Congratulations, you’re about to read my whole life story. Grab the nearest martini.
I began making videos with my little sister Jessica when we were, like, seven. We got a hold of a VHS camera and developed our own children’s show called Kid ‘N Around. We had songs, puppets, and lots of crying off-cam. Four years later, we pitched the show to PBS-WSVN and they were like, “It’s cute, but you’re eleven years old.”
We went on to make lots of wacky YouTube sketches together. I forced my sister to wear a mermaid costume at one point. We even taught our dog to play dead for a video. When I was in high school, I made a parody of Ke$ha’s hit “Tik Tok” with a bunch of older folks getting lit. It caught the attention of the local NBC station and I achieved the closest thing to popularity I would ever taste at my Catholic High School.
It was my last year in high school hell that I landed a manager and she recommended I take comedic improv classes at my local South Florida theater, Actor’s Rep. I drove home from my first class swearing I’d never return. My first teacher was Kat Kenny, and I still think to this day that she, like, changed-slash-saved my life by introducing me to the most freeing, scary, friendship-forming art form I’d ever known.
In 2012, I was accepted to New York University TSOA after applying twice. I made a short film called Sinking. It was a dramatic, psychological thriller that went on to receive first prize at The New Voices & Visions Fest and became a finalist at The 2014 Cannes Film Festival – American Pavillon, Emerging Filmmakers’ Showcase. France was stunning. It felt good to be 22, tell an important story, and have it recognized internationally.
My last year at NYU, I made a comedic short film, Mr. Madison, about impersonating my late grandfather to ease my grandmother’s struggle with dementia. It won The Russell Hexter Filmmaker Grant, The Malcolm Ross Memorial Production Award, and Best Actress for C.J. Gelfand at First Run.
It was also during my time at NYU that I took classes at The Upright Citizen’s Brigade in Manhattan. I interviewed to be a writer on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2016, but they were like, “You’re cute, but you’re 24. Your frontal lobe hasn’t even fused.”
I moved to Los Angeles in late 2016 and immediately picked an apartment within walking distance of The Groundlings because I refused to buy a car (that eventually changed, and three parking tickets taught me how to read the stupid signs.) By a stroke of fate, I saw my comedic idol, Kristen Wiig in The Crazy Uncle Joe Show within 24 hours of being a west-coaster. I auditioned the next morning, and to date, I’m extremely honored to have received two scholarships as a part of the theater’s diversity program.
That’s it for now. See ya. Buh-bye. Ciao.