I was born in suburban Los Angeles to a bohemian theatre family and spent the first five years of my life in a damp but gold tinted world, peering out through the plastic windows of my brightly colored umbrella and feeling dwarfed by palm trees and the beauty of the Santa Monica Pier. Health-related issues, exacerbated by the city smog, drove us back to the land of my parents’ origins, the Great Plains of Wyoming, where my Great Grandmother had been born when it was still nothing more than a territory with dreams of statehood.
It was there that I learned to act, shouting out poetry and monologues to the Snowy Range, allowing my voice to develop and my stature to grow as I attempted to fill the great void between prairie and sky. Legitimate organized theatre, however, was difficult to find there, and eventually I followed my ambition to the East Coast, where I saw my first Broadway production: Vanessa Redgrave in “Orpheus Descending.” As soon as she appeared on stage, I knew that I had to devote my life to theatre.
However, it wasn’t until I took an acting class in Paris, in the shadow of the Moulin Rouge during my Junior Year of college, that I felt the first spark of inspiration and understood what it must be like to sprout wings and soar as Vanessa Redgrave did night after night on Broadway. All sense of the real and imagined barriers of language, culture, gender, age and experience were eradicated and I found myself staring into a Frenchman’s soul, stripped bare of artifice and preconception and completely un-tethered by convention. It was a fantastically heady experience and I found myself returning with regret to the real world, where I was, after all, still just a young, awkward expatriate, picking my way through fragments of French in an attempt to give form to thought.
After graduating from Smith College, I moved to New York City, where I studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre and completed their two year certificate program in the Meisner Technique, winning two performance-based scholarships in the second year, and then relocating to Philadelphia after a total of five years in Manhattan. I now live in colorful West Philadelphia in a house brimming over with cats and artists and have been focusing most recently on theatrical work adapted from works of literature, such as Daphne du Maurier’s “My Cousin Rachel,” Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22,” Douglas Adams’ “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,” Homer’s “Odyssey,” Kafka’s “The Trial,” Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility,” and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper.”