I used to get dressed up – EVERY day. I wore dresses and suits and interesting separates. I didn’t just get dressed, it was an art form: something I would plan the night before, lay out on the bed and thoroughly enjoy. You see, I LOVE fashion. As a child, I drew stick figures wearing unique high-fashion frocks that I created in my mind and transferred to paper. I was destined to be a famous fashion designer, with unique designs stomping down the runway in Paris and Milan. My style: classic with a sense of humor – a little surprise you didn’t expect. A pop of color, a retro edging on a modern design…Coco Chanel meets Hello Kitty. I even went to college for Fashion. It was my major, my life plan…or so I thought.
When I graduated college, I realized that a degree in Fashion did not really get me too many places. I worked in retail, did some window design, realized that I needed a REAL job and did what many 20 year olds do – I became an Executive Secretary. I worked for many years in Insurance and Legal departments. It was a job. Then, one day my human resources director called me down. She had organized a retirement party for one of our big wigs and had hired a comedy troupe to come and do a skit. The problem is that they were down an actor due to illness and had asked her if she could recommend someone FUNNY in the office to help them out with the sketch. Apparently I stood out in the Insurance industry and apparently I was FUNNY (according to her). She volunteered me (without my permission) and I reluctantly helped them out with their sketch in front of all of my co-workers and bosses. To this day, I have no idea how I had the courage to do this, I just know I did it. I was immediately offered a role as an understudy in their public murder mystery show by the Director that day. I guess I AM funny…who knew? AND THE REST IS HISTORY.
Fashion played a part in this area of my life, as well: props, dresses, gloves, wigs, and whatever you need to make a character into…a character! I thoroughly enjoyed this process and I was good at it. I love taking on different looks: a maid, a gangster’s wife, an elderly crazy grandma, a Diva Movie Actress, a shy-nerdy-awkward girl. I realized that I am a blank slate and I can look like and be anything I want to. You get to step into what it would feel like to be someone else and I LOVE that.
I worked every weekend at this job for 17 years (while still holding my boring day job). On nights and weekends, I could escape my Insurance Certificates and Excel spreadsheets and throw on a wig and some make up and give hundreds of people a laugh or two and an escape from their boring jobs. We performed on boats and trains, in restaurants and halls and even in people’s homes. A few years into Acting, I took a stab at Voice Over – thinking I would do Animation with all my characters and creature voices. What shocked me is that I get hired (almost exclusively) for my REAL voice, no character, no accent – just me…. Believable, Natural, Real, Relatable, Caring, UN-POLISHED, ME…..and in 2013, I got laid off from that full-time job and took the leap.
Now, I am a full-time Female Voice Talent and Actress. When I am not in a studio or on a set, I can be found most days in my home studio, recording jobs and auditioning like crazy. Fashion has become a funny thing around here. Most days, I am in yoga pants and a hoodie. Sometimes, I am in my favorite Cookie Monster Pajamas. It’s hard to know by my appearance that I am a working Professional….even though I work harder and longer than I ever have in a suit. There is no major thought put into my outfit for the day – it is usually what I slept in the night before. My world is about comfort and my commute is from my bed to my studio, one room over. There is no need for the perfect red lipstick, or a shiny pair of boots to go with my cute retro dress. My world is mostly about how I sound – NOT what I look like (at least in the VO world). I think this is awesome on some levels, and kind of sad on others. I am most certain (even though he would never admit it) that my husband may miss the days when I would come home from work all dolled up. So, I get excited when I do get to go into a studio for a job nowadays. I can meticulously lay out my favorite dress, my tights and boots and have a break from the norm; and the absolute JOY & BLISS of fashion and dressing up.