I didn't consider myself a performer for many, many years. I was the shy, nice girl, never showing off or speaking too loudly. But at home with our camcorder (as they used to call them), my older brother and I would set an elaborate stage for our stuffed animals and reenact our favorite movies or shows. Before long, I corralled friends for ideas of my own. We made music videos, TV episodes, movies. I was writing scripts, composing the shots, directing, and especially…acting.
I found great joy as a youngster performing in a few school plays and musicals, but my world changed at 12 years old when I saw the high school's production of Working. It was magical, powerful, and thought-provoking. I wanted more than anything to provide that kind of experience for other people.
Fighting shyness and insecurity, I kept my dreams mostly to myself. It wasn't until after I graduated college and moved to Chicago that I found the freedom and confidence to pursue my dream of storytelling. I quickly learned that vulnerability, passion, and hard work are what make a great actor. I continue to strive to achieve these qualities in my work every day - it's a never-ending process that I love to my core.
I have always been a musician. My confidence in my musical abilities rarely faltered. I sang loudly and confidently in talent shows and music class. I joined our church choir and played in the bell choir. In school, I was a staple in chorale, singing ensembles, and even band.
But I can't talk about my musical journey without mentioning this guy I know, Phil Circle.
I had stopped singing sometime in college, though I found my way to guitar for a little while. Then, while pursuing my acting career, I met this incredible singer-songwriter who reintroduced me to my love of music.
I have been performing in bands, duos, trios, weddings, events, and musicals ever since. I've even added "songwriter" to my own list of credits as I pursue this lovely, renewed art form.
Until I saw you...
I'll start with this: I have a complicated relationship with modeling.
The voyeuristic use of the female body troubles me, and though today's top models are taking control of their own stories, they still represent an idealized version of what it means to be female.
I personally love making this "still art" because I've never thought of myself as beautiful, but I found my own version of beauty through it. I enjoy collaborating with a photographer and together making something new. It can be lovely, romantic, dark, edgy, serene, joyful, comical, the list goes on. This is what art is all about...telling a story.
I hope that as women continue to take control of the narrative of their lives, that our society finds a way to sell an image of a person, rather than a "perfect" body or face. Because truthfully, there is no such thing as perfect.
Beauty is found only in our imperfections.