But I felt more than ready to tackle my personal goals head-on. In addition to my freelance business of coaching actors and recording their self-tapes, an idea had been brewing for quite some time to incorporate a retail aspect into my work. In 2017 I launched an LLC making and selling candles with an entertainment theme. I loved it - experimenting with different fragrance oils, the trial-and-error of figuring out which wicks worked in which candles, marketing the product - it was all new and terrifying and exciting. But it was only the beginning.
From the start I knew the business wouldn’t just be about candles. Once I learned
the basics of getting a company up and running, I was ready to branch out into what I’d always wanted the business to be: a retail shop for actors. Why actors? Because I’ve spent practically my entire life in the arts. It’s my passion. I truly can’t imagine working in any other industry. Starting at a very young age, I was either dancing in a recital (see pic of my fancy "Red, Red Robin" costume), performing in a play or studying theatre in school. During the summers I would make home movies using my grandparents’ colossal video camera (the kind you had to hoist up onto your shoulder), complete with theme music and closing credits written in crayon on 8.5” x 11” pieces of paper.
If you’re an actor, you know a lot is required of you at any given time: have a resume and headshot available at a moment’s notice (in fact, have multiple looks for the headshot); have a monologue prepared at all times - make that several monologues, from various genres and time periods; be able to produce and submit a self-taped audition with little notice; rearrange your schedule for those last-minute auditions; hear the word “no” A LOT and then be expected to get up and do it all again the next day; the list goes on. My goal with this company is to make your life just a bit easier by providing some of the tools needed to help you along the way. At the start of this year (back to the whole being “full of promise” thing), I rebranded my website, changed the name of the company and began expanding my inventory. Whether it’s plays, stage makeup, filming equipment, rehearsal gear, or even a gift for your roommate who helped you run lines, I hope you are able to find it at Theatrik. If you can’t, let me know and I’ll see if I can make it available in the future.
Of course, we all know what happened as the year progressed. With the global pandemic still wreaking havoc all around the world, lives have been uprooted, careers have been halted, and the arts industry - like so many others - has taken a devastating hit. In addition, we are confronted every day with the racial injustice that continues to plague this country. We as a society are facing a reckoning with our own biases, and must acknowledge the inequities we have all borne witness to as well as helped perpetuate. We have a long way to go.
My heart aches for all those young theatre kids who didn’t get to perform their final play at the end of the school year, the kids who are missing performing arts camp, the graduates who were planning to attend an arts program in the Fall, the kids who don’t get any arts education at their schools, the performers whose shows ended abruptly, the artists whose work has been pushed to the side time and time again because of the color of their skin, the theaters whose doors have closed permanently because of the pandemic…it is easy to get lost in a sea of negativity. However, there is one thing I know for sure: art survives. Artists are always creating, therefore art will always exist. And if the current health crisis has taught us anything, it’s that we NEED art. I don’t know about you, but I have watched more shows and read more books in the last four months than I did probably all of last year, thanks to the artists who created them.
While I didn’t envision launching my arts retail company at a time when the arts industry is effectively shut down, my goals for Theatrik have not changed. Theatre will be back. Productions will resume. Artists will continue to create. And Theatrik will be here.