Diana Martinez has worked with Tony Bennett, Bill Cosby, Jay Leno, Itzhak Perlman, and Jerry Seinfeld, among others. She has discovered young actors who have gone on to become Broadway and television stars, Sean Hayes of NBC’s Will & Grace being foremost among them.
All of this, and she lives and works in the western suburbs. “Nobody else was doing it,” says Martinez, who’s been a manager, producer, and director in her career as a theatre powerhouse. “I thought, Why not pioneer out here?”
Currently the executive director for Aurora’s Paramount Theatre, Martinez grew up in Glen Ellyn, where her mother ran a beauty parlor a few doors away from a downtown movie theatre. “[The ticket lady] would sneak me in, and I’d sit in the back row and eat a box of Milk Duds, and watch movies over and over,” the University of Illinois grad recalls.
These days, Martinez spends most of her weekends downtown, and dates with an eye for a man who will support her career and wants to “be in my corner.” Still, she admits to being “old-fashioned.” “I love to cook for people,” she says. “I’m not the kind of woman that chases guys, either.”
Email Diana at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photography by McArthurphotography.com