As a child in New York City, I grew up with a deep appreciation for independence. As the only daughter of a punk rock drummer and a comedy writer/news producer, I was granted that independence earlier than most. My parents valued my thoughts and opinions greatly, and took me seriously at an age when many people kept doing that thing where they "boop" you on the nose. I expressed an interest in being an actor and they supported it, allowing me to work professionally throughout my childhood as long as my grades stayed strong and I kept having fun (they did and I was!). Growing up in audition rooms and on sets gave me a strong work ethic, a sense of professionalism and a feverish imagination -- skills I believe have made me uniquely qualified for childcare even as a teenager!
I first moved beyond my position as "emergency next door babysitter" at fifteen, when I was hired as the youngest counselor at Camp Yomi, a day camp owned and operated by the 92Y in Pearl River, NY. Apart from acting it was my first "real" job and I loved it. I immediately understood the importance of a balance between discipline and fun, leading my kids through challenging activities and on trips in two beautifully straight lines that never stopped singing and dancing on their way from place to place! I like to think that this is still one of my greatest strengths -- finding the right amounts of nurturing strength and silly in the way I care for children.
After several more summers as a camp counselor I transitioned into full-time nannyhood, often working upwards of 80 hours a week as my bosses travelled and left their children home with me. As a young woman, this was initially a daunting task. Quickly I became comfortable in my role, drawing on my experience as an actor, writer and former athlete. I learned how important a good game of tag was for the son before he started his homework. I learned how much the daughter loved female-driven fantasy stories, and we told those to each other before a particularly stressful day at school. I took them to new-friend birthday parties, introducing myself and Grace to a group and starting a game to help her feel more comfortable.
As an artist, a woman and as a New Yorker, I try to live my life without apology. I don't believe in the word "bossy". I don't believe in not doing your homework. I don't believe in that Tide commercial where the father talks about "letting" his daughter play sheriff once a week so he can wash her princess costume. I think it's my job as a childcare professional to lead by example, and so I do my best to work hard, treat others with respect and find the humor in the world around me. I like to think the children I've taken care of over the years have begun to do the same!