I started out as an actress. I went to Columbia University. I did musical theater. I was a psych major with a minor in acting. Maggie Gyllenhaal and I were in the same class — we did Little Shop of Horrors together.
I was a creative person and I wanted to do something working with people. Broadway was my thing.
After September 11th, everything changed — I was working out of town more for shows — and I started looking for alternative work, which led me to bartending.
I wanted to travel less and to work for myself and not other people. That’s really what bartending became for me — an opportunity to be an entrepreneur and find new ways to connect with people and build a business.
I realized that in the acting world, it was all about what you look like — maybe 85 percent what you look like and 15 percent of what your talent was. I felt like working in a bar was a flip of that. It was really more of what you could do and how you could create and if that was sellable.
People are like, what do you do? They have a really hard time understanding. You’re bartending? You’re a mixologist? You’re an entrepreneur? I’m all of those things. I’m many things in one, but I create my day everyday, I decide who I want to work with and what I want to accomplish. I bought my freedom.