1. This year’s theme is “US Humans” What do you immediately think of when you ponder US Humans?
We live in a world of duality and sometimes those around us, including the press, have a tendency to pit one faction against another – as if we were separate, and one or the other of us were “right”. In truth, we are all part of the same HUman family, we all care about those close to us and in having a healthy, happy life. US Humans is about all of us recognizing that we are all in this together and learning to respect each other’s right to different beliefs and individual freedom and in that collaborate and work together. It’s our diversity that makes US Human.
2. Who has had the most significant influence on you in your adult life and why?
One night I had a dream about a series of boxes floating in space. I wasn’t an artist at the time, but I approached a faculty member I knew and asked if I could take her drawing class. In that class I drew that picture I’d seen in my dream. Her question to me was, “What is in those boxes? Open those boxes and draw what’s inside.” She taught me to dig beyond the surface and turn inside out everything I do., to get to the core and the essence to unveil a deeper truth.
3. What is it about your work that keeps you going?
Everyone has something amazing to teach you if you are open to it. I look for the creative genius in those simple things that people come up with everyday to solve problems or work together better. I love watching people collaborate and being able to help that process happen in a fun and surprising way.
4. What is your passion outside your idea worth spreading?
I am a cyclist at heart and every chance I get, I love to get out on the road on my bike and see the world from two wheels.
5. Where’s the one place you’ve visited that you’ll never forget and why?
New Zealand. I was speaking for the National Principals there a couple of years ago. The landscape in the south island was beyond amazing. We visited one lighthouse and the kelp that swirled into the shore was gynormous! It looked like the back of a dragon coming in through these cliffs and slithering onto the rocks.
6. Describe an unforgettable moment that shaped who you are.
Early on I was a performance artist, and as one, I never auditioned to perform anyone else’s material – mainly because I didn’t really fit the looks of the times and I wasn’t willing to conform to what they wanted me to look like ;-). I had held a brief inner fantasy of being on Broadway when I had taken acting classes NYC. Well one day the Seattle Rep was auditioning performance artists and so I went and auditioned and got into that show which went from the main stage of the Rep to the Kennedy Center in DC and then on to Broadway. This event proved to me the power of holding an inner vision to create an outer reality.
7. List three words that describe you.
Creative, fun(ny), activator
8. Are there any books that contributed to who you are? Is so, which one(s)?
The Little Engine That Could (children’s book)
Dialogues with the Master – Paul Twitchell
How to Master Change in Your Life – Mary Carroll Moore
9. For your talk content, what’s recommended reading?
Joe Dispenza – Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself
The Art of Possibility – Rosamund Stone Zander, Ben Zander
10.Why do you want to speak at TEDxBend?
I love Bend, its spectacular views and the community there. I want to share my idea there first, in one of my favorite cities, with a fantastic team and against a backdrop of spectacular mountains and beauty and love. All the things that make US humans great together.