When I was 13, I encountered Barbra Streisand in the 1969 film Hello, Dolly!. I was transformed. Barbra's 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 actor.
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 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 today, 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.
As an actor, I've worked in theatre and recently in film and TV in the United States and Canada. Recently, I've been shooting a Netflix series in New York, which will air later this year. I originated the role of Nina and 12 other women in a new Off-Broadway play called Dear Jane, choreographed by Wendy Seyb, which premiered at Theatre Row in 2017. Previously, I starred as Anne Shirley in Anne and Gilbert, the sequel to Anne of Green Gables, on Prince Edward Island.
When not working as an artist, I find balance and community teaching Alexander Technique and yin, hatha and ashtanga yoga. I've taught at studios, schools and privately in New York, Boston, Edmonton and Charlottetown. I completed my Alexander Technique certification training with Debi Adams, Tommy Thompson, Belinda Mello and Betsy Polatin. You can book a yoga or AT lesson with me here.
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 lesbian performance artist Madelaine True in LaChiusa's The Wild Party. I had the honor of studying voice with Cathy Rand, who transformed my understanding of music.
Before moving to the US, I created new work through an indie theatre company in Canada, 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 received my BA in Drama at the U of Alberta, with a focus on directing devised theatre.
When I'm not busy at work, 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 the dinosaur bones. I find them humbling. I write things on my blog here. I like to read. I look up the etymology of words a lot - words I use and words I encounter. I like to uncover their history. Language is where thought meets vibration or character and becomes tangible. I find it fascinating.
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