I grew up in Horseheads, NY. I’m not sure why, but when I think of beautiful memories from my childhood, this random moment keeps surfacing. I was the only girl in my neighborhood, and we had this gang of kids that did everything together. We iceskated on the ponds, we played kickball, caught fireflies, walked to the candy store, etc. nearly every day of our lives. We had built all these tree forts in the woods by ourselves and used this little grove of trees as our headquarters every summer. One fall, I had a dentist appointment to get a filling in the afternoon on a school day. I came home from the filling with the left side of my face all numb and sore before school was let out. To kill time before my brother and friends came home, I walked to the tree forts and climbed “my” tree. I remember laying on a branch with the numb side of my face against the bark, in total silence. The fall breeze against my face and sounds of the forest in my ears. It was the first and only time I had been to the tree forts all by myself. And that became one of my fondest memories from my childhood.
I saw your background is in film and television can you tell us a little bit about your career?
I moved to Los Angeles when I was 19 and ended up studying theater at UCLA. I had done theater, dancing, acting, singing, etc. my whole life in Horseheads in various community theaters and school productions and fell in love with performing at a very young age. I knew that’s what I wanted to do when I grew up when I was about 6 years old. I was very fortunate in Los Angeles after I got my degree to actually make a living as an actor in commercials, a couple television spots, independent movies and theater.
Tell us about what makes you an Ithacan and what brought you back here?
To me, Ithaca is a perfect marriage of country and city life. Having grown up in farm country and having spent so many years of my adult life in a big city, I really value both life styles equally. I never thought I would find my favorite aspects of both in one place. I always thought I’d have to compromise. Ithaca has small town sensibilities, but big city culture. I love that I can walk out my front door and be hiking up a waterfall in ten minutes. And I also love that I can walk out my front door and be drinking wine at an improv show in ten minutes. That’s what brought me back here. I knew I’d have to be closer to my family at some point in my adult life. As I felt that transition approaching, and began exploring Ithaca as a possible long term home, it became clear to me that this town was essentially made for me. Here, I can have it all!
Tell us a little bit about what keeps you busy these days?
I’m in the process of incorporating my own acting school for children. We did a Movie Camp the last week of August, and it was a huge success! We had such a great time, and made a pretty terrific little short film starring all the campers. Right now, I’m preparing for the Fall Semester of on-camera acting classes for kids ages 4-13. We’ll study all aspects of film and television acting and even make some films together! It’s going to be great. www.ActingOutNewYork.com
What attracted you to the Beautiful Ithaca project?
I loved the idea of celebrating women in a calendar that wasn’t about putting them in bikinis on motorcycles, but rather celebrating their contributions to the community. It would make me really proud to be considered among the people who make Ithaca beautiful.
What message do you hope to convey in your month?
I would like my month to serve as a reminder to this beautiful town full of academia, that we can learn so much from the children here! There exists a bottomless source of inspiration in their creativity, their imagination and their freedom of expression.