My life in the theatre
How I got my start
Many people ask me how to get started in voice-over and I always answer, I studied acting and did live theatre. Voice-acting is acting and you can’t be great unless you take classes and practice. The theater is an amazing training ground and so much fun!
We had a wonderful theater program at my high school and I earned the Bank of America award for outstanding performance in the theater at the end of my senior year. I continued to pursue theater at Orange Coast College where I acted in plays and also directed a mainstage production of Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House.”
My first professional acting job
During college, I got a job at Knott’s Berry Farm’s Birdcage Theatre, where I performed in Melodramas several times a day for 3 years. I usually played the part of the heroine, but occasionally played the villainess. I was tied to railroad tracks, (or a steamboat wheel in Riverboat Revenge) and had the time of my life.
Other notables who came out of The Birdcage, include Steve Martin, Dean Jones, Lauren Tewes (Love Boat), and Lorna Patterson (the stewardess in Airplane)
Then, I moved to Los Angeles
If you want to be an actor, you have to live where you can get a job. (at least you had to back then)
I started to study at the Lee Strasberg Institute on Hollywood Blvd. From there I met a producer in the parking lot on Hollywood Boulevard who got me a job doing wardrobe on a feature film called “Brigham” We shot it in Salt Lake City and in LA. That led me to work for several years as a wardrobe assistant on “The White Shadow,” “Hill Street Blues,” Blake Edward’s “SOB” and several pilots/movies of the week.
The money was amazing, but I still wanted to act. I ended up quitting (probably a dumb move) and went back to acting class at “The Ossetynski Theatre Lab” on Melrose Blvd. From there, I started doing equity-waiver plays in the Hollywood area and some dinner theater (AEA).
Ionesco’s Tales for People Under 3 Years Old
My favorite experience treading the boards was in 1983 when I played the lead in “Ionesco’s Tales.” It was presented at the Stages Tri-Lingual Theatre on McCadden Place in Hollywood. The play was directed by the brilliant Paul Verdier and it was based on a short story written by Eugene Ionesco.
For those who don’t know who he is, he was a famous “theatre of the absurd” playwright who wrote “Rhinoceros, “The Bald Soprano,” and “The Lesson.” Mr. Ionesco was in residence at our theater and wrote an additional “Tale” just for us.
He was so sweet. I later corresponded with him using a French translator, and still have his letters. It was the highlight of my theatrical career. I earned a Hollywood DramaLogue Award for outstanding performance by an actress playing the role of Josette, a 3-year-old girl.
Leonce and Lena
I earned another Hollywood DramaLogue Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in Leonce and Lena, as Lena, also at Stages Trilingual Theatre.
My biggest influences
I am proud to say I’ve worked with some amazing people in my life.