To The Moon and Back…
To he Moon and Back Players is a performing arts program designed to support creative expression. We do that through movement, song, rhythm, words, notes, really the sky is the limit, to the moon! The name of this company was inspired not only by the sentiment of infinite potential, but by the wonderful children’s story I used to read to my kids by Sam McBratney, “Guess How Much I love You“.. It’s about a father rabbit, Big Nutbrown Hare who is challenged by his son, Little Nutbrown Hare, to one up him as he describes how much love he feels; down the lane, to the river and beyond all the way the way to the moon , and even further than that… and back”. The name hopes to inspire the unbounded potential of the creative spirit, and how our kids on the spectrum or not have talents that should be celebrated in every way possible. Sometimes when one doesn’t have the words they can dance a feeling or burst out into song. When someone struggles to deal with emotions they may turn to laughter and in that way become incredibly relatable to anyone else needing relief. So the name of our company represents endless possibilities.
When I was a child I loved acting. I always wanted to do plays or be on stage singing and dancing. I felt tons of energy and enthusiasm when inspired and I wanted to shine! As the years passed so did my love of theatre and performing. My childhood passion eventually landed me in Hollywood in the early 1990’s. I knew LA was not a “theatre town” like New York but I had been going to school in Ohio for 4 years so it was only natural to keep moving West! No one moves East right?
Life in LA for a young starving artist was not easy. I put my psychology degree on a shelf, got into a reputable acting class so I could find my tribe, and started the revolving door of obligatory jobs waiting tables and catering as to always be available for the audition! It did not take more than a couple of years of 99 seat Black Box Theatre with some of the most talented men and women I had ever met to recognize that ability did not equate with financial success in the industry. I did a few bit TV jobs and then got a speaking role in a feature which landed me my SAG card. That was it I thought, I was on my way, and still in my mid 20’s so not quite out of my prime yet by Hollywood standards. I was fit and in shape, but waiting tables was beginning to take its toll on my athlete’s knees, and the charm had long worn out of using it as an opportunity to develop accents and characters. A friend introduced me to a company that was supporting disabled adults to learn Independent Living Skills, ILS, such as Laundry, banking, grocery shopping, cleaning etc. I could do that I thought, and since I did have a college degree in psychology, I should be well prepared. So in 1993, I set out on my first day to meet my first client. I could have never known at the time what a profound effect making that choice would have on the rest of my life.
I grew to love the work of supporting an individual to his or her greatest potential. In time I was able to merge my love of theatre and working with this special population. I created a performing arts program at Tierra Del Sol, got married and had two children. When my son was diagnosed with Autism in 2003, despite a decade of experience, I felt ill prepared, overwhelmed and completely frightened about his future. Leaving the performing arts program I had created at Tierra was an incredibly difficult decision for me but one I knew I had to make to do what was needed for my son. Over the years, submerged in autism, I focused on interventions to support his language, social development, behavior, sensory and health related challenges. I tried to stay connected to my creative self but I needed to find new outlets. I wrote, directed and Co Produced a Multimedia Theatrical Production about autism, tilted Mothers and Others on Autism. I was awarded a Community Service Grant and created a children’s play to dispel the biggest myths about the spectrum titled, The Autism Education Project. I created a TV show pilot about Neurofeedback, and how it can help kids with autism. I voiced a chapter of an audio book about autism for the Thinking Moms Revolution and when I could, I lead acting classes, workshops and film camps throughout Los Angeles. Now I have two teenagers and a thriving business supporting and integrating families of kids with autism at We Rock The Spectrum Glendale. I have developed To The Moon and Back Players so I can continue inspiring and creating with those who inspire me.
This summer’s workshop will culminate in a live performance at the gym on
Wednesday July 27th at 7:00pm!
Come check us out!