Art in Darkness Cast

Michael MarlinMichael Marlin
Creator & Producer

Michael Marlin (aka Marlin) produced his first show at age nine, ran away with the circus eight years later and made his national debut on television four years after that with a ground breaking act that combined talking comedy and juggling that played throughout the US and in six European countries. His work influenced a generation of jugglers who followed but to remain a pioneering artist he left his career at its height to reinvent himself by living in a tree house for five years with no electricity. This was the genesis of LUMA that was the first illuminated theatrical touring production in America now celebrating 20 years. Like his comedy-juggling act before, Marlin’s work has influenced other ‘light shows’ that have followed. “Art is either revolutionary or it is plagiarism.” His is also a featured actor in the soon to be released ‘Christmas Dreams’ the inventor of the world’s only ‘coiled lasso’ the Slingerzz, a cartoonist, writer and author of “The Contemplative Navel” a book of illustrations and ‘foolosophy.’

Emmanuel EspinozaEmmanuel Espinoza
Cast Member

Emmanuel Espinoza from Tyler, Texas is a miracle story in the sport of baton twirling. Embarking on his twirling journey at 20, he began competing at the age of 22. His astonishing talent resulted in a top 3 finish in the pairs event at the International Cup. Emmanuel has been a feature twirler at Fullerton College, where he majored in video editing and production, and at Tyler Junior College where he studied music and theatre. He truly enjoys promoting his twirling student’s growth and development and is fond of creating rhythmic and artistic twirling routines. He is a mentor and friend to many due to his gracious personality and quirky sense of humor.

Kristina HowellKristina Howell
Cast Member

Kristina Howell has entertained enormous crowds of enthusiastic sports fans, as the Majorette Captain of the University of Georgia. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in advertising, and a continued passion for teaching young athlete’s her craft. Beginning her baton twirling career at the age of 5, she competed throughout her youth and young adulthood, winning numerous state titles. Hailing from Monroe, Georgia, Kristina emanates a spirit of friendly hospitality and appreciates the talents of others and the magic that each individual brings to our shared experiences.

Melissa McBrideMelissa McBride
Cast Member

Melissa McBride grew up twirling in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Competing from the age of 9, she went on to become the feature twirler for the Northern State University Marching Wolves. She has won numerous awards in the National Baton Twirling Association and is also a certified judge. Melissa is a thoughtful team player and is always eager and courageous in learning new things. Adventurous, she loves observing wildlife, and celebrates the beauty of nature everywhere she travels.

Ai NotoharaAi Notohara
Cast Member

Ai Notohara, from Yokohama City, Japan, has spent a lifetime mastering the art of movement. She competed in her first All Japan Baton Twirling Championships when she was 4 years old and eventually represented Japan in the World Championships. She holds national titles in Japan and in Canada. Ai dances professionally in New York, and has been cast in elite productions, including Cirque Du Soleil’s, KA. Ai’s sunny and kind disposition is as inspiring as her exquisite dance stylings.

Rachelle WhiteRachelle White
Cast Member

Rachelle White began twirling baton at the age of 3 and was competing in her home state of California by the time she was 5 years old, She accumulated many state and regional titles throughout her competitive career, including National team awards. She mastered her craft and thrilled the crowds with her multiple baton skills at Sacramento State University, where she was the feature twirler. Rachelle is a vibrant, embracing friend to all, and is celebrating this year as one of, “new beginnings”. Her personal motto is, “life is precious, live it to the fullest”.

Gina WilsonGina Wilson
Cast Member

Gina Wilson exudes strength. She began twirling at the age 4. After winning various California State and Regional titles she was severely injured in an auto accident, when she was 16 years old. Later in life she discovered and excelled at flying trapeze, and the physical strength she developed enabled her to begin twirling again. Gina’s love of family is evident as she makes every cast mate feel at home by organizing and cooking delightful feasts. A motto she lives by is, “challenge yourself, the best things in life are worth the risk!”

David Starkey
Prop Manager

David Starkey, a descendant of the Chippewa tribe, has been drawn to the lure of baton twirling for a lifetime. Fascinated by spinning objects he taught himself how to twirl and toss with great creativity and eventually entered his first formal competition in 2017. Aside from twirling, David is passionate about the environment. He and his lovely wife, Mari, travel the United States in a motor home, planting flower seeds and feeding the birds. Their efforts contributed to the California Super Bloom in 2017.

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