The story so far...
I act, sing and teach, but wait, there’s more! An acting teacher I had once said, an actor needs to remain curious… Question everything… I do, it keeps things hopping, that’s for sure. On and off stage. I like to think it keeps me sharp. Honest. Awake. Balanced.
I earned a BFA. from Penn State University, in State College, at a time, when the theatre department was redefining itself, to be honest, it wasn't an easy time. I am however, so grateful to a few stand out teachers and mentors, thank Gd for them! They changed my life. I learned so much. Probably why I love to teach.
I’m thrilled at what PSU has grown into. And proud to sit on the Alumni Board for the School of Theatre.
So, in my senior year, one of my professors sat me down, with the The New York Times Theatre Directory, and a red sharpey, he circled all the shows I could do. There were maybe 1 or 2 musicals I could have done. Musicals! FYI, I didn't graduate with a musical theatre degree. I graduated with a BFA in acting. I was being groomed for a career in regional theatre. There was no Musical Theatre department. In fact I had to choose between Music or Theatre. My Professor said, “Go to LA" … and all that that implied. But the decision to move to NYC was made for me, when I booked my first show, Off Broadway, right out of college. Actually, before college even ended. I left for New York in my final semester, and took my final exams via mail. That Off Broadway show, ran for about 6 weeks. We played the South Street Theatre on West 45 Street, New York City. Theatre Row! I made it! We played to houses of... 2. And we performed that little show with gusto. I even started the show, Naked. Yes, oh my Gd. My first foray into the NY theatre scene, I was being born. Ass first.
I guess starting off your career humiliated, in a flop, leaves you no where to go butt up.
I started reading the trades. Because a guy I met said, " Can you believe these actors, who complain about being out of work, they should be reading the trades..." I nodded and probably said something i thought was witty. I left and bought a back stage Newspaper first thing on a Wednesday morning and started looking for auditions. I saw that New York Shakespeare Festival, The Joseph Papp Theatre, was having an Open Call for the Summer in Central Park searies of shows. I took my Penn State monologues and went to audition for Othello, it would star Raul Julia. I audtioned. And was cast. As Spear Carrier #3 or something. I turned it down. Here's why. They offered my $90.00 per week. Who can live on that? Instead, I got a job on a national tour of Lend Me A Tenor, and earned, a couple hundred more. But still, I think about that. And then I stop, whats the point? Anyway, I started doing musicals, I know Lend Me A Tenor isn't a musical, but it got me autioning...and though I had no training in musical theatre, It was time to train. I landed a spot with (not really "landed", as I mentionedI hadn't had voice training and I hurt my voice. Renowned voice teacher, Joan Lader saved my chords and I could say my career. She's stuck with me) , as well as acting classes with William Esper and later Time Phillips. Having foundations in the classics from Penn State, only strengthened the depths I willingly traveled to in my musical theatre life.
That first show, OK, I’ll say the name, “MY NAME IS PABLO PICASSO” by Mary Gage, it got me my first agent, and you’ve seen me as various tawdry characters ever since. From Stileston, Arkansas to the very top of Albany NY where I could literally stand with one foot in the USA and the other in Canada. I worked my way up thru the ranks. You can see my credits in my Press Kit, I just wanted to share a little of who I am. Anyway, I wonder, I play way the hell Off Broadway to starring On Broadway. And the lessons along the way, are what have given me the best kind of training an actor could ask for. A full life.
The lessons came like a NYC avalanche, while trying to be both a working actor and successful balanced human. A work in progress indeed.
A difficult time in my life, which I’m no longer afraid to share. And it wasnt that long ago. I had Kidney Cancer. I had just had my son, he was not 6 months old, when I ended up in the Norwalk Emergency Room, with a ruptured Ovarian Cyst. Only to find out from a Cat Scan, that I had early stages of Renal Cancer. Well, I’m here to tell you, cancer sucks. This is actually the first time I’ve put this in print. And I’m glad. I am a survivor. I wonder if I had shared this sooner, the community would have embraced me differently. I just didn't want to lead with that. Maybe that was a mistake, ah, who knows. Anyway, I’m still here! HA!
I’m a proud actor. This past year I was fortunate to be nominated for 3 Connecticut Critics Circle awards.
Best Featured Actress in s Play for Vanya Sonia Masha and Spike at MTC
Best Ensemble in a Play for Vanya Sonia Masha and Spike
Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Legally Blonde STONC
Also, selling out my show A Broads Way, on several occasions, this show is always different, the stories are endless. A Broads Way, has come out of all the theater experiences I've survived. And I can tell these stories because I was there!
I’m especially proud of the teaching I've added to my resume. For the past 8 years I have become a Music together specialist, I'm an early childhood music advocate. I say that proudly because, with my years of experience, I can now definitively say. Music does make you smarter. I have seen these young children grow and blossom learning basic music competence as well as pre literacy and social development skills. I'm very proud to be a Music Together teacher.
I also teach Musical Theatre and private voice and speech and the Performing Arts Conservatory of New Canaan. Teaching kids and young adults feels more like a gift I’ve given myself, than a job. It’s made me better at everything.
I am also a Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister and Friend.
I am married to award winning Actor/Producer, Scott Bryce.
So, that’s my story. So far.