early experience & training
Growing up in Ohio, I wanted to be an actress from as young an age as I can remember. At 13, I wrote a letter to a well-known director of a popular TV show, and suggested he write me into the series. (!!??) Incredulously, he wrote back!
He told me that if I really wanted to be an actress, "understand that disappointment will be the understatement of the day". This insight was of course totally lost on me, until years later. But I did heed his suggestion to get an education in theatre arts. I attended Ohio University for two years, before transferring to California Institute of the Arts. There, I was exposed to Shakespeare, Chekhov, Williams and Brecht and became totally enamored by this fascinating craft called "acting".
After graduating, I started getting work in commercials and industrials, and even got my SAG card playing a secretary on television's Trapper John, MD, directed by....(guess who?)... my Hollywood pen-pal, Earl Bellamy.
Later that year, I got my Equity card playing Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Though I was thrilled, I felt way out of my element. The text felt like a straight-jacket. My voice was strained and I didn't know what to do with my body.
Luckily, I was cast in another Shakespeare play soon after, and then another...and with the chance to keep jumping back into this material, I eventually started to develop some technique. One day, I realized that I was acting on the line, and that the language felt integrated with my voice and body. I discovered that the verse was not restrictive at all, but totally freeing. I was hooked!
Over the years, Shakespeare and other classical playwrights have been my greatest teachers. As well as many incredible director/mentors, including the late Gill Dennis, the late Robert Ellenstein, and the incredible Ellen Geer. It is wonderfully humbling to know that its my turn to pass on what I have learned from them all.