Tom's credits include stage work with the New York Shakespeare Festival, Pasadena Playhouse, San Diego's Old Globe Theatre, San Diego Repertory, La Jolla Playhouse, Los Angeles Civic Light Opera, Theatricum Botanicum, Nevada Shakespeare, Sacred Fools, Crown City Productions, Theatre Unleashed, and many more. He met his writer wife, Christine, when they were both dancing for California Ballet.
Recent T.V.: How to Get Away with Murder (A.B.C.), Criminal Minds (C.B.S.), Pretty Little Liars (A.B.C. Family), Marry Me (N.B.C.) Jennifer Falls (T.V. Land/C.B.S.), and American Superstore (N.B.C./Universal pilot), Sam & Cat (Nickelodeon) Web credits include Online Gamer, Newlywed & Broke, Bozos, Whacko Smacko.
He has a B.F.A. in musical theatre from the School of Performing Arts, and an M.F.A. in Directing from United States International University.
JAMES BABBIN is thrilled to be part of Fierce Backbone and such a great community. Film and television work includes J. Edgar, Hawk P.I., Carl's Day Off, Water On Mars, Night Shift, As The World Turns, One Life To Live, Sex & The City, Angels In America, Main Distraction and As Luck Would Have It. Los Angeles, New York and regional theatre credits include productions with the Fountain Theatre, Deaf West, 4x10 Musicals, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Playwrights Horizons, Riverside Shakespeare Company, Trinity Repertory Company, Rubicon Theatre, Will Geer Theatricum, Barrow Group, Surflight Theatre, Hangar Theatre and Alliance Repertory Company. On the radio, he has worked as a disc jockey in a variety of formats and narrated several audiobooks. As a producer and writer, James has two projects — Hacker and Paradise Rising — in the pipeline. Proud member of SAG-AFTRA & AEA.
Vanessa Barco , was born and raised in Palo Alto, California. Acting found her when she was studying with Stan Roth, from The American Academy of the Dramatic Arts. Her medium is well rounded from television to film and is a proud member of Fierce Backbone.Besides being an actress she is also a painter. Many of her art works have been showcased in Los Angeles.
Jeremiah Benjamin is a high-octane goofball.
Rachel is a Musical Theater graduate from Millikin University, originally from Chicago. She's been performing around the Los Angeles area since 2010, and has been a member of Fierce Backbone since 2012. She's performed in Fierce's productions: "Gentle Passage" at the Hollywood Fringe Fest (nominated for best original play) as the aloof Anna Finstrom, as the not-so-bright courtesan, Sweetie, in "Rock of Abandon", and the sarcastic, ruthless Ruth in "A Good Grief". She's also performed with the Kentwood Players in "Lend me a Tenor" as Diana, and recently in "LA Deli", directed by Walter Painter, at the Lee Strasberg Theater this past spring.
Born and raised in Dallas, TX Jon has been acting since 2007 where he performed at Collin College starring in plays such as The Ruby Sunrise, Big River, and Don Juan in Chicago. After three years of studying, Jon embarked into the Dallas community where he played roles such as Arlequin in The Game of Love and Chance, Buddy Hexler in Murder at the Orient Burlesque, and Orin in Little Shop of Horrors. In 2012 Jon relocated to Los Angeles and has since appeared on stage in Almost, Maine produced by Infinite Jest Theatre Company (a company which he also serves on the board.) Film credits include a recurring role on the award winning horror web series "Throwing Stones," leading role in Dallas-based film "The Dahl Dynasty" and co-starring on FOX's "Glee." For Fierce Backbone, Jon has appeared onstage in The Big Blue as part of Fierce's "2 out of 3" and also in What the F*ck as part of the 2015 LA Fringe Festival. Other training and skills include puppetry and cutlass (sword-fighting.) Jon next plans to tackle both voice-over and improv workshops.
Mandy Dunlap is primarily an actor but often wears the hat of producer, casting director, prop designer, and wardrobe, when needed. A graduate of The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, she has appeared on film, television, and stage. She is now settled in LA and was last seen in the recent Hollywood Fringe Festival production of Broken Panda and as Brenda in Fierce Backbone’s critically acclaimed Good Grief. Other Los Angeles performances include roles in Down in Front; Gaby's Playdate; S.O.U.L.S, Inc; BurlyQ Moon; Unplug Grandma; The Course We Set and Ten Minutes. Mandy is proud to be an original member of Fierce Backbone. In the 5 years acting as the company casting director she has cast 2 World premieres; a dozen Fringe festival shows; several workshop productions, staged and full readings; and hundreds of weekly workshop readings.
Born and raised on the east coast until his enlistment into the US Navy as a Corpsman (Medic), Doc Farrow spent most of that time travelling the world, and seeing many different cultures and enjoyed the time he spent learning about the world outside of Maryland. After six years of service(to include 16 months in Iraq), he discharged from the U.S. Military and stayed here in beautiful California.
While spending three years continuing his education in medicine, he was reminded of a childhood dream of performing and took the right steps in chasing his long overdue dream. He (Quite literally) shot up a pray, jumped on his motorcycle, and landed at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood. He enjoyed his 2 years of learning, growing, and becoming a fuller instrument of expression, and graduated earning his Associates in Arts degree in May 2011, and in March 2012, completed his third year as a proud member of the Academy's Theatre Company.
In and out of training, Doc has been developing his craft in the Theatre with such productions as "The Marriage of Bette and Boo," "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot," "Tracers," and "Othello." And can also be seen on such Television Networks as ABC, ABC Family, CBS and Fox. Since moving to LA, he has also been living another dream of being a stand up comedian. He has performed in such venues as The Hollywood Improv, The World's Famous Comedy Store, Jon Lovitz Comedy Club, and that is just here in Los Angeles! Doc believes that laughter is the best medicine and is grateful to be a part of that process for those of whom he meets.
Although Laughter is the best medicine, it is not the root of all healing, and that is why you can see him as a part of the Fierce Backbone Theatre Company sharing his joy and pain with you on the stage and in life. Having already performed in "Rock of Abandon," by Stephen Blackburn, and - as a part of 2014 Hollywood Fringe - Amy Tofte's "Broken Panda," Doc has enjoyed being a part of amazing Fierce Backbone Productions, and looks forward to the future path that lies before him as a company member.
Crystal is a working actor, writer, and producer. She has starred in numerous stage plays, most recently as Isabela Garcia in "The Legacy of the San Patricios" written by fellow Fierce Backbone member. She also acts in film/TV acting, most recently co-starring on "The Young & the Restless" and "General Hospital" as well as just wrapping a principle role for an international commercial.
Jocelyn received her MFA in Acting from Cal State Long Beach and has performed in well over 40 plays throughout Southern California including a production of Three Tables at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in which she was honored with Best of Fringe. She also performs sketch comedy regularly at IO West with her House Sketch Team "Duke."
Jennifer Jules Hart
Jennifer Jules Hart is a Toronto born artist, currently residing in Los Angeles. She brings her sense of humor, passion and outgoing personality to every project she takes on. Versatile is the best way to describe her; she's a dramatic actress, bubbly host, proficient voice over artist and a quirky comedian. On her free time, she plays with tigers, rides elephants, jumps out of planes and attempts to visit every country possible.
While studying acting and living in New York City, Jules got to play her first lead in the independent feature film Crippled Creek. She has since then acted in numerous shorts and features, her last three screened and won in film festivals across the globe. She has had various roles on TV shows and most recently was on stage for Fierce Backbone at the Complex Theater in Hollywood for God Help Us. Before joining Fierce, Jules performed on stage in New York's run of the Best Party Ever and played Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof. She is the new voice of Fun Shaundi in the video game Saints Row 4 and just finished recording for the game Mirror's Edge 2, being released in 2016. She has hosted numerous shows, for KCOP My13la, NBC, LA Confidential & VH1's Break 'N Through to name a few. She is also credited as a producer and writer for such projects as The Male Room, Remember Me, Freezer Burn and most recently, her film The Writer's Draft was an "Official Selection" and screened at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Jules recently joined Groundlings to further study improv and is a proud member of Fierce Backbone since 2010. Check her out at www.JenniferJulesHart.com
Herb Isaacs is a longtime performer in Los Angeles theatre: Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey, Sid in Pajama Game, Zig in Bleacher Bums, the Russian Double Agent in Hapgood, Andy in Love Letters, and Otto Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank. He has hosted local cable television talk shows including “Coffee Break” and “The City Show.” In recent years he has focused on directing: established plays such as Driving Miss Daisy, Beau Jest, Later Life, and Standing By; and new works such as two world premiere musicals: American Klezmer and The Smartest Man in the World, and other dramas and comedies: Among Thistles, Fixing MacBeth, Everything Dies in Winter, and O.T., (with a basketball court on stage!) From 2004-2010 he served as Artistic Director for the West Coast Jewish Theatre. He was the founding president of the Academy for New Musical Theatre and served on the Board of Los Angeles Channel 36 where he created and hosted the show “Theatre Now.”
Di has been an actor since her earliest memory, even when it was just re-enacting her favorite movies in the backyard and then creating new adventures for those characters. She studied theatre and acting at Duke University and William Carey University and interned at the only professional theatre in Mississippi, New Stage Theatre. New Stage is where she got her first taste of helping stage- & screenwriters develop their new works, which has been a consistent thread throughout her professional life as an actor. In addition to acting for stage, film, and television, Di wrote and produced a short film adapted from Margaret Atwood's short story Liking Men, and she occasionally tells original stories at venues throughout Los Angeles, including Spark Off Rose and Rant & Rave at Rogue Machine. Di strives to be a good human, to speak for those with no voice, and to do good in the world. She has also been hired to work as a bronze Art Deco lamp.
Yael Marga is an Actress, she was born in Hammondsport NY to parents of German descent. Yael grew up outside of Philadelphia in Bucks County Pa. Yael started studying acting at an early age with The Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia, as well as The Walnut Street Theatre. The acting bug got a hold of her and she would commute into Philadelphia by train on her own at the age of 12. By the age of 14 she added singing to her resume and studied Opera in Trenton NJ and Classes at The McCarter Theatre. Yael came from a home that believed in education and craft as her Grandfather was a Classical Pianist, her Father a Trumpet Player and her Mother a Therapist. So study, study, study she did. Fortunately she went to Harry S Truman High School, known in the country as one of the Best Theatre Programs under the Direction of Lou T. Volpe and there she was able to put her skills in action on the main stage. Yael performed in competition plays, "Agnes of God", "The Elephant Man", "House of Blue Leaves". Yael went on to win several state competitions. On the Main Stage "They're Playing Our Song", "Barnum", "Guys and Dolls". After Graduation Yael moved to NYC and attended A.M.D.A and The New School. While in NYC Yael founded her own Theatre Company Wild Guess Productions, which created new one acts. Yael honed her skills as an Actress, Producer and Theatre Developer. Wild Guess was a place for talent to work and one actually got paid a descent stipend. Eventually after 4 years Wild Guess disbanded and Yael found herself back on the audition circuit. Yael was cast in an Off B-way Production of an all woman's cast of "Midsummer Nights Dream", Yael received excellent reviews as Oberon and the play had an extended run. She continued to hone her natural acting talent while auditioning and getting Under 5 parts on "One Life To Live" and "New York Undercover". Always wanting to develop herself Yael also took dance classes and Martial Arts training. Yael has shown her range in a variety of roles, playing characters from Smart, Vulnerable Strong and Fun women in "The Ginger Period" and "Killer Teens", to a lesbian in "Love and Hair" Yael continues to study and is a member of Fierce Backbone Theatre Company and We Make Movies. She is a vegetarian and also remains loyal to yoga, which she discovered when she was injured at the age of 14 in a motorcycle accident, Yael lives in Los Angeles, California.
Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Monica toured the US with a repertory company from Texas at the tender age of 20, when her life in theatre was defined. On that tour she was actor, assistant director, tour manager, props mistress and second driver. Since then she has acted, directed, production managed, built props and driven big trucks loaded with set pieces for theatres from Buffalo to Burbank. Some favorites: Another Effing Family Drama, Holly, HFF11; Joe's Garage, stage manager/props, Open Fist ; Trailerville, Bella "Screamin Eagle" Boucher, Moving Arts; A Few Good PB&J's, Mom, HFF12 and The Rock of Abandon, Choirina, Fierce Backbone. Currently she is the Manager of the Complex Hollywood Theatres and Studios. Monica also has started her own production company, Visionary Theatrix.
A native of Philadelphia, Drew has been acting ever since playing Jangles the Head Elf in his third grade Christmas play. His mother recalls him complaining that Mrs. Claus had more lines.
De Ann M. Odom
De Ann is an actor, voice talent, and writer now residing in Los Angeles. She recently relocated to the bright and sunny shores of Southern California after many years in the wet splendor of the Pacific Northwest. De Ann's love of acting was born from her transient childhood as she's lived all over the country (having moved 9 times through 8 states during the first 18 years of her life). She has a deep passion for performance in film, television, voiceover, and theatre. Be they for stage or screen, she also revels in table reads and staged readings penned by talented writers to nurture their new works. De Ann is a proud member of Women in Film and Fierce Backbone.
Favorite past plays include Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Steel Magnolias, Dial M for Murder, Behind the Laughter, See How They Run, Blithe Spirit, Little Mary Sunshine, The Boy Friend, Stories from Winnie the Pooh, Tartuffe, The House of Blue Leaves, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Calm Down Mother, and new works like Boise is the Paris of Idaho, One Afterlife to Live, Murder, She Drank, and Gorgeous (her first show in Los Angeles right here at Fierce!).
Happiness includes weekly motion picture matinees (at actual movie theatres, hey!), vintage costumes and props, making 48-hour short films, Gus Van Sant silent takes (she got to perform them while working on his film Restless), Ethel Mermanating, I Love Lucy, Elvis, prairie tales, falling off stages while doing stand-up comedy (um, and other occasions), and performing as a tap dancing, roasted chicken for Intel.
Fun Fact: In a fitting foreshadowing, De Ann Marie was named for Marlo Thomas' character, Ann Marie, in the TV show That Girl.
You can contact, see, hear, and read more about her at www.deannmarieodom.com.
Marina has appeared on stage and screen in hundreds of projects, working with such acclaimed directors as Lasse Hallstrom, Shawn Levy, and Blake Edwards. As a protective mother she shielded her children from the murderer Tim Daly in the controversial NBC film "Witness to the Execution," dictated foreign policy to John Spencer on "The West Wing" and prosecuted Lea Thompson in the NBC film "The Unspoken Truth," to name a few. Her bilingual ability has allowed her to move between Anglo and Latina roles including the upscale Anglo mayor in the ABC series "Threat Matrix," and the re-occurring upscale Latina mayor on the Disney channel series "In A Heartbeat." Marina has been fortunate to work on several high profile series such as "Harry's Law," "Desperate Housewives," "CSI Miami," "Beverly Hills 90210," "West Wing," and "ER," among others. Variety praised her in the CBS film "The Absolute Truth," starring Bruce Greenwood and Jane Seymour, stating "Marina Gonzalez Palmier turns in a solid performance as a strong woman haunted by her past."
On stage, she has been seen in scores of new and classic works in theaters throughout Los Angeles. Favorite performances include "You Can Call Me Eve" at Write Act Theater. Backstage wrote: "...Palmier has an easy conversational delivery as Eve, being especially adept at wry one-liners." At the Inner City Cultural Center's production of Shakespeare’s "Othello" directed by Ted Lange, Drama-Logue gushed of the supporting cast "The best able to handle dialogue and find some interesting sub-text in their performance was Marina Palmier as the courtesan Bianca. LA Weekly’s Pick of the Week declared: “Marina Palmier is consistently entertaining as a serpentine “Queen of the Nile” in "Epic Proportions" at Avery Schreiber Theater, and in the World Premier of "Madre" at Theater Theater, the Los Angeles Reader praised her performance stating “...the hostility filled relationship between Rubin and his mother Anna, powerfully acted by Marina Gonzalez Palmier...Palmier literally shakes with emotion as she delivers...” Most recent stage performances: the new Latin themed comedy "Clean Start" presented at Casa 0101 in Boyle Heights and "Maria Conchita Alfonso Alfonso Alfonso," written by Marina for the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Nathalie just wrapped filming 96 SOULS by critically acclaimed director Stanley Jacobs. She plays Claudia in Larry Clark's BULLY currently on Showtime.
Nathalie began her professional career on Broadway in LES MISERABLES, replaced Natalie Portman as Anne Frank in THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK after a nationwide search, and played Young Alma in Roundabout Theatre Company's SUMMER AND SMOKE to critical acclaim. Nathalie originated the roles of Monica in John Guare's LAKE HOLLYWOOD and Matryosha in THE DEVILS at New York Theatre Workshop. On TV she recurred in THIRD WATCH with Bobby Cannavale and guest starred on L&O SVU, CRIMINAL INTENT, and COLD CASE. Film credits include THE LIFE BEFORE HER EYES starring Evan Rachel Wood, and BRINGING RAIN starring Adrien Grenier, directed by Noah Buschel.
Ann began her professional theatrical career (we won’t count belly dancing for pennies from the relatives at age 5) in improvisational theatre, first in her home town of Minneapolis at Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop, then at The Second City in Chicago. She has performed extensively in television, in movies (including Minority Report and 3 movies by Robert Altman), on stage, and in radio commercials. She was a regular on the TV series Private Benjamin in the early 80’s and has had the world’s smallest recurring part on Curb Your Enthusiasm as Nan Funkhauser. A member of Fierce Backbone, a playwright’s group, where she reads new plays for the writers. Ann is a singer, dancer and AVID tennis player!
Toni is a native of the Berkshire, Massachusetts town of Westfield. At twelve she played the role of Becky in a children's touring production of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer."
Subsequent theatre credits include "Anatomy of a Murder," Mill Run Playhouse, Chicago; "Night," American Conservatory Theatre; "She Stoops To Conquer" and "Oedipus Rex," Mill Valley (Marin) Center for the Performing Arts; "The Nerd" at La Mirada Theatre; and over ten productions at The Colony Theatre.
Also at the Colony Theatre, she originated the role of Jeanette in "Could I Have This Dance?," for which she won a Drama-Logue Award, and which The American Theatre Critics Association named "Best Regional Play." She performed the same role Off-Broadway.
On film she played Michael Keaton's mother-in-law in "My Life" and Laura Dern's overly protective mother in Peter Bogdanovich's "Mask." Television includes many guest starring roles in episodic, sitcoms and MOWs.
She co-founded the Los Angeles Actors' Theatre Writers Workshop with playwright Miguel Pinero.
MYKEE SELKIN - Was born in Toronto, Canada. He later moved to NY where he studied with Bill Esper at the well respected William Esper Studios. He has since performed in numerous films, television shows, commercials and plays. Some of his most notable roles include appearances on the TV show House and All my Children as well as commercials for Acura, Invisalign and Diet Coke to name a few. His various stage credits include playing Young Blood in August Wilson's Jitney, Earnest in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest and Neal in A Good Year for the Roses at The Actor's Playpen in LA. Currently represented by Innovative Artists & Littman Talent.
Mykee resides in Los Angeles where he is happy to be part of Fierce Backbone.
Actors Unit Leader
Bob was born in Galesburg, Ill. His family has a long history with performing. His Great Grandfather played piano in honky tonks and later brought his music to his evenagelical services. Bob's grandmother played piano from a very young age and instilled in Bob a love for all types of music.
Bob has had the good fortune to perform in theater, film, TV and commercials since 1978. Early acting gigs included performing voices for Disney Children's Records, A failed TV pilot starring George Clooney (Pre ER) and appearances on the Dr. Demento Radio Show. Along the way he has also supported himself through directing. He has directed over 200 special event projects for The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Awards for his directing include The Hermes Creative, The Communicator & The Telly.
For the past six years Bob has been the Vice- Chairman of the SAG/AFTRA Los Angeles Conservatory. He produces special events and teaches various workshops for the Conservatory. He is also the Co-Chair of the SAG/AFTRA Radio Play program which has produced nearly forty classic radio plays which have been presented in the Wells Fargo Theater on the Gene Autry Museum campus.
Jen Faith Brown