A lucky break parachuted me down into an experimental school where I sang, danced, and acted from age 4. French and Russian lessons there opened a path from my rural D.C. suburb out to the wide world. My family didn’t have money, but a double language major in college got me scholarships for travel and summer study at the University of Saint Petersburg, Russia and then the Bryn Mawr Program in Avignon, France.
Returning to the US, I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers University and landed a Fulbright for postgrad study at the Sorbonne. On my way to my MA in Russian with Highest Honors, I found myself in demand as a singer and launched into a music career, recording my own songs for Virgin, Polydor, and Gaumont, appearing on TV, radio, and at major venues like the Zénith and the Olympia, touring as a singer and dancer. I was the first person ever to star in a music video shot on Red Square, my Russian Rap, “Life is Kife.”
In all, I’ve been to Russia 12 times and when I first came to Paris, I lived for a year with a distinguished family from Saint Petersburg.
When my daughter was born, I took a break from the road to write articles about fashion for Actuastyl Magazine (Promostyl, Paris) and about kids for LEADER Magazine (GSUSA, New York), also working on French screenplays and English subtitles for French box-office hits such as Oscar-winning La môme (La Vie en Rose) and La journée de la jupe,awarded a César. I was hired to write lyrics and music for TV (Les Guignols de l’Info, Sous le soleil,Corto Maltèseand several animated series); movies (Régine, Une femme très amoureuse), and the stage (Soweto, a musical about Nelson and Winnie Mandela).
These experiences led me to produce my own CD’s: M’Blue/Jazzit, Le Resto Karmique (also playing the female lead in the stage version) and Aliss Terrell & Mister Lips.A life-long interest in visual arts inspired YouTube videos Meridian Sky, So Long, and the My Parisseries along with photography shows and two photography Sketchbooks on view at the Brooklyn Art Library (Love from Leningrad and A Long Line of Monsters). In 2015, I was selected by European retail clothing giant C & A to write and perform in a major internet ad campaign, “Back to School.” From 2016-18, my interviews with visionary humanitarian and climate activists were published in The Trump Antidote, an online journal for global voices. (Links in interview posts on blog)
Now: Just finished a memoir based on my first visit to Russia and my return there to adopt my son. Just released: “Margaritas at Midnight” with British band Rough Score, as singer, co-writer and video director, on YouTube and all major music platforms. Coming up: more of everything: music, film, performing. words.