I was pigeon toed as a little kid and I was constantly falling down and tripping over my own feet. Then one summer my family traveled to Holland and I got a tiny pair of wooden clogs (painted red, of course). I wore them everywhere and could do anything in them without falling because they were so clunky. They were also very loud, which I loved because it drew attention and I loved attention. My older sister, however, was terribly embarrassed and would try to lose me in the grocery store, which is completely understandable because it was not uncommon for me to don my grandmother's old silk nightgown and drape myself with scarves before such outings. For a while I wore corrective braces attached to saddle shoes when I slept, and they were very uncomfortable. I guess the saddle shoes weren't so much a part of the apparatus as they were supposed to make the whole thing more pleasant because I got to pick out a new pair of shoes for it. I walk just fine now, though I am still accident prone, and I don't really care for saddle shoes.


My mother is from Kristiansand, Norway and my father is from Minnesota. My father taught himself Norwegian and my parents raised my older sister and I speaking Norwegian at home. My parents were Norwegian folksingers and recorded 9 albums when I was growing up. I appear on two of the jackets along with my older sister Mari, and I sing on "Barnefest," the children's album. My family toured locally before I was born and I started performing with my family when I was about 3 years old. I always thought this was extremely cool and was very proud to be a part of our family musical act. If you want to get a rough idea of what some of our performances were like, just watch A Mighty Wind. Yes, my parents performed a song about chickens and asked the audience to cluck a little.


I have a fake tooth. I was born without a lateral incisor to replace the baby one. I got braces and head gear in Junior High to create a space for the fake tooth. I looked really gross. When the space got big enough, they gave me a temporary fake tooth that was attached with a rubber band and bracket to the wire of my braces. It was bright white, making my other teeth look yellow, and it flipped around in my mouth when I ate. I found this embarassing. Even now I get embarassed in places with blacklights because my fake tooth doesn't glow the same as my other teeth. It kinda makes me look like a pirate. I hope to get a dental implant, but they are very expensive and a little scary.


In high school I had to memorize the Gettysburg Address. I memorized it by turning it into an opera. I recorded myself singing it with a little tape recorder I had and listened to it over and over until I knew the song by heart. I played it for my class and they all thought I was crazy. I totally aced the test, though! I can still sing the Gettysburg Address nearly perfectly, but now I get hung up on what comes after "unfinished work."


Though I am a very cheerful and upbeat person, I am also a very sensitive and emotional person. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I suffer from depression and anxiety and have for many years. I don't think I should be ashamed of this or should hide this, and I don't think anyone else should either. Even though people very close to me know this already, I have never publicly been this honest about it. I realized recently that it is important to overshare sometimes for the greater good. Consider how much better everyone might feel if nobody were closeted. Let's talk about it! Let's remove the stigma! And if you are someone who is a closeted anything, consider that you are not alone and coming out will help others just like you. And if someone needs to overshare and you are in a position where you can listen without judgement and offer a shoulder to cry on or a sympathetic hug, you make the world a better place to live in. Do this as much as you can and know that I love you wholeheartedly for being an awesome human!