I was cast as ‘Miami’ in Seduced and I was unbelievably excited to work with him again. I began to meet up a lot with Lane to discuss the show and my character in particular. I was worried because she didn’t seem like much on paper and I wondered if I’d be the best person for the job in my inexperience. Lane has a wonderful gift of never directly providing you with answers; he teaches by questioning and finding out what you really think, leading you to your own answer and boosting your confidence at the same time. His respect for the work and opinions of others is unparalleled; the most important thing I learned from him was the importance of collaboration in art. Although he clearly had his own creative vision for the play, he somehow managed to help everyone find their own and then melded everyone’s work into a cohesive whole. I found the core of “Miami” and together we made her into a wonderfully nuanced character. His ability to inspire a cast with nothing more than wisdom and work ethic led to the production being the most enjoyable I have ever acted in. There was one day in particular that really stands out for me. My character “Miami” was not allowed to touch my colleague Joe’s character “Henry” under any circumstances, due to his germaphobic nature. As we were rehearsing an important confrontation, I felt the urge to reach out and just poke “Henry”, thus breaking one of the most important rules established in the play. I didn’t, as I wasn’t sure what might happen and I didn’t have the confidence in my instincts to fine out. Somehow, Lane sensed that there was something I was holding back. He asked me if I had stopped myself from doing something, and when I explained he decided to test it out and see what happened. It became one of the most important moments in the play, but more importantly, it taught me the value of my creative instincts and gave me the confidence to experiment as an actor. The confidence I gained from this show was invaluable.
Recently I directed my first show and I have found my true love in theatre. Around the same time, my cast mate from Seduced was also directing and we were talking about our directorial inspirations when we both decided that the reason our shows were going so well is that we come from “The Lane Jackson School of Directing”. Simply being around Lane has taught me so much; from acting to directing, from the importance of academia and hard work to simply believing in myself. He is a remarkable person and one of the most natural teachers I have ever encountered. His love of knowledge and sharing and his innately kind nature makes him a wonderful person to be around, and he remains one of the few visiting students in our university to have made such a lasting impression that he is still often talked about to this day. I am honoured to call Lane a friend, and I look forward to the day when we will work together once again, because I know that there will always be more I can learn about theatre and about life from this incredible teacher.