Hi. I'm Christina. That's my co-worker/travel buddy, Stella. (She's the best.) Depending on the city, country, year, or season in which we met, you may know me as a screenwriter, producer, dance studio owner, music journalist, waitress, teacher, social media consultant, fitness instructor, wine brand ambassador, CEO Artist... the possibilities are endless.
So what's my story?
Well, I was born in Brooklyn and raised in New Jersey, which means I have a low tolerance for bullshit and a high tolerance for public transportation. I attended a performing arts high school for dance, and, 2 universities and 3 majors later, graduated with a degree in psychology.
When I was 22 I opened my first business - a dance studio - just outside of Philadelphia, PA. It was rewarding and stressful and empowering and exhausting... but then five years later the crash of 2008 hit, and dance lessons fell under the "non-essential" category. So I decided to close up shop and pursue my other passion - writing - in New York City.
My first year in NYC I developed a blog and resource site called NYC Art Scene, which served as a hub for creatives (musicians, artists, actors, photographers, etc.) looking to connect with new audiences and gain greater exposure to their work. As I met with, interviewed, and profiled these young artists, I realized there was a huge gap between knowing how to live a creative, artistic, fulfilling life... and how to make a living. Thus, CEO Artist was born, at first with just a handful of clients who needed assistance with the "business" side of their creative careers.
But that writing itch was still dying to be scratched, and I scratched it till it bled. I wrote a book called DEFRIENDED and used all of my savings to self-publish and release it. I dabbled in the NYC Theatre community and eventually wrote and produced my first full-length play, CHASING SHADOWS. I took CHASING SHADOWS overseas to London, partly because it's the theatre capital of the world, and partly because I love that city and was looking for any excuse to go back. After a successful, sold-out performance at the 55-seat Hen & Chickens Fringe Theatre, and subsequent demand by the UK Border Patrol that I leave the country in six weeks, I brought the show back to New York and produced a second staged reading.
CHASING SHADOWS essentially led me to the next chapter of my life, and for that I will always be grateful. In 2015, I left New York and moved around the country for a bit. I adapted my play into a web series called DUST: A FAIRYTALE, which I crowdfunded and produced independently. The following year, I was accepting into the MA Screenwriting Program at London Film School, and so I packed up my life and moved to the UK for the next three years.
CEO Artist also made its way over to London, when I was awarded the Graduate Entrepreneur Visa in 2017. I taught classes and workshops across the UK, covering things like pitching, networking, identifying your USP, time management, how to navigate the international market, building lasting connections, making your own work, breaking down cultural barriers, etc. I've been hired to teach and speak at Raindance Postgraduate, The Actors Centre, University of Warwick, The Cockpit Theatre, London Film School, Royal Holloway University, The Photography and Video Expo in Birmingham, International Moving Image Society, and have a collection of one-to-one and small business clients.
My time overseas was priceless, and it changed my life for the better. It changed ME for the better.
Now back in the US and based in Los Angeles, my writing portfolio includes feature films, TV pilots, documentaries, web series, music videos, and branded content. My original TV pilot, FIT, was previously optioned by Can Can Productions in the UK, and I've produced several short films as well as an indie feature, DEMON, which premiered at Cinequest Film Festival in 2021.
In 2022, I dipped my toes back into international waters, living and working in Istanbul while writing a documentary on the ancient Persian poet, Nizami Ganjavi, featuring Eric Clapton. My most recent passion project was the debut of my one woman show, UNPACKED, in London - which was not only a brand new piece of writing, but also my first time taking the stage. I'll be heading back to London in 2024 for more performances, along with teaching new CEO Artist workshops around the world and getting my latest slate of feature films into development. (Christmas bells are ringing!)
In case you can't tell, I'm happiest when I'm traveling, connecting, and creating.
Of course, pursuing such an unpredictable (and often unstable) path has been challenging. There have been countless bumps, bruises, tears, and this-can't-be-happening moments along the way. Some have turned out positive. Many have not.
But I've stood on a lot of mountaintops and watched a lot of sunsets trying to make sense of it, and all I know is this -
LIFE IS NOT MEANT TO BE SUMMED UP IN ONE WORD.