I was born in Denver Colorado although I don't remember much of that. I was raised by a strong single mother something I never forget.
I had a very poetic childhood in New Mexico under water colored skies, desert landscapes, dotted with cactus and poverty. Poverty didn’t dot the landscape it was just my family’s reality. Ironically the impoverished reality inspired a gilded imagination drawing me to the theatre. On stage I could travel anywhere. My brothers and mother were always in the front row witnessing the journey. When my mother passed away at age 40 from breast cancer I was 15. It became difficult to perform looking at that empty seat.
I turned to writing these past few decades but kept my writing mostly to myself. I made a living as an artist manager because I'm "incredibly organized" (those were my bosses words not mine) and cheered on other artists like the bubbe I've always been. I seemed to settle for that. That is until one Spring day when I was in Boston with Marvin Hamlisch (yes, that Marvin Hamlisch). In his tux and tails he said, “Maya, is management really what you want to do with your life?” To which I responded, “Why? Am I bad at it?” He said “No, but there seems to be something else that you want to do.” I agreed and sheepishly said, “I want to write and to act.” He said, “Then you should do that. You know it’s not too late to do that.”
And so I did, first starting out by interviewing artists. I interviewed filmmaker Larry Clark, fashion icon Calvin Klein, comedians Bill Burr, Stephan Merchant, hip-hop legend KRS-ONE, TV stars John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Illana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson (‘Broad City’), Broadway star Geneva Carr just to name a few. I also wrote and for three years in a row my plays were official FringeNYC Selections: 'The Bloodline of Shadrick Grace' (2014), (which I also acted in), and 'On The Use and Disadvantages of Leaving' (2015) and 'Let The Devil Take The Hindmost' (2016).
My husband Bobby Crace, my brothers Mondrian and Matisse, and my nine nieces and nephews, performing and writing are what I love most in this world.
While that empty seat still bruises my heart I know with clarity that we are only given a short amount of time on the other side of the dirt and that needs to be met with courage, humor, and compassion. I hope I can display that in my writing and more importantly - in person.