Jane Bay has worked for Lucasfilm for the past three decades. She is the author of Love and Loss: A Story About Life, Death and Rebirth and Precious Jewels of Tibet. Now that she has retired from Lucasfilm, Jane is planning to pursue her career as an author and hopes to finish the current book she’s writing Growing Up Southern – Stories from the Attic of Childhood Memories, in the coming year.
Q. You have taken a lot of chances in your life—leaving college to become involved with the civil rights movement, leaving your first job in showbiz to work on Jerry Brown’s campaign, meeting the Dalai Lama and traveling to Tibet, and abandoning your initial plans to move to New Mexico to work with George Lucas. What experience has influenced your life the most?
A. The Civil Rights Movement and moving to New York. Growing up in the south, I was just blown away by New York and that there was no segregation. Everyone was together on the streets and they all seemed happy. When working in the city for NBC, I had a political awakening that widened my world.
Q.What’s changed for women in the film business since you started your career?
A. Women have made a lot of progress in breaking the glass ceiling but they are still fighting for everything. I mentored many women who have gone on to assume many different roles in the industry.
Q. You know I have to ask this one – what is it like working with George Lucas?
A. He was the most inspiring, generous, kind and dynamic person. He set the bar so high.
Q. Are you are Star Wars fan? Favorite character?
A. Of course! Princess Leah.
Q. If someone were visiting Santa Fe for the first time, what are some of the not-to-miss places you would recommend?
A. La Fonda on the Plaza because it is the quintessential experience of Santa Fe. Whether you stay as a guest in the exquisitely remodeled rooms or come for dinner in La Plazuela Restaurant, you will be enthralled by the authentic art and cultural history of the hotel.
Q. If you could experience someone else’s life for one day, whose would it be and why?
A. Georgia O’Keeffe. Her vision was so unique and I would just love walking through her footsteps. When I look up at the mesas that she painted—I could swear the sagebrush is still the same as her paintings.
Q. What is it about New Mexico that made you consider moving here?
A. New Mexico resonated with me—it is a place where I can have a connection to nature and the natural world.
Q. What song gets stuck in your head most often?
A. As I was driving to Santa Fe from the Albuquerque airport, I was listening to Paul Simon’s Hearts and Bones. The lyrics speak of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in New Mexico.
Each time Jane Bay visits La Fonda, she adorns her favorite room with a vibrant collection of serapes, her extraordinary antique bottles topped with crystal crosses, blankets, pillows and throws. See photos below for some examples of her decorative vignettes.