I never dreamed appearing in College of the Desert (COD) musical theater productions would open the door to starring roles in Hollywood feature films alongside Michelle Pfeiffer, Renee Zellweger and Nicholas Cage. But that’s exactly what happened for me. I found my future on the stage with COD.
Thanks to College theatre arts faculty members Michelle Gaines, Darlene Romano and Lynda Shaeps, I was able to gain experience and confidence in a nurturing and supportive environment conducive to learning both career and life lessons. These incredible COD women changed my life.
Armed with my local experience, I moved to Los Angeles immediately following graduation and started auditioning. I was successful getting work in commercials right away and soon landed an independent film. My first starring role in a major feature film came in the 2002 dramatic movie White Oleander where I was fortunate to receive critical acclaim, including Oscar buzz. Since then, I've been working steadily, including starring alongside Ewan McGregor in Big Fish and leading roles in Matchstick Men, Flicka and many more.
So much of the professional success I’ve experienced I owe to the great start, strong foundation, real world experience and support I found at the College. There is no substitute for having people believe in you.
Right now I am enjoying focusing on the best role I've ever had, being mom to our 3 year old son and 10 month old daughter. I am so grateful to College of the Desert for providing me the opportunity to pursue a career and create a life that was well beyond my wildest dreams. Thanks, COD.