PaperCity Magazine

October 2014 - Houston

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WORDS BY STEVEN HEMPEL. PRODUCED BY MICHELLE AVIÑA. PHOTOGRAPHY JACK THOMPSON. James M. Scott, 31, Lamar High School theater director Is anyone really from Marfa? My grandparents moved to Marfa from Pecos, Texas, in 1964. My mother was in the second grade at the time. My grandfather was the Episcopal minister and owned and operated the Big Bend Sentinel [newspaper]. My grandmother was a Spanish teacher and librarian at Marfa High School, and all of my aunts, uncles and brothers are graduates of Marfa High School. Most of my family still lives in west Texas. How growing up in Marfa influenced you. As a teenager, it was rough. It's hard to be different, weird and artistic in a small town. Luckily, I didn't have to change to fit in. The town experienced a renaissance during my last years of high school. As it became the art Mecca it is today, I suddenly found myself surrounded by transplants from all over the nation and globe who wanted to make films, write plays and create music. I never thought I would stay in Marfa after school, but I ended up staying for another 10 years. West Texas' influence on me is undeniable. I can't explain how blue the sky can be on a chilly winter day when there isn't a single cloud. I still dream of the wind blowing across the golden desert grasses in the pastures around my family home. When you are connected to a place in a spiritual way, the desire to return never really leaves you. I am Marfa. Your trajectory to Lamar High School as theater director. I have an undergraduate degree in theater and a graduate degree in history from Sul Ross State University. Go, Lobos! I'm a third-generation alumni. My grandmother and my mother are both graduates. I spent the last decade working in the restaurant business, then I wanted to put my degree to use, so I started looking for a job teaching history. I guess I must give off a naturally theatrical vibe, because no one has ever wanted to talk to me about teaching history. Every school, principal, HR person I met would divert the conversation back to my theater background. I talked to Lamar High School about teaching history, and the next thing I know, they called me in for a theater interview. The rest is history. I am so thankful to teach at the best high school in Houston, public or private. The theater program and what your students mean to you. Lamar Theatre is a full-fledged theater machine. We have two acting companies and a tech crew of about 60 students (Loading Dock Production Company). We also teach basic, intermediate and I.B. (International Baccalaureate) theater courses. The highlight of our year was putting on The LIVES IN LOLLIPOPS&CRISPS LOVE TRUE A LOVINGLY CURATED HOME PACKED WITH ART AND EPHEMERA … A CHARMING AND CREATIVE COUPLE, ONE THE DIRECTOR OF AN ESTEEMED LOCAL THEATER PROGRAM, THE OTHER CHARGED WITH OVERSEEING THE LOOK OF RETAIL POWERHOUSE ANTHROPOLOGIE. ADD TO THE MIX A MORTICIAN'S LICENSE, A MASTER'S DEGREE IN HISTORY, A DOLL COLLECTION THAT DATES BACK TO CHILDHOOD AND SOME GENUINELY TOUCHING MOMENTS, AND IT'S ALMOST LIKE READING A SCRIPT FOR WES ANDERSON'S NEXT PROJECT RATHER THAN PEERING INSIDE THE LIVES OF BRIAN NEAL SENSABAUGH AND JAMES M. SCOTT. BONDED BY A COMMITMENT CEREMONY IN JAMES' HOMETOWN OF MARFA AT THE MARFA HILL HOUSE IN SEPTEMBER 2011, THE TWO SEEM PERFECTLY IN SYNC. ONE PUSHES, THE OTHER PULLS, WITH A SORT OF EFFORTLESS IF OFF-BEAT SYNCHRONICITY. WE SPOKE TO THIS THOUGHTFUL, CREATIVE, COUPLE ABOUT LIFE, LOVE AND THE PURSUIT OF THE PERFECT ASSEMBLAGE OF FOUND OBJECTS. A showcase of silhouettes collected for years by Brian Sensabaugh. Vintage lamp from Metro Retro Furniture, with a '70s shade from Nicoletti's. Vintage credenza from Anthropologie. Vintage orange Royal Haeger pottery, circa 1919. The resin goat, Romeo, is from Saks Fifth Avenue's cashmere campaign.

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