You can find my resume here.
I have been making up lives for imaginary people ever since I can remember; usually with me as the co-star. Now as an adult, I make shows on and off the screen: writing, directing, producing, and choreographing.
That’s the professional version. Here’s the real story:
As a kid, I gave brilliant performances in my living room; they would have made Madonna proud. I choose the music, did the choreography, sang, danced. . .the whole nine yards.
Then in college, I learned the mechanics of producing a show just by osmosis. Somehow, I just knew it after doing it. But the choreography of my younger days escaped me. I couldn’t choreograph my way out of a paper bag.
I got married. I was a merchant. Got a mortgage, had kids and a dog. Then I got the call; the one that would change everything.
“Denise, you’ve GOT to come and teach Allison ballet!”
And I did (and I do).
Suddenly, I had something to say. I had a LOT to say actually. I carried around a notebook to scribble down ideas as they came to me—driving, in the shower—it didn’t matter.
I get my best ideas in the shower. I designed all of Grimm Brothers’ Twisted Tales in the shower.
Then Faye walked in one day and said, “We’re going to make movies!”
WTF? How on earth do you do THAT?!
And so we did (and we do).
I discovered the joys of writing scripts. I love (and hate) writing with someone. My BFF and I wrote one on the way to the beach; hey, it’s over a 10 hour drive down there. We sketched out The Mayor’s New Suit on that trip. Grandmaland was hatched the same way.
We shot The Mayor’s New Suit in August. August in Arkansas. One hundred-degree days and a kajillion percent humidity. Seventeen days of skin melting hell. I loved it.
Life carried on and fell apart like it usually does. I hibernated and healed.
I got another call.
“Come work for me.”
My friend John needed help at his production house. It was grueling work; the learning curve was a cliff. I had the artistry, so now I learned the technical skills. I learned something new every day. Every. Single. Day.
Then yet another call.
“We’re starting a dance company, but we can’t to do it if you aren’t the ballet mistress.”
And I was (and I am).
So now I craft live theatre from beginning to end. Still getting lightning bolts of inspiration while driving or in the shower. Always in the shower.