I was born in New York City one Spring day. I can’t remember what the weather was like, but it was probably raining since it always seems to rain on my birthday and usually right after I get my hair done. At the age of 5, I moved the family to Long Island because I felt that it would be best if I returned to the city after it was safer and more gentrified. I loved music before I even learned how to speak, and it was rumored that I made my dance-floor debut at the age of 6 when my parents couldn’t find a babysitter and took me to a party where a Michael Jackson record was playing. To this day there isn’t a moment in time when a Michael Jackson song is playing and I’m not moving to it – which makes trips to Dunkin Donuts and the supermarket a little awkward.
To survive suburbia, I made up a lot of shit in my head – and then made all the other kids act it out with me. You could say I was acting in stuff I was directing from a very early age. I was bossy. But only in service to the inspiration within which needed to be birthed.
I had to survive a lot of things at that time, including depression. Humor, silliness, music, dancing and the world of TV and cinema were my way out. And my way in.
I graduated Ithaca College on a Rod Serling screenwriting scholarship and then went out to LA with forty dollars in my pocket and no connections. I worked two jobs, took the bus and used my credit cards to shoot music videos for unsigned rappers. Flash forward a few years and I was on set with 2Pac, directing what would be one of his last released video, “All About You.” I got sick of LA and went to London because I assumed everyone would be cooler there. And I was right. I fit in better there. They liked my cerebral ideas and I dug their passion for music. I got to work with Amy Winehouse when I directed her video for “Fuck Me Pumps.” While there I also shot my short film, LET ME TELL YOU A STORY, where I played 5 different characters reciting the same monologue. I’d studied acting at the Joanne Baron Studio in LA and absolutely loved it. The short won some awards on the circuit, and I was selected by Filmmaker Magazine as one of their “Top 25 New Faces of Independent Film.”
After about 50 or so music videos and a few commercials I was itching to tell stories that mattered and would resonate with people in a bigger way. I also missed NY so I went back. I struggled. It wasn’t easy. I juggled menial jobs to survive.
I made my first feature film, THE BIG SHOT-CALLER, about a lonely outsider who discovers his self-esteem through Salsa dancing and it won a few awards on the indie film circuit, eventually getting distribution through Vanguard Cinema. A few years later I wrote, directed and starred in my dark comedy web series, MY PARENTS ARE CRAZIER THAN YOURS, about a woman who loses her job and boyfriend in NY and has to move back home with her Pit Bull to her parents’ house on Long Island. Then came the series ANGRY GLADYS based on how much I hate people who talk and use their cell phones in public and how passive aggressive I am. Then came I DON’T CARE ABOUT THE ASSHOLES With Dr. Rita Gatswani…because everyone needs to not give a shit about the negativity more.
Now…I just finished shooting (and starring in) WHEN THE BASS DROPS, a short film based on a feature I wrote about a 40 year old woman who hits rock bottom and decides to go for her childhood dream of being a hip hop dancer in NYC. And…I’m promoting my web series, THE SO-SO YOU DON’T KNOW, a dark comedy about urban loneliness which revolves around a f-d up therapist running a Groupon special for new clients. It’s won a ton of awards on the festival circuit and just might be on TV soon.
The purpose of my work, although humorous and silly at times, aims to awaken the passion and humanity in people.
I bounce between NY and LA because I love the sunsets over the Pacific ocean but feel quite at home on the eclectic and electric dance floors of NYC. My dog Luigi is my sidekick (#RescuedIsMyFavoriteBreed).