Well, if you didn’t have it figured out, I’m one of those “creative types” who lives in L.A. “chasing the dream.”
I have come to consider myself mostly a comedienne-writer, because I write all the time, and I like saying funny things, writing funny songs, and making funny videos. Also because it seems a more marketable angle. (As I’ve said, “Angst doesn’t sell cereal.”)
I have lots of unmarketable angles as well, however. I grew up loving opera, and know how to sing it (as those who saw Robot Teammate‘s most recent musical, Thug Tunnel, will attest) and I got a certificate in creative writing for poetry in undergrad, which largely factored into the poetic-expressive language in my new play, Definition of Man (on which hopefully I’ll have more to share, soon!) “Uncommercial” artsy things are where you’ll find my roots.
As you can see in the four-shot banner, my origins are of the THEATRE (yes, all caps, and -re). In college, I was all about The Empty Space and Artaudian Theatre of Cruelty, being edgy and in-yo-face, challenging the audience to feel, breaking down that fourth wall, getting all intense and not shying away from that which makes one uncomfortable. I writhed on the floor happily, shred away vocal chords and got a track record of most rape roles played in student productions (had a ratio of about 2:3.) To name a few, I was Aldonza in Man of La Mancha, Lavinia in Titus Andronicus, and Lucie in Sartre’s Men Without Shadows (a god-awful play no one remembers nor would ever want to, but totally had yet another rape role for my roster.) I interned over the summer at Theater Freiburg in the Black Forest of Germany, where I was in edgy-Euro theatre heaven… operas were staged on sets of garbage, with mermaids wearing cat eye contact lenses, and Shakespeare’s comedies were all altered to end depressingly. Oh, Germany!
So I decided that I would join the international community of edgy theatre artists, and bring some of this invigorating style back to the States with my like-mindedly starry-eyed college colleagues. And studying my craft with the Russian masters of the theatre through a program with the American Repertory Theatre (which was, at that time, heavily featuring edgy Euro directors: dreamy!) seemed like an ideal match. So directly after getting my BA in Comp Lit from Princeton in 2005, I embarked on a crazy 2-year journey to getting my MFA in Acting from the ART/MXAT Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. (If you look in the earliest archives, the end of my training is when my blogging began.)
Training was great, and it was just lovely to be entirely immersed in my craft, but of course I was still young and an eternal student, very knowledgeable in the ways of grades, but not so much in the life sector. So when it came time for life to start happening, it did not turn out as edgy, barrier-breaking and creatively fulfilling as I might have hoped. But that’s just because life is what you make of it, and I didn’t yet know how to make a life I was happy with.
You can traverse the tragic path of my disillusionment through the archives, all the way to the day in which my existential angst got the most of me, and I turned to doing full length Ironman races to run away from the gaping void that was my life. Currently, I’m back on the creative wagon and putting all my energies towards getting shit DONE… and also doing Muay Thai. Because sometimes, you just gotta punch stuff.
I was always a fan of theatre because of the collaborative aspect, which has always brought me the most joy. The insta-theater of music improv is always a thrill, and the scripted musicals Robot Teammate has created together are truly unique: it’s always nice to see how something completely different from your own strengths and thoughts arises when the group mind activates. I’m also feeding the theatre beast with Definition of Man in a most spectacular way– Jason and I have integrated Russian movement training into our rehearsals, which is pretty exciting. And of course, I’m a huge fan of writing lyrics for my composer friends. They do with music what I do with words, so it’s a perfect fit.
It’s been a while since I edited this rickety old blog, but luckily, there’s quite a bit of progress to add. As it always is with progress, there’s always further to go. And so, I go… onwards!