This interview with Marsha forms part of an ASMSG Blog Hop currently ongoing so please take some time to check out all of the other amazing blogs included in this hop
My interview is with Christoph Fischer on March the 24th.
Marsha began her professional career as a scrub nurse in open-heart surgery, but her gypsy spirit wouldn't leave her alone. At 23 she walked away from that life to travel and seek new adventures - and she found them all over the world! She worked as an art director, stage manager and film editor, but realized (quite by accident!) that she had a knack for selling creative projects. She then produced marketing films and elaborate Corporate Theatre presentations for IBM, Coca-Cola, Revlon, Georgia-Pacific and Domino's Pizza among others.
This led the way to developing and producing a full theatrical production, "Letters From the Front," the only professional play to tour American military bases around the world. Her travels took her to Germany, England, Belgium, Italy, Spain, South Korea, Japan, Guam and the Indian Ocean, plus virtually every major city in the states including those in Alaska and Hawaii - all with her kid in tow.
This heartfelt show touched hundreds of thousands of lives, toured 15 years and was the first play ever to perform in the Pentagon. The daunting process of getting this never-been-done-before production off the ground and onto a worldwide stage gave her a keen awareness of what it takes to overcome life's obstacles and find the miraculous in the commonplace.
This one-of-a-kind theatrical production and dozens of award-winning documentaries were produced alongside her writer/director husband, Robert Rector, under the banner of Rector-Roberts Productions.
Marsha is currently working on her second Mutinous Baby Boomer book and loves to hear from other mutinous Boomers about what they liked about her book.
Below is my interview with Marsha - enjoy
I understand that you began your working career as an operating room scrub nurse Marsha. I just was interested to know what prompted you to train as a nurse in the first place? I know as a nurse myself I had a good reason for becoming a nurse, so this intrigues me.
I see you have traveled extensively across the world. Have you a favourite place to be or a favourite view, or both?
HA! Your question makes my brain explode with images! So many beautiful places I've been fortunate enough to visit! Alaska, Hawaii, the Rocky Mountains and the Swiss Alps, the rolling hills of an English countryside and the stark and dramatic landscape of the Dolomiti mountains in Italy. I could go on and on! But, there were two places that stand out in my mind, not only because of their beauty, but because I had never heard of them until we were assigned to go there. One is a little island just off of the northern tip of Sardinia called La Maddalena. Basically a little Mediterranean paradise! The other is on the opposite side of the globe in the Indian Ocean called Diego Garcia. Although it is a military supply base for that part of the world, it's also a wildlife sanctuary. Exotic and lush.
Favorite view? Standing on the Rock of Gibraltar: the Mediterranean on the left, the Atlantic Ocean on the right, Spain behind me and Africa in front of me. It was glorious!
How did you end up traveling to so many places?
My husband, Bob Rector, and I developed a Broadway-style theatrical production called "Letters From The Front." I was the Producer and he was the writer and Director. We toured American military bases all over the world, entertaining the troops, their families and veterans for over 15 years. It became known as The World's Most Decorated Play. And I can tell you that our audiences were the best, most appreciate audience a Producer could ever hope for!
Your book is described as a series of parables, do you think others will relate to these memoirs? Or, is it an outline of your own personal journey?
Well, Scarlett, my book has been out for over a year and the response I've received from my readers has assured me that others do relate to my "personal journey" very much. I'll give you an example of a few of the things my readers have said on Amazon:
"This book is a more than a collection of memories; it is almost a how-to book on positive thinking."
"This book is uplifting, well written and you feel after reading that the writer is now your friend and you know her so well!"
"She will let you deep into her life, her soul, in a way I've never read before."
"Marsha's unique storytelling style as it allows you insight into her own epiphanies and will ultimately light the way to your own."
"Her style of writing makes you feel as if you're sitting with a trusted friend, sharing coffee and life lessons."
As you can imagine, it has touched me very much to know that my writing has had this kind of effect on my readers. One of the latest reviews called it "Soul Candy!" I love that!
You strike me Marsha, as a "Glass half full" sort of gal. Have there been many times where you became the flip side of this, and the "Glass half empty" ? Do you feel like you are intrinsically wired this way?
Very insightful question, Scarlett. Yes, I am definitely a "Glass half full" sort of gal and, yes I do think I was born with a tendency to be that way. But, of course, I've had my "Glass half empty" moments like everyone. In fact, my book starts out in one of those periods. As I started getting older, I felt I had lost the twinkle in my eye and the sass in my walk and I missed them. The journey I went on was definitely spiritual, but what I really did was go in search of my "twinkle!" The stories that are often called parables are really me remembering life lessons I had forgotten. This time I wrote them down. And one of the biggest themes in my life is that happiness doesn't just happen to you, you have to choose to be happy. When I have my "Glass half full" moments, I choose to feel differently. Happiness is a choice. I think that's one of the reason people gravitate to my book, deep down we all know that's true.
May I ask how you met, and ultimately fell in love with your husband? You sound like kindred spirits, Do you also believe that we all have a soulmate?
No question that Bob and I are kindred spirits. For the full story - read my book! But the short version is that I met Bob on the set of a movie he was directing. It was literally love at first sight. We had one date and moved in together. This was way before this was the common thing to do and everyone thought we had lost our minds! No, just our hearts… We have been joyfully together for over 38 years. He chooses to be happy, too! Do I believe that we all have a soulmate? The romantic in me likes to think so.
Do you have any plans to do any script writing? As, I see Bob was the scriptwriter for the play you produced "Letters from the Front," that was so successful.
No, I'll leave the script writing to him. It takes a different set of writing skills to construct a script. However, I'm very good at reading an audience and one of the great things about producing a play is that when you take it out on the road you can see what works and what doesn't. It's all there when you watch the audience react. When we were touring "Letters From The Front" I would often give Bob feedback and he would rewrite a scene slightly to make it work better. We have a wonderfully collaborative professional relationship.
Can you tell us what you are working on currently, what your WIP is. Also do you have any other plans in the pipeline?
Actually Scarlett, we feel it's time for "Letters From The Front" to return. When we stopped touring several years ago we had been on the road for fifteen years and were exhausted. Now that so many of our troops are coming back home, we feel it's time once again to get the show up and touring American military bases again. It was always described as "healing" (as well as entertaining!) and we know it's needed now more than ever. So I'm putting my Producer hat back on again!
Oh, but I almost forgot to tell you, we've just completed the production of the audiobook of my Mutinous Boomer book and it will be released in a few weeks by ACX/Audible through Amazon and iTunes! I'm really excited about it because my dear friend, Della Cole, who starred in "Letters From The Front" for years is the narrator and she does a wonderful job. She's a top notch voice-over talent and I'm very proud of it.
You've obviously had quite a few different careers so far. What has been your favorite? And was there another direction you thought of making over the years that fell by the wayside?
Favorite by far is being a theatrical producer. There's nothing in the world like looking across a sea of faces, smiling, laughing, feeling moved by what you have pulled together. It grand! Another direction? Acting. Early on I had several people say why didn't I become an actress, but my desire was always to be back stage, behind the curtains. Like The Great And Powerful Oz!
Will you be producing any works of fiction in the foreseeable future?
I don't think I'm a fiction writer. Writing about real life seems to be what I'm cut out for and I do intend to write another Mutinous Boomer book, maybe two and make it a trilogy. I do love to write, but my gypsy nature is definitely calling me these days and I'm ready to travel again. We'll see if I can do both!
Where and what would you like to see yourself doing in ten years time?
In a house on Lake Como in northern Italy. When you asked me earlier about favorite spots on the globe, I've been to a lot of them, but northern Italy won my heart. How's that for a grand dream!
Marsha Roberts is the author of "Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer and her Parable of the Tomato Plant" and it can be found on Amazon at:
Marsha can also be found all over the web at these links:
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March 18, 2014
Lillian Roberts http://lilianroberts.blogspot.com
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