While I was born in Brooklyn, New York, I grew up in a trailer in my grandparent's backyard, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. My parents, two very supportive and loving people, were both physically disabled and as a result, money was always in short supply. Hence, at a very young age, I knew that I needed to be my own source of happiness, and that this path only came through the development of my creative voice.
In high school, I devoured as many creative classes as possible, including orchestra, theater, and art. I spent my weekends going to the public library, renting classical music CDs and devouring books on modern art. To many people, I was considered 'weird' (a moniker I proudly carry to this day), and yet, being 'weird' helped me obtain the prestigious Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship, and in 2003, I returned to New York City, to attend Pratt Institute (BFA, 2006 Digital Art) and later NYU (MA, 2008, The Arts and Humanities in Education).
It took me some time to realize that the most effective way for me to express my voice was through the medium of digital filmmaking. And in time, my work premiered nationally on television through PBS, Univision, and HBO, obtained over 10 grants from art/media foundations, and screened at over 100 film festivals, including Sundance and Slamdance. I even have a project currently under consideration for an Academy Award!
In short, I am where I am because I never doubted my 'weirdness.' I've always saw it as both a strength and a unique quality that only I possess. You, the most fabulous fan of StoryBored USA, also possess a unique 'weirdness.' I hope this series allows you to feel more empowered to share your awesome creative gift with the rest of the world.