He’s an audio dynamo, working in the music department at both CSUB and BC, and she shines in local theatre and the nonprofit sector; but they’re better together, opening and operating Tonicism Productions, an organization promoting youth acting and improv.
Meet James and Guinevere PH Dethlefson
What was the first thing you thought when you met your future spouse?
Guinevere: He was playing guitar for his friends and had the most lovely grin on his face and so many crows feet around his kind eyes. And he was singing Shakespeare songs. Later that night we spoke for hours and I thought he was my new best friend!
James: Wow, this girl is funny! I’ve never met anyone like this!
What is the funniest thing that happened while you two were dating?
Guinevere: He had imbibed a bit too much at that party where I first remembered meeting him and he didn’t remember the hours-long conversation we had! To this day we joke that I met him before he met me!
James: We came to the realization there were many times we could have met but didn’t for some reason. We were at the same parties; traveled in similar circles. There were even pictures of us standing on either end with a group of friends in between. Only years later did we find each other and say, “Wow, you were at that party?”
What is the craziest thing your spouse has ever done for you?
Guinevere: He wrote and performed a love song for me in front of many of my dearest friends during a soft opening of The Empty Space Theatre.
James: Brought forth a small human from her body…three times! I was there in the room!
What is your spouse’s biggest phobia?
Guinevere: Becoming stagnant or not being appreciated for who he is and what he does.
Who’s the first one to admit when they’re wrong?
Guinevere: This is tricky! We both are willing to accept responsibility when we make a mistake, however we are both a little stubborn. If we don’t think we are wrong, both of us have a hard time saying we are. I will say he is better at this than me because he is generally more patient than I am so maybe he admits his faults a little faster?
James: She’s usually first to admit when I’m wrong. Eventually, I’ll agree.
What is your spouse most passionate about?
Guinevere: Technology and making things up (as in storytelling but not always just with words—sometimes it is music or some other medium). He feels the power of imagination helps everyone find a way to relate to something that is bigger than themselves.
James: Changing the world through theatre! Guinevere lives to see lives transform, character take shape, and view points solidify or breakdown within the crucible of artistic expression.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Bakersfield?
Guinevere: Volunteer for one of the many organizations in which we are involved (such as The Empty Space, The Art and Soul Center, One Book One Bakersfield One Kern, Meet Your Neighbors, Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault) or attend a local play, concert, or art exhibit.
James: Cuddling my girls, encouraging my son’s passion for MOBA gaming and its eventual disruption of commercial sports (yep, I said it) or, if I can’t do that, I like taking my i3 out of town and getting high off of range anxiety!
What is your least and most favorite thing about your spouse?
Guinevere: He worked very hard at wooing me but was never into gift giving. It never bothered me because he would write love songs or quote poetry, but after nine years of marriage those things have taken a backseat. Honestly though, I would prefer a new song to a bauble any day of the week! That said, I love his intelligent and curious nature, how patient and kind he is, and how much he enjoys making things up. He is a character and he has character and he always roots for the underdog. Or maybe my favorite thing is his hot, hot body.
James: Her mind works incredibly fast. Because of this she can be impatient at times and that can lead to her losing her temper. But that is easily overlooked by my most favorite thing: Her beauty is rendered by her wit, tempered by her truth, and realized everyday with her deep love for those all around her. I always know where I stand with her and that is a gift.