I was the youngest of my three children and was born in New York City. I also studied dance and literature at Bennington (Vermont), where I received a B.A. Although my father was a lawyer by trade, he loved singing and had a wonderful tenor voice. He could also tell stories that moved me. At seven years old, I began studying classical piano with my aunt May Harrow. This was continued throughout college (with pianist Claude Frank), but was soon abandoned. When I was a teenager and wanted to learn how I could accompany myself, Sanford Gold and Norman Gold taught me harmony and improvisation. When I was in college, I imagined myself as a dancer. I was an active member of the Bennington Dance Group and choreographed jazz-inspired dances. This is when I discovered the performing bug. After graduating from college, I was encouraged to accept a fellowship from Harvard and become an academic. Instead, I was an editor at a publishing house (William Morrow).