Before becoming a professional filmmaker, I earned a degree in Anthropology (Cultural & Visual) at U.C. Berkeley. For my senior honors thesis (jointly with Francisco Nanclares), and with support from the Haas Scholars Program (2002-2003), I conducted field research with Kayan women in Mae Hong Son, Thailand. Kayan women are known for wearing a brass neck coil, commonly referred to as neck rings. The focus of the work, entitled; Tourism & Ethnic Identity: Creating the “Long-Neck Karen” of Northwest Thailand, was examining the creation of these women’s touristic identity- often at odds with their self-identification- and its multiple producers.
In 2006 we were contacted by producers of the National Geographic Channel’s show TABOO to appear as Kayan “experts” on an episode entitled: Taboo: Body Modification. I appeared in the episode. In 2007 NatGeo called again, and I was one of three experts invited to represent TABOO at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Conference in Beverly Hills. Following the conference, I represented TABOO and our research as a guest on over 16 national & satellite radio shows.
My family is pretty semi-nomadic. I grew up moving around New England, and have lived in Montreal, Los Angeles, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
I took my first solo trip outside of North America when I was 26…to Paris. Since then I’ve traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Taiwan, Vietnam, Uruguay, The Cook Islands, and many U.S. States, and I’ve got big plans for the future!