I was born in Kansas. I went to school at Potwin Elementary, Robinson Middle School, Topeka High School (Go Trojans!) , University of Kansas (Go JAYHAWKS!) and NYU's Graduate Acting Program (Go Bobcats!).
I was called to acting in college when, in the midst of taking on a truly enormous amount of activities (DJ, columnist, classes, etc.) I auditioned for Stephen Sondheim's Assassins. The magnanimous Ron Willis cast me in the play and from the moment the lights came up on the show in front of an audience, I knew that I wanted to be an actor.
I believe that acting in film, television, and theatre is the most visceral and relatable form of storytelling the planet has. Science is discovering all the time the way that stories and narratives impact our day to day experience. Stories help us make sense out of the senseless, give value and meaning to our days, and help us understand that we are all part of the same human family. A recent study showed that students who attended live theatre demonstrated more empathy and compassion. http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/10/19/attending-live-theater-boosts-empathy-tolerance-in-students/76308.html This study didn't surprise me at all. When we, as human beings, expose ourselves to stories about what it means to be a human being, we realize that our triumphs and tribulations, which appear to be so unique and happening just to "us", are actually the universal fabric of living a human life. We all experience exultant joy and catastrophic grief. We all suffer from time to time. And we all succeed too. I think the more that people realize and understand that we are all in this life together, the more compassion, affection, and respect there can be in the world.