- Camden US-NJ
- [email protected]
An actor and singer by design, I began performing at the age of 3 for my family when I, very seriously and professionally, sat them all in the living room and sung my little heart out to "Somewhere Out There" from the Disney movie, An American Tale. When I was 12, I went to a preview camp day for the Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre and that was the end of that. I was hooked on theatre. I attended camp every year until I was 15 when started interning as a camp counselor and performing in FLCT's yearlong season. In spite of the 45-60 minute drive to the theatre, I spent almost every day in rehearsals for the various productions I participated in.
In 2004, I graduated from high school and went to the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida to study Musical Theatre. I studied under the incomparable Timothy Kennedy, who became not only my director and vocal coach, but mentor, employer with the Pensacola Opera, and dear friend. In addition to Tim, I learned many valuable theatrical techniques including stage management, set building, costuming, and lighting from many talented professional directors and technicians. Throughout my time there, I acted in many plays and musicals; was a soloist for the annual Christmas concert with the Music Department; applied for and received a creative research grant to co-found and co-direct a touring Musical Theatre Troupe with friend and colleague, Tristian Luysterberg; began and organized UWF's College Campaign of the International Organization V-Day: Until the Violence Stops; stage managed, built costumes and sets, wrangled children, and supervised wardrobes. As an Honors and BFA student, I was required to do a final thesis. I chose to do a dramaturgical research project on the fall musical called Goblin Market based upon Christina Rossetti's poem of the same name. I also performed in musicals within the community, interned with the Pensacola Opera, and was the interim youth minister and youth praise band leader at my church for a year.
I value traveling and the experience of other cultures. I have been to Central America and Europe on numerous occasions and always say that my favorite place is the one I visited last. Last year, In 2009, I joined an urban ministry program called Mission Year, and quite unexpectedly, experienced a different culture in "my own backyard." I found that I did not need to go out of the United States to find many people who are different from me and learn from them. Mission Year brought me to Camden, New Jersey, and even when the year ended in July 2010 and Mission Year left the city, I stayed behind to continue watching God work the way I had all year in the midst of this city's cries for justice. My desire is to be a part of the Divine movement that is happening in people of Camden and to be who I am as an artist in the middle of it.
Since choosing to remain in Camden, New Jersey, I have been actively pursuing the theatrical arts and the discovery of who I am as an artist and what I can offer to my community. My belief in the arts as a Divine healer has led me to the pursuit of a Masters of Arts in Urban Studies Arts in Transformation with Eastern University and to working with non-profit organizations like BuildaBridge, Community Rocks!, Give Her A Voice, and Wolf Performing Arts Center. I have also been continuing my development as a performer by continuing vocal coaching with MajaLisa FritzHuspen, voice over coaching with Joanne Joella, beginner aerial work with the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, and acting classes with the Walnut Street Theatre. Recent performance roles include "Milton" in All in the Timing with Haddonfield Plays and Players and "Tessie Tura"in Gypsy with Bridge Players.
I currently teach private voice lessons for beginner to intermediate level students. Age range 8 - 50+.
I began working at the Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club as their Party Coordinator. I organized, booked, and ran many children's birthday parties and larger special events such as Bar Mitzvahs. I stepped down as the Party Coordinator in order to put my full energies into my performing and teaching artist work, but I remain on staff to run parties on occasional weekends for children. We run around like crazy, play sports, do crafts, and sing our little hearts (and parents ears) out!
Mission Year is a national urban ministry program dedicated to loving God and people in some of the toughest neighborhoods in the United States. During my Mission Year, I served as the Team Captain of my community in Camden, New Jersey. I was gifted with the ability to respond with love and grace in some of the most challenging and painful places of my life, while trying to motivate and encourage my teammates in their struggles. I volunteered as a teaching assistant at Christus Academy High School. I helped teach Math, English, Spanish, and Computers to 9th and 10th grade students. I was also a classroom supervisor for the STARS After School program with Washington Elementary and later, the Recreational Leader for their summer reading program. Mostly though, I tried to focus on being present to my neighbors, students, teammates, and the hardships of the city in which I was living.
I served as the Interim Youth Minister for a year. I mentored youth, taught youth group and Sunday school lessons, planned special events and outings, prepared and taught various crafts and games, and began and led a youth praise team that led Sunday morning worship and youth worship events.
I wore many hats at the Pensacola Opera. I interned for three years with Timothy Kennedy, then the Education and Outreach Director. I learned and performed various administrative tasks including membership, ticket sales, organization of props and costumes, data and research collection, and other office work. For two years, I was the assistant director for Opera Camp, a camp for children ages 8-14 in which children learn, design, and perform their own opera. In my third year, I music directed Opera Camp, teaching 15 children ages 8 to 13 opera songs in German. It was quite a learning experience. I also assisted Tim in his yearly school programs including, "From Words to Music," "The Deaf Project," and the Artists in Residence program that takes professional teaching artists into schools to educate students on opera and the arts.
Maja Lisa is a Philadelphia Area Opera Performer and voice teacher. We traveled to Guatemala together as a part of BuildaBridge International's Art Camp where she taught music and I taught drama. She is my current voice teacher.
From 2009-2010, I was a part of an urban ministry program called Mission Year. Mission Year sends young people to some of the toughest neighborhoods in the United States simply to live out Jesus' command to love our neighbors. I served my year in Camden, NJ. Caz was my City Director and became my friend as she walked with me through one of the most life altering years of my life.
I began studying with Tim while I was in college. A professional opera singer and educator, Tim was my voice teacher for 5 years. I was also in many productions that he directed and worked with him as a Teaching Assistant at the Pensacola Opera where he was the Education and Outreach Director. Now, he is also a dear friend and mentor.