I was born in Boone, North Carolina, the oldest of four children. My parents ran a group home when I was a child and that is where I spent my first years. When I was five, we moved to a small town outside of Asheville. Growing up, I was very active in Girl Scouts, dance classes, and piano lessons. Reading, traveling, and studying other languages (particularly Spanish) were among my favorite activities. Beginning in high school, I spent seven summers working at Folkmoot USA, North Carolina's International Dance Festival. Being a guide there allowed me to work with people from ten different countries every year and exercise my translation skills.
After graduating as valedictorian of my high school class, I attended the University of North Carolina Greensboro to study theatre. Second semester sophomore year, I had the opportunity to study in Mannheim, Germany. Living abroad teaches you a lot about the world around you as well as about yourself; I believe I am a better and stronger person for my experience there and encourage everyone to find a way to travel. Upon my return, I enrolled at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, receiving a B.A. in Theatre and a minor in music. Between studying and working on shows, I was extremely active in Club Gymnastics (competing at Nationals my junior year), the Office of Student Volunteer Services, and working at the campus daycare center.
Upon graduation, I was hired as an actor at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire where I got to play Italian inventor Leona da Vinci, the great-great-grandaughter of Leonardo da Vinci. Working there brought not only a steady paycheck from work that I loved, but also training in improv, accents, and Shakespeare. When the season ended, I packed my bags and fulfilled a lifelong dream of moving to New York City.
Less than a week after arriving, I was hired for my first job in the Big Apple as Zuzu the elf at Macy's Santaland. Little did I expect what an epic adventure the job would be; the following year I was one of six elves asked to ride with Santa Claus himself in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, fulfillment of another dream. In the 2013 parade I was asked to perform in Herald Square as a Despicable Me minion. Since moving to New York, I have discovered the joy of long d distance running, completing three full marathons to date, including running the 2013 NYC Marathon with the American Cancer Society, an extremely meaningful experience, and a
personal best of 3:44 at the Marine Corps Marathon
Singing, dancing, and acting have had a profound impact on my life and I find my greatest joy in sharing that with others. I look forward to finding my next great adventure!