Local Profile | "4 Questions with Rebecca Ballard"

Where and how did you grow up?
I grew up in a small farming town northwest of Dallas. When I lived there the population was 1200. Now it is a huge bedroom community full of half-million dollar homes. Who’d of thought? But I grew up in a country setting, graduating from high school with the same kids I’d started with in first grade. My home town was, however, a very conservative place so that my rather “colorful” family and the frequent escapades of the Ballards were often fodder for gossip. But – oh well – we kept them all entertained.

How did your upbringing affect what you do for a living now?
I’m now retired from a long career as a professional actress. I also paid a few dues as an Executive Assistant and Office Manager. Having hardly ever made a living wage as an actress and writer I often paid the rent by working in an office.

I was brought up to believe that I could do and/or be anything I chose to be, which was good because I decided to become an actress when I was four years old and pursued it from then on. My parents allowed me and my four siblings to evolve in our own direction, not pushing us to conform to any preconceived notions nor to become little replicas of one of them. Among the five of us the following careers blossomed: an actress/writer/artist, poet, song writer, gourmet cook, Renaissance Faire performer, labor & delivery nurse, rock and roll star, business owner, Marine, Harley biker, Navy MP, Army Ranger, EMT. We’ve all had several careers (or identities depending on one’s point of view). I am so grateful for the freedom my parents allowed us and that they (particularly my mom) encouraged us, supported us, and paid our bail as we pursued our diverse interests.

What brought you to Rockport-Fulton (and how does it differ from where you lived previously)?
I moved here in April 2013 to be with my mother who has been a Rockport resident for eight years. Rockport differs from the Austin area in so many ways. I longed to live again in a small town, having grown up in one and raised my children in another. In the city I got bruised by the traffic, the crowds, the noise, and the impersonal gazes of the people I encountered. I began to feel isolated and that I did not “fit”; I could not belong. Here in Rockport I am free of all of those irritants and I discovered a place of warmth and welcome, a people who engage easily and personally, just the sort of spiritual community I’d longed for, and a receptive venue for artists of every ilk.

What are your passions?
I am passionate about the written word – literature, poetry, prose and fiction, screenplays, scripture, stage plays, philosophy, essays, speeches, political treatises. I am passionate about writing, about living in a country in which we are free to write what is in our hearts and minds. I am passionate about the prospect that writing (and theater) can alter a person’s perspective, change them internally, transform their dreams and hopes, and redirect their life paths. Also I am passionate about God – Spirit – Truth and the ongoing journey we travel in order to dwell ever closer to that reality, and grasp ever more firmly some kind of intellectual and intrinsic understanding of the numinous. And I am passionate about Johnny Depp. I want him to be mine!

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