Education + Training

My educational background extends to the fine arts, theatre, puppetry, improv, and yoga.

Degree Programs

California Institute for the Arts
2009 M.F.A. Puppetry

I earned an M.F.A. from the California Institute for the Arts (CalArts) through Scenic Design in the Puppetry track from the Theater School and the Cotsen Center for Puppetry and the Arts. I attended CalArts between 2006-2009 under the mentorship of Janie Geiser and Susan Simpson and developed two major productions, Growing Up Linda, which toured to Edinburgh, and Bride of Wildenstein – The Musical.

At CalArts, I focused on puppetry and performing objects with classes in marionette construction, miniature patterns, inflatables, stop-motion animation, the history of puppet theatre, contemporary performance, scenic and video design, directing, writing, play analysis, improvisation, mask work, voice, producing, grant writing, circus design, and inflatables.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago
2001 B.F.A. in Studio Art

At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, my focus was in transdisciplinary studies with a concentration on performance and puppetry.  While at SAIC, I studied a broad range of art practices including performance, puppetry, video art, sound art, site-specific installation, photography, sculpture, drawing, painting, mixed media, creative writing, Earthworks, body arts, and art history, theory, and criticism.

Other Training

Eugene O’Neil Theater Center 
2005-2017

I have been part of the National Puppetry Conference at Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut eleven times, most recently in 2017 as an artist-in-residence. The conference encourages puppet artists to create through the visual and kinetic form of the puppet, to push beyond personal boundaries, and develop new works. At the National Puppetry Conference I have been mentored by Tim Lagasse, Ronnie Burkett, Phillip Huber, Jim Rose, Alice Gottschalk and others.

Jim Henson Company
2010-2015

For five years I trained in on-camera puppetry, improv, and the Puppet Up! Uncensored show with director, Patrick Bristow, and puppetry coaches Alan Trautman and Swazzle  at the Jim Henson Company Lot in Hollywood.

Improvatorium
2010-2015

I worked on my improv technique at the Improvatorium School of Improv in Hollywood, CA, both as part of the Student Company directed Jayne Entwistle and with Patrick Bristow in workshops on improv basics, character and song and dance improv.

Creative Capital
2014-2016

I have taken a number of webinars on the business of art through Creative Capital’s online platform. Designed for artists of all disciplines and at all career stages, Creative Capital’s webinars are taught by highly trained artists and arts professionals who share practical tips and tools, case studies, and personal examples from their own experience. The webinars include:

  • Kickstarter School
  • “Values-Based Goal Setting” with Susan Koblin Schear
  •  “Effective Negotiation for Artists” with Kirby Tepper
  • “Web Site, Blog & Email Essentials” with Sue Schaffner
  • “Creating a Marketing Strategy” with Dread Scott
  • “Seven Elements of Strategic Marketing” with Brian Tate
  • “Art Business Management” with Byron Au Yong
  • “Producing & Funding Your Community Engagement Campaign” with Stephanie Bleyer
  • “How to Approach and Engage with the Gatekeepers of the Art World” with Sharon Louden
  • “Applying for Grants and Residencies: Strategies for Writers”

Center for Cultural Innovation
2014-2015

At Center for Cultural Innovation, I have taken their signature 8-week Business of Art workshop and Time Management for artists. CCI promotes knowledge sharing, networking and financial independence for individual artists and creative entrepreneurs by providing business training, grants, and incubating innovative projects that create new program knowledge, tools and practices for artists in the field.

Rachel Rosenthal Company
2010-2011

I studied with pioneering performance artist, Rachel Rosenthal and her DbD (Doing by Doing) performance improvisation technique at the Rachel Rosenthal Company in Culver City, Los Angeles. Rosenthal’s 8-Week DbD and weekend workshops covered all aspects of theatrical performance (body, voice, sound, music, movement, lights, sets and costumes), approached through exercises, processes and improvisations of solos, duets and group work. The nuts and bolts aspect of the work was both technical and professional. My time at Rachel Rosenthal Company was made possible with funding from Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

Tom of Finland Foundation
2014

I have practiced life drawing at the Tom of Finland Foundation. Each month the Foundation offers a friendly and positive environment to practice life drawing with a live model.

Vocal Coaching with Sarah Marie Ibrahim
2009-2010  

While creating Bride of Wildenstein – the Musical, I worked with vocal coaching Sarah Marie Ibrahim for the basic care of my voice and to find each character’s range

Television Puppetry with John Tartaglia
2005

I first learned Television Puppetry in New York City with John Tartaglia, who is best known in the roles of Princeton (the recent college grad) and Rod (the closeted Republican investment banker) in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Avenue Q. Over the course of 6 weeks, we learned the basics of puppetry for the camera, character, focus, lip synch, and improv.

Rhode Island State Council  for the Arts
2004-2006  

While I was on the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts Education Roster, I participated in a series of arts education trainings. The Arts Literacy Program was an intensive weekend program focused on literacy and innovative learning through the performing arts at Brown University. The SmART Schools Summer Learning Institute was a week-long program focused on arts infusion in the curriculum in North Kingstown High School, Rhode Island.

Echo of Silence with Julia Varte
2005

In Providence, RI, I was part of Julia Varte’s week-long vocal workshop, The Echo of Silence as part of the Magdalena USA Conference.  In the Echo of Silence, we worked on the unity of the physical and vocal impulse, the connection between the singing and speaking voice, and the relationship between text and action. We practiced both individually and in chorus to achieve the characteristic generosity of the voice at the moment it is offered to the surrounding space. The Magdalena Project, founded in Wales, is a dynamic cross-cultural network, providing a platform for women’s performance work, a forum for critical discussion, and a source of support, inspiration and performance training.

Eyes of the World Yoga / Kripalu
2004-2005  

I graduated from a 200 hour yoga teacher training certificate at Eyes of the World Yoga Studio in Providence, where I was mentored by Tom Gillette and Shannah Green. The certificate was managed by Kripalu in Stockbridge, MA.

Rhode Island School of Design
2002

While at the Rhode Island School of Design Continuing Education program, I studied image processing that included Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash.

Boston Museum School
1994

At the Boston Museum School I took a college level course on super-8 filmmaking and editing.  From the beginning, The School of the Museum of Fine Arts was intended to be a school of art: not simply a technical institute, but a school dedicated to the exploration of ideas through the development of visual literacy and expression.

Massachusetts College of Art
1993-1994

1994 Box Art and Installation
1993 August Studios

Massachusetts College of Art and Design (also known as MassArt) is one of the oldest art schools, the only publicly funded free-standing art school in the US, and was the first art college in the United States to grant an artistic degree.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston
1991-1993

  • 1991-1993 Sculpture
  • 1991-1992 Painting

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, offers year-round studio art classes and workshops taught by experienced educators and professional artists in a unique setting. Access to a world-class collection of art provides inspiration for studio exploration.

Falmouth Art Guild
1992

At the Falmouth Art Guild, I studied the fundamentals of oil painting. The Falmouth Art Center is dedicated to the visual arts, providing educational and exhibition opportunities, and provides a place to create art and improve artistic skills.

MBL Club
1993

I studied video production and editing at the MBL club, a branch of the Marine Biological Laboratory, dedicated to scientific discovery – exploring fundamental biology, understanding biodiversity and the environment, and informing the human condition through research and education. Founded in Woods Hole, Massachusetts in 1888, the MBL is a private, nonprofit institution and an affiliate of the University of Chicago.