If you are like me, when you hear the term lunch lady you immediately think of Adam Sandler and Chris Farley, but today’s guest on Uncorking a Story, Vanessa David, smashes that stereotype. But this episode really isn’t about lunch ladies—it’s the story of a woman who overcame struggles and heartache to find the love within.

Meet Vanessa David

Vanessa David graduated from Western Connecticut State University with a BA in Theatre in 1995 and spent over 20 years working in the theater as an actor, playwright and stage manager. Her acting credits include Ron Destro and Yoko Ono’s Hiroshima at Theatre for the New City in New York, A Cup of Coffee at Yale Repertory Theatre directed by Joe Grifasi, and As You Like It with Shakespeare on the Sound directed by Ezra Barnes. 

Vanessa’s plays have been performed across the country and several are published by Smith and Kraus. Having a theater career means having survival jobs, and Vanessa worked as a frozen yogurt slinger, sandwich artist, cake decorator, and eventually typecast herself as a server. Later in life she went back to school at Norwalk Community College and earned a Culinary Arts Certificate. When she got a job with the Darien School Lunch Program her culinary and theater skills came together for seven joy-filled years, and then it all came apart. The only thing she could do after that was write a book. Vanessa lives in Connecticut with her husband, Dave, and their dog, Apollo. 

Key Topics:

  1. How her mother’s insistence that she become famous impacted Vanessa from a young age.
  2. Vanessa’s history in the theater, including all the ups and downs.
  3. Why Vanessa turned to writing plays.
  4. How an interaction with a lunch lady in middle school impacted her decision to earn a Culinary Arts Certificate.
  5. How she reinvented what a lunch lady is and the important role she played in the lives of students.
  6. Why she wrote a memoir about her time as a lunch teacher and how it helped her heal some childhood wounds.

Connect With Vanessa David

Website: https://www.thelunchteacher.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thelunchteacher/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vanessadavidplaywright


Connect with Mike

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