Today we shine the “Spotlight” on Keshia Laffin, a gifted musician and member of our Quick As A Wink Board of Directors!
Keshia’s QAAW involvement dates back to early 2014. “My first experience with Quick As A Wink was when I filled in for the flute player in the Oklahoma pit band,” she says. “I was doing my Education Degree with Katrina Salmon at the time, and she was the music director for the show. She asked me if I would fill in for a show, and I hesitantly said yes. I had played in pit band during a high school show, but I hadn’t ever been involved with a community theatre. But am I ever glad I said yes!”
Since her very first QAAW show, Keshia has made many treasured memories and become a devoted member of our Quick As A Wink team. “I was very lucky during Oklahoma to meet some amazing people, who have become some of my closest friends,” she says. “I am so happy and blessed to have the opportunity to still be making memories with them! Had I not been given the opportunity to play in the pit, I would have missed out on these great friendships! Since Oklahoma, I have played flute in the pit band for Secret Garden, Cinderella, and Annie. I am a member on the Board of Directors. I really enjoy being a part of the behind the scenes planning and decision making. I was also involved in the planning process for the 2014 Winkies and played in the pit band during the Winkies show!”
Of course, Keshia was a fan of theatre long before her initial involvement with Quick As A Wink. “My first show ever was at Horton High School playing in the pit band for Fiddler on the Roof," she says. "There is something special about your first show, but it really wasn’t until I played in the pit band for Peter Pan - put on by Stage Prophets - that I caught the 'theatre bug' and knew theatre had to be a part of my life. Since then, I have played in the pit for both Quick As A Wink and Stage Prophets shows.”
For Keshia, one of the best things about live theatre is the almost magical quality that live shows possess. “There is nothing quite like live theatre,” Keshia says. “It is truly a magical experience for both those involved and the audience members. It’s hard to believe you start out as a group of strangers, for the most part, with various roles - from the characters on stage, to backstage crew and pit band - and by show time, everyone has worked together to put on a fabulous performance. Everyone brings their own talents, and I’m always amazed what we can pull off. It’s so fun to perform for an audience and feed off of their energy. I love hearing how happy and impressed people are by the end of the show.”
Keshia’s passion for the arts is not confined to her QAAW involvement alone; it is also evident in both her work and personal life. “I am an elementary [school] music teacher and teach at three local schools, which keeps me very busy!” she says. “When I’m not teaching or volunteering my time in theatre, I really enjoy spending time with my friends and family. When I can find the time, I also love to read, scrapbook, or do some crafty projects and be creative. Pinterest also helps pass the time!”
Keshia is very proud of the theatre involvement she has had so far and is always looking forward to her next challenge. “I am really fortunate in my life because I have found my passion in teaching and love teaching elementary music,” she says. “I have also found happiness in musicals. Volunteering my time to play in pit bands is something I really enjoy. It is something I do just for me. I love how a show can thrill an audience and leave them feeling ecstatic. I love meeting new people and having everyone come together to showcase their talents. Someday I would like to play in the pit band again for Fiddler on the Roof and have the opportunity to experience it as an adult. I love musical theatre, and I look forward to playing in any future shows and perhaps challenging myself to take on some different roles off stage!”
Thank you for all your contributions to Quick As A Wink, Keshia! We are very lucky to have you and look forward to continuing to work with you!
Do you know someone you believe deserves to be featured in our weekly “Spotlight on …” segment? We are always looking for nominations! Let us know who you’d like to see and we may feature them next. New “Spotlight on …” stories are posted every Wednesday.