Twenty-one floors up on Surf Avenue in Coney Island, Brooklyn, my grandfather would hold court at the dinner table, and I would relish his adventures. From serving in World War II to his globe-trotting journeys, the warmth, enthusiasm and detail in which he spoke kept me hanging on every word. His obsession with Orson Welles, love of Hitchcock and inability to go a night without Mash and All in the Family would prolong our evening, and as screeches from the F train mixed with screams from the Cyclone poured in through the windows, along with the ocean breeze, we would sit, captivated by stories filled with suspense, politics, humor and heart. This is where my love of storytelling began.
A thirty-minute ride east on the Belt Parkway, my dad, a colorist and a movie buff with a fondness for film noir, rarely allowed for a moment without the likes of Double Indemnity or The Maltese Falcon to play on his Sony Trinitron. While he fixated on lighting and shadows, I was drawn to story and character. I found myself gravitating toward psychological thrillers like Vertigo and Rosemary's Baby, where I was fascinated by the dynamic personalities I met on-screen and riveted by the slow-building tension that pulled me out of my comfort zone.
My affinity for the film medium rode alongside my love of theater. This involved a slight obsession with Les Misérables, which I saw six times with the original Broadway cast, and another three, ten years later in the West End while studying aboard. The powerful blend of emotions stirred by stories of injustice, betrayal, courage and resilience, performed on-stage, by real people, was so overwhelming, it would stay with me for days.
This interest in humanity led me to the world of documentary film. I was enraged by the wrongful conviction portrayed in Paradise Lost and frustrated by the elusive truth in Capturing the Friedmans. My curiosity about the human psyche grew, and I began forging my path in editing, where I am able to explore real-life subjects and discover what makes people tick.
From character-driven pieces to projects with pressing social issues, my belief in the power of film to educate and affect change fuels the dedication I put into my craft. Building an intimate connection with my subject matter, I focus on the emotional journey of the characters. I love the challenge of cracking a narrative, the collaboration in bringing a director's vision to life and the enthusiastic dialogue shared with a team of like-minded storytellers.
In between projects, I draw inspiration from my travels and engaging with other cultures. Whether teaching English in Morocco, trekking the Andes, or sailing the Galapagos, I take the breadth of perspective gleaned from my journeys back with me to the edit room.
I am grateful to be working in an industry where I am continuously immersed in worlds that I would not otherwise have known, and inspired by the people whose stories I have a hand in telling.