Artists have a responsibility to the world: a responsibility to honestly convey the way they see things, in the hopes that they are representing the way one or two (or maybe a whole lot) other people also think or feel.
I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a bigger compliment than when people see my film,The Videoblogs, in which I played a depressed female character (rarely seen on screen) and say, “I relate”.
What a gift! I’ve never felt more connected to my audience. Especially because I was scared as shit that people would think me a downer after watching the film. Even though everybody loves Eyore. Right? 🙂
When I was 18, I did something many wee actresses want to do. I auditioned for NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. I got in, despite the fact that I had never acted before (Ha! I fooled them!) and then I was in big trouble because I genuinely had no idea what acting was.
So, four years later, I got a BFA from NYU, a lovely bullet point on any actor’s resume — one that gets you the occasional “Wow” or maybe an impressed nod. I did, however, also get an amazing foundation from that school, specifically from the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, where super cool people like Marlon Brando, Sydney Pollack, Salma Hayek, Robert DeNiro, Cybill Shepherd, and Judd Nelson went. That last name is most impressive to me because I can recite every one of Nelson’s lines from The Breakfast Club (“Smoke up, Johnny!”). I have never met any of these people but, as an actor in NYC, I’ve waited on some of them!
Since NYU, I’ve studied with Alice Spivak, author of How to Rehearse When There is No Rehearsal. She taught me that everything I learned was wrong and then went through the arduous task of undoing it all. Thank you, Alice. You owe me $1,000,000 (that’s with interest). Alice also decided to start a theater company when she was like 75 (probably older) and I’m a part of that too. We only do the plays she deems worthy…which is not a lot.
I also have produced a ton of films. Okay, four. But producing four films at an independent budget level is like giving birth to a million babies. I have never given birth and I probably just insulted a lot of moms, like when guys think they know or have experience worse than the pain of cramps…BUT THEY HAVEN’T EVER.
I also act in these movies because I want to create work that is meaningful to me, and also want to have more control over how those films get made as well as over craft services. There are not a lot of carbs on my sets because carbs make you crash. There is a ton of coffee, though.
I write really long essays (see here). And I’ve written some shorts and have been struggling through a feature script for longer than I’d like to admit. My essay on depression has been featured on The Mighty and on NAMI. That means I’ve been published and can officially call myself a writer.
Outside of doing all these things, I also watch a lot of Netflix and deem it “research.” I also hate-watch The Bachelor. You are now the only person who knows that besides my husband, dog, and cat, and whoever else has read this page before you.
Speaking of those three hairy loves of my life, we all live happily in Brooklyn, across the street from a really good neighborhood whose name changes constantly according to the whim of realtors. I grew up in Brooklyn but I don’t have an accent. Oddly, though, I didn’t escape the teasing about my accent. I just get that from my high school friends.
On Sundays, I don’t leave Brooklyn, I don’t wear makeup, and I wear whatever smells clean(ish). I never want to move anywhere where the majority of people wear makeup because I believe it is truly detrimental to your skin. Plus, I’m lazy.
What else can I tell you? I’ve been pretty candid here and I promise to always be in my writing and in my films. It’s a practice for me: to be more honest, be more real, be more vulnerable.
If you like my writing or the films I’ve made, let’s talk about them! I learn mostly from you all where to go next. I want to steal from your wisdom. Contact me through the contact page or on Twitter, where I am always dying for people to engage with me publicly.