I have worked as a actor, singer and dancer for over 50 years.  Along the way I have  also worked as a Director of Music at a church, an educator at various major universities.  I have worked in Dept of Corrections, State of California and once worked in the “Motor Room” for Symplicity Pattern Company, New York (1968).

My parents families crossed the border at El Paso, Texas about 1919. They were fleeing the unrest in Mexico at that time.  Both families landed in copper mining towns in Arizona but they never knew each other until years later in Los Angeles.  

My parents met at Roosevelt High School became “sweethearts…”as my Mom would tell it. They married in the 1940s.

In May of 1947, my dad was a young obstetrician and his wife was in labor.  He was getting exceedingly nervous waiting at the hospital and so his friends took him to a baseball game.  One of his colleagues would call between innings to find out how his wife was doing.  I arrived  ”home” sometime between the 7th and the 9th inning. It was an Angels game.

I grew up near Tommy’s Hamburger Stand – the Original Tommy’s, near Rampart and Temple.  There used to be a bright blue and yellow Richfield Gas Station at the corner, across the street.  I loved the colors of that gas station and remember driving around it on my blue Schwinn bike in the 50s. 

My first teacher, Miss Lucy Drew Austin, ran a preschool in the neighborhood. There,  I studied piano and ballet along with  reading, writing and arithmetic.  Miss Austin cast me as the “innkeeper” in our Christmas pageant.  My first cue was , “..are you the keeper of this inn?”.  My response was, “Yes I am sire, how may I serve you?”. I remember having a difficult time remembering my cue and line, but I still remember it today.

In High School, I joined the theatre club, the Genesians.   Yes, St Genesius is the patron saint  of Actors.  I still ask for his help.

In my senior year, along with History, Chemistry, Civics and so forth, I was assigned to direct  Winnie the Pooh.  My scenic/tech designer, Gilberta Avila (no relation),  figured out how to make it appear that Winnie the Pooh got stuck in a hole in a tree after eating too much honey – all on stage.  It was great and got a good laugh.  We are still friends to this day and I am still grateful to her for her invention.

In High School I was also cast in As You Like it (Rosalind).  I loved it and the rest is, as they say, theatre history.

                                         “You are as good as anyone on the bench”,   Amelia G. Avila