Today we’d like to introduce you to Madylin Sweeten Durrie.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Madylin. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
As a young woman, living a normal life seemed trivial, useless, and impossible to me.
This lead to a quite adventurous lifestyle in my youth. By the time I was nineteen, I had lived the lives of many people. I was lucky enough to see the world, meet my heroes, and work on a prime time television series for nine years. Once my twenties came knocking at my door, I had spent so much time chasing adventures that I had forgotten to take care of my mental health.
At that time chasing adventures turned into chasing escapes. It’s a tale as old as time, a bright young woman starts chasing booze and boys to fill the empty holes in her soul. My life went on, directionless, like this for a while. Then I met a man, a wonderful man, who saw all my flaws and embraced them. Along with him came his boisterous theater company the Loft Ensemble. There I made lasting friendships that turned my life around.
I learned a valuable lesson that I always try to impart on young actors and professionals: you take on the attributes of the people that you spend the most time with, so choose wisely. Now, I am the Production Manager and Set Designer at the Loft Ensemble, the Producer at The Blank Theatre, a graduate from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising with a degree in Interior Design, and a wife to the most caring man I’ve ever met.
I will be forever grateful to my friends and husband for teaching me that responsibility can be sexy and fun. I sincerely hope that any young person who might read this will learn that their path doesn’t have to be neat and tidy to lead to contentment.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Like any human on this crazy planet, I’ve had my struggles. I was much less prone to notice them however before the premature death of my brother Sawyer. My brother was a funny young man who also hated a lot of things. One day he was just different, he didn’t like anything anymore. It happened fast, over a few weeks, and then he was gone. He took his own life, and we were blindsided.
I can’t remember if I had ever had a serious conversation about suicide with anyone before that, and I don’t think he had either. Maybe if he had known it was treatable, he would have asked for help, or maybe he would not have, but those spiraling thoughts are what really makes that particular mode of death so difficult. Eventually, I realized that my brother would never get to marry his soulmate, have a career, or live up to his full potential.
That was my job now, and I was going to do my best to do everything I could to live up to the man I know he would have been. It took a long time, to grieve him but the pain eventually turned into a drive to let him live through me. After three years of sobriety, a degree in a field that I’m passionate about, and a budding family, I know I’m well on my way to making him proud.
Please tell us about Loft Ensemble.
The Loft Ensemble is a 501(c)3 non-profit theater company in Sherman Oaks, CA. We focus on fostering new talent. Our company is comprised of 50+ members. All production is done in-house from Set Design, Lighting Design, Makeup Design, and Costume Design. We specialize in young voices with a unique point of view.
We are very well known for our horror plays, where we explore how much blood we can fit into a stage production, and for our inventive Shakespeare interpretations. As a company, we are very proud of our fearless Artistic Director Adam Chambers, who won the 2018 LA Valley Theatre Artistic Director of the Year Award. You can see me in our upcoming production of Macbeth.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
One of my favorite childhood memories is memorizing a comedy bit from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour and performing it for my mother. I was rolling around on the floor, making my mother hysterically laugh. I will never forget the joy I felt making her feel joy.
- Address: 13442 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
- Website: loftensemble.org
- Phone: (818) 616-3150
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @loftensemble
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/loftensemble
Emma Latimer – Stage photography, Victoria Anne Greenwood – Stage photography