I consider myself a native New Yorker, since my parents moved here from Detroit, MI when I was 2, but my roots run all the way down to Wynne, Arkansas. There is a street in Wynne named after my grandmother's family; not because they owned the town, but just because there were so many of them living on that street when the street signs actually went up. My childhood was spent up in Harlem and Westchester County.
Both my mother and father had lovely singing voices and my dad was a natural storyteller. I remember music being played a lot in our home. The acting bug really bite me in second grade when I played a love sick Martian in a musical at the Walden School in NYC. Everyone else in the class was working a puppet, but I was human sized and out front, and got to do a solo called, "The Low Frequency Blues". My performance garnered much praise and I was invited to perform the song in other classrooms for students' birthday parties. I was given cake and punch for my efforts and a trip to another floor of the school. I knew then that I was destined to entertain.
I used to invite neighborhood children to come upstairs and watch me perform jingles from commercials and songs from musicals. This made my mother rather frustrated since I was also handing out cookies and lemonade to my audience members. When she put an end to my living room salons, I knew I needed a new venue.
Since those days, I have gotten to perform in much bigger venues and to audiences who actually pay me to do so! It was been my pleasure to act at many US regional theatres, on Broadway National Tours, on television and in films.
"Stop being so dramatic, April!" my mom would say. Well, good thing I didn't listen. Sorry Mom, I've got the acting bug. There is no cure.