We are thrilled and saddened to announce that Ghostbird Founders Brittney Brady and Phil Heubeck are leaving Fort Myers for the bright lights and mean streets of Los Angeles. Brittney has been accepted into the highly competitive and prestigious M.F.A. in Directing Program at the California Institute of the Arts, and she'll begin her studies in September. Phil has accepted a full-time position as a lead translator for SDI Media, a global translation service for film, television, and media, and he'll begin his duties there in August.
The Cal Arts M.F.A. Program in Directing is a rigorous program, where the student directors are continually in practice, directing in classes, studios, labs, and productions in one of the program's five theatres. The program emphasizes both practice and experimentation, especially with the introduction of film and other transmedial devices. "If I were to design my own M.F.A. program in directing, it would look a lot like that at Cal Arts," Brittney tells us. "It's going to be intense, and I'm sure I'll feel overwhelmed at times, but I've already connected with my cohort of directors, and it's a supportive and diverse community of amazing artists." The program emphasizes the experimental, but it's also grounded in the deepest and oldest traditions in theatre. "Let's just say I've been reading a ton of Shakespeare," says Brittney in regards to her summer reading list.
The program also provides opportunity to work internationally, and the faculty are all practicing, professional theatre artists. Such accomplishment and expectations may be intimidating, but Brittney reports that the focus is about the work itself. "Travis Preston leads the program. He's managed it so that while the demands are high, it's the art itself that matters. It's about doing the work and learning from it, figuring out what's working and what's not working," says Brittney. "It's a chance for me to see what I can do in a new and challenging environment."
Phil initially had landed a part-time gig with SDI Media as a free-lance translator. "Intially, it was something that I would be able to do at home, which had a lot of appeal for me." In talking with his new supervisor, Phil discovered there was an opportunity for a full-time position as a manager of team of free-lance translators. "They wanted someone who lived in Germany for at least two years, and having been born and raised there, it suddenly became a new opportunity for me." He traveled to Los Angeles to interview with SDI, and the day after the interview, he was offered the position, where he will be final reviewer and editor of the translations of American films and television and other media into German. "I'll have to commute now, but I can set my own hours to avoid the worst of the traffic," Phil says. "I'm really looking forward to using my writing skills and getting to work with media that I love."
Brittney and Phil will be living in a new trailer in a park near Antelope Valley, in the hills north of Los Angeles. "I can't wait to get out in the desert, the mountains," says Phil, "and just as easily, I'll be downtown checking out the galleries and the music scene."
"Yeah, it'll be a little like living in Sam Shepard country," Brittney notes, "but we've already met the nicest people at the park. We're looking at it all as a big adventure. Where it leads? I'm thinking it'll be good things, good work, and new roads."
And with that, we can only say, along with Dale and Roy and Buttermilk and Trigger, "Happy Trails to You."