I was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, growing up in the area known as The Hill. Around the age of 10, I began to show an affinity for the arts, which included drawing and writing. I won a writing contest which was featured in the Akron Beacon Journal and I was chosen as the best in my storytelling workshop, sponsored by the Girl Scouts where I received my storytelling badge. Because I “acted” out the story, which was a fairytale while portraying all the characters, including the dragon, I was told by the Instructor I should be an actress. An actress!? I had fallen in love with classic cinema and spent hours recreating the scenes from Mildred Pierce, Dark Victory, etc., so her advice made perfect sense.
After college, I moved to New York City in 1971, with $300 in my pocket, driving the legendarily defective Ford Pinto. I didn’t know anybody, didn’t have a job and had no place to live but somehow I figured it out. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be an actor or a writer, but made the decision to sign up for acting classes at Lee Strasberg School of Acting but after a few auditions, I made the decision to forego acting for a few years because I didn’t have the emotional maturity to handle rejections. In the meantime, I worked as a production secretary on a number of television shows, worked in corporate sales for Western Union, selling Telex machines and Mailgrams, and even managed The Lerner Heller Art Gallery on Madison Avenue.
Finally, I bit the bullet and became an actress in 1980 and never looked back. I saw the legendary Jay O’Callahan show, The Pill Hill Stories, at the Open Center in Manhattan and I was hooked on telling stories. This was in 1989 or 1990 and I committed to this wonderful art form and eventually studied with Donald Davis, another legend. I joined a Storytelling group which met once a month and over a year and a half I developed a repertoire of stories and began telling stories all over the city.
After 25 years, I retired as an actress and I have now taken up a childhood passion …… Writing. The novel Little Women was my favorite book when I was a kid and I secretly wanted to be Jo. She went to New York City and became a writer. Well, I have been here a long time and I am determined to be Jo on my terms:
Two screenplays, one stage play, one nonfiction book about living in New York and two books of memoirs before I die. Fingers crossed!