I grew up on a long, winding cul-de-sac in the East Bay Area suburbs full of families with kids of all ages. We're talking 10-15 kids bike-riding on road maps drawn out in chalk and playing serious games of hide and seek. Back then, I was babysat by the older kids and as I got older it was a natural transition for me to babysit the younger kids. When I started high school, I got my first job at a child care and gained experience with infants as young as 6 weeks, toddlers and children as old as 12 years. That job introduced me to families that I would end up babysitting for outside of work, some of whom had children with special needs.
I left the childcare job when I graduated high school, and began working for California Shakespeare Theatre's Summer Conservatories as an assistant teacher, counselor and later camp manager. The job included assistant teaching Movement, Acting, Shakespearean Text, Voice and Stage Combat for kindergarten through high school. To me, you haven't fully lived until you've seen a group of middle schoolers perform a 90-minute version of 'Richard III' with brute force, or adorable 3rd graders doing a little squeaky version of 'Midsummer Night's Dream'. It really is a magical thing to witness.
After two great seasons at one of my favorite theaters in the country, I moved to San Diego to finish my Bachelors in Theater Arts Performance. I worked, rehearsed, studied and performed insane hours for three years there and then moved to New York, where I knew I would ultimately want to end up.
Now that I'm here, I'm babysitting regularly for several families, while writing and performing.
I will be SmartSitting while...
When I'm not babysitting I'm usually in rehearsal for a new play or musical. I sometimes work part-time jobs at a few major off-Broadway theaters. I see a lot of performances around the city and in Brooklyn--sometimes 3-5 shows a week. I also perform comedic storytelling with music in variety shows now and then. A lot of my time is spent supporting my friends' work either as an audience member, extra muscle for loading in sets or as a last-minute performer.
In my actual spare time I play ukulele, which I also teach to kids as young as 3. I also run, do yoga and, when I can, volunteer for a few youth shelters in my neighborhood.
In 5 years, I hope to be...
Either in an M.F.A. program for theater or building a professional resume as a theater artist here in New York.
Activities & skills I love to teach & share with children...
I learned how to play ukulele on my first day of babysitting in New York. One of the parents, a musician, said "I heard you play guitar so I figured you could teach our little guy how to play this." That "little guy" was 1 year old at the time and I honestly couldn't tell if that parent was serious or not. Either way, I learned it and then about a year later was actually able to teach this 2-year-old three solid chords on that ukulele. Now I bring it when I babysit most kids, and they love to learn how to strum and really enjoy it. I also sometimes bring along a few harmonicas.
Other than music, I fancy myself as very good at playing pretend. I babysit a 3-year-old girl right now who particularly enjoys pretending to "go to the chocolate store on a rainy day." She also enjoys playing marching band, which is basically her pounding a drum while walking in circles and me following on melody with a harmonica and tambourine.
I also am a fairly skilled cook, and often prepare meals for kids. Sometimes I'll do a goofy French chef voice and a stuffy, fancy old waiter face/voice and we'll make cooking a game and call it "Restaurant".