Born and bred in the “Field of Dreams”-(Iowa), Karen had an ongoing love affair with spoken word and sound. Her Father was a TV News Anchor, Jazz Aficionado and World Traveler; Mom was Director of Special Olympics, President of the West Des Moines Little League, The Swim Club and US Olympic Committee member. Karen grew up with (6) sisters and (8) brothers, most of whom loved Movies, Television, Music and just plain showin’ off! Dad’s liaisons with the likes of Stan Goetz and Andy Simkins, from the great Jazz Group “The 3 Sounds”, and his love of Coltrane, Miles, Jazz Messengers, Ella, Jobim, Sarah Vaughn and so many more, surely contributed to Karen’s highly sophisticated ear. Mom’s adoration of the Broadway Musical: “Music Man”, “Gypsy”, “West Side Story” and “Company” , to name a few, added to the musical education Karen received through sheer osmosis. Subsequently, she would subject the neighborhood to weekly “talent” shows, held in neighbor, Kathy Ackerman’s garage with her sisters. Showcasing her lip synching skills to the likes of “Officer Krupke”, “Ya Gotta Have a Gimmick” and “Another Hundred People”, Karen and sisters dreamed Clive Barnes would make a special trip to Des Moines, just to review their production for a special Sunday New York Times edition. These shows played an important part in the development of Karen’s ear—little did she know how much this training would pay off when she was hired to do some steamy ADR for Playboy channel and looping for Disney.
After High School, she set off for New York City and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. From NYC, it was back to the University of Iowa and then on to Minneapolis, MN, where she began a career doing voiceovers, band singing and working as an actor at theatres such as The Guthrie. While doing serious acting, Standup Comedy burst back on to the entertainment world and Karen picked up that funny bone and began gnawing at it. She spent the next (12) years working with Dudley Riggs Brave New Workshop and International Touring Company, writing and performing original Comedy shows, Comedy Improv and Musical Revues, in addition to performing her own Stand Up Comedy routine and was a founding member of Minneapolis’ most popular nightclub duo: “Soliday & Berg in Living Stereo”.
Hearing the old adage, albeit from a feminist point of view: “Go West Young Woman”, Karen packed up the Conestoga, (her old blue Hyundai hatchback), and moved to Los Angeles. She attended UCLA and Santa Monica College—still no degree! She always seems to get sidetracked by wandering off into cornfields, looking for James Earl Jones and that voice saying: “go the distance”… This led her to working ADR, Looping and Commercial Voiceovers in Lotus Land along with performing original music in such legendary clubs like the Vampires of Hollywood at the Rainbow Bar & Grill and the Whiskey on Sunset Boulevard.
What has impressed her colleagues and employers over the years is her ability to get any job done quickly, creatively and professionally. She calls this ability the “4 G’s”: Get the Gig, Git ‘er done, Giggle and Get out!