Artists In Profile | Shari Baker & Megan Collins-Ice Skating | WQPT

Uploaded by WQPTPBS on 22.05.2012

the following program is brought to you by a generous grant by the illinois arts
my first time on the ice
was elementary school we had a special program at school called
interest groups and it took us from the school to the ice rink and gave us the
lessons couple weeks
into those lessons i came home I came home and told my mom this is what i want to do it
that i was willing to put my other activities and focus on skating
and she agreed and signed me up for lessons and then got me into private lessons
instead of competing in
the rest of history
i think it started when i run third grade
second i think a
i went to
a public session for a birthday party for one of my friends
i just loved it when i first step on the ice
after that i asked my mom to try group lessons
i tried it i too
lessons and i really really like it and i just started doing
it so much
for i was born in chicago
and then moved down to the quad cities so i've been in the quad cities now
uh... and
in my youth
i was here and until the mid-sixty's
we ended up moving to sweden during that time and
prior to that my father would build houses
and then we move into the basement
and then we would move upstairsand sell the house
and so it was really good learning experience and they're in construction
and very basics mama would design the house and dad would build it
she was so good she is still a great influence to
me that
the main thing that she would do this
we'd be living in a basement and you would never know it because she would fix
sheets on windows to look like to d remained she would fix your
your walls in partition in your room
and the senate the standard wall
my mom had a great influences in the aspect and dad had the practicalty with the logic of figuring out your square footage
carrying cinder blocks and
in so forth and i did a lot of that i did a lot of reelect homecoming has no
say he could
and um...
the other influence i had was my elder brothers
uh... hit two older brothers and one younger brother
and my brother jim
as he says he
is very good at statement
and my brother tell is a phenomenal artist he does
beautiful lakes salvador dali type work
so he influenced me alot in wanting to do
kenyon are work
and my younger brother actually is very talented sculptor
so the nice thing is is that i've had a family that appreciates
a lot of different
uh... art
the other thing is
my grandmother
uh... from sweet my great grandmother from sweden and she won the nobel first
woman to print
win nobel prize in literature
and her influence in
uh... having
that background so that when we went to sweden people reporters awaiting their
intake and pictures of us on the cruise liner and that type of thing date
we're really excited that the nose holders in the family was coming in for
a etc
need you feel like you have to live up to something
and you couldn't just sit back
we went up to the museum of science and industry in the art institute many times
take in chicago
seem to think so
within this is dennis some silly but way over what really made the impact or me
when they took a two by ten and painted it yellow and lean it
against the wall nothing was worth thousands of dollars course contemporary
art in the seventies with a lot different than contemporary art now that
that was in the museum of
art in chicago and
it with with my dad had tons two by tens laying around the house in
good grief i could do that
turned around in in another room
there were
boxes of uh...
vinyl tiles that was sitting
out and stacked
around looking like what might get usual job sites
that was in the job site
that was the art project were twenty thousand dollars
and so
against those words
that was in inspirations
i was i think explain this to tom the other today when the push hit me to
i think i was seven years old
and i recall that idea i'd a crazy kind of play about a newspaperman newsprint
who got rolled up in the newspaper press
uh... the
they playmate i had actually
made up a scenario to save my life
and that was my first experience of seven
well i think their first at the bug for theater when i was in fifth grade
that a talent contest
and uh...
i was very sharp the time
and i got up there in a clown outfit that our family had someone in
every halloween
and i did some crazy contortion a stack report my legs behind my back
uh... everybody just screamed
and i went all there's a way to get some attention
and latest
i have a schedule that already planned
out out
coming right through me
school to skating
and to from skating go home and eat dinner
uh... eating right down finish all my homework
do whatever else i need to be for the day
and and i've noticed that skaters tend to be great students
that skaters that have the drive in the focus also do really well the school
work in a
they had not had a plan ahead they know how the organize themselves and keep up
their grades as well as
improve in their skating
my schoolwork really helps me
and i know that fifteen that i have to have appreciating that when i do that i
have to just go with a and
no matter what i
now i can't go back i should be doing just what i've been doing
and stuff today of
came down here to work in television came down to work for channell eight
years there and other had a minor in psychology and and also a background in
at work and all those different fields over of time and and just and there's
something about skating i love it loving what the kids and my adult students
that it just draws you back here
we had um...
more time on the ice presay we are doing figures that we would
alternate between figured ice time and freestyle ice time which did not
go together at all their separate sessions and now the kids uh... do and
an adult do but i called moves in the field which are meant to replace the
figures to teach some of the basic positions and basic turns edges
and it's working to a degree uh... there's still some little things they
changed but that often place that
loss of the figures in the switching over to them was infield
plays a lot of the times while
i happen to bending in college
and then but moved to the quad cities like at this rinked opened that was
all in place so when i said teaching here at this facility um... learn it fomr the
roundup up
and we teach it now decide we would've top figures to the kids they have to
pass certain levels of these moves test before they can take the state level
that freestyle test
i was lucky that while i was in high school my coach let me help teach some
group lessons and i got a taste of
coaching kind of his apprentice while i was taught high school
and i did go out and try out for show with some girlfriends and had had a
make a decision that i want to go to college i did i wanted to show it my my
my coach sat down with me and they said you know what
you can always going to show why don't you go to college for the year
see how that goes and then you can make that decision later
and i went with their choice which turned out to be that the choice to have
love of college
and i eat rose through the door on that i chose it was the closest to the ice
rink on the campus
and i was able to go and teach while i was at college stayed
involved in the sport
uh... from that time of the college students point of view
and i stated not until i moved here and when i moved to the quad cities we didn't
have a rink at that point and that it opened about to pay men in the class is been in the quad cities
about ten years before the this facility up in fifteen years ago
and love when my kids past tests and when they go to compete with and they're
pleased with the result there's nothing that nearly everything swells up but i
do you know how hard they work you know how hard you work to get them to that
point and
it's just such a great sense a uh...
sense of pride in eg in dissing that what they can accomplish
it basically makes me feel really happy that i finally got a in
i can now move on a new jump
move or something
items just so happy that
final landed it
or i'm henley completed activist where he came a day even better
and what it really is
one of the people who was a very very very important
influence on me was denny hitchcock the owner and producer at circa twenty
he was my professor at augustana college
and so
in it was phenomenal they re from only high school included acting to
begin with
and that um...
then he saw that i had
the talent
with designing and being able to take
uh... as my dad had the gift for taking numbers an analytical in my mom's
creativity of design and being able to lower courts are a bit internet so
i was given the attain the death of joe and give one of the major shoes
i started doing merrill's i think he came from my brother painting one of
the walls in our house
an art mural
in of small area but it was still pretty impressive so when i got my own home
painted a mural on my wall and i always like that feeling of painting murals
that was
in the background with my scenic work
in uh... ending up doing uh...
the main mural other then um... the backdrop that it did for the ballet in
that type of thing
i had
midwest exhibits
was trying to find their wonderful company here that this display work in
the quad cities
they had
carl the program cask who could do
uh... some work in children's museum in bettendirf
and that they had gotten my name and i guess he came up several times so they
contacted me
and so i started doing some pieces for them while they loved but i did
when the putnam museum was looking for someone to do the ocean experience
they contact and midwest exhibits contact me and said susie can do it
i remember standing in that room there with that thirty six by twenty five
that there'd be six by twenty five but
twenty feet outside
and they had painted it blue lucas at my request and i stayed in the room going
now what do you want
they have a really quite to mind what they wanted to do in the room yet
and arm
so i just it's uh... eating an elephant one bite at that time
i think for me
it was opportunities in music more than theater when i got into junior high
um... by that time i did
started playing a string instrument cello
um... i was in choir
and then it was
the high school musicals
they got me involved in directly in theater and some speech classes they
got me involved and kept me
going and so more so it was really
being involved in high school music as much as anything
thousand school life on almost any way i could do it to get in the theater
was once you try out and want to try out for the school musical i did
and then other peoplea saying what is this thing going on here and the committee's
here try this and i go over an audition
often get because they were desperate for anybody take the role
uh... and just that kinda of networking
picked up in patchwork together theater
many career
as i said i've started out
as a broadcasting major which is what i wanted to do
if somebody were told me i was going to be a college instructor always said what
planet are you coming from
uh... that's not anything in my future
uh... but while i was in eastern kentucky i had to take on in english
minor at a very traditional theater department that made you literally
coercion to have english minor
no i was doing that
had some
issues with english composition and i went to english lab
learn quite quickly that i had a lot of string system polish them and made
and they drafted me as an instructor in that lab
got my skills back up
and i was my first experienced in
whether the teaching a few music things
that i can make a difference formally
as a teacher to a learner and i think that started back
uh... so that would have been about nineteen seventy-four
think if the question is
what really
uh... guided me
to being a teacher
i think part of it was being an out of work actor and

had done some teaching power
in some short stint in summer programs and different colleges
mostly teaching fundamentals of drama and acting
and uh... i was in the state capital florida in tallahassee
and i got a call from the dean of school from florida state
uh... who said well understand you need some time off but you can't take it off
one should go to a job interview take your resume wear tie they need a full
time drama director who can teach english
at tallahassee
leon high school
and so that was my first real full-time job
and i walked into a program where teacher didn't burn out after seven
years was already set up for me i had promised boosters clubs and a lot of
and i look back now is on the best jobs i ever had in teaching english in drama
well i was a psych major uh...
took a lot of weirded interesting jobs but then i got into mental health worker
and i ran group homes
for solar system
a grunt and a group home
and worked my way up and the management in the new administration
where i was overseeing tweleve
group homes and all these people and all that and i realize those desperately
number does have a simple way to put it but i was just done with it and i was at
a christmas party talking to a friend of mine who is a up performers a singer
and i told my r this company that tours
educational programs all of the united states and i want to give them a call
high just said why not an i gave them a call we get ready for next year
or will give you a call in may or june
that i got a call back into mrs
i have forgot we just had somebody somebody quit on us and after christmas we have to
have this
program done it on the east coast
and can you do it and he called the logistics and i said why not met tried
it and it was
well has a lot of good stories there at the beginning of my career but uh... was
our world of robotics
and up to that for eight years
full-time all the united states
since nineteen eighty i have evolved into doing one person showing ulaysis
uh... have taken into orbit two different entities libraries museums
big theaters in the southeast
as well as the national park service
so they just
was put on the back burner for about
uh... roughly twenty years while i was doing more serious full-time directing
and teaching in college
and i never want to go back to that is put insomeday is sunday on my
cell that at a garage sale get rid of that whole thing 'cause
i really just like to
you go off into the sunset as a college theatre director well then when the time
came i picked up again and i i'm appreciated even more and new insights
and it didn't need vehicle
to keep going as a professional and player
so that i was
right along with it and then i ran into this gentleman and a
civil war festival
i think it was is in the andover will let you know anniversary with a
over from there
well yeah i had them
then doing lincoln for awhile then mark twain and thomas edison
company that was touring the united states so
i had them all of my hip pocket and were always looking for work
and i got it
some saw me in the committee play actually and asked me to be
well walk around his lincoln at this event
which uh... probably never do again because i was in the middle of summer and so
on and seventy five degrees something like that
anyway we were both walk around we're both uh... taking a getting a drink and
taken a break
and i some across the way
and i shall both had a dream of doing a show that would combine
mark twain and
u_s_ grant and that's a long story but anyway that's what i present him with
truman then we talk about what we can do and we saw this we can put up a little
formula more commercially but uh...
then we just talked about and we had a meeting in
he's all organization you know from this
years and years of organizing drama so i just kind of
sit back and let them do all of them and that really helped me to do in the just
get to the parts that i'm good at and things that i like to do so we've just
work about
i have a one-man show him with
bits and pieces of each in national mores and said the less interest in
cycles of the puzzle pieces or something with them
sentencing will use put these together is that this this is the word
immediately recognize the savior well you probably will not recognize the name
is a very famous actor
edwin pull
just an example of the divine mystery
bob my first encounter in the civil war did wall of the rubble
forces of colonel thomas harris
my mentor disciplined and ready for my mom is great
uh...she makes all of my costumes and and she always had a at
change because i'm not very flexiable and you should be very flexiable has an ice skater
if i'm hurt she always helps me and very supportive
less anything i did
and we'd we talk a lot about the skating at that parent skater coach triangle
and actually is that right now that withoue people in their triangle
corners the skater doesn't have the ability to do what they would need
to do so the the parents and the coaches all support the skater and then the
skater they'll intern
supports the parents of the coaches with what decisions are made and how we look
my parents really were concerned as most parents are at that
he he had a livelihood
and they did not see peter and heard hints from one's livelihood
and my mom really wanting me to be a doctor
and i have
all that background from from high school pre med
but that was not wants me my heart sing
course that parents seem concerned about heart singing and needing
i don't know if they were being reasonable that
anyway nonetheless they loved me and and so at risk
redirected in that and from college
i spent a little time i did to set decoration from i do i do circa
twenty one first opened up that was there for show
and that and
i realized that i was just a need to be get out and get away from the quad
cities for a little bit
and i moved to seattle
and there i did interior design work
and became
did really well for eight years i became the grew ru
design out there and a lot of kitchen and bath designing and technical work
and so forth that standpoint
and i didn't some paintings but i never some 0:21:26.220,0:21:30.130 paintings as being a any form of earning income
and i did some theater work with some small theaters in seattle and then i got
into working with dupont korean
and uh...
ag adding to sales and marketing
so from that stepping diverted mean detoured me too
uh... a new field which was sales and marketing which in odd way is not that
from the arts
my nut shell answer my dad said you're crazy i don't want you to do this
what are you going to be able to do how you going to have a family isn't the
actor possessing that's all you're going to do
he didn't think about directing he didn't think about
uh... maybe design although he was a draftsman
but as far support was uh... he simply said look if you can find a way to
finance it will match half
as long as a formal education and you have agree and you can become something
and you just stay at it to you get that done
then i wish you well and
talking to tom in a day and he was so supportive i guess it was a draftsman
he designed the set pieces that were using in lincoln grant tonight they
still following s my dad's influence to just stay with it was his main value
uh... even if he didn't have the same
principles that i had a about discovery of theater
usage of stay with it that's all i want you to do
not there
i came to acting late as a profession
i get a lot of acting in and community an amateur work
so what my parents were out of the picture by the time
full-time actor
it was it back my folks are very supportive almost anything i tried
part of that wasn't at the beginning to they really want to cruise with the
other point is that i was going to do it anyway might has well be supportive
my kids are grown now and
my daughter actually has a degree in therapy
drama therapy so i think influence for little bit so she's very supportive
uh... she's not around me but we talk a lot on the phone
and uh... my my wife
bless her heart
still pay the bills is another thing to have to do i have a business of
reselling things on the internet
and there
there was a time when i was not on the road and should be in the basement
freezing in the middle of winter with gloves on trying to keep boxes to ship
off my stuff for
down that way she's been extremely supportive
she understands issues as you know what we are happy i'm happy you know i
re-send it if
you're not doing most important to you that that they also offer and then no
one supporter
when i got married my wife understood cuz i it was an adoptive father i
inherited a nice
set kids in
they went on that this was going to be part of daddy's in teaching artist and
he's going to teaching and acting by kids got into places very natural for
uh... we had a lot of fun with them was sometimes when i need a second sheppard
for the second shepherd
i call on my son hopped and he was
so i think it just fit naturally even for my immediate family my wife to has
just been angel very supportive
well i'm next and hoping can go to regional this fall
and hoping to do the best
i can learn from that experience
then on forward
trying to make my jumps and spins
i think the fact that they can be
i can be myself skating
cake and i think
keep on skating
but you going to college become a doctor
and wanted progress and do
even better hiking always learn
i love it doing denny's hitchcock's
uh... classes he has he does the regional uh... program for schools
regionally and last year they are came here into my studio
are not all of that one thing the finish
fifteen to twenty thousand people a group
and it was so much from teaching them how to open a can of paint of
and stir a can a paint and not to hit the middle of the lid
and how to handle a brush
i would love to be able to teach
when i'm doing a painting
it really does usually come from a photograph
from some image i've seen somewhere that really inspires me i have
uh... my father is so fun
nominal photographer actually mom does pretty good but that too and i have a
couple of friends that uh... once a professional photographer and uh...
actually that bird
is a photo of his birdthat he caught mid air
and um...
uh... my niece 0:26:17.299,0:26:21.010 had taken is beautiful photo this red flower
just allowed certain photographs
so and not
uh... obviously on are not uh...
and caspian to round painter i i'm lovin imaginer
and i love the feel
of what the paints can do with the imagery
island working on a professional bucket list in my retirement and uh... tom what
are we going to play golf
the only that you beloved handball what else is on the list of yet tennis uh...
we gotta go do some stuff about it
uh... we don't stop playing him and told him you know this summer on such
behavior may but some time to do this then ok art can have as much fun though
going back to work
so uh... yet when i first started thinking seriously about it i read it
was actually the year before i retired and i said i wouldn't go way beyond a
couple years and work this out with
my employer uh... good college black hawk college
when differently than my plans
and so i hit that proverbial wall and looked at some other aspects
and i had a plan
that i pulled out of files and it was pretty much this
teaching artist so i'm semi-retired
and uh... i teach a little bit still
literature at each public speaking
and i teach junior theatre uh... so i'm doing
i guess a different type of teaching
a different way but i'm doing more acting
and this is my definition retirement i think everybody has their own definition
prior needed decisions to do my artwork
as opposed to going into the business world to making a lot of money
as you mentioned before i
he was such contentment that it was visible to the people who know me
he could see
stress gone
out of my face even though
prior had no issues paying mortgage going on trips traveling all over
different places in the world going to sweden every year
and so forth
now that i can't do they're anymore
you you'd think i'd be more stressful
i'm not because i'm true to myself
the preceding program has been brought to you by a generous grant from the illinois art