I was born in Kansas City in 1985.
My mother is a neurologist and my father was a neurologist. He died when I was 17, I never met him.
When I was a child, I wasn't allowed to play outside because I might get kidnapped. I would draw and paint and read and write stories. I liked to read books about the American Civil War, World War I, or World War II. I also liked reading fairy tales. I also subscribed to Nickelodeon Magazine. My favorite TV show was Ren & Stimpy. My favorite video games were Super Mario Bros. 3 and Donkey Kong Country.
When I was a teenager, I watched a lot of AMC, TCM, and MTV. I listened to Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday and anything that was put out by Decca records in the 30's and '40s. My favorite movie was Rebel Without a Cause, and my favorite books were written by Colette. I was the Editor-in-Chief of the literary magazine and school newspaper. I studied opera, and played the saxophone and piano. I took myself very seriously. I lived in Racine, Wisconsin. I spent a lot of time on The Internet.
I went to college at The University of Chicago. I studied history, philosophy, and aesthetics. I thought I wanted to become an actor. I studied Greek Drama and Chekhov. I discovered clown and what Americans call "physical theatre," but what the rest of the world just calls theatre. I finished school early to train professionally with Double Edge Theatre, a small ensemble theatre company located on a 105-acre farm in rural Massachusetts, where I learned to do things like walk on 6-foot wooden spools and run barefoot through the snow singing Medieval Spanish Madrigals. Then I went to Italy to train in mask and mime with Teatro Punto. Then I went to South Africa to teach at an international theatre conference.
I came back to Chicago and won some awards. I started curating little art exhibits in my apartment. Then I curated a big public festival. I performed in other people's dance and theatre pieces. I studied Butoh and Tae Kwon Do. I produced a play, it got horrible reviews. But I didn't care. I only wished it had premiered in Cracow or Paris or somewhere where the local theatre critics had some fucking respect for avant garde performance! I was maybe a little bit sour about it. I decided to stop making theatre and do something else.
I started teaching myself how to make websites and videos. I made only animated videos at first because I couldn't afford a camera. I became good at making websites, people started paying me money to do it. I made a business out of it. I had a lot of clients. It was better than working at a bakery, or maybe not but it paid better. I started watching a LOT of Vimeo. I started studying Muay Thai (kickboxing) because I wanted to KICK ASS. I incorporated my website business into a real company - an LLC.
I bought a nice camera, the same one everyone else on Vimeo was using. I was so intimidated, it took me 6 months before I finally found the courage to start using it, because I didn't know how.
I taught myself how to use the camera by watching tutorials on the Internet. I'm still not very good at it, but that's OK because I am good at collaborating.
Once people started noticing I can execute ideas, they started hiring me to make videos for them, even though I didn't go to film school. Then they started giving me a little bit of money to hire other people to help me execute my ideas. I moved to LA to make movies. I learned how to make a movie on a professional cinema camera. I learn fast.
I don't need very much money to make art, to be happy, or to provide for myself. I live in a small house
in Harvard Heights on the Oakland waterfront with a man named Johnny and a dog named Coco. I budget $50 $100 a week on organic groceries and make every meal from scratch, including mayonnaise, which everyone should learn to make from scratch because it's so easy. I share a big loft office in downtown LA with 6 other digital media creatives; my office rent costs $150 $175/month. I enjoy being thrifty, it's like a game. Especially in Los Angeles America, where waste and conspicuous consumption are omnipresent. But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate fine design or good craftsmanship. And I'm not ashamed to admit I have entrepreneurial aspirations alongside my creative ones. But I prefer to live simply and honestly. I enjoy cooking, gardening, reading, making Internet, and playing chess. I try to go hiking every weekend. I try to see everything as an adventure. I try to be more patient and understanding with the universe.
Everyone has their own story, and so everyone should have the chance to lend their voice, to leave a sparkling little slime trail in our history. If you have something you want to say, but can't quite find a way of saying it, or if nobody else wants to help you because you're just a simple Midwestern girl who never touched a camera in her life, I would be happy to work with you to help you tell your story. There's a lot we can learn about THE FUTURE just by listening to each other.
September 21, 2011
Last edited: August 1, 2012