What medium do you prefer to work in? I have spent most of my life in theatre. But if I had to choose a new direction for my life, it would be to go in to sitcom production. I can carry my knowledge from theatre over and still be able to work with the magic of camera.
Favorite TV show? It’s a bit outdated, but I grew up on I Love Lucy. I think it’s amazing what Desi Arnaz went through in order to create the three camera set up. And I love Lucille Ball’s comedy. She was simply fantastic.
Favorite film/documentary? Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The story is pretty amazing, but what Michael Gondry did without the use of special effects is brilliant.
Favorite play? This is hard, I love Almost, Maine by John Cariani and then there’s the whole musical spectrum. I think of all the things I have seen or been a part of, Cabaret and Hair are my favorites.
Why did you choose Cal State L.A.’s MFA program in Television, Film and Theatre? I like what the program has to offer as far as covering the various mediums. I have such a strong background in theatre that I wanted to continue to build upon that while also delving into the film and television world. I started off shooting short four-to-seven minute videos with an artist company in Hollywood, but I didn't feel I had all the tools necessary to continue filming if bigger projects were to come along. I now feel really good with where I am at as far as what I have been learning and the tools of the trade.
What were you doing before you enrolled in the program? I had been directing and choreographing for various youth and college theaters in Los Angeles and Orange counties as well as performing in one or two shows a year. I also teach at a young actors conservatory for film and television.
Do you have film/TV industry experience or are you currently working in the industry? The experience I have in the film/TV industry is mainly on the acting side. I have been pursuing a career in the entertainment industry since I can remember.
What are you passionate about? I love singing and performing on stage. It forces me to give up control and tap into a side of myself that I don’t get to on a daily basis. But when I am behind the camera or working on a new show in a theatre, I become deeply passionate about that. I love digging deep with my actors and finding the sides of them that they are not used to tapping into and then directing them in a way that can bring an audience in and experience those same emotions.
What themes are important to you in your work? I’m a sucker for a good love story. I am usually drawn to the underdog stories, the pieces that tap into unrequited love but still end realistically. As much as we all wish things would end “happily ever after,” that’s just not the real world. A good love story should feel like it’s tangible. And I like working on pieces that I can show my nieces.
What projects/people in the film industry inspire you? I really enjoy the work of Baz Luhrmann. He likes to break the boundaries and add choreographed elements almost like musical staging, which makes the audience know they are watching a Baz Luhrmann film. He turns his films into a moving art piece.
Most fascinating thing you have learned in the MFA program recently? I have had my eyes open to possibility of pursing jobs that I wouldn’t have thought I would want to do after graduation. One thing I have learned is that proper communication is key when working within a collaborative program. If a person cannot communicate what his or her vision is or what they want from others who are working on a project, then things can go terribly wrong. Learning the art of communication is really key to being successful in any career.
What are your plans for after graduation? I want to look into pursuing a more solid career in television, whether it be starting in production to holding a position as a second to an assistant director until I can move up. My ultimate goal is to direct for television while still working in theatre. The one thing I am sure of is that I’ll be traveling the summer after graduation; I’ll need a clear head before jumping in to the deep end.