Tell us about your education?
High school was in Mequon, Wisconsin and then college at TCU. Texas? I was sick of being cold, and they didn’t look at me crazy when I said I wanted to double degree. I graduated with a BFA in theatre an a BA in music. I didn't to go grad school because I wanted to dive right in, so I moved to NYC that summer.
If you could take any role from a TV show or Film, what would it be and why?
I’d kill to do what Tatiana Maslany is doing in Orphan Black. She just completely immerses herself in the 8+ characters she plays on that show. Different but subtle changes with each one - an accent, a vocal register placement, speech patterns, walk, center of energy, and then of course the costumes and wigs she gets to wear. And of course, I wouldn't sneeze at being a Golden Globe and Emmy nominee, and multiple award-winner.
What was your most challenging character to date and why? Is it your favorite? If not, what is your favorite role to date?
Two stories: I recently did the play "Midsummer" by David Greig at City Theatre in Pittsburgh. It is a two-hander where the other actor and I had to speak in Scottish accents, sing and accompany ourselves on guitar, create 27 different characters and run around the stage - literally sometimes - for two hours straight. I’ve never worked so hard in my life. That was my biggest challenge.
I think my favorite role, however, was playing Irena Hasanovic in Tim Ruddy’s "The International" Off-Broadway in New York. She was a Bosnian farm woman who had lost everything in an unnamed conflict between warring factions in her country. I do not claim to understand the depth of her pain but for reasons I cannot explain, as a character she made sense to me. People would ask me how I managed to get through the show without breaking down. If that role taught me anything, it was that when grief is profound, we as humans cope by putting on a brave face. The poignancy of watching someone you know fight against their pain is what moves us.
Tell us about a time when you had a really bad day but had to perform that night. How did you get through it?
One summer I was performing Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Much Ado About Nothing in rep at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. We had an evening performance the day I received a phone call from my now ex-husband. He had made a decision and shared it with me via telephone. I was upset, and that night I channeled those feelings into a particularly intense scene. I found a moment that was appropriate for my character to use what was already churning in me. As actors we have a fine line to walk. We use our own experiences and knowledge to create a character, but carrying personal baggage on stage can derail telling the story of the play. We are storytellers, and our job is to tell the story, not use the show as therapy. The show must go on.
What is your hybrid?
Julia Roberts and Kyra Sedgwick.
What was the biggest audience you have performed in front of?
Around 3,000. .
How did you get started? When was your first role as an actor?
I was 10 years old and the local high school was auditioning for The Sound of Music. I was cast as Brigitta, the sassy one. Anyone who knows me would not be surprised by that. But my most important contribution to that show was giving the chicken pocks to two high schoolers who hadn’t had it yet.
Who is your favorite actor? The actor you would like to share the stage/screen with…
How did you get started in VO?
When I moved to New York, I made a VO demo then sat on it for 3 years and let it gather dust. One day a fellow actor said I had a good voice and asked if I had a demo. I did! So he sent it to his agent, who called me in and started submitting me. I booked my first audition and was the voice of K-Y Brand for seven years. Yes, that K-Y.
What are you known for?
My loud laugh and my cat-like hazel eyes.
Where are you from?
I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but when I was six we moved to Brentwood, Tennessee. Six years later it was back to Wisconsin. When I off to college, my folks moved back to Tennessee. So I’m half Wisconsinite and half Tennesseean. Cheese and country music. Youse guys and y'all. Hey dere and howdy!
Stupid human tricks?
I make baby-crying sounds. And when I was growing up I created a barnyard of animal noises as well - mooing, clucks, baaas and oinks.
Worst and best audition story?
We'll grab a drink sometime.