My #PimpMyBio for #PitchWars
I am a nonprofit manager (raising money for a library system), fiction writer, theatre director, management adjunct and book nerd. I was born and raised in Fairfax County, Virginia, where I currently live with my aviator husband.
My love for storytelling, performing arts, and directing started at a young age. I would turn any raised surface into a stage (“Watch me, Mommy!”) and I directed my younger sister in games and shows all the time. Thank you, Sister, for allowing me to start my directing career early. Thank you, Parents, for watching many, many “shows.”
I started in the performing arts through dance at an semi-professional studio which also gave us voice and acting lessons (tap dance is/was my specialty). I blame my excellent high school theatre teacher for making me fall in love with theatre. I loved all subjects in school, but I found theatre/storytelling to be the most challenging and most exciting—there’s no one right answer, after all. Plus, I loved collaboration from the beginning.
I went to the University of South Caroline on a full academic scholarship—yay saving money for post-undergrad years of unpaid internships! I got a double major in theatre and economics and spent all my free time in the theatre: some acting, but mostly stage managing, assistant directing and directing.
After undergrad I decided to pursue directing and got an equivalent of an MFA in directing by assisting some fabulous directors at regional theatres. I LOVED it. Except I realized that I was not only interested in each individual show I worked on—I was also interested the theatre companies and their relationships to their communities. I started working in arts leadership positions, realized I wanted to learn so much more so I got my MBA, and that brings me to today.
I work in fundraising for a library system. I direct a couple plays a year at professional, non-union theatre companies. I teach Principles of Management to undergrads. I write fiction and I read obsessively.
Interests: Books, theatre, Shakespeare, aviation (husband is a pilot and I’m very lucky to fly around with him in our single-engine airplane. I’ve got transportation!), Nascar (not just for rednecks), hiking, traveling, snowmobiling, management/ leadership/ entrepreneurship stuff (Shark Tank!) and any type of alcohol (in moderate quantities).
I started writing in 2013. I was well into my obsessive reading phase (restarted around the time I stopped working as a director full-time), realized that I had a story idea and that I’d like to try a different form of storytelling. To keep my creativity going between plays. I had plenty of brainstorming/ plotting time on my long commute from the suburbs to DC, and then I would write for 20 minutes before my work day started, at lunch, and again in the evening. Occasionally I got longer chunks of time on the weekends, but I basically wrote in stolen moments. There's more about my two manuscripts here.
I love my writing time, and I’m finding the revision process to be equally or even more exciting than drafting. I’ve worked with multiple critique partners and recently contracted a freelance editor for my YA manuscript and that collaboration is the best thing ever.
I plan to query my women’s fiction manuscript, TWICE HAWAII, for #PitchWars. I would be so, so honored to collaborate with a mentor on this.
I’m not directing any plays until mid-December, so I’ve got major revision time set aside! I will work hard, because that's the only way to do things.
That's it for now! I look forward to tweeting with you: @abbiei