I used to watch my grandma sew when I was a little girl. Legend has it that, at age three or so, I was once sitting with my grandmother in her sewing room and she was laying out a pattern. I observed her for a while before exclaiming, “Grandma, it’s like a map!” However, even with that, I didn’t learn to really sew until I was about twenty, and am largely self-taught (went to grandma and took some classes here and there but mostly I learned from my own trial and error and research).
I’ve always been interested in movies with gorgeous costumes, but I never imagined that this would one day make me an amateur costume designer! I started officially designing costumes in 2008, when my school (where I taught English/Language Arts) was doing The Music Man as our annual musical. Thirteen shows later, I’ve designed Little Shop of Horrors, The Wiz, West Side Story, Grease, The Importance of Being Earnest, Fiddler on the Roof, Hairspray, The Wizard of Oz, Willy Wonka, Jr., Beauty and the Beast, Jr., The Little Mermaid, Jr. and, most recently, Frozen, Jr. Because of this resume, I was asked to teach our school’s Textile & Design program, and I love it!
Growing up in Brooklyn, I was always a stone’s throw away from Broadway and I developed a love of theater at a young age when my mom took me to see Into the Woods for my seventh birthday (I still have the ticket stub and Playbill). Since then, I’ve seen countless shows and try to get to the theater as much as possible (but Into the Woods remains my favorite to this day, though the newer Waitress is a close second)! Musicals are my favorite, but I also love plays, the ballet and the occasional opera.
Despite the above three things, I actually have both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in English (Pace University/Brooklyn College). I’ve loved to read my entire life, and devour books, often in one sitting. Or sometimes I’ll go months without reading a single book and then read three in one week. Despite being an English major, I tend to prefer mystery/thrillers or chick lit since my time is often limited and I need quick, fun reads. Favorite book: The Dive from Clausen’s Pier, by Ann Packer.
I watch way more t.v. and movies than I should. And I watch the same stuff over and over again. I love a really bad Lifetime or Netflix original movies (have you seen the Christmas Prince Trilogy?!), stuff I can keep on in the background while I’m working on my various projects. Still big on Parks & Recreation, The Office, 30 Rock, and Downton Abbey even though they all aired their last episodes years ago. I can equate almost every life situation to it’s comparable situation on Friends (which started when I was in 8th grade and ended my first year of teaching, so I always say I literally grew up with it). My newer obsessions are Schitt’s Creek, The Goldbergs, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Baby-Sitters Club. I also love Dr. Who but that’s an anomaly; fantasy is not generally my thing.
I want to go everywhere. I’ve been a lot of places: France, Germany, England, Iceland, Malta, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada, multiple states I don’t live in (I believe it’s about 22 that I’ve actually spent time in and not just passed through). My favorite travel experience happened in Iceland, when I sat on a green school bus turned waiting area playing twenty questions with a bunch of strangers from all over the world waiting for our bus ride back into Reykjavik.
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory and it may seem like a total cliche, but Paris has always been my favorite city and I love everything about its atmosphere. I was really good at French in middle school, and then kind of lost it but can still read it fairly well. My first trip to Europe was to Paris, a gift from my grandparents for my college graduation when I was twenty-two, and I’ve been three times (though currently, the last time I was there was 2010!). One of my goals in life is to learn to make perfect croissants.
I did say I was a nerd and a big reader, right? Ravenclaw Forever, “where those of wit and learning/Will always find their kind” (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone).