My husband Nathan Hartswick and I launched our business, Spark Arts, just over a year ago. We offer high-quality classes and lessons in theater, comedy and music to students of all ages. We started an improv comedy troupe, I joined the board of the South End Arts and Business Association (SEABA). Nathan and I run VermontComedyClub.com, a booking agency that produces standup, improv and musical comedy throughout the Northeast. We co-produced the Green Mountain Comedy Festival, which grew from 5 shows in 2011 to nearly 20 shows in 2012 featuring 100 local comedians. I worked with Lyric Theatre Company on The Full Monty and Hairspray, and performed this summer in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change! at Lost Nation Theater in Montpelier.
- Board of Directors of the South End Arts & Business Association (SEABA)
- Volunteered as co-chair of the performing arts committee for the South End Business Association
- Coach the Connecting Youth (CY) improv team at Champlain Valley Union High School and working with interns from South Burlington High School’s Big Picture program.
- Produced free improv workshops for kids and teens during the Green Mountain Comedy Festival
- Volunteered as vocal coach for 2011 Girls Rock Vermont Camp and area productions
Favorite part of job? I love the moment when my voice or acting students have an unexpected breakthrough. I get to spend time with my husband, and be surrounded by the things I love most in life: artistic people, music, theater and laughter.
Most inspiring mentor? High school teachers: John Padden, Nancy Hartswick, Eileen Rossetti, Kathleen Fields and Jesse Culp.
Who is your living hero? Audra McDonald. She is one of the most talented performers of our time, and has made the transition from opera to musical theater, from musical theater to TV/film, and back to musical theater.
Favorite downtime activity? Downtime? What’s downtime? Being an audience member in a theater production. I love to walk from my apartment in the North End down to Church Street with my husband, Nathan.
We make our own small getaways every day. Our studio space on Flynn Ave is a short distance from Oakledge Park, and my husband and I like to walk down to the water together. Sometimes we pop into the Forever Young Treehouse while we’re there.
Favorite social network? I am secretly addicted to Facebook – but I always prefer face-to-face interaction.
Favorite website? The ones I visit every day are thedailypuppy.com and nataliedee.com.
Vermont Business Person you would most want to network with? The two legends of theater and film hiding out in the woods of Vermont: William H. Macy and David Mamet.