Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Marissa Carlson - Have you played a playoff match that ended in a thunder storm?

 Marissa Carlson's Tennis NorthEast Story: http://tennisnortheast.com/30525/profile

1. Which league are you a member of?
Tennis Northeast, the Metro Boston Tennis League

2. How long have you participated in your league?
5 years – Spring 2010 thru Fall 2014, playing all the seasons except winter

3. How did you first learn about Tennis NorthEast?
When I moved to Lowell from Western Mass., I looked around online for a league that could possibly fit my incredibly varied work and theatre schedule, and Tennis Northeast seemed perfect!

4. How often do you play?
It depends on my work schedule, but during the weeks I’m able to play, I typically play 1-3 times per week.

5. What do you like most about the league?
What I like most, and is most important to my participation, is having the flexibility to schedule matches based on my schedule.  I run a youth leadership development nonprofit, and my schedule depends on our programming schedule. So although I’m a full-time employee, some weeks I work 100 hrs and some weeks I work 20!  There’s no way I could be part of a league that met, say, every Wed. at 6 the way I could in my previous 9-5 job.

6. Tell us about your most memorable match(es)
I’ve had a bunch of fantastic and fun matches, but one that sticks out as memorable for being both fun & strange was very recent: my Summer 2014 playoff match against Annalisa Tammaro.  We were playing in the evening on the Tufts campus, on what turned out to be the first night of freshman orientation for the Tufts Class of 2018.  Their well-amplified opening presentation was across the street, so we had a soundtrack of every campus musical group – along with adorable cliché residence hall staff announcements.  On top of that, the weather, which had started off hot & sunny, changed dramatically through the match: hot & cloudy, hot & rainy, hot & windy, colder & windier & rainier, until finally a thunder storm began during the last game of the match!

7. Who are your favorite rivals in the league? Why?
There are a lot of folks I love playing, but it’s always a treat to play Tracy Conlon & Annalisa Tammaro – they’ve both been playing with the league throughout my years here, and we tend to go back & forth with wins/losses through long, hard-fought matches!

8. How did you get started playing tennis?
My mother played tennis in college, so she took me out to play starting as a toddler.  At that point, I think I lasted about 10 minutes on the court before running over to the adjacent playground…!  But by the time I was in mid-elementary school, my mother had started teaching youth tennis group lessons in the summers, so I joined in at those and started to really love the game.

9. What level player are you? (NTRP rating)

10. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a tennis player?
One of my strengths is my serve, and one of my weaknesses is that I’m not as consistent a player as I would like to be.

11. Does any of your family members play tennis?
Both of my parents play tennis – my mother played growing up and for the team at Georgian Court University (then College).  Later on, she taught youth tennis as part of our city’s summer playground programming. My father plays recreationally as well, and for a while, all 3 of us played in the same local league in the Northern Berkshires.

12. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m from North Adams, MA, and have lived in MA for most of my life, with the exception of 5 years in CA, where I went to Pomona College and was also part of the Young Americans, a musical theatre group that does international performing arts workshops for students in grades 4-12.  I now run the NH Teen Institute, a 31-year-old nonprofit that runs fantastic programs for middle & high school students around peer mentoring, community engagement, building positive & safe school climate, and substance abuse prevention.  And when I’m not doing TI things or playing tennis, I’m the Associate Artistic Director for Mill City Productions, a theatre company in North Adams, and love to travel.