Growing up in the Canadian prairies, I discovered Barbra Streisand at the age of 13 in the 1969 film Hello, Dolly! Her passion, gumption and power burned a hole through my TV screen and into my soul. I decided that day that I was going to be an actress.
I completed my Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in Drama at the University of Alberta, with a focus on directing devised theatre. I then created an indie theatre company, producing original interdisciplinary works in collaboration with musicians, choreographers and designers. Past works include Qualia, a wordless physical theatre performance scored live by cello and taiko drums; The Woman in the Red Dress, an interdisciplinary theatre-dance-music collaboration exploring female embodiment; and a dance-theatre solo show entitled This Is the Kind of Animal I Am. Most recently, I directed a production of Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad at the Boston Conservatory. You can read about my creative philosophy here. I have trained in devised theatre with North American Cultural Laboratory, Belarus Free Theatre, Artistic Fraud, Two Planks and a Passion, One Yellow Rabbit and Ghost River Theatre. I would one day love to train with the SITI company.
As an actor, I've worked in theatre and in front of the camera across Canada and in the United States. Recently, I've been working on many short films produced by independent companies around New England, including Finding My Dad's Memories with Emmy-nominated company Pixela Pictura. I originated the role of Nina and 12 other women in a new Off-Broadway play called Dear Jane, directed by Katrin Hilbe and choreographed by Wendy Seyb, which premiered at Theatre Row in 2017. Previously, I starred as Anne Shirley in the sequel to Anne of Green Gables, entitled Anne and Gilbert, on Prince Edward Island.
In 2016, I received my MFA in Musical Theatre from the Boston Conservatory, where I played Greta Garbo in my cabaret entitled How To Be Alone, all roles in a gender-bending ensemble-based production of A Doll's House and Madelaine True in LaChiusa's The Wild Party.
What I love about acting is studying the nuances of people. The little things. Thoughts. Moments. Gestures. Habits. Smiles. I love to watch people and I love to explore their rhythms in my body. My love of acting is definitely rooted in my connection to my body and my study of Alexander Technique, Viewpoints, Suzuki, Laban, Feldenkrais, Lecoq and Litz Pisk. My sense of time changes when I act - I can feel time passing because I am more present. I think being completely present is a radical act in our day and age, and is becoming increasingly difficult for performers and audience members alike. Theatre is important because it makes us observe, empathize, connect, listen, wait and watch in stillness and silence in the present - skills that we are losing as a culture. I believe silence and stillness are a good starting point for any truthful artistic endeavour.
When not working as an artist, I find balance and community by practicing and teaching yin, hatha and ashtanga yoga. I've taught at studios, schools and privately in Edmonton, Charlottetown and Boston. I'm in the process of completing my Alexander Technique instructor certification, training with acclaimed teachers Debi Adams, Tommy Thompson, Belinda Mello and Betsy Polatin. You can book a yoga or AT lesson with me here.
Beyond that, tiny projects are important to me. I like miniature things. I like cooking. I like working with my hands. I find crowds of people overwhelming. I like to wander through the Museum of Natural History and sit with dinosaur bones. I find them humbling. I like to read. I look up the etymology of words a lot - words I use and words I encounter. I want to know what they really mean, uncover their history. Language is where thought meets vibration or character and becomes tangible. I write things on my blog here.
I'm working on "less is more" in every facet of my life. New York is a glorious beast of a city that is both dazzling and draining - I am finding my way here with curiosity - listening for what's underneath the noise when you tune in.
Photo by Ryan Parker