I am a California born and raised/ethnically mixed /female identifying actress/based in the east coast.
I was 4 years old when I boarded my first flight to Hawaii. My great aunt and uncle escorted me over for the first time. Every summer since my mother was a child they would open their home to all of their nieces and nephews and there were many of us.
They lived a life they loved - surrounded by their community nestled within the entertainment industry on the islands. At that time it was Hawaii 5-0, Magnum PI, and Jake and the Fatman. My uncle was a Producer and my auntie was a polynesian dancer and an actress so many of the show's biggest stars were frequent visitors at the house. I spent 5 summers with them flying solo after that first year and when I was closer to 10 it was announced that my auntie had cancer and after a few remissions she passed away in 1992. My uncle passed away a few years later.
As a child you never really know the impression certain people or experiences will make on your life long term but my aunt and uncle inspired the path I am on.
About the same time my aunt was passing I was in the audience at a theater in La Mirada, California watching Charlotte's Web. I don't know what it was but I was hooked. I held on to this dream for another 11 years before I was ready to take myself seriously.
It was in a moment of clarity in my very early twenties when I realized that if I ever wanted to try acting, 'now' was the time. I enrolled in several acting classes in one of my local community colleges and worked my butt off waiting tables - taking classes - performing for school and in community theater. I acquired an agent and a manager and began schlepping to Los Angeles from Orange County. Quick changes in my car for an audition or a class, working as background all day and into the night making my way back through the Orange Curtain while watching the sunrise was a regular routine for me at that time. Burring the candle at both ends as my grandmother would say.
I knew film and tv work were my desired outcome so when opportunities began to show up for student films I jumped. I was nominated early on in the “Best Actress” category for New York’s Horror film festival. I wrote and barebones produced several shorts, worked with a sketch comedy troop performing live and filming our sketches for local broadcast. I wrote and filmed the pitch pilot for a travel series when reality tv was just becoming a ‘thing’. And after the bottom fell out of that project I needed a change and felt New York was the next step in my great adventure. Right before I moved I had the great pleasure of debuting a play from a playwright in my hometown, the beautiful artist community of Laguna Beach, Ca.
It was a wonderful send off to the big city! And after several months of background work and going through my savings I returned to the restaurant industry. The world of performing arts was still calling and I managed to make time for classes studying privately with several teachers who are working actors. Attending Atlantic Theatre, performing with a sketch comedy troupe, working on independent films and performing in black box theaters in and around the city, all the while auditioning for mainstream television and commercials, taking workshops and classes and seeing shows.
Over the last few years I have booked co-stars on both Law & Order SVU and Organized Crime as well as several commercials, independent films and frequently go into work as supporting characters for Reelarc NY. I work with a studio rooted in the training of Uta Hagen, Working Actor's Studio. Their support, training and community is something I hold dear to my heart and lean on throughout the year.
When I am not acting I am writing. Currently working on a rewrite of a short mockumentary style film (production will start late spring) and an American period piece from the perspective of women and the many different cultures converging at that time period. I suppose it would be considered Historical Fiction. When I am not writing I am with my family. My husband and I are active parts in our children's worlds as personal chauffeurs, full time cooks, I am their personal assistant, we both coach for their various activities, I am a class parent. I thought the Rom Com's depiction of 'the busy parent' was an exaggerated version of family life. We are pretty early in our family journey but it is the core of our world.
My time in Hawaii, my family life growing up, my time as a young adult, has all set the tone for my life and it all contributes to who I am today. I am so grateful to and proud of the people that have been apart of my journey through life and I hope when I cross their mind. They are proud to be apart of me too.