All About Me

I was born on a pig farm (yes, a pig farm) in Western Minnesota. Growing up with strong Scandinavian stock among the other Lutherans grounded me and gave me a work ethic. If you’ve ever listened to Garrison Keillor’s stories of Lake Wobegon, you will know how I grew up.

As a kid, I was always “onstage.” I played Chicken Little in first grade variety show. I knew I was the lead because I had more lines than anyone else (I counted). I also took it upon myself to scold other students: Waving to your parents during the show? How unprofessional!

After seeing A Chorus Line on Broadway at the age of 14 (the longest-running show on Broadway at that time), I got the acting bug bad. I had never danced, but somehow I understood these stories in a visceral way. These were my people! My parents had to drag me out of the theatre that night, and soon after I began taking voice lessons.

At some point in my adolescence, watching Moonlighting and thirtysomething, I realized I’m too fat to be an actress. To be clear, I wasn’t fat. I was average. But, not one of those women on Family Ties or Cheers looked anything like me. There were a few women on TV who were much more overweight, but most were much skinnier than I was.  I didn’t see a way out of this conundrum, so I looked for the next best thing. I was a really good musician after many years of piano lessons, and I was winning singing competitions all over Minnesota and Wisconsin. What could I do where I could wear costumes, portray different characters, sing, and not have to lose weight? At the age of 16, the decision was obvious. I should be an opera singer!

I studied for 4 years at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, receiving a Bachelor of Music with distinction, and then went on to complete a Master of Music at the University of Arizona. I auditioned for 8 years, going on to study and audition in Austria and Germany, but something was not quite right. My voice never quite fit in the operatic world.

Finally, in desperation, after countless comments saying “you’re a really good actress…for a singer,” I gave in and took an acting class in Chicago. The first audition I took (for a straight play) after the class, I booked. My second audition, I booked. The first agent mailing I did, an agent asked to represent me. It became clear to me that the acting was what I should be doing all along, regardless of my weight.

I spent 10 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, acting in straight plays, musicals, film, television, commercials and in medical schools as a standardized patient. I worked with Richard Seyd at Seydways acting studios the entire time. I have received 3 SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award nominations. I have survived breast cancer. And I recently became a certified nutrition counselor, to supplement my income. That Midwestern upbringing and work ethic has apparently served me well (after all, I can do a mean Minnesota accent). The future is looking bright. Thanks for visiting.

AWARDS:

2009 – San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Association Nomination
Featured Actress in a Musical for Meredith in Bat Boy, The Musical at Foothill Music Theatre

2011 – San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Association Award
Featured Actress in a Musical for Sara Jane Moore in Assassins at Ray of Light Theatre

2013 – San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Association Nomination
Leading Actress in a Musical for Diana in Next to Normal at Custom Made Theatre