Monday, September 3, 2012

"Everybody Loves Barbara"

Barbara Grant
President, SAG/AFTRA NV

Ann Margaret, Shirley MacLaine, Bernadette Peters....all sassy, warm, and talented red heads. They remind me of one of our own Las Vegas red heads, Barbara Grant. I met Barbara about 12 years ago at a viewing of a Minnesota Vikings football game.  We are both Midwestern "transplants". When I meet other former Minnesotans we usually hit it off right away, as was the case with her.

She told me she was an actress, and had just done a Miller Lite/Wayne Newton commercial. She said she planned to get more involved with the Nevada Screen Actors Guild.
Barbara is one of those people that whenever her name comes up in a group it's immediately obvious she is very well liked. However, Barbara is so friendly and pleasant that some people mistake this for phoniness. She's not phony.....just from the Midwest. It's called "Minnesota nice", and it's genuine!

I had moved away from Las Vegas for some years. When I returned I found out she did exactly what she said that day years before! She is currently President of the Nevada SAG-AFTRA. She also chairs the Nevada Conservatory, which provides workshops and lectures by industry professionals. The Nevada Conservatory is a public service of the Nevada Local of SAG-AFTRA. You do not have to be a member of the union to join the conservatory. 

Barbara told me her life can be split into two books. "Book One", were her Minnesota years, studying and then graduating from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Theater. She then raised a daughter and ran her own business, "Arabian Fashions".

Then came "Book Two", when Barbara moved to Las Vegas with her former husband. The desert life and this city grew on her....quickly!

"My years in the Minnesota were good. I raised a daughter and had a business. When I moved to Las Vegas, I got to know some great people and started working in the performing arts community here. Before long I knew I'd truly found the next meaningful chapter of my life."  -Barbara Grant

Barbara is a talented actress and singer, (previously performing with the Nevada Opera Theater). She is also a costume designer, and has been her whole life. A part of the Las Vegas Shakespeare Company since it's inception, she was for several years costume designer for the company. She created elaborate, detailed and functional designs for various productions.

Her life took a turn a couple of years ago when she had a cardiac event that led to serious heart surgery and a long, slow recovery.

"When I came home from the hospital I could not get eat, walk, or even get out of bed. I was utterly helpless. Three of my friends, Karen, Jackie, and Kitty, took turns staying with me for several months until I recovered. My daughter Lisa was also there for me in many ways. These women kept me alive. Not only in body, but in spirit. I learned an important life lesson from this. If you let others help, you are giving them a gift, allowing them to make a difference for someone they love." She added, However, "I knew I was getting better when I started to want my house back to myself!" BG

Barbara is a member of the Las Vegas Center for Spiritual Living. She recommends it as a great place to learn and grow spiritually with a group of wonderful people. Religious Science (not to be confused with Scientology), is a correlation of laws of science, opinions of philosophy, and revelations of religion applied to human needs and the aspirations of man.

Between her involvement with the union, her church, friends, and the rest of the performing arts community, Barbara is busy but is careful to keep her life in balance.

"One of the most important things I have learned in life is balance and self care. Stress will steal your life from you one way or another if you let it. You must give yourself the gift of balance." BG

 Nevada SAG Conservatory - Click to download form.

1 comment:

  1. It was wonderful to learn so much more about Barbara. I didn't know she sang, nor about her design background. And how she triumphed over her medical condition is awe inspiring. This is a person who has talent and earned layers to her life. This shows us, we too can move onward\upward in the layering and enhancement of our lives~Special thanks to you Barbara, for sharing with Anna, and her growing subscriber list of readers, your personal lifestory~