BEYOND THE CAMERA
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ME
I go by many names that come with a hat of their own . . . wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, designer, photographer, actor, model, producer, writer, organizer, visionary, adventurer, dreamer, world traveler . . . I've worked as a waitress, clothing store rep, billing coordinator, realtor, event planner, graphic designer, photographer, at-risk youth leader, volunteer coordinator, web designer . . . and the list goes on but so do the learning experiences!
I was born and raised in the Midwest but after my first volunteer trip overseas at the impressionable age of 15, my life changed. My roots were in the St. Louis area but my heart longed to be abroad.
After my sixth grade teacher couldn't remember my name at a parent-teacher conference, I figured it was time to move on . . . and attend school somewhere "where everybody knows your name" (loved that show!). I graduated from a very small private school where you literally knew everyone by name - and when I mean everyone - that included students from Kindergarten through twelve grade in one building!
I dabbled in acting and modeling as a young teen but didn't stick with it long. I took some classes and acted in a couple of small school productions but still thought I wanted to sing as a career. Along with lots of music classes, I took a large amount of film and acting electives to fill my roster. Then during a short one-year stint at Greenville College, I met my husband and changed my major. Neither of which I planned to do. Fast forward . . .
Over 20 years of marriage and two sons later, I'm happily outnumbered for life with all these boys in the house.
I decided around age 25 to get back into the entertainment industry and to my surprise, I loved it! In fact, I loved it more than I ever enjoyed singing. One of the first commercials I shot was with my two boys. My dream for a daughter came true on set that day . . . my youngest, who was only two months old at the time, was dressed in a pink onesie and named "Maggie." Great footage to use at his high school graduation or wedding.
In 2006, I founded Under The Tree Designs, originally offering graphic and web design and event producing . . . but discovered my love of photojournalism in the process. This hidden soul-feeding talent is a passion and allows me the opportunity to give back by documenting the work of nonprofits around the world. The money I make in the entertainment industry many times funds these trips to provide pro bono photojournalism to ministries and organizations . . . providing them with professional images to tell their story with excellence and further their cause. My travels have taken me to over 17 countries like Romania, Hungary, India, Guatemala, Haiti, Kenya, Tunisia, Dominican Republic, Jordan, Turkey, and Uganda to name a few.
Over the years, Under The Tree Designs slowly changed as did my love of acting. My focus shifted from a hobby-like mentality to a career. And, I stepped away from design work to help productions with branding, producing, casting, location scouting/management, directing, and COVID Compliance for film/TV/in-house projects.
I love to tell stories! To draw people into new perspectives. To show beauty in brokenness. To challenge myself to bring a character to life on screen. I'm always excited to see what door opens next and am anxiously pursuing new opportunities.
FUN FACTS: A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT ME
I graduated one year early from high school.