Photo by Bushor Photography
Nice to "meet" you. I’m Valerie. I’m a New York based on-camera, voiceover, and Equity theatre actor. I think writing a bio for my website is both more difficult than acting and strangely similar to trying to master one’s blurb for an OkCupid profile. But here I go.
I grew up on Long Island—the daughter of a Chilean-American fitness instructor and personal trainer and Italian/Irish postal worker. A brainy, quiet, strong, introspective, working class, ethnically ambiguous girl who’d sooner get dirt under my fingernails and play sports than give my hair a perfect early-2000s crimp, I was always a bit of the “weird” kid in my monolithic upper middle class hometown—something my parents taught me to own and be proud of.
Being an outsider lead me towards acting, where I could bring all I had observed to my characters, and where I could give a voice and heart to those who often don't get to share theirs. It helped me find my own unique vision of the world and slant on characters, instill my work with compassion and empathy, and it raised my standard for portraying women who are strong, flawed, complicated, fully-realized characters (Check out the reviews for more).
I trained and received my BFA from NYU/Tisch School of the Arts. There, I studied at both Stella Adler Studios and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London--where I trained rigorously in Shakespeare and classical theater. I booked my first long-term acting gig--a six month tour with Chamber Theatre Productions, helmed by Broadway producer Spring Sirkin--the same week I graduated from NYU, and I've been working in and around NYC ever since.
Though I've played my fair share of Shakespearean leading women (and recently a clown!), much of my work has been in creating and originating roles in new plays--workshops, staged readings, and world premiere productions alike. I've worked on more than 16 so far, and I hope to continue to work with great artists at such an incredibly collaborative and fulfilling level.
I've also played principal roles in a number of short films--comedy and drama alike. I've loved working in this medium and am in the early stages of getting a few self-produced projects off the ground.
A few non-acting things I love: cats (see my instagram), soccer (which I still play) , playing guitar, well-crafted pop songs, Mean Girls trivia, spicy margaritas, hiking, traveling, Bikram Yoga, complaining about people who stand in the doorways of subway cars, book stores, feminism, and that moment when you hear a new song/watch a movie and forget what life was like before it existed.
If you read this far, you should DEFINITELY swipe right. Wait, no...I mean...reach out and say hello so we can be in touch and work together in the near future!
I'm looking forward to getting to know you!