Like many theater people, I was lucky enough to have great teachers early in life, in my case three great teachers. Though I grew up in Oklahoma, not known to be a center for theatre development, my high school teacher, Dora Hobbs, had a lasting effect on me and many others. Her professionalism, imagination, and drive held me to a high standard that I accepted with pleasure.
Then at the University of Oklahoma, where I was a drama major and was given fantastic opportunities to act and direct, I also studied voice in the music department with Dame Eva Turner. Dame Eva was England's greatest dramatic soprano of the 20th Century who happened to be guest teaching at OU through a colleague she had worked with at La Scala in Milan. She took me into a world of standards of technique and concentration that previously were beyond my awareness and capabilities and perhaps altered my life to the greatest extent. "Pull up your socks, dear!" I believe I could have scoured the world and not found better mentors than Dora and Dame Eva...and they were at my doorstep! What are the chances of that!
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