When I was a kid my favorite TV shows were musicals. I wanted to marry Gene Kelly and dance like Fred Astaire. It would take me a lifetime of diverse occupations as model, actress, fiber artist, farmer, Professional Dirtbag Natural Builder, writer, baker, and a couple brushes with death to heed a calling to perform Shamanic Theatre.
I was born in Silver Spring Maryland, grew up in NYC (Yo! PS69 in Queens and the Professional Children’s School in Manhattan), I lived in Hollywood Hills, Rome Italy, Suffolk England (Thanks Mom for sending me to Summerhill!) later moved Topanga Canyon California, Chelsea Vermont and finally settled in Moab Utah. I worked as a Professional Film Actress in Europe and Hollywood until abandoning my acting career to follow my heart. I wanted to grow food and ride horses like a bandit.
I dropped out of Hollywood to homestead in Vermont with my family. We built our house from local lumber and raised most of our own food. We heated with wood, used gas lamps to read with, I spun yarn, wove blankets, crocheted and knitted our clothes from local sheep fleece. We raised horses, pigs, chickens and turkeys, we built a beautiful pond stocked with fish. I canned everything, dried anything, smoked hams and bacon, chopped and gutted chickens. I loved it.
After 6 years, I had a nervous breakdown. When I got “called” by my higher power the initial response was “Are you Kidding me?” It did not make sense to leave behind everything I had worked for.
Resistance was futile. My higher power knew something I could not know and would not leave me be until I heeded the call. I wrestled for two years trying to vanquish this new unsettled feeling. I gave in. There is a difference between giving in and giving up.
I left my family, my farm, my hand raised horses, the gardens, blueberry and raspberry patches, the elderly orchards of apples and pears, the sweet maple groves, my friends and my homesteading dreams to explore living in the heart of wild canyon country.
Boy, was I scared! I didn’t know shit about how to make a living except as a film actress and I did not want to go back to the superficial world of Hollywood. So I stuck it out in Moab, explored the canyons, prayed for guidance, got a job cooking breakfast, got involved with Moab Community Theatre, begged the universe, “What is my purpose?” To my surprise the little voice of serendipity responded, “Your purpose is…to inspire!”
“To Inspire? How do I do that?” I asked
“By doing that which inspires you.”
Read about what happened next in Our Story.
My husband Doni Kiffmeyer and I created OKOKOK Productions in 1994 out of a passion to inspire a Happy, Healthy Humanity in Harmony with Nature through storytelling, mixed media, performing arts, music, dance, practical living skills and natural building techniques.
Together we co-authored Earthbag Building ~ The Tools, Tricks and Techniques and have taught natural building skills world wide.
We created and produced Vipassana ~ The Musical! A musical comedy that follows the trials and triumphs of a yuppie women’s struggle for enlightenment during a ten day silent Vipassana meditation retreat. “No talking, no touching, no singing, no dancing…no eye contact!” You’ll love it!
Our current project is the theater production Yo Mama ~ Un-canned!
A one woman show in which I embody the wise but, smart ass consciousness of a 16 million ton pile of radioactive dirt that introduced herself to me as “Yo Mama!”
Yo Mama ~ Un-canned! was performed at Star Hall in Moab, Utah February 2017, Boulder, Utah in summer 2017 and in Torrey, UT in June 2018. She would love to share her insights with you too!
Contact us about hosting a performance of Yo Mama ~ Un-canned!
My TV, film and theater credits include; Hawaii Five-o, Mary White, The Girls War (a German and Czech co-production for which I was awarded best up and coming actress at the Berlin and San Sebastian Film Festivals) Willie and Phil, Roadie, Porky’s 1, 2 and 3, Just the Way You Are, Who’s Life is it Anyway? several Italian Carosele (super cool episodic television commercials for Gelato), modeling stills for whatever it was, experimental Cafe La Mama theater stuff at the Actor’s Workshop in Rome, Italy and the Beverly Hills Playhouse and a bunch of fun stuff with the Moab Community Theater (MCT rocks!) in Moab, Utah.