During the summer of 1996, I was invited by Artistic Director Joe Vincent to apprentice for the California Shakespeare Festival Orinda under the direction of Mark Booher (Artistic Director/Associate Dean PCPA since 1999). I was given the chance to audition for the The Boy for the main stage production of Henry V which would be directed by James Bundy (Dean of Yale School of Drama and Artistic Director of Yale Repertory Theatre since 2002). Upon receiving the role, James asked if I would cut off ALL of my hair---and three days later, a few weeks before my 21st birthday, it was gone. I was gracefully taken under the wing of Mark Booher, James Bundy and his incredible cast of Bay Area actors, and so began my professional life in the theatre.
That fall I became a company member at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where I spent four seasons and four of the most amazing years of my life. In the blistering cold winter of 2000 I made my long awaited move to New York. I had never visited, but the moment the plane touched down, I felt strangely at home. I auditioned for two months straight, worked four jobs, and in February of 2001 I auditioned for De La Guarda. I became a part of a show that would change the entire course of my life in the city of my dreams. I was with the Off-Broadway company for a year and a half and then left for Amsterdam to begin the DLG World Tour in the summer of 2002.
Travelling the world led to some of the greatest blessings in my life: the artists I had the honour to work with, the unique collaborative projects that I knew would happen once in my lifetime, teaching master dance classes, training the next generation of De La Guarda cast members, choreographing and performing in some of the most beautiful places on the planet. It was at this time that my career began to move from theatre acting to physical theatre. I was beginning to merge all of my experience and translate it into my choreographic language.
The fond memories of my travels, the incredible human beings I had the priviledge of meeting, the politics, the religions, cultures, the relationships I built and had to let go of; all that I learned and witnessed, marriage and separation, the love and pain and magic I experienced in the decade that I was abroad, has fueled my aesthetic and has profoundly influenced my continuing exploration into who I am, my creative process, and what I desire to share and give as a progressive, contemporary storyteller. It is my responsibility to give a clear perspective with precision, honesty, compassion, and an eye for the details.
Drawn to the power and endurance of the human condition, I need to tell stories of different genres through various mediums. I seek to breathe life onto the stage with characters and phrases of images that people can be still with, silent with, discuss and live with awhile. I want audiences to go home with something. To take something for themselves.
I remember taking a walk with Mr. James Bundy on the grounds of the outdoor theatre in Orinda. It was the last conversation I had with him. I will never forget his words, "God is not done with you yet. You have the power to move people." I have carried those words with me for nearly 20 years and have shared those words to inspire many.
I currently reside with my family in San Jose, California. My husband Jason Bauer serves our community as a chiropractor. His office, 20/20 Chiropractic serves the families, athletes, and work force who reside in the center of Silicon Valley. We have two children, Teia Calisi and Phoenix Elan.
Presently, I continue to work on my craft, live fully, love profoundly and strive.