Seems I was always pretending to be someone much more marvelous than who I was. Not that things were so terrible in my childhood, I just happened to be a kid who cherished the enchantment of books and movies and plays and cloaking myself in the magic of transformation.
There was also the inevitable Oddball Element: I was so very tall, so very young, that the moment I discovered I could pretend to be Somebody Larger Than Life I felt much more at home in my body. I immediately found that I adored wielding comedy via brilliant writing best of all. I still long to surf the waves of laughter rolling in from a live audience. And though I am most definitely drawn to playing pathos as well, I have never longed to play Medea, and never will.
I’ve always been completely smitten by shows like “Upstairs Downstairs” and all the BBC period pieces we used to only be able to see on public television in the US. (I am still ravenous for period pieces today.) I was also molecularly obsessed with old Hollywood movies. I was a devotee of Hepburn and Garbo and Roz Rossell and Bette Davis (and so on). I was in love with Clark Gable and Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart and Gene Kelly (and so on). When I first started out on my acting journey in NYC, the walls of my tiny studio were lined with old movie stars.
I went to Northwestern University, having applied nowhere else. Left a year early, transferred to NYU, stayed two weeks, dropped out, and hit the ground running — into 63,472 brick walls throughout the 7 years I lived there. (My studio actually faced a brick wall. I know — worst feng shui on record.) While touring the country in a musical, a turn of events dropped me off in Hollywood. I switched coasts and followed the work and consider myself fortunate to have been able to make a living as an actor. Here are the particulars thereof.
I have played regularly, recurringly, and fleetingly:
A smartass pawnshop owner on Bones.
A curmudgeonly sportswriter on Love and War.
A nice Midwestern mom on How I Met Your Mother.
A jailed art dealer on Eli Stone.
A gay gynecologist on Mad About You.
A nasty ex-wife on Everybody Loves Raymond.
A narcissistic psychiatrist on Bette.
A personal assistant in Wag the Dog.
A smart alec flight attendant in RedEye.
A disgruntled engineer in Disclosure.
A slightly schizo circus hostess in Bingo.
A witch on wheels at Radio City Music Hall (see “Kicking It”).
A temperamental stage star in Light Up The Sky.
A temperamental movie star in The Man Who Came to Dinner.
A temperamental soulmate in Private Lives.
A Russian, a German, an Englishwoman, a Texan, opposite Anthony Newley in the US revival tour of Stop the World,
I Want to Get Off.
A Vulcan, a half-Klingon, an Andorian, and a Q in various Star Trek series.
A crowd of characters doing improv. comedy on the Bowery.
A histrionic marquise in LaBete on Broadway.
A voice for Honda, Suave, Christian Children’s Fund, etc.
A voice for a blue brontosaurus real estate agent on Dinosaurs, in addition to many guest dinosaurs.
There’ve also been other guest spots on TV, other movies, thankfully dead comedy pilots, and a variety of off-off Broadway and regional theatre fiascos.
I wrote and performed a solo show, An Evening With Eve, in which I played the Old Testament’s most infamous woman, and some of her mythical friends, waxing philosophical and sometimes musical. I wrote and recorded The Return of King Lillian, in which I played all the characters.