Perhaps it is my homeschooled upbringing, my extreme shyness as a child, or my innately introverted nature-all combined with my love of poetry and words that have drawn me to Emily Dickinson over the years. Ribbons of Emily weave through my life in strange places, making me feel like her spirit follows me at times (the hushed rumors of mild mental illness that surround us both may also be part of my connection to her as well. I kid.)
My oldest daughter made the Florida All-State Elementary Choir. One of the pieces tasked to her to learn for performance in Tampa last week was ‘Will There Really Be a Morning’-a beautiful chorale arrangement of one of Emily’s poems. During this time I received a Facebook event invitation to attend a performance of ‘The Belle of Amherst’, a one woman show written by William Luce, based on the life of Ms. Dickinson. The actress behind this production was Sinda Nichols.
I first discovered Sinda in a picture frame sitting on a bookshelf in the violin workshop of her husband, William, who I interviewed for a previous blog post. For a long time this picture of her, dressed in a costume (presumably for this role), and the brief description from William are all that I knew of her. A while after that we connected on Facebook and I was able to fill in a few more blanks including her Live Ink Theater concept and passion for teaching adult acting classes. In November, Sinda agreed to participate in the Amelia Island Indie Authors event, Off The Shelf, as one of the author services at The Book Loft.
During that event I had the opportunity to finally meet her and she was every bit as lovely as I had imagined. We discussed her past as an elementary teacher, her current endeavors of teaching adult acting classes and small theater, as well as her future ideas for broadening the scope of Live Ink Theater. Intelligent, creative, imaginative, colorful-I cannot imagine a person leaving Sinda’s presence without having a little extra sparkle in their life.
While I could ramble on, I will fast forward to the podcast interview that we had last week. Under The 8 podcast is an idea that I planned and mulled over in my mind for about a year before jumping into the actual project. My idea was to bring the blog to life by interviewing locals and events that I felt highlighted the unique nature of this island. Sinda’s interview is the sixth episode of that podcast. Please visit underthe8.com or find Under The 8 on Facebook to listen to this episode and past episodes. Beginning next week, my co-host, Christy and I will participate in Sinda’s Vocal Variety class, taking place at Amelia Musical Playhouse over the next few months, in order to improve our interviewing skills. I will update you on this acting class adventure (that is WAY out of my comfort zone) as I go along.
To find out more about Live Ink Theater, visit the Facebook Page-Live Ink Theater Ensemble. Live Ink has brought productions such as ‘Love is Love is Love-49 Poems for Orlando’, ‘An Evening of Thanks’, and of course ‘The Belle of Amherst’ and plans to grow even more going forward. Sinda and Live Ink are my favorite things happening on Amelia Island at the moment.