Saturday, April 9, 2016

A Letter from JJ - Your 2016 Director

So, Andrea asked me to write something up for you to get to know me. I find it hard writing about
myself but I was determined to try. I started like a 3rd person YA story, but it didn’t feel right. Next I
started a 1st person story but it sounded conceited and unrealistic. I have settles instead to just write a autobiography.  I hope it accomplishes all that Andrea hoped it would.

I come from a heritage of performers. My grandmother was a performer in college and went on to be a vocal coach, which she still does today. She taught my mother and my aunt to sing at a very early age. They went on to be on Tv at the ages of 8 and 10, They traveled the world with the USO and my aunt still performers today with the Silva Sister around Utah.

I loved music and movement from the time I was old enough to stand. I grew up singing and dancing
with my family. I was 3 years old when I performer with my mother in front of hundreds of people. As a teen I performed in places like Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farms, SeaWorld, The London Bridge, Branson, St Louis, Six flags.

I wasn’t much of a singer, I had to learn to sing and it took years for me to be able to hold my own
against my siblings. Dance and movement however came naturally to me. I loved it. I went to college at Southern Utah University. I knew I wanted to pursue a degree in dance, at the time they didn’t have one so I did a theater art major with a dance minor. I was the only freshmen on the modern dance company and I got to be involved in my first theater experience. I was hooked.

When I finished an LDS mission I got involved in Community Theater.  I learned all I could about theater and the art of bringing something magical to life. I had wonderful mentors who fanned my excitement about the craft.

I’m not going to go in to everything I’ve done- that would be pages of me rambling on about how each experience changed me. I will include my resume for you to see my body of work. Instead I’m going to tell you two experiences; how I came to know Andrea (who you know and respect) and they story of one of my favorite productions.

I was in my early 20’s when I got involved at the Draper Arts Council. There I meet the Casdorph family. They were an amazing talented family. I got to be in many productions with them. I remember thinking how Andrea was so suited to this art. Outside of the theater she became my friend. When I was asked to put together a productions team for the Dickens Christmas festival she was top on my list. She and I have worked so seamlessly together for so many years that it was an easy yes for me when she ask me to take on this adventure with her.

One of my most favorite productions was Fiddler on the Roof. On the first day we broke the cast up into families. My intention in doing this was that it would be easy to block that way as well as schedule rehearsals. What happened was that they became like families- caring for each other, helping each other, practicing together.  We became a close nit town like Anatevka-even though many of us did not live near one another.  Every night we were transported to Russia- and here is the part that if you taking nothing else from all my rambling take this. We were not actors and audience but equal participants in the experience of Fiddler on the Roof. I cried every night of the show when my families one by one left Anatevka. I learn from that experience and I was changed.

So, it’s a youth workshop but it is also a play. We will work hard and I will expect your best effort. We will learn and I will help you discover something new about yourself and your abilities. We will laugh and dance and sing and work hard and have sore muscles and possibly hurt other things and we will have homework, and did I mention we will work hard? But I promise you’ll grow and learn and have fun. I’m looking forward to this summer and meeting all of you. Now go do something and be great!

-- Jacqueline Vuki (JJ)

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