Marin Academy’s alumni are a talented and unique bunch. Thessaly Lerner, Class of 1992, fits that description to a “t” as The Ukulady, a comedic musical entertainer for Kids ‘n’ Humans campaigning for the Downfall of Evil. Thessaly took a moment out of her life as an entertainer to share what she is up to.
Tell us about your life today.
Today I live in Lalaland with my manpanion, the Ukulad, our handcrafted puppets and a medley of musical instruments. I wear many hats to make a living creatively, including casting, producing, directing, creative-content development, writing, voiceover, music and performing.
How long have you been performing as the The Ukulady? Where did she come from and where is she going?
She appeared out of necessity for a creative outlet and a disinterest in waiting for others to cast me or put me onstage after I moved from SF, but has always been with me in some capacity. In the past 8 years, The Ukulady has organically grown from me noodling on my ukulele and playing Michael Jackson covers, to a professional (omg paid!) musical entertainer for hundreds of kids and parents, performing constantly and generating innovative, amusing and intellectually stimulating content for kids, always promoting the Downfall of Evil!
The Ukulady just released her debut music album for kids & their handlers, called To The Downfall of Evil! Featuring 15 songs about animals, friendship & fearlessness and accompanied by 15 cartoons by Goopymart, with song lyrics so kids can sing along! I also recently started a kids music record label with my hippie childhood friends, Trixie Garcia (daughter of Jerry) and Devin McDonald (son of Country Joe), called Mopp’s Music. The Ukulady’s new album is Mopp’s Music’s first release and is available at Mr. Mopp’s Toy store in Berkeley, CA, as well as online at http://www.TheUkulady.com. It’s the perfect gift for any mini-human who has ears and eyeballs! MA pals, please tell the world about The Ukulady’s new album! (It’s really for parents who have to listen to their child’s favorite CD over and over again and promises to be unstupid and sing-along-ably fabulous).
Who from MA made the most significant impact on who you have become as an adult (classmate, teacher, coach, etc).
While I loved all my teachers at MA and feel so ridiculously lucky to have not only enjoyed high school, but loved it, I am particularly grateful to James Shipman, Mark Stefanski, former theater teacher Phoebe Moyer and former art teachers Bob Percy. They probably impacted me the most, in my analytical thinking and artistic pursuits.
I am still close to many of my fellow MAites and I’m constantly inspired by the incredible achievements of all my peers. I mean really? How ridiculously pretty, smart and talented are MA peeps? I feel that just getting out of bed in the morning and paying rent is a giant achievement in this day and age and yet all these incredible MA peeps go above and beyond getting out of bed, but they are doing things like owning homes, giving birth to new humans and being paid to be creative… nice work MA.
Looking back on the classes that you took at MA, which one had the greatest impact on you and why?
Classes that impacted me: Of course, it was incredible to take 4 years of theater, 3 years of studio art and rock band in my senior year. Although, amusingly enough, I was too insecure to perform with the rock band. What I would give today to have a drummer at my beckoned call… I am also partial to my Vision Quest experience and I loved World Civ with James.
If you were to re-enroll at Marin Academy, what would you do differently the second time around?
The thought of re-enrolling at MA is a total nightmare; not because MA isn’t awesome, but because the thought of being in High School again, particularly, if I’m still my age, so I’m like Jerry Blank of Strangers with Candy, is actually a nightmare I’ve had. I have to do things like homework and I have no idea what is going on. However, if this question is a fantasy and I go back to being a teen, I would definitely take chemistry and physics instead of calculus. I can’t imagine what I was thinking when I enrolled in pre-calc instead of science. I would also take Spanish instead of French. While I loved French and loved the teachers, Patrick and Kenny, I live in LA, which is actually Mexico and it would be helpful to be more proficient in the language of the land. I would also do more Outings and be less concerned with comparing myself to my AP-taking and ivy-league-bound friends.
Meep! To The Downfall of Evil! Visit www.TheUkulady.com for more info, show dates, new music and videos and to signup for The Ukulady’s monthly email with cartoons, videos and meeeep!
Interested in being in the spotlight? Send me an email!