Jessica Laskey


About This Author

Jessica Laskey is a freelance writer and professional actress who has lived and worked in Sacramento, San Francisco, Dallas, New York City and Paris. She is also the co-founder of Theater Galatea and Indomita Press.

Articles by this author

Unique Lens

Dianne Poinski admits much of her career has been serendipitous.

Consider her introduction to the art form she’s worked in for most of her life.

A self-described “book worm and math kid,” Poinski didn’t try anything artistic until she took a black-and-white photography course in college to satisfy an art requirement. Her passion for photography was born.

In the 1990s, Poinski started taking portraits of her children with a Pentax K1000 camera, a gift from her husband. She took a hand-coloring class at The Darkroom, fell in love with the process, and thought about selling her work at art festivals.

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Career Leap

Hard work and months of rehearsal come together when Sacramento Ballet’s Second Company performs its spring showcase May 11–12 at Hiram Johnson High School Auditorium.

Second Company was started two years ago by Jill Krutzkamp as a way to give dancers ages 18–21 intensive training before leaping into the professional dance world.

The company encompasses the Trainee Project for promising students who pay tuition, and SB2 for dancers who receive scholarships and stipends.

“Our mission is to get them jobs, help them get to know themselves more and have time to figure out if this is really what they want to do,” Jill says. “Second Company gives them that pre-professional leg up. We want to create the best dancer we can so they’re more marketable.”

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Life Coach

Kids on Foy Reynolds’ YMCA basketball teams learn more than sports skills. They learn life lessons.

“I coach by the Y’s core values: respect, responsibility, caring and honesty,” Reynolds says. “I start getting kids in second grade all the way through seventh, which is an important time in their life. They play hard and they win, but they earn it because they work hard. I bring out the best in a person. That’s my job.”

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Roll Over Beethoven

You’ll probably never meet anyone more passionate about music than Benjamin J. McClara.

The founder and artistic director of Sacramento Preparatory Music Academy, a community-based education program, gets choked up when he talks about music.

He shares that passion with hundreds of students and community musicians in academy lessons and performances.

“Our mission is to provide lifelong access to music education and a place where students can come and study music with professionals,” McClara says. “You don’t really get that in school.”

The academy offers private and group lessons at Midtown’s E. Claire Raley Studios for the Performing Arts in piano, guitar, ukulele, woodwinds and voice under McClara, Michael Dale and Anthony Tavianini.

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