About Ayana Sala Baugh
Well, let’s see…I was born on December 5, 1975 in Jamaica, Queens New York. I began writing letters to God and poetry when I was about 13 years old to escape the terrors of domestic violence occurring in my home. Writing allowed me to express all of myself. I was a very shy person around people I didn’t know. However, when I would write, I would let it all out on paper. I began writing poetry, then I moved into short stories. I write for all kinds of genres. Writing is my true passion.
My first name “Ayana” means beautiful flower and my middle name “Sala” means loving and tender. When I was a child, I didn’t like my names too much. I guess it’s because kids and teachers would always mispronounce my name and not care that they were doing it. I’m called, “Yanie” by my family. The only time my mom would call me “Ayana” is when I got into trouble. I always got frustrated when I couldn’t find, my first name, at least, on one of those name key chains, mugs or refrigerator magnets. Silly, huh? I even “Googled” my first and middle names together a few times and found absolutely no other person with it. Then I thought to myself, “Hey, I must be something special and maybe my name is supposed to be famous.” That sounds so funny when I think about it. Go figure, my mom told me that initially my first name was going to be “Deidre” and my middle name was going to be “Monique.” She said that the reason she named me “Ayana” was because she used to ride the subway trains in Brooklyn, New York in the 1970’s and she used to see the posters of the “Subway Queens of New York.” One of the Queens’ names was, “Ayana” Williams and she decided “Ayana” would be my name. My middle name was given to me by my mother's cousin. I learned to appreciate my name as I got older. The name given is so important, I think.
I am a kid at heart. My first job was as a host of children's parties at McDonald's. I was 16 years old and I remember one of the parents giving me a $20.00 tip my first night out! I wad so elated by that. I can be a bit quirky at times. My husband says I'm loud, but I equate is as my being expressive! I am very social and I enjoy being around people. It makes me feel good to have a nice heart to heart talk with folks.
I pray and believe that children, and even adults, will love these books. They are meant to tug at your heart’s strings, encourage values and character building, and give you a warm feeling while and after reading them. I thank God for creating Loopiethotamus for me. Loopiethotamus has a soul and is larger than life! He has so much to teach us. I know you will fall “paws over hoofs” for him like me!
Playwright, Producer, Director
As a playwright, producer and director, I seek to learn from, teach, uplift and strengthen a diverse group of people, as well as execute a product that is sure to speak to those directly and indirectly involved. Whether it is a children’s play with a message, a comedic adult play or an inspirational play; I take on the same four qualities: “Learn, Love, Laugh and Launch!”
Learn – Just because I hold the titles of playwright, producer and director, it does not mean I know it all. I strive to connect in such a way with my cast where I learn from them as much as they learn from me. It is entirely a team
Love – My initial vision for my cast is that we become a good family. Good families love no matter what! Good families support and lean on one another; display honesty and constructive criticism in love and respect one another. I approach each cast member with heartfelt love and they in turn do the same with me and their fellow cast mates.
Laugh – I truly believe creativity comes through laughter. Being able to express oneself with no real inhibitions. Letting go of insecurities and vulnerabilities. Being open and carefree with one another is what I long for with my cast. It’s refreshing when one can laugh and have a good time while still accomplishing the task at hand.
Launch – After all of the rehearsal hours are complete. Time spent studying lines and the characters is done, it is time to launch everything we worked so hard developing. I love the launch stage because now it’s time to share our individual and collective talents and gifts with our audience. It is a special feeling.