While I don’t exactly come from a family of performers, I do have a bit of a performance linage. My mother was fourth in the nation in figure skating, which I literally JUST found out… Way to keep the cool stuff a secret, MOM! But anyway, her paternal grandparents were in Vaudeville, which was a live variety theater spectacular.
In the Roaring Twenties, they were on the Pantages circuit, one of the largest and most influential in North America. I always loved hearing their stories as told by family members while I was growing up.
My great-grandfather, Merrill, was the lead trombone player in the band, and my great-grandmother, Sylvia, was a dancer. Her most famous act was where she would do acrobatics on the back of a little person who rode a unicycle. Yeah. I know, right?
While I was in Criss’ Cirque du Soliel show, my grandfather passed away, and I inherited the Vaudeville photo albums. They were tattered and falling apart, and so when I was backstage after my act, I set about restoring them.
Here are some of my favorites: