THE ARTISTS: Ronna Lee Joseph
What is your career and your current job title? I work in public relations and marketing with my design partner, M. Timothy Murray, in our business – Arial Graphics & Productions! I also do part-time home health care.
Describe in a sentence or two your art. My art is writing, directing, producing and performing in live theater.
How long have you been working in this discipline? Ever since I was a child growing up in Chicago – and first being introduced at the tender age of 6 to the renowned Goodman Theatre.
Why do you do it? Because I love it, and I am good at it. It fulfills a need in my soul to perform, enlighten and entertain an audience.
What do you hope to accomplish? I hope to accomplish being involved and to continue performing in the theater in all capacities.
Do you create your art with an exact message you want the viewer to receive? My message is simple: Relax and enjoy the spectacle of live, living, breathing theater. And, I hope, that if I have done my job with precision, that I might add a certain expanded dimension of enlightenment to one’s life.
Where do you want to be with your art, in terms of part-time versus full-time status, art positions and where your works are seen? Of course, I’d like to be on the stage full-time. But it is impossible right now. Currently, though, I’m helping produce and perform in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” opening Feb. 28 at the Center for the Arts.
What kind of special training did you take? If not, how did you learn the art techniques or processes? I started studying voice (opera) at age 9, then progressing to pop at 11 years of age. And I continued vocal training through my formative years to the present time. Concurrent with voice, it was ballet, tap, jazz, etc. I’ve also studied modeling, improv and character development.
What’s your favorite part of your endeavors? The time I’ve spent on stage as a performer, and surprisingly enough, I really enjoy the rehearsal process. And using my directorial skills.
What’s your least favorite part of your endeavors? When I work very hard perfecting a piece of theater and get very little audiences. But the show must go on.
How many hours a day or, if more appropriate, a week do you spend on your work? When I am involved with a theater piece, the rehearsal process is at least six to eight weeks of preparation time, from first read-through to opening night, depending on the type of piece. If it is a musical, it is certain to involve a great deal more time.
Do you consider it hard work and could anyone do it? It is hard work and not everyone can do it! However, with the right amount of training, preparation, direction, dedication, blood, sweat and tears … one could conceivably create and perform in a theatrical production.
Any other comments you’d like to include? Currently, as stated before, I’m in rehearsal for “Cinderella,” which opens at the Center for the Arts on Feb. 28 for 10 performances. Now that “Cinderella” is essentially almost “up,” I have started the first sing-throughs for Music In The Mountains’ “Broadway Bits and…” to be performed by myself, Terry Brown and Tony Lauria, accompanied by pianists Ken Harden and Paul Perry, March 28 and 30 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.
“The Artists” appears each Friday. To suggest a person to be profiled, call The Union newsroom at 273-9561.
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