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Bio of a Lifer
I have been performing and writing,
pursuing virtuosity in everything I do,
As a youth performer, I was highly active within Port Washington Play Troupe, New York State's oldest amateur theater company (founded 1927) which first developed performers like Jon Goldstein (Drake & Josh), Eaddy Mays (Teen Wolf ) and the late filmmaker John Fasano (Another 48 Hours, Tombstone). My love of choral singing brought me to musicals. When my childhood mentor Pam Meadows passed in 2021, I memorialized her with Sondheim.
I read voraciously as a child. As my poor father tried to grade physics exams in his office, I read him my girl-and-her-horse stories. I took a Shakespeare class in high school even though I didn't have to. I wrote bad poetry and longed for a garret to call my own. I was that girl.
Unsurprisingly, I then studied English and Theater at Mount Holyoke College before moving to Chicago with six fellow artists to found Division 13 Productions, a non-profit theater company that produced in both Chicago and New York (under Artistic Director Joanna Settle) for nearly 10 years. Our work lives on in the academic texts Reimagining Greek Tragedy on the American Stage (University of California Press) and The World of Theatre: Tradition and Innovation (Pearson Education, Inc.).
It was after this incredible, deeply formative period that I paused my growing writing career (business development/marketing) to pursue my Acting MFA at the California Institute of the Arts, ranked by Newsweek/The Daily Beast as America's top college for students in the arts. I didn't miss my chance to study in the music school as well, taking classes in voice and theory.
It was at CalArts that I explored on-camera acting for the first time, including co-writing and starring in the comedy short Darla. That's also where I started developing my solo performance, VIOLETTE, VIOLETTE, now a fiscally sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). VIOLETTE, VIOLETTE debuted at Obie Award-winning venue The Bushwick Starr and toured to the Chekhov International Theatre Festival.
In 2011, I became the lead singer of retro Latin and R&B band Willie and the Wolves, and in 2018, I joined Bell Helium, a jazz-rock fusion band that released its debut album June 25, 2021 after a long year of waiting. Reviewed favorably by Prog magazine, it's available for purchase here and for listening everywhere the music streams: Apple Music, Spotify, etc.
Other singing projects have included a year of residency at Harlem's Shrine World Music Venue with the James Beaudreau Band, variety performances with Solomon Hoffman (founder of The Songwriter's Orchestra), backing vocals for the Wayne Brown Band, a pandemic outdoor summer cabaret (featuring the songs of Broadway, standards and pop classics) with pianist Andrew Lubman, and even a heady night performing the music of Big Mama Thornton/Janis Joplin with the Red White & Blues Band.
In 2014, I became a teaching artist for the first time, embracing (as in full-body embracing) the role of Adjunct Professor of Acting at Essex County College in NJ. Everything you hear about teaching is true: you learn as much from your students as you ever teach them.
I continue acting, particularly in radio drama and VO (what with this pandemic and all). I'm particularly proud of my ongoing relationship with the film school at Columbia University, where I'm happily in the actor database. I love getting called in for whole films or classwork, which I value just as much, as it keeps me loose and ever-deeper in love with the craft.
And all my storytelling roots pay off in the work I do as a corporate communications strategist or, as I call myself, a Creative Accelerant. My conceptual partnership and writing/editing work flows between corporate and creative projects, spanning rebrands and culture-building to serving as a ghostwriter and guide on personal memoirs.
My acting agent nailed it in our first meeting. She listened to all that and then said, "You like to keep busy."
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