What do you do?
I am a bicoastal actress, based in NJ. Over the past year, I have been producing and acting in Jersey City, Union City, Bayonne and New York. I love it all, theatre, television, film, readings and web series. I love to work.
Why do you do it?
The reason I act is to bring the playwright's intentions to life. Walking in the playwright's shoes, to see the world as they saw it, to wear the clothes that they wore, to speak their words is fascinating. I leave with another way to think about life. I am a big fan of adding layers to my process and to my own thoughts, not dismissing anything, not taking away from my performance or the production. Always growing and learning on stage as well as off stage.
How did you get started?
My parents put me in ballet when I was 7 because of the discipline and also because I was terrible in physical education (gym), so they wanted me to exercise in a constructive way. I really wanted to act but was painfully shy, and my first performance took care of that. It was then that I discovered ballet is acting, that acting can be a ballet.
Who do you do it for?
Nothing is better than an audience member letting us know that they never understood Shakespeare, Griboyedov, Checkov, Ibsen or Lorca before, but now....they want to read their entire canon. Plus, understanding why the playwright wrote the play is a comprehensive humanities course in itself – you can learn so much about an era and not just about the clothing and physical objects, but also about the culture, customs, and feelings that helped create society and individuals at that time. There are many people who never have picked up a book or find it boring. This actually hurts my feelings, it cuts me to the core, and I'm on a mission to help these people understand and love literature.
What do you love about it?
I love being able to create a life onstage, work and learn from a conscientious, talented cast. I love when the audience is uplifted or they become part of the play, or they're angry at the subject matter and we break into a philosophical discussion about why I chose to be in the play, what was going on at the time the play was written and what myths were dispelled for modern audiences.
What makes it unique?
Each performance I re-learn how to trust my instrument. I learn from each performance. Nothing makes one face who they are and what they can handle more than getting in front of people and performing after a niece gets married, or after a parent passes away or during an illness when understudies weren't hired.
How does it make learning awesome?
Learning is AWESOME when a play is universal. It can be performed in any city or in any era and people will empathize with the characters or the situation. They will think about it for days asking questions. Do I behave like that? I have met people like that and how do they behave? How could I be more understanding if I'm ever in that situation again?
Anything else you'd like to share?
I would like to share our theatre company, Stratford-Upon-Duncan (SUD), a project picked up by Tasty Monster Productions, is an ongoing staged reading series of Shakespeare and other playwrights which seeks to bring theatre to the communities in and around Jersey City and beyond. By bringing together members of the community and professional actors, SUD's mission is to increase knowledge and awareness of classic texts, performance techniques, and more.