Thursday, June 2, 2011
Inspiration of the Month: Jill
Hey everyone! I’m back to blogging regularly and now that it’s June, it’s time to introduce another inspiration of the month!
I’d like you to meet Jill.
Jill is a current PhD student in the theatre department. I’m actually struggling to find a way to express how much I look up to Jill as a scholar, an artist, and a friend. Jill is not just a brilliant (and hilarious) writer and student, but she’s also an actress, a comedian, and one of the finest teachers I have ever known. As a scholar, Jill is passionate about comedy (“People should laugh with someone every single day,” she told me). She also researches the role of wheelchairs on stage, as well as actors with disabilities and accessibility in theatrical staging. “I stuck with performing because I am terribly afraid of it,” she said. “I’m much more interesting on stage than offstage.” (I totally disagree with her. Jill is never boring.)
I find myself especially inspired by her attitude towards her students. “They live in a world where no one communicates with them,” she said. “So if they can feel when you come into the room that that’s where you want to be, they’ll become different people.” I am so encouraged as a young teacher to hear Jill speak so highly of her students. It makes me want to be a better, more compassionate teacher.
Five Fast Jill Facts
- Jill is a trained fencer (and her only fencing injury was sustained in a stage combat class)!
- When she was 13, she won a Beatles trivia contest and beat two grown men who had seen The Beatles perform live.
- Her wheelchair is named Chitara and she’s awesome. (Funny story: Chitara is NOT motorized but the first time Jill used a motorized chair, she accidentally stole a lady’s purse that got caught on one of her canes. The lady started screaming that someone had stolen her purse and Jill realized what had happened!)
- She used to write a column for The Antioch Record. In one issue, she interviewed her mother’s one-eyed cat, Dante, about his experiences of living with a disability.
- Her stage name as a comedian is the Wood Nymph.
Alright, everybody! Stay tuned – Madigan is posting tomorrow!