Not far from where I grew up in the LA neighborhood, Lincoln Heights, these trees were growing too. The forces that I struggled with as a first generation American, multi-ethnic, and living in the inner-city, are what enable me to play complex characters from diverse walks of life. I have 3 sisters and was raised primarily by my hardworking momma. Gunshot blasts, helicopters, and news of girls my age disappearing only later to be found as the “body of..” still amazes me- this was just life! Performing became a transcendent experience for me as early as 6 years old, when I lied about my age to be allowed in the school’s drill team with my big sister. I did whatever necessary to perform in a public way with a wider unknown audience so it’s less personal and more freeing. We cheer for my nieces today as they jovially sing and dance at gatherings, with the knowing that the same natural desire as little girls was never as encouraged for my sisters and I. In high school, I found a faculty sponsor and reinstated the school’s dance team, making myself the captain of course. My little sister Kelly, 11 years younger would later be a part of that same team.
Acting came to me unexpectedly when I auditioned for Disney Channel’s Gotta Kick It, Up! and landed a principal role. I was a HS senior, a natural I was told, but no one prepared me for the reality that talent must be paired with discipline and years of developing a craft, and a business sense is a huge advantage. It’s an ongoing process, and an end in itself.
I continue to find my teachers, collaborators, and new family who have quite literally transformed me and helped me find my way back to the innocent place where all creation unfolds. Here lies the fountain of my work.