About Us: 
Kristy and Jared

This is the story of how we met. 
On the numbered pages below, you may find some other moments and images from our History. 
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Kristy's Story

So, in the fall of 2001 I was stage managing at the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati and Jared was assigned to be my assistant stage manager for the first "Off-Center"
production of the year. 


He was very hairy. That is to say that in addition to having a unruly mop of hair on his head, he also displayed a number of
facial hair choices...most of which 
I thought were...goofy.
My first impressions of Jared (beyond the facial hair) were that he was an incredibly nice guy. He was sweet and funny. We bonded through the process of the production, but I was convinced that he was not my type, and that he would never be interested in the "tough" "bossy" girl I thought I was. 
(I'm still bossy, by the way.)

 

We had to work together a lot and Jared quickly became one of my most trusted people at the theater during the fall and winter. I found myself confiding in him more: all of my frustrations, my hopes and my dreams. I was amazed at how comfortable I felt with Jared. But, I was confused as to why we often ended up gravitating to each other as we de-stressed at "Arnolds" in Downtown Cincinnati. The other interns saw more of what was going on between us than we did. They would ask us if we were dating, and after I said, "No!...We're just friends..." The more frequent these questions, the more I wondered if there was more going on with him...perhaps he was harboring 
a crush on me? 
I never really knew as he always seemed to be flirting with me. 
Never the less, I was confused.

 

By January, it was time for my annual birthday celebration and Shelly (my roomate) had organized a small surprise party for me at a local bar. She drove me to the bar, and to my surprise (duh) all the interns were there, including Jared. Rounds were bought for me, on the occasion of my birthday. 

My dear friend Shelly: roomate, chaperone, chauffer, and (now) self determined match-maker, decided to leave me at the bar with hopes that Jared would give me a ride home. She slipped out without me noticing and when Jared let me know that he was leaving for the night I became confused when I couldn't find Shelly. There I was, at this bar, in Kentucky, on my birthday, alone, with no way to get home. Needless to say that when Jared appeared and offered me a ride home you'd think that I'd be happy. I mean, here was my knight in shining armor offering to save me from this "place". But, no.  Shelly's attempt at forced chivlary was thwarted. I was too upset that she left me....ON MY BIRTHDAY...to find any romance in the situation. Jared (in his defence) did everything in his power to ammend the situation. He offered a ride home in his car, Gold Star Chili, and after we arrived at my apartment we ate our food to whatever program was on the Cartoon Network. He left, soon after making sure that I was "okay" and that was the end of my 25th birthday.

 

After this fiasco the next six months were torture. I finally admitted to myself that I really liked Jared (in a special way..hee hee). He was unlike any man I had ever met before and the situation grew steadily worse because I was pretty certain that he was interested in me, because the flirtations were endless, but the silly boy never did the right thing and asked me out. He stubbornly refused to return my affections. And I stubbornly refused to pursue him...as the proper Southern girl I am.

 

Until our internship ended. Who knew that was what he was waiting for.
Sadly, I had almost given up on Jared and thought that we were going to go our separate ways but was (again) lead to believe that some spark still existed between us when Jared and I went to dinner with a few other interns upon the last ETC event of the season. He said to me, as he pulled me aside in the parking lot with a wink and a smile, "We should get together sometime during the summer." To which I replied, "Yes. We should." I was extatic. My hopes for our relationship to blossom were renewed.

 

Two days later, Jared called to ask me out on a date.

 

Shelly was nearly as excited as I was that Jared and I were finally going out on a proper date and that this relationship had officially begun.

 

 

Jared's Story

In the late summer of 2001 I auditioned to be a part of the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati's Acting internship program as I had recently finished touring with Madcap Puppets. After making the cut (after a rough audition with Bob Rais) I showed up on our first work day for an orientation. I was introduced to Kristy as our "Directing Intern."  She had stayed on from the previous year after completing her acting internship. I thought that she didn't have the status that us lowly acting interns had, but she didn't quite have the authority that the full-time staff held, so she was somewhere in between. She was one of us, but she was also our "boss." I had this sense that she wasn't really "one of us", but that she was doing lots of things to convince us of otherwise.  My first impressions of Kristy weren't bad...but she wasn't really anyone I thought would be my friend.   

My first assignement at ETC was to function as a assistant stage manager in a production of "Love Child" by Luther Goins. The play was about urban teenage pregancy, and Kristy and I were slotted to be the support staff that would fuel the production as it moved from rehearsal to performance. As Kristy and I were the only interns working on the play we were required to forge a working relationship. In this relationship she was the boss, and I was the helper. She needed things to happen, and I was required to make them happen. Kristy and I were the only white people in an african american cast, with a african american director, and naturally (as stage management often does) we established a good working relationship.

The ice was broken one afternoon when our one male performer (Deondre) was absent from rehearsal. The director asked Kristy If I could step in for him through the stumble-through that the cast was doing that day. Everyone was suprised when instead of mumbling through his lines and blocking, I took the initiative to imitate his performance...exactly.  White boys weren't supposed to say the things that left my lips, and it took a good twenty minutes before everyone regained their composure. It was a performance that I was asked to repeat throughout the run, up to our closing cast party. I'd like to think that Kristy began to warm up to me after this moment, but perhaps It was I who began to warm up to her after seing her smile at such a silly young man.

As the internship drew on through September 11th, 2001 and into the Winter we were asked as an intern company if we wanted to write and perform a original work of our own creation. We called our project after the month in which we were to perform it:  The December Project.  It was during this project that I enjoyed my next collaboration with Kristy. What was different this time was that this was a true collaborative process and a time for each of us to be streched by the other; she as a director, and I as a playwright.  Pulling this show together stands out in my mind as the moment when I began to consider Kristy a trusted friend and a fellow artist. It was also during this time that we found ourselves naturally gravitating to each other and often times would end up sitting next to each other our local watering hole, Arnolds, consoling each other and sharing our woes and dreams.

It was at the surprise birthday party that her roomate, Shelly, threw that I found myself wondering what was going on with us. After the fun was dragged out of the evening I said my goodbyes to all that were left and after leaving the bar, and seing that Kristy's roomate (and ride) were nowhere to be found, I did what I thought was the responsible thing: I called to see how the birthday girl was going to get home. Needless to say I was very surprised when I discovered that Shelly did not intend to drive her roomate home. She suggested that this might be something that I should do. Confused, I broke the news to the birthday girl, and let her know that I would be driving her home that evening. As dashing as this offer sounds on paper, I had a very disapointed birthday girl on my hands, and I was not about to spoil her special day...but I had no idea how to do it. So I did what I do when I need a pick-me-up. I bought Kristy some food. Chili, in fact. This turned out to be a bad decision. And after we cleaned up the spilled chili on her couch I politely took my leave. I assured her that I just wanted to make sure that she was okay, and that she got home safely and to not worry about being embarrased about the whole thing, and that I hoped that she had a happy birthday in spite of it all.

Things were tense between Kristy and I until the end of our internship. I met her parents, and there was a stage kiss that we had to "work through..."  I was fiercely determined to not allow this awkward moment to be the gateway into a relationship, and I blinded myself to any affection or interest in getting to know her better from that point on. I believe that our fellow intern and friend Martha called me out on this point and told me, "You know, you should just let go and see what happens. Why fight against it, I think you should let happen whatever happens."

Determined to start this relationship right, (If I was going to do it at all) I finally gave in as the summer began. (Ahh, summer love...) Our internship was over, our chaotic lifestyle was ending, and I had nothing to do all summer. So, I invited myself over one night and suggested that we watch a few movies. I think I kissed her as I left her apartment that evening. And I've never looked back.