I realized what I could do for them. And I realized what my professors did for me.

Speaker 1 (4m 54s): So interesting. I mean, I think, I think we don't, we don't ever, I don't know anyone that's really hipped. Maybe kids nowadays are young adults are really hip to it, but like, yeah. I mean, I didn't think of thinking of like, okay, well what, what is the sort of the place where I'm landing and who are my connections there? But I am learning now at 46 in Los Angeles that the people that I'm really connected to here in the industry are all from Chicago. Mostly a lot of them are from the theater school. It's crazy.

Speaker 2 (5m 25s): It's so interesting. I, it's funny. I've been listening to your podcasts and what I love is like, I feel like it's the best Facebook ever. It's like, so, cause I'm like, oh, listen to all these hour long interviews with people, all due respect to someone who might forgotten existed. Right. You know, like I tumbled down the whole like conversation about the religion. And I was like, oh my God, I forgot all about that. I knew I knew those people. Right. It's just not my life anymore. Right.

Speaker 1 (5m 49s): I mean, I I'm. Yeah. I'm also shocked. Like we have people on that, like remember us that I have no recollection of having with. And I think I always talked it up to excessive drinking and dirt back in my day. But like, I think it's just like, that's not our life anymore. Right. We're in a different time, different lifetimes.

Speaker 2 (6m 10s): I took it. There's like three levels of people there's like from school. It's like the people that I still know and have to remind myself, I went to school with like, that's the connection. I there's the people that I, that I have no idea what happened to, so I love when they're on your podcast and then there's the people who are famous. So I think that I know what they're doing. Like I have a feeling, I feel like I know what Judy is up to, but I don't know what she's up to. I just know,

Speaker 1 (6m 33s): Right. That she works all the time. Then we went to school with her. Right, right. It's so funny. It's, it's a such a wild thing. Okay. So you were like, I'm going to go,

Speaker 2 (6m 42s): I'm going to go to grad school. And I looked at Chicago, I looked at DePaul because I really liked Kevin. And then I also looked, I was looking really heavily at Carnegie Mellon and, and he went to, I went to one of those. It's funny. I listen to you guys talk about it with the actors. But I went to one of those, like Roundup audition, interview things in Houston. And I interviewed with both schools at the same time. And Carnegie Mellon was like, well, we've been teaching this class for 20 years. It's a great class. And we've been doing this other thing for 20 years and it's awesome.

And I was like, oh my God, you're so boring. And the program is actually massive and huge and revitalized now. But I think at that moment in time, it was just not, they were had a lot of faculty had been there. And then I went to the DePaul one and I talked to John Bridges. I was like, I offer you Chicago. Like I offer you the energy of John Bridges and Chicago. And I was like, oh, this is so much more interesting to me. Yeah. You know? And then I got lucky because what I didn't know is that John Colbert is like, I call him the Clark Kent of lighting design, because he seems super mild-mannered.

And he's like Superman, that guy is a genius And a master teacher. And so the fact that I got to study with him for three years and the part of it was him creating curriculum that he felt I needed, even when, and I have these moments with my students now where I'm like, this is what you need to do. And they're like, I don't think that's what I think I would do better. I think this is what I need to study. And John would be like, yeah, you need that other thing. You know, I actually, years after school, a couple of years later, I applied for a, there was a, it's funny, it's funded by the NDA.

So you can't call it a, it can't be a grant or fellowship. It just has to be like a program that you're on. But it was one where the theater communications group got money from the NDA and young, like early career designers and directors to observe, assist other artists because you can't make anything. If it's the NDA. Right. It's like the rules that came out of all this stuff in the nineties. Right. And John called me up and was like, you need to apply for that. And I was like, yeah, yeah, yeah, totally applied for that. I was thinking next year. Right. Like you need to apply this year.

And I was like, well, yeah, but see, here's the reason and this and that thing. And he was like this year and I was like, but really I was like, you know, this next year. And I was like, this year, this year I'll do it this year. And then I got it.

Speaker 1 (9m 4s): Was it amazing? It

Speaker 2 (9m 5s): Was, it's an interesting thing. It was amazing in some ways. And in some ways it like slows your career down because you have to do six months worth of work within two years and you for the money and you get paid as you go, but you don't get to make anything. So it can like become a thing where you're like getting to know these amazing people and working with these amazing people. But you also, can't

Speaker 1 (9m 28s): Interesting

Speaker 2 (9m 29s): And make it, you know, like it slows down like what you can do as your own artist. I will say though, that, as I'm saying these words, even I'm thinking about the people that I worked with and how they function in my life and how important they'd been, like how important some of them still are

Speaker 1 (9m 43s): Still in your life. Wow. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (9m 45s): They gave me an extension on it as well, because that was also the time that I, I was the associate designer on the first production of top dog underdog. And that was a show that they were actually TCG was trying to get somebody in that room. And they were being like, well, we don't really want somebody to observe us. And I got offered to work on it, but I had worked with the whole team before, so they wouldn't let me do it, but they let me extend it. So they were pretty generous about like, yeah, I'll be making things happen. Wow. Yeah. Okay. And I got into DePaul and so I came to DePaul, I came up and visited and it was,

Speaker 1 (10m 16s): And you, you, did you work with, was there, were you working with someone, a lighting designer at DePaul named Keith?

Speaker 2 (10m 26s): Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's funny when somebody talks about him, I don't know if it was you or Gina talking about him. We'll talk about seeing the scout, the Macbeth that we did that I did with Stacy Cabalero who I, who was my best friend from grad school. Oh yeah. When I think about grad school, like Shawna Flannigan and I were roommates for years after, but, but Stacy and I were super close. We did. So we did like so many of our shows together there and he was talking, it was it, you that he was telling that he commented on the costume. Gina was sitting next to him, but she was talking about it.

She was like, and Keith param. And he was like, he was looking at it. He was like, oh my God. And I was like, I literally was listening to the podcast like, oh God, did he say something about my lights? What did he say? What did he say? Then? Then it was about Stacy. And I was like, oh, that's so funny. One of my close friends still.

Speaker 1 (11m 14s): So yeah, he was the first person that made me really interested in lighting. And he, when we closed the show, the yellow boat together, he gave me a print of his drawing of the lighting, like, oh wow. With lighting. And I still got it framed. And it was, I was like, oh, well this kind, because I think personally that as actors, we're, we, we have this thing of like, our ego is like crossed all the time.

So then we, we have, we have an inflated sense of ego really that we have to build. And we think that acting is the most important thing. And it was the first time it, my land that's garbage. And the first thing to person to really say, to show me like, oh my gosh, look, this is all part of a huge deal. Like I am not the huge deal that lighting is, everything has its place. And then we come together, but I was like, oh, this is, this is an art that really ties the whole show together.

Like really? And it's like unsung magic. And I think a lot of actors anyway, just think that the lights up here and that nobody is behind them being the artist, creating that at least young actors,

Speaker 2 (12m 30s): Young ones. Yeah. Yeah. So anyway, I think you're right about that in school, it's often

Speaker 1 (12m 35s): Lighting for you. Like, what is it, what was it about that?

Speaker 2 (12m 39s): You know, it's funny, my mother at one point was like having this big guilt thing that she had never encouraged me into it when I was younger. But like all of the signs did, like, unless you knew this was a thing, it didn't make sense. I was, I loved theater. My grandmother studied theater in New York in the thirties and she taught college. Yeah. She'd studied with a bunch of amazing people. She didn't work professionally, but, but she would take us to theater. Right. So it was a huge influence for my mother then for me. And I loved being an audience member. I never wanted to be on stage. And I haven't been a couple of times. And also now that I'm like, in my fifties, it's so much easier.

Like I'm much more willing to jump off the right off the cliff and try whatever. Cause why not? What is it gonna embarrass me right now, please, please. If I didn't embarrass myself to death in my twenties, I think we're good now. You're good. So, yeah, but I, I, I just always like things that related. So I, like, I was interested in photography at one point, but I loved reading. I loved going to the theater. I have this, I was terrible in high school. It trig. I like, oh, I got like, I barely got through trigonometry class. And the second semester of the math track I was on was like analytical or spacial geometry.

And it was like, I was a savant. I was like, that's what that 3d grid looks like. I can see that thing in space and I could answer, am I my teacher? And I were both like, what is up? How do I know this really have a good sense of space? And so if you look at the combo of all those things, they all really go together into lighting design. If you, if you know that thing. So when I went to undergrad, I'm in San Antonio at this small college Trinity university, super liberal artsy, sort of the opposite of your, your, what do we call them?

We call academic classes and academics. I feel like we did, but they definitely, yeah. Academics. I really was. I had a lot of intense like philosophy classes and religion classes, all super helpful for the career that I have. But I also, my first semester took a intro to theater class and I loved the lighting. And then the second semester we were, I had to register dead last, like first year, dead last, you can't get anything. And a friend of mine that was in my end theater class was like, well, I'm going to, she was going to be a high school drama teacher, her name's Emily Goodpasture.

And she decided that she was going to end. So Gilbert and good pasture registering last. She was like, I'm taking this sledding class. Cause I know I have to take all of the design classes and the acting classes for my future career as a drama teacher. And I think she take this learning class with me and I did. And then throughout college I would do other things, but I kept coming back to lighting. I just, I love the magic of the way light reveals form. I love looking at tons of different kinds of light bulbs. You know, my friend wants me to come to become Tik TOK famous and support us by telling people how to light their homes.

Speaker 1 (15m 32s): Well, here's the thing that I, I actually, when you just said that, I have to say like, I was like, oh, I wonder what she thinks about filters and add tic-tac and the way people use light and could do you look at photos and videos and things and say, oh, that would be so much better if you just lit it like this. Are you able to do do that?

Speaker 2 (15m 53s): Oh, for sure. I mean, I definitely, yeah. Most things in my life revolve around, you know, I always laugh cause I still go in theaters and look up at the lights and people are like, oh, I saw you looking at the lights. And I'm like, do you look at the actors? Of course, I look at the lights, I'm trying to figure out like the craft of what they did or you know, or what the equipment that they got to work with was, and yeah, but I can't, even though I could probably find another career with lighting that is so much more lucrative and I'm sure that that is true, right? The best part of my job for me still is that everyday when I go to work in theater, actors tell stories in front of me on stage live.

And that is my favorite thing. I love going to plays. I love seeing performance and I love it live. So the fact that I get to be connected to that in some way and another character in that for me is really awesome.

Speaker 1 (16m 39s): That's fantastic. And I I've never thought about it that way, that like, I mean, obviously I've thought about that a little, that the lighting is another character, but again, it's like, there are, there is a human and maybe a team of humans behind that character and that it, that you enjoy hearing the live stories being told. And that's why the theater versus, you know, film and TV, right? Like it's not, I mean, I guess you could still, it could be live on set, but like, you wouldn't be like the designer of a show.

I don't even know how it works in television and film. Like the lighting people. Is there a lighting designer behind film and TV?

Speaker 2 (17m 21s): There are no. And because there's so many more people on a film, I, and or television, there's more people encompass the single jobs that we do in theater, the DP it'd be the DP and the gray and then the interest and then editing is also a part of what we do. So, so all of those things sort of come together in that way. It's funny, David Swayze, do you remember Dan Swayze? He, so he's in film now and he's doing super well. Yeah. He's an art director and film and, and we have not kept up.

We keep up actually better than I do with a lot of people, but it's been a couple of years. Yeah. He, even with the pandemic, it's been a couple of years. Yeah. He, he was talking one time about what he loved about doing television or film, he specifically film. And the thing that he loves about it is that it's, it's so immediate and you can make changes. So like, you can say like, oh, we need to, we, instead of doing it this way, we think this would look better and you can actively do that thing, which in theater set designers can't do that. But the rest of us can, I was like, you're talking about lightening design.

I can make the change in the instant. You know, sometimes I have to say, I have to hang a light for tomorrow, but sometimes I can do like, hang on. My moving light will do that for us. Right. This second, you know? So I get to, I get to, it's funny though, we were like super technical or technological. And then all of a sudden it was like projections and sound, which were, you know, a slide projector and a yes. And you know, MiniDisc jumped us and they can craft in the room and we still can't craft in the room in the same way that they can, which I'm actually kind of grateful for.

I like that. We get to say like, we're going to think on that. We're gonna let us

Speaker 1 (18m 60s): Oh, wait. And think on that. Yeah. You know, that's interesting. Cause I, I, yeah, I liked the idea too of you're you're like a problem solver. Oh

Speaker 2 (19m 13s): Yes. Right.

Speaker 1 (19m 14s): Yeah. I love problem solvers. I think that they're really great to have in a room because I think it teaches everybody that like there are mysteries to be solved in the theater. And there are people that are trained to solve them that aren't me and they, and that we can work together. But problem solvers, we need the problem-solvers in, in rooms, in the theater. Like it's fantastic.

Speaker 2 (19m 46s): But you know, it's interesting. We solve different problems, problems. Like I was years ago, we have this event on the last day of the semester, second semester at Columbia called manifest, which is this massive arts festival. It spills onto the streets. We have puppet show puppet, parades down the street. And we have, it's really fantastic. Photography has like gallery exhibits, super fun. This school is crazy. And I love it. And years ago it poured down rain and they had had this thing that they were going to do.

This is pretty so long ago that I think it was 2009, actually it poured down rain. And they'd had this event that they were going to do called manna text. And they were going to, people could submit their phone numbers and they would text and be like, go to this stage. And you'll, if you're the 10th person there you'll get a thing. And texting was still like, we, it, wasn't certainly not the, the way we lived our lives. Right,

Speaker 1 (20m 39s): Right.

Speaker 2 (20m 41s): Yes. It poured down. And as soon as it pours, like we had an outdoor stage and I always, I, I produced it for the department. I thank God. I don't have to anymore. But I, I had, I always kept the stage free inside so that if anything happened, we could move it in. So we moved everything in and we didn't have lights up in the theater. And I, so I walked downstairs and I started hanging some lights and doing some things and I was working with, oh, this is funny. I was working with Kendra Thulin oh yeah. He was working with me on that because Kendra and I worked together again, somebody, I almost forget I went to school with.

And so I started hanging the lights and everything and she's just staring, like she can't do it. And my kids walked in, my students walked in and I was like, okay, here's what I need you to do to finish this up, do this, do this, do this, hang that, get these gels. These from the sides, this from the front, I'll see you guys. They were like, great. And Kendra and I walked out to do something. And she was like, that was amazing. And I was like, it's what we know how to do. And then five hours later Manitex has fallen apart. They can't figure out what to do. And I'm standing there. I've got these two seasoned subscriptions to the department, which I'm pretty sure were free anyway, back then.

And I'm like, what am I supposed to do with these? And I turned there, we're doing a musical theater thing. And I turned to a couple of minutes, you'll theater students. And I was like, get these to an audience member. Somehow they went on stage and made this hilarious, adorable competition. That was like a trivia thing, like trivia about musical theater. Right. And they gave them to the winner. And I was like, we all, I, my students would have turned to the human next to them and been like, do you have these, you know, that's why we're all together. That's why Columbia administration is constantly like, you're you have too many majors in your department.

It's so unwieldy. And it's like, because it takes a lot of people to create an entire world.

Speaker 1 (22m 26s): It really does. That is really true. And everybody solves different problems. Like nobody that does it does. It does take a bunch of people. That's really interesting. And then when you graduated, what did you do? Like, were you like, I mean, really your career kind of took off. I mean, you're co you're pretty fancy lighting cider. So how did you, did you just like, love it and people loved you and you started getting jobs or like how did it work?

Speaker 2 (22m 55s): Yeah. There was a couple of stages in it. I, you know, it's funny. I did the big funk and what's hilarious about that to me is that when we did it, I was like, where are we? We are in the front end of someone's apartment. It is bizarre. These people live here in the back of this place and they're letting us do a play in the front and like flash forward, I don't know, 15 years. And I, I am friends with those people. Amazing. I did some moment in conversation. I was like, that was your place that I did that weird shit show with the weird lights in the cans.

Like, so I started doing storefront and I S I had started assisting at Steppenwolf while I was at school. So I had, I, at the time that I was in school, I had a foot in both bootcamps. And so it is, I definitely, yeah, I definitely was splitting my time. And so I started doing more assisting it's definite wall. And in the fall, he'll never hear this the fall, right after graduation, I assisted somebody who sort of well known to be difficult business of lighting side.

And for whatever reason, we absolutely hit it off. And he is like my brother today. And so I started traveling with him. I started working on projects all over with him and because he was difficult, theater companies would bring me to projects that they wouldn't necessarily bring an assistant on normally, because he's really, he's like the best in the business, but they knew I could handle him. And they knew that I could handle him by saying, I need you to leave the theater right now. And I'll take care of things while you sit her down. And so we, I would go to, I went to New York with him starting in 1998.

I assisted actually my second Broadway assisting job was with him. My first one was from Steppenwolf. So I simultaneously was with Steppenwolf and him. And so my assistant career was like really amping up. And I was in these important rooms like Suzan-Lori parks and George Wolfrey top dog underdog with at the time the first production was Don Cheadle and Jeffrey Wright. And then those staff replaced Jeffrey or repost on. And so I was getting to do a lot of those really awesome things. And simultaneously I was doing storefront, right. And, and honing my skills and building my skills and knowing how, like I could watch the people that assisted make these massive shows with so much stuff.

And I would think about those ideas. It's exactly what they tell you to do in school. But yeah. And then I would go back to the storefront with 17 lights and some candles, and I could make something that was really interesting because I had a much stronger sense of how equipment worked. You know, Keith always says that his graduate school was assisting per the years that he did. And he particularly assisted this amazing designer named Jim Ingles. And he's like, that was my grad school because I learned how to use our tools and then how to pull back from them.

Speaker 1 (25m 35s): And how did you get, I think for people listening, they're going to be, well, how, how did she get to assist at step it, well, how did she get in the room at Steppenwolf?

Speaker 2 (25m 44s): It was that guy, Kevin, the one that was my, you know, he taught us, but he, I, he knew I came up here and I reached out and I was like, I really, I want to have, you know, I, I want to work with you. I want to learn from you. And he, it's funny because now he's in Houston. I met him, but he is, he was great. And my second year, because the guy I came in with dropped the program, my second and third year, I was all alone. Like my classes were by myself. And so what John would often do was put me in a class with someone else.

So that, like, there was a, for some reason, the third year BFA lighting class in my second year only had one wedding student. So we paired for the class in the class time, we had somebody to sort of like riff on and talk to, and our levels were different. But a lot of the projects that we did, like we spent one full quarter just in the light lab, which we usually, most semester, most years we did just making projects. And like, here's a song like the song by next week, here's a musical theater song. You you're lighting it as if it's musical theater, somebody on there, like something has to represent the chorus, visually something has to represent, how do you, how do you actually change the song as if it's a stage?

And we have like little blocks of wood and like little people and things that we would put up and make these vignettes. And so she and I were just sort of at different levels on that, but Kevin was the teacher and it was, I actually had a one-on-one with him. And he said at the beginning of the year, he was like, I just want your, your resume is going to look good when you finish this class. And that was crazily enough. It was the 20th anniversary of Stephan wall. So I was the second assistant on very child. Gosh, that to Gary Sinise director, I worked on every man that Frank Lottie directed, I worked on the Libertine, how much was in.

I did, I was an assistant second assistant on all of those shows. And then by the fourth show of that season, I ended up the first assistant who, who stayed with him for a while, but was sort of grooming me to be the next step. And that's how that sort of works sometimes is like we, our assistants move up and become our full peers. And then we train somebody else up in that way. And I, by the fourth show, I was actually getting paid while I was doing it for credit and stuff at school. So I think in those days I wouldn't have gotten in trouble for it today. They would be like, what, what?

Speaker 1 (27m 56s): Right. But then you were like, yeah.

Speaker 2 (27m 58s): So they didn't know. Right.

Speaker 1 (28m 0s): They weren't keeping track of that is so cool.

Speaker 2 (28m 3s): So I got to do that.

Speaker 1 (28m 4s): Yeah. And then, and then did you, did you, what was the journey like to, did you live in New York? Like, did you live in New York, ever full time?

Speaker 2 (28m 13s): Not full time. I spent a lot of time crashing on David Swayze's spare, like his studio floor. I did a lot of that for many years and, and other friends, new Yorkers are particularly skilled in the art of letting you stay with them. And so now, I mean, I joke that I'm the Heather Gilbert school for wayward or Heather Gilbert home for wayward Chicagoans, because I there's so many people who move out of Chicago and come back to do a show and I let them, I let them live in my spare room. My friend, Samantha, who's this brilliant costume designer.

I mean, for like two and a half years, we were like, she was like my, my roommate. She came and went, I have somebody coming on the Saturday after Thanksgiving while she does a show, you know? Cause I feel like I'm giving back for all those times that I crashed in New York. So I did a fair amount of assisting and stuff there. I've only, I guess I've only designed about three times there actually. One of them was pretty significant. So yes.

Speaker 1 (29m 9s): Talk about that. Let's talk about that. How did that come about? What, what, yeah. That journey of life.

Speaker 2 (29m 17s): Yeah. My other job in grad school was I was bartender. I, yeah. I used to bartend at a place called bar San Miguel up on Clark street. Oh yeah. Yeah. It was a non-equity bar. And I started bartending there after, I guess, had our second year. It's funny during that huge heat wave of 95, I went there for the first time with Chris Freeburg and Kate McKernan. Yes. Half a year later I was working there and, and Cromer used to come in there cause it was a theater bar and I met him there. And so our relationship started 26 years ago.

Holy shit.

Speaker 1 (29m 48s): As tender in a patron.

Speaker 2 (29m 50s): Yeah. That's how we met. That's amazing. Yeah. He loves that. I think he loves it. That's part of our origin story because it's funny when we, when he tells it and writes it like in a letter of recommendation or whatever, and, and we didn't work together until 2003, but we've known each other. At one point we quit smoking at the same time. And at one point that was like the most significant thing. And then all of these things that we've done have happened since, but now I'm also still thinking that maybe the most significant thing that we ever did together was quit smoking. That's fantastic.

Speaker 1 (30m 18s): It's very significant. And it also, you did it together and it's a real bonding experience when you quit. Something like that.

Speaker 2 (30m 26s): Yeah. It was tough. It's been, it's been, it's been 19 years this year. Congratulations. So we started then, and that was the moment also that like I did a show with him finally, and we did this miracle on 34th street that we all were super in need of money at Christmas time. And he wrote this adaptation and it started Tracy Letts, which we think is like the funniest thing in the world now. And so we did that show and then when I started, and then I started teaching shortly thereafter and I started, I did, and I went to LSU for two years in Baton Rouge.

And when I came back because I loved teaching students, they're the best thing in the world. Higher education can make you want to pull your hair out. And state schools are often really like that if you're in the arts. So it was a struggle, but I came back here to Columbia, which I had only vaguely known of when we were in school. And that's, I didn't know that everybody who got cut came here until I was teaching here. And then it was funny because when I would, I don't remember when the cuts system stopped, but whatever point it did was after I started here, because you would be doing like the summer sort of advising with incoming students, you do your, your couple of sessions in the summer and kids would come in and their credits would be this really weird number.

And I was like, I don't understand why that's not three credits, but it was like two points, 1.3 threes and 2.3 twos. And it was sort of like thirds, but not even HOAs. And I, and I found out that was, that was the sign of somebody who was cut from the theater school because it was the theater school classes that were those year long things, trying to get them into semesters. Right, right. Yeah. I was like, oh yeah, that's what happened to everybody who quit. And so, so, but David talkier and so we, we start teaching a collaboration class together, all really.

I didn't know, that's cool for directors and designers. And so then we were going to do a show here at school together, but he, and we started the process and we were like, live, we got to live what we teach them. We got to, we got it. We got to collaborate like that. And we had to pull out of the show because he took adding machine to New York instead. And then he came home from adding machine. And that's when he had been talking about our town that he was going to do with the hypocrites, which was, I worked a lot with the artistic director of the hypocrites I had. I had a long relationship.

I, I mean, he's still my friend, he's just second grader, John grainy, Sean and I, Sean was simultaneously, the two of them were sort of like my biggest income and my income through them. And so I, so, but I wasn't a part of the hypocrites. I was eventually, I was not at that point. Right. And he, he kept talking to the show, but he had to ask the resonance designer, but the resident designer who's my sweet friend now said no. And they brought me on to our town and you know, it's sort of like, the rest is history.

Like we, David and I have a long history at that point and we have a, we had a friendship, you know, but we now, you know, we had like the let's let's, you know, talk on the phone and watch Dexter in the middle of the night friendship a little bit before that. But we now have done, I think I, I counted when we opened bug last week and I think we've talked 16 shows together and, and some of them have been really life-changing for both of us. So yeah,

Speaker 1 (33m 37s): That is fantastic. And I feel like if you find a collaborator that just I'm recently have, have started working with someone that I just, I work with Gina, and then I work with other people, but like when you find someone like that, where you, you just, it just works out. Like it just works. There's something about it. The only thing you can think of is like, you know, it is some sort of, it almost feels like some kind of cosmic thing that comes together that you are able to do.

Great. You can facilitate each other's great work without ending the relationship and having crazy, you know, fights and things that don't lead to total destruction. That's magic.

Speaker 2 (34m 24s): Yeah. Well, you know, it's interesting cause directors go, I think they probably do this to actors too. If they have a deep relationship more than anything, they go stuff's right there. Like they just stopped calling and you're like, come on. Right. And Cobra, at one point it was in New York and working with new people and our town had come to a close. Right. Which, cause that sort of kept us together for a long time. We did that show that was over over seven year period of time, all the venues. And so we, we had, you know, we'd, we'd, we'd had a connection and we had done other couple of other new shoot new shows within that time.

Yeah, sure. It wasn't just our town. Right. And then we'd done our streetcar that was really successful. And the Sam Rockwell was in really isn't that crazy. I did a person who was Sam Rockwell, who was so lovely. I came up and was like, oh my God, the lighting is so beautiful. I was like, oh, so I will be heard in it. So how do you know? But,

Speaker 1 (35m 17s): But he, but even to say it, you know, like what a sweetheart? Yeah. I was at a wedding with him cause he was in a movie with my boss and he was lovely, a lovely and like a pro like a real,

Speaker 2 (35m 31s): So I get so excited for him now all the time. So, but we had healed David actually sort of like wasn't calling. And I was like, oh, are we not going to work together anymore? And it's funny because I think in the history of our lives, it will, it's actually a blip, but it felt like a long time. And I was like, okay, well I guess that's okay. Like relationships do shift and, and partnerships do add, nobody wants to somebody forever. Absolutely. But I was like, I actually, we are, I am, you know, I was not a Columbia kid. I'm like, I have a pocket in a thousand ways. But yeah, I did work.

I do teach at Columbia and I am a Sheldon Patinkin person. I'm one of his people and Sheldon taught you, you see each other's shows. That is what we do for each other. Right. I was like, I'm going to still see your shows. Right. We have way too much of a history for our friendship to die because we're not, we're not doing right. Right. So I kept, I stayed around. Yeah. I was like, I'm not going to, I'm going to come to me. I'm going to see your things. I'm going to, you know, I'm going to go see the band's visit or I'm going to go also, I get to see the bands visit then come on. Right. Or I'm going to see your comeback, little Sheba with Derek in Boston because I love that.

You know? And so when the time rolled around, I found out he was doing a production of next to normal at writers theater. And I loved that show and I had done a production of it that I kept texting him, being like, oh my God, I wish I were doing your production of this. Not that I didn't think that one was great, but it was much more of the sort of flash and trash version. Right. And I wanted to see David's version where there's like a dining room table and people around it. Right. You know? And I just, I was, so I texted him as soon as I heard from our friend Lilianne was like, I will do the show. And he woke up the next morning and he was like, he texted me back.

I was like, it was kind of a non David text. I was like, this is very specific and kind, and I he's listing these things, but he was like, these are the, I woke up this morning and I saw your text. And I called Michael Halberstam, who was still the artistic director at the time. And so we have to hire Heather for the show and he said, okay, but we already hired Keith. And I was like, yeah, I fucking knew it. I knew I was going to be too late. I'm reading this text. And David's like, and I screwed up. And these are the reasons why, and he was like, writer's theaters are theater. It's our place. Which just so you know, he'd just done as many shows with Keith as he has with me.

But he went through and he was like gave me their reasons that were really lovely. And then he said, Williamstown is going to reach out about a show, Adam rap's new play. And I was like, Williamstown really paid nothing. Why is that my constellation prize? I was totally annoyed. And then Williamston production was a struggle. Like we did this by the way, the play is the sound inside because we have not said the name of it if anybody's listening. And we, so we were, it was a struggle, you know, you have to do it very quickly.

It's a big play for, for the, the lead actress in it and the actress in it. And, and it was a struggle for her. She, she definitely was acting out a little bit. Yeah, sure. And, and so, and you don't have much time and you're doing it with people who are, you know, these interns that I it's sort of famously a conversation in the industry right now about specifically how William sound carries those interns. So you're feeling guilty and also they don't know what they're doing as well. So there's a lot of pressure on that. Right. And I loved it.

I loved that place so much. I read that play and I was like, oh my God, this is beautiful. It's this beautiful play about what we do when we were in need in our loneliness. And it's just, it's ju it just hit me. I don't know how Adam Rapp, who's this like hyper alpha masculine male actually has that insight into, I think, because it's insight into humanity and thus, he can change it into he's like, well, women feel the same thing men do. We're right. We're not different creatures.

Right. So, yeah. Wow. And then, and then the show moved to New York a year later to Broadway to studio 54, which my God, I got to crawl around in studio 54. It took me crawl over that building. I was like, she'll be everything. Where did they keep the drugs? I'm so cute. Right. Right. Yeah. And we, I went up into the there's a dome and I got to go up into the dome and look down into the space and see where they store all the lights. And I got the full tour one day. It's great. The crew is the best crew in the entire world.

And we did this beautiful play and people were, you know, it's funny. I, I actually was just, I submitted an application last night at 11:58 PM for full professorship. Like that's the highest level of, of teaching here. Yeah. And when you get tenure, you have to apply for that. But then once you've got it, you actually don't have to apply for anything, a promotion past that. Yeah. So I finally had committed to doing it. And so it's funny, I've been thinking so much about my philosophy of lighting and the way I approach it.

But one of the things is that there's that old saw the best line design is lighting. The can't be seen, which is just a load of crap anywhere like Eddie in any scenario, like just say like you and I can't see the light where we are right now. Right. We see it. We know it's there. What they really mean is if I change, if I break the rules of the reality that I set up for you and notice that that's bad lighting design. Right, right. It's like, it's, I was compared to like, weirdly as a lighting professor, I had Meisner in this paper that I was writing yesterday.

This document is writing. Cause it's like, it's that idea of living truthfully in imaginary circumstances. It's the same thing for us. We're creating those circumstances and we're trying to make it so that the actors can live in truth and everything has it. And if the rules are light comes out of the floor. Right. And it changes when I take a step, as long as I, as long as we create those rules for the audience. Right. And, and train them, they know what it is and then they follow it. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (41m 6s): We'll go with you. It's consistency. It's authenticity. It's telling the truth in the moment and yeah. Staying true to what the vision is, whatever that vision is. But yeah, it also reminds me of like the good lighting is shouldn't be noticed or whatever is like, women should be seen and not heard. It's totally like fuck off.

Speaker 2 (41m 28s): So I was talking about something about myself too, and I almost was talking about leadership and I almost said, you know, because I was called bossy as a child, and now we acknowledge that. That just meant I was a leader.

Speaker 1 (41m 37s): Yeah. Right. It just meant that. And you know, it's interesting because my recollection of you in college was that you knew what the hell you were doing now. Granted, I mean, everyone has different, you know, I'm sure you didn't always know what you're doing. Cause you're a human being. But like my recollection of you is that you were like, I think maybe because also you were a grad student, right. So, but you definitely had vision. You were someone that I was like, oh, they know what they're doing and, and why they're doing it.

So there was this thing about you that I really felt from the little, I knew that like you had motivation or like a, a direction and also a curiosity, but, and a, I just, I just think you were like very early on like a master of your craft, which meant that also masters in my view, like really study and take the shit seriously and have a lot of pride in their work. That was it. Like not a lot of people had a pro. I mean, I can speak for myself. Like it wasn't like, I, I felt like you could stand behind your work.

I've always felt that like, when I read stuff about, about you or like when I follow your career, it's like you stand by your work. That's fucking phenomenal, you know?

Speaker 2 (42m 55s): Yeah. Thank you. I appreciate that. I feel like a lot of that was also the training that we were getting in the, in the design program because we had, we had such good professors, particularly John, we, we, we had Franco Lovecchio was there for two years. Right. Who was the most wonderful, crazy human in the entire world. He would like, literally, like you'd be drawing in the studio and you'd be like drawing on something. And we all learned that you had to keep tracing paper over a culture, which is something called trace really. But we would, we would have trace taped to our drawing boards so that the minute he sat down, you could throw a trace over it.

Or he would just start drawing all over you drawing. And, but he would like nudge you off your chair while he was like, fixing your time for you. And you'd tell him, be standing there watching him doing your work. And you were like, maybe, maybe not, maybe, maybe I'm in school. Maybe I want to learn how to do that. He was so funny though. So great. But then John Colbert has, is like really like taught us like the, that you have to be able to justify the work that you have to understand the rules of the piece that you and the rigor that goes behind that. And Nancy Beulah, who's the same. Who was just this amazing.

She's the, she used to let, she used to let you do your project again, to get your grade up a little bit. And I would get like a B plus on something for her and I would do it again. And it wasn't even that I really needed. Like, I wasn't great. I wanted her to think I was working. Like I needed her to have that belief in

Speaker 1 (44m 15s): G she, there was something. So she costumed me and said she just, she was so affirming. And also like you, there was something about she, she made me believe that she knew that I was going to be okay and that I was going to be a professional and that I could do it. Like there was, it was amazing. It was so much, there was like a strong confidence that she instilled in me as a costume person, which I, I just felt, again, she stood behind her work too.

Like she was a bad-ass like, there was no like, ah, apologizing, there was no apologizing. And I feel like we just spent so much of our lives or at least I have apologizing that when I see someone like a career like yours, I'm like, oh, maybe this comes from not apologized. Like maybe not apologizing for, for us as women as in our work, you know, like this is badass work I'm doing and I'm going to continue to do it.

I dunno. It's just a fierceness.

Speaker 2 (45m 19s): Well, for me too, I feel like the thing that I'm proudest of in my, in my age and in my success is that I no longer feel like the pressure of having to be complete on the first day of tech. Like, I'm like, I'm going to put an incomplete, that thing up there, and I'm going to start to see how light is moving on these people and what that does. And I know it might not look good, but I'm not going to worry about that. It's going to be okay. You know, I'm going to be able to, I know I will make it look great. I know I can. I know that what I put up there for the first draft is going to be the right first draft, because I know what I'm doing and I know that it doesn't have to be complete.

Right. And I'm fine with that. And like, David is really great for that because he has no expectations of that either.

Speaker 1 (46m 3s): Yeah. That's fantastic. I mean, that's like really the difference between being product oriented and process oriented, right? Yeah. As an artist. And like, for me as a writer, like writing for TV, my first draft, if it's not, it's, it's terrible. And it's exactly where it's supposed to be. But if I have expectations or get in my own way and feel self-conscious about it, the whole thing is it doesn't work. So it's like, this is a shitty first draft. And by shitty, I mean, wonderful. You know what I mean?

Speaker 2 (46m 32s): So wonderful first draft, right? It's never supposed to be the final thing. Totally. We were also taught at school that because we don't stick around for the product, right. We're not part of the product. We, I mean, we are, we're making a product, right. Because we're not ever, once the product goes, our AR is there, we're gone from it that we need to be really process-oriented. And that our process is what's going to get us hired aspect of working with us.

Speaker 1 (46m 59s): I love that. And I feel like if we could, if we, I wish I would have learned that more and I'm not, I don't blame anyone for it. I just think it's the way the life is. But like, I'm, that's what I think I've spent my adult career as an artist becoming more process oriented and less product oriented and less and less judgy, right. About my and other people's process of, of like, it doesn't look the same. And so I think when you find a collaborator, which it sounds like David, what is for you that is also, and in the same sort of thought process in terms of how art is created, that's what works, because you're both sound like you're like no expectations for the first thing to be the thing.

Like it changes it pivots, it moves, it's moving, it's breathing and moving. And I think that that's probably why your work together is so powerful and profound is that you both have this view life view right. Of art that works together really well. Right. So, and that sounds fine when I find those people. Those are the people I want to stay with and work with. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (48m 7s): Yeah. And I think too, like one of the things getting back to sound inside and David, is that like, I, the thing that people often comment on is my use of darkness on stage that I actually commit fully to it, that I don't have a problem having actress speak from the dark. And I did the first time I ever had something that was really dark. I was like, oh God, like, you know, you're taught that, that can't be funny. Right. People actually laugh at things that here in the dark, it turns out. And so, but so being able to like be tiny and focused and just have a little bit of light, you know, and sound inside became that piece, which was like, we created the premise of the play is that this professor is telling the, talking to the audience and we don't really know what that's about.

Like, I don't know. And I don't know the answer to that because I almost felt like knowing, like we don't want the audience to fully know. And I felt like if I know too much, then I, it may manifest. And so I never, even though Adam rap became, I tell him that he's the brother. I didn't get no offense to the brother. I did get, but I love Adam and I can ask him anything and talk to him about anything. But I have never asked him the truth of the play, which is, is it happening? Is it my meal? There's a character that we question is the character even real? Is she writing a book as she talks to the audience, this character, a Bella college professor, or is she, or there's a reference to a book at the end of the play that you like?

Did she steal that book? And a lot of that was taken, there were a lot more concrete parts of the story when we did it Williamstown and they were taken out for the Broadway production to let the audience sort of float in their own uncertainty more. And so the idea is that Bella, this character who, who is this professor is actually the only fully fleshed out part of the play at the beginning. And that we slowly revealed the world as she creates it as she sort of illustrating it. And so that actually gave me the ability to have this production that was like using little amounts of light, a lot of darkness.

Like I like, but also was in a way flashy, because we'd have like a big window on the side, on the wall of the sets. And then all of a sudden it would shift like instantly into a different time of day. And the shape of the window would change in the color of the window would change, but it was all very graphic. And then eventually within these like sequence of scenes in this office with this window, eventually the final one was this massive projection of a very real window. So, and so I got to work and I worked really closely with the production designer, who was the handsomest person in design.

His name is Aaron Ryan. If you ever meet him, you're going to be like, I didn't know that designers looked like that. I thought only actors did. Wow. And he's the best dude in the land. I love him so much.

Speaker 1 (50m 33s): So, so I guess yeah. Being mindful of your time, I just want to ask you if you, because we do have a lot of younger folks that listen to the show and that are interested in careers as designers, not just after, you know, now there's like such a, we're trying also to shine a light on designers. Cause it's awesome. Right. We don't, I mean, acting is not the only name of the game here. So what would you say if someone came to you and said, Hey, I'm interested in the theater.

What does, what w what kind of person do I, it's kind of a hard question, but what kind of person do I need to be, to be a designer? I know if I'm a designer, Heather,

Speaker 2 (51m 26s): I actually am really conscious of like the personality quirks of designers, because I watch it so much in my students. Right. And it's interesting because I am, I can't make a, I can not build a model. I cannot build a model. I, it was hated in school and it, but it's this really sort of detailed private work. And I'm a much, I'm super extroverted, which that doesn't mean all lighting designer extroverted, but like, I have to be able to work out here. Like I don't work here. I have to be able to work openly. I also have to work in public. Everybody is there when actors and designers have that rare thing in which actors and lighting designers, I should say, we, all of our work is done in front of other people.

You cannot, like, you might have a smaller room and only a couple people at first, but like, it's still the same and we don't get to make it privately. And then somebody builds it and we go, oh, paint it that way. Or even like, listen to in our headphones. No, you have to be okay with that. You have to be really good with like a super high level of pressure. And you have to let it roll off of you. I worked, I love Sean Graney. This will not surprise anybody who knew Shawn grainy or losing his Shaun could be very difficult in a tech. I'm not the easiest dude, always in the world, but I love him to death. And there was an actor that we used to work with who just would Marvel.

We worked with this person so many times and was a big part of the company. And with Marvel, it, me, because Sean would get tense and it'd be like really stressful and like pushing, pushing to get it done faster. And I would just let it all roll off. And it's because I have to be able to do that and know that this is my time. Right. Reclaiming my time. I was like, oh yeah, I do that all the time because I know that this is when I can do the thing. I also have to know when I can say, Hey, you know what? I can do this later. I can do this without people, or it's taking too long and it's slowing us down and it's, it's killing our process.

It's not letting us all move forward as a group. And I'll deal with this thing later. Right. But I also know that I have to do it now. And that's the way this process works until somebody changes it, I'm going to do it in the room. And so I will take my time. I have to be able to work as quickly as I can in that. And I have to know that I have to deal with the pressures from other people.

Speaker 1 (53m 27s): So it's got a little bit of, it's interesting. It's a it's human relationships that makes with time management mixed with reclaiming your time mixed with knowing when to, yeah. When you can let go and say, okay, I'm going to do, but like, I, I don't think people, at least I'll speak for myself. Younger people think that you need, well, the ones I encounter my students too, like, you need people skills as a designer. Oh, you need people skills. Like, just because you're not an actor doesn't mean you don't, you know, you got to work with people.

And I think your, from your interview, it's really clear that like, there's all different kinds of people you're going to work with, and you're not going to get along with all of them, but you can also figure out a way, right. To still have the process, be one of where you get your work done, get rehired. If that's what you want and still be a kind human and work, you know, in the industry. And I think that's really interesting that you, the rolling off the back. Yeah. Because people in tech and in tech and intense situations get bonkers bomb, bonkers, bonkers

Speaker 2 (54m 30s): Years ago, I was assisting on a production of the Scottish play in New York that George Wolf was directing that Angela Bassett and Alec Baldwin were starring in and the pressure and the pressure on it was super high. And then everybody who was a secondary person was like, we have Schreiber and Michael Hall and Zach brown.

Speaker 1 (54m 48s): I mean, it was our secondary

Speaker 2 (54m 50s): People. Cause they were babies that like Zach rabbit just finished school. Like let's start on it. And we, and the pressure was super high. And, and we were on the third floor of the building and the electric shop was in the basement. And my designer was like yelling at me and I would pass it on. I would pass that energy on. And the assistant lighting supervisor took me out for pizza and was like, you can't do that. And he was like, you have to be the wall. And if you can't be the wall, this might not be your job.

He's like, you can still be a designer, but assisting might not be the way you got there. And this guy must've been, I mean, he was maybe my age. He was probably younger than me. His name was Todd greatest thing that ever happened to me. Yep. It changed me forever. I was like, you're right. That is my job. And actually, I'm very good at that. I am a cheerleader and I'm a person who cares about people and I have no problem. I mean, there will be times that I'm not trying to say, I'm never put pressure on the people around me. I get impatient too. I'm not a patient person, but, but I can, I can try to protect the people around me. And I, and I love my team that people who make the lighting thing happen, you know, I kept, I, we won the, I did this production bug with David right before the pandemic.

And then we just did it again unless we could set them off. And we won the Jeff award for it. As I like to say, we won the Jeff award. Like my team won that award. I didn't do it by myself, but I actually took it into the first day of tech and we put it on the tech table for the second round. And I was like, everybody had my crew put a light on it and they would run the light up. And it was like, everybody may give me notes through the Jeff. The Jeff looks up notes for me. That's hilarious. I will speak to none of you. I will speak to Carrie Coon, Carrie Coon also want to Jeff that she may speak directly to me because what else do you do with an award? There's so weird there,

Speaker 1 (56m 30s): Right there, weirdness. And they're weird and they're nice and they're in your effort. And it's the only way we have really, as human acknowledged this stuff, but in a, in a sort of ceremony kind of a way, but like, all right, well, I just thank you for talking

Speaker 2 (56m 46s): Absolutely

Speaker 1 (56m 47s): Pleasing. And I, I, you know, I just, I'm always left when I talk to someone like you I'm like left with this wish for young women to know that there are so many jobs and careers in the theater that you don't just have to be an actor or an actress or whatever you want to call yourself. There are so many things. And, and by, and for me also, it's like, oh my gosh, please find someone that's doing the thing you might want to do and ask them questions and see if you can get information, you know, like an informational interview, which is essentially what we do on this podcast is do an informational interview with people we went to school with and other people, but like get the information.

So thank you for putting the information about your career and your journey out there for us. And we'll, we'll keep in touch and you'll get a copy to review before we air it. And, but just, thank you. Thank you so much.

Speaker 2 (57m 45s): Totally. I'll send you guys some pictures I have to please. And, you know, they're printed. I actually had to go into a box and found

Speaker 1 (57m 51s): Them. It's a whole thing.

Speaker 2 (57m 53s): Yeah. Much like everybody else. I went through all of those during the pandemic. So I was trying to figure if I had one with me and Keith, cause that would be awesome.

Speaker 1 (57m 60s): That would be fine.

Speaker 2 (58m 3s): It's funny. I love telling people in the, in the lighting community that like I drove her, we've been friends for so long. I drove him home from college for Christmas, his first year of college, you know, and then, and now he's like, like he did his first runway show at studio 54. And then I did my first Broadway show in studio 54. And like, yeah, I really love getting to share all of that with him. And he's a true and great artist. And I just,

Speaker 1 (58m 23s): Yeah, drawing. I was, I was like, what? This is, it was so special to me. And nobody had ever given me a drawing that they have done of the show in their design drawing. And it was, I cherish it. So yay designers and yay, yay. People who really give a shit. So thank you so much.

Speaker 3 (58m 53s): If you liked what you heard today, please give us a positive five star review and subscribe and tell your friends. I survived. Theater school is an undeniable Inc production. Jen Bosworth, Ramirez, and Gina are the co-hosts. This episode was produced, edited and sound mixed by Gina for more information about this podcast or other goings on of undeniable, Inc. Please visit our website@undeniablewriters.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram,

Speaker 0 (59m 21s): And Twitter. Thank you.

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