Author / Writer; Director; Film Maker; Storyteller; Teacher / Instructor
We struggle to understand one another and make meaning. Our words stumble, pictures fill up the spaces, a spark ignites across a distance we cannot define. You feel like you understand what I'm trying to say, but I cannot take what is in my head and give it to you whole. How can you take a thousand memories, subjective moments that only you know, and share these with me? Luckily we are determined. We are armed with comparisons against things we do know. We tease out universal concepts and shared cultural mythologies. We succeed in some kind of close approximation because we are hard-wired with the desire to understand each other. The world isn't big enough to hold the things we need to share.
What I love about my work is the capacity for making meaning. As a filmmaker, I take something that exists only in my head and I make it manifest in reality so that I can stand back and watch other people experience it. My best work deals with things that actually happened to me or situations I'm still trying to work out for my own understanding. This makes the work cathartic for me, but also rings true for others because there is always a nugget of commonality in our shared experience of the world. Even though my personal story is not exactly the same as yours, you may see something in it that you identify with.
My short film, Representative (2018), explores my relationship with my father and how he influenced my understanding of American politics. It won the Jury's Choice Award at the 38th Annual Black Maria Film Festival, Best Experimental Film at the 14th Annual San Francisco International Festival of Short Films, Best Short Documentary at the 5th Annual Nevada Women's Film Festival, and was a finalist, awarded Honorable Mention, at the 62nd Annual Rochester International Film Festival.
I am currently an Associate Professor of Film, Video, & Media Studies at Western Michigan University. I have taught a wide range of courses in film production, digital video, and interdisciplinary media, including screenwriting, cinematography, and film studies, across several institutions, including the Savannah College of Art and Design. I earned a Bachelor of Art degree in Art from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film from Syracuse University.
I have known that I was an artist since I was a child, even though my parents didn't like the idea and tried to prevent me from doing this for a living. You know how when you were five and someone asked what you wanted to be, you said, "Fireman! Astronaut! Doctor! Musician!" I'm still that kid. I'm currently knee-deep researching Michigan and all the ancestors I have discovered throughout this great state, with plans to write a historical novel about the women who made me.