Prompt 7: Champions #AprilBlogADay Challenge

The end week one. Prompt 7: Has anyone ever helped you in your career? Been your champion? How will you become someone else's champion?

Has anyone ever helped you in your career? 

Theatre is all about collaboration (and networking).  I have been lucky to have mentors who have, not to be clichĂ©, seen something in me. My high school drama teacher, my costume design prof- who when I came to him at the end of my second quarter and said that I wanted to try my hand at design he jumped into the pool with me and put me on the Fall schedule to design my first show: The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams and eight shows after that in a short 2 years.  

When I transferred to a larger university and a more rigorous program, I switched my focus to construction.  Mentors provided opportunity and new knowledge to help me develop in my field.  After I graduated, I did the Professional Artists Training Program at The Seattle Repertory Theatre.  I met amazing mentors and professionals while interning in the costume shop.  Drapers, First Hands, Stitchers, Wig Makers, Designers, and Milliners.  This is also where I began to focus and hone my craft, refining my focus to millinery.  I fell in love with making hats.  Each chapeau was a piece of art, telling a story about who the character was.   Again, mentors pushed me by making me work, taking chances, learning through doing to grow and improve.  It was this time and these relationships that ultimately brought me to NY to work as a milliner for Broadway, Opera, and Film, ultimately achieving all my professional theatre goals.

The challenges placed in front of me by each mentor over 10 years changed me.  Each step pushing me forward, improving, letting me make mistakes, and learning from them.  With out each of these mentors (and many others) I would not have had the career and opportunities I did.

Has anyone ever been your champion?

There have been many champions of me or my work over the years.  The most consistent has been Marci. I met her years ago when she was an ELA coach for the network our school was in. I always believed she understood my thought processes, my logic for choices and she was never afraid to speak frankly with me about my practice or advocate on my behalf when she felt it was necessary. When she left the network and I was so sad to not have her with me but I quickly saw that she had become part of my community.  In the years following she has served as a sounding board and become a friend. Her insight and thinking is always inspiring and helpful. Even though I don't get to work with her as I did, I know she is in my corner and will always be my champion and my friend.

How will you become someone else's champion?

Much of the work I have done this year, in addition to my teaching load, is as a mentor of new teachers.  Working in a school that is at its beginning has a host of challenges.  One of the biggest challenges has been that teachers in their first and second year don't know what their rights are, have not taken the time to read their contract, usually because they are busy with other things, oh, like getting through their first teaching year, writing and implementing curriculum and learning 150+ names and developing a working relationship with a new group of people.  So, beyond mentoring and supporting teacher development, I have been in a position to speak up when it comes to union issues and teacher rights.  Some things have been as small as making sure teachers have access to information on the different insurance plans each fall when the transfer period opens. Bigger things have been about working with Administration to develop structures that support teachers at school events like Parent/Teacher Conferences. Professionally I am at a place in my career where I am an advocate and able to be the kind of person people like Marci have been for me: Leader, Friend, Sounding Board, Advocate and Champion. 


  1. what an amazing experience and how transferable the experience of being a mentor is and can be.


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