Having grown up at the tail end of a large family of mostly girls, I observed and experienced more than my fair share of oddball adventures, some of which had dramatic consequences. For example, like the scene that launches Crickets, I exchanged identities with an older sister when I was 13 and went on a date as her. That’s the catalyst for this screenplay.
My family grew increasingly dysfunctional as the years went by. This brought out in me a competitive drive that helped me make it to the US Junior National Girls Volleyball team. We trained at the Olympic Center in Colorado Springs, CO, (just coincidentally, far away from home) and traveled across the US for games and exhibitions. Later, while playing at Pepperdine University on an athletic scholarship I was recruited to the world of International high fashion modeling. My modeling work in New York, Los Angeles and across Europe introduced me to another treasure trove of inspiration that I am drawing from in my next screenplay.
Writing has always been my refuge and imagination has always been my favorite pastime. As a model, there is a lot of sitting around, often in places where you don’t speak the language. So I would fill the time with reading and writing. When watching foreign language TV, I’d turn the volume down and make up the stories. On the other hand, I took advantage of many opportunities to get out and have fun that came my way as a young pretty model, not all of it family friendly, but full of future stories from my insight and perspective.
Back in Los Angeles years later, my journey brought me to acting which I studied for two years, and performed in a number of plays, commercials and student films. But writing drew me back and soon I found myself in an Intro to Playwriting course taught by a Mark Taper Forum playwright. It was in that class that Crickets was born. I first wrote it as a play but after enthusiastic table reads and feedback, I turned it into a screenplay. To date, the screenplay Crickets has won four awards.
As I am relaunching my writing career, I’m also a mom to middle-school aged twins, and a wife. And of course, I’m still a sister to six siblings, a step-mom, an aunt, a great aunt and a sister-in-law in a family that continues to provide plenty of inspiration for dramatic and heart-warming stories.
Crickets has deep ties to the roots of the #MeToo movement. Set in the 1970’s, it illustrates how and why young women’s life altering experiences can become shameful secrets, the secrets that are now finally being spoken and heard.
The stories I am telling help illuminate how we got to where we are today. Through my diverse and interesting life experiences, I lived and witnessed authentic variations of these stories. I am thrilled to share them honestly and vividly with the world.