INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ME
I was born in Wilkes-Barre and raised in Dallas, Pennsylvania.
My Father had a mill where he housed 100lb bags of sugar and flour and sold them to bakeries and restaurants throughout the Wyoming Valley.
My mother worked in real estate management and development.
I have an older brother who sells real estate in Los Angeles. He’s famous for his clever advertisement on bus benches, GOT NEIL? (www.gotneil.com)
I started dancing lessons at 6 years old, dramatic lessons at 8 years old, and later performed in both high school and community theater productions of plays and musicals.
I was a cheerleader in high school. (GO MOUNTAINEERS!)
I spent my summers in high school working as a lifeguard.
The first Broadway show I saw was Pippin when I traveled to NYC with three high school friends at age 16.
At 17, I attended the University of Miami in Coral Gables Florida where I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater.
Ray Liotta (Good Fellas) and Steven Bauer (Ray Donovan) were my fellow classmates and friends at the “U” .
I came out to Los Angeles in 1976, lived in a studio apartment on June Street in Hollywood and did an Equity-Waiver show at the Zephyr Theater on Melrose Avenue called “A-5-6-7-8 Take Two”.
On the A-5-6-7-8 Take Two cast album I am referred to as Valerie Klemow, which is my maiden name.
I worked at ABC Studios as a receptionist for The Komack Company that created the shows “Chico and the Man” and “Welcome Back Kotter”.
I worked in the fleet department at a Chevrolet dealership doing both clerical work and taking prospective buyers on vehicle test drives.
My first film job was dancing in the movie of GREASE.
In 1979 I auditioned for the 1st National Company of EVITA. When I showed up for the audition, my name was missing on the audition list. I was squeezed into their schedule.
I got my Actor’s Equity Card as the Evita Alternate in Los Angeles.
I performed the role of Evita for six months at all the matinee performances in Los Angeles before getting offered my own company that opened in Chicago in 1980 at the Shubert Theater.
When I was flown to NYC to have a costume fitting my hotel lobby was swarming with reporters mixing me up with actress Valerie Perrine.
I spent a year in Chicago playing the role of Evita before touring with the show for another 18 months.
I traveled with two Golden Retrievers for the entire two and a half years I performed Evita.
While on tour I sang the National Anthem in every city at different sporting events. In Toronto I sang both the American and Canadian National Anthem. It was the Blue Jays vs. the Yankees.
I left the Evita tour in 1982 and bought a beautiful Victorian home in Glen Ridge, New Jersey.
Two weeks before opening in the Manhattan Theater Club production of “On the Swing Shift” I got a call asking my availability to go into the New York company of Evita. My integrity prevented me from leaving my co-workers at such an important time so I turned it down. It’s become one of my biggest regrets after our show at MTC ended up with internal problems and never officially opened.
In the Off-broadway show “Angry Housewives” I played the drums in our on-stage rock band and in “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway I had to learn to play a trumpet.
I traveled all over the world when I performed in a show called “I love NY” which promoted tourism for the city. Great gig!
Eight weeks after giving birth to our beautiful twin sons, I did another National Tour of Evita with our sons, my husband and a full time nanny.
When my kids started walking, I left the tour, gave up my nanny, and returned to Los Angeles to raise my children.
I was a co-owner in a business called “SnuggL’ Up”which manufactured comfort pillows. SnuggL’Up pillows were in retail stores across the country as well as charitable non-profit organizations.
Now that my sons are college grads and out on their own I’ve decided to get back on my horse and take another ride in “show business”. With a wonderful manager, terrific agents and a supportive family, I’m Back in the saddle and looking forward to my next life’s chapter!