Theaters were the first businesses to close when the pandemic hit and large gatherings were banned. I felt a real sense of urgency I think before a lot of people did. There was no way the United States would be ready and have the needed supplies for medical workers and others who would need them. Seattle was going to need masks well before other cities.
I made contact with Providence Health System. Going in, I had no idea what I would be able to accomplish. I put together a team of skilled, furloughed theatrical costume workers. We could use our skills to build a much needed product to protect the hospital workers all of us rely on every day. My goal was to get much-needed medical-grade PPE (personal protective equipment) produced and to put costumers and sewers back to work. All of us working together made over 17,500 medical-grade masks for Providence.
What surprised you about the project?
There are so many costume shops with highly skilled sewers here in Seattle. This was news for Providence and we were able to enlist their help to underwrite the project. We were able to connect unlikely partners.
Another surprise was how grateful my sewers were to have something to do in those early weeks of this pandemic. Everyone was so grateful to have the opportunity to work together — keeping six feet apart, of course.
Chocolate or wine or coffee?
Why can’t I have all of them?
What was the last book you read or last TV show you binged?
I am not a binger of anything. I am finally making my way through Schitt’s Creek. The last book I really enjoyed was Sacre Blue by Christopher Moore.
Tell us something we don’t know.
When I was a kid I, was on the performance side of the stage as a dancer. I was also a competitive gymnast. I wish I could have made the connection of turning flips into a career as a stunt double. It’s probably better that I didn’t — too many injuries is what made me stop dancing in college.