Mia Torres | Episode 65

In tracking down some family history on her Dad's side, Mia's first desert experience was in Sedona, AZ. Later, frequent travels with theatre companies or just her own wanderlust seeking out a place to call home, Mia began using Joshua Tree National Park as her 're-set' location. She'd stop in on her way out of Southern California and again on her way back to enjoy the peace and quiet and get some balance and focus before heading back to the city.

Right out of high school Mia was hired to work for the California State Park Service and was stationed at Big Sur. There, she met some locals and five of them formed The Big Sur Players, creating dinner theatre on the deck of a restaurant. In this episode, Mia talks about how this experience led to her 30-year career in theatre as an actor, set designer and technical director. When she crossed the country to Brooklyn, there was less involvement in theatre and more focus on woodworking, creating organizational shelving for small city apartment dwellers.

At one point, Mia got an RV and made some trips to various locations around the U.S., to figure out where to lay down some roots. As her 50th birthday approached, she began thinking she wanted to be near family, but also wanted a slower place where it was peaceful and she could switch gears and pursue her new passion of furniture building. Enter Joshua Tree. Mia staked her claim at the Joshua Tree Lake RV & Campground, but a few weeks later was told she'd need to vacate for a few weeks due to the Joshua Tree Music Festival. Turns out Mia was in the perfect place as a new resident with a background in theatre production and construction and found herself right at home helping with some construction of the festival grounds, as well as assisting with food prep for the volunteers and ultimately, found her community here in the desert.

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