I love theater because I love my dad; he is a theatrical event, and he is the first entertainer to inspire my life. I am told that as I grew up in Albania I loved to use my wit to entertain the adults, and I still hold onto that as my best weapon. Moving to America was difficult. We had no connections, we had no flexibility, and we had no money to spend on extracurriculars. Therefore I sang to myself in the mirror for literally hours every day. My fifth grade teacher was sweet and generous enough to rent my trumpet for me (shoutout to Ms Sikoski–I still think of you warmly all the time), and I acted in my first show when I was 14. I have consistently returned to performing since.
My degree in Sociology only makes me a richer artist. I am insatiably interested in culture, behavior, identity, the effects of technology, immigration, the concept of home, modern philosophy, language, dance, and the sum of all these parts. Theater is my favorite way to explore life; being able to immerse myself in learning a new world with every project is gold. The connection and community is priceless. I currently live in Chicago as a director, actor, and writer. I've assistant directed shows at Northlight Theatre and the Goodman, and understudied at Writers Theatre. Most recently I directed for Greenhouse Theatre's Solo Lab. Loyal Slipstream fans will recognize me from our productions of A Doll's House (Nora) and Hamlet (Ophelia).
I return to Detroit because it's still home. Nothing beats sharing a stage with my dearest friends, ten minutes away from my favorite museum. ALSO, MOTOWN. I choose Slipstream because it's rare to find a company that really listens to its members and its community the way Slipstream does. A season is chosen truly based on the value it would bring to the community, rather than its marketability or simply a "want" to produce it. That distinction is really important to me.
Currently my favorite hobby is dancing Mambo. And boy-group or 90's r&b serenades are a.l.w.a.y.s. welcome. Seriously. Please sing to me. Please.