I am a born Jersey Girl by way of North Carolina and Arizona. You would think being raised in two of the reddest states at the time, my experience would be one filled with anger, as the child of immigrants.
Despite the stereotypes given to my childhood towns, Charlotte and Chandler, I was consistently surrounded by kindness of our American community. Our neighbors on Painted Tree Road were caring, loving people, and we truly did live the white picket fence life...because of them. You would think we were a United Colors of Benetton ad when we were busy playing in the dirt on our Huffy bikes. In Chandler, even if our neighbors were making bullets in the garage, they were also looking out for us in times of need.
This is the world I grew up in. I refuse to apologize for it. When my parents came to this country with nothing, they brought with them open minds and hearts, and attracted a wealth of like minded human beings into their new life. I am a product of them, and as I self analyze, it makes sense why I gravitate to the work I do - theatre and film that challenges and celebrates the infinite circumstances of human experience.
Difference can pull people apart, but what if it brought us together because of a shared exploration of the unknown? What if the good, bad and ugly in our art disarmed us into learning something new about one another? I hope I can achieve this through my passion in theatre and film - it's the best way I know how.
My favorite part of 2023:
Splitting my time between New York, Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest reminded me that chosen family and "home" can be found everywhere you planted seeds.