Born in St. Louis, Missouri and raised in Studio City, California, it surprises no one more than herself that after the 13-year college plan, odd jobs too numerous to mention and a foray into circus life, Karen has been blazing a trail with her one-woman Vaudeville-style comedy Western act, "Cowgirl Tricks". After finally earning a B.A. in Theatre Arts from California State University at Northridge, Karen moved cats and caboodle to New York City to join the No Elephant Circus, and taught with Circus Education Specialists.
As half of the two-woman comedy juggling duo, "Gravity's Last Stand", she toured Europe, Great Britain, Iceland and the Azores. Among Karen's favorite performing experiences are four sojourns to Japan, being one of the first "bus babes" on a national tour with Ben and Jerry's Traveling Show, and as a company member and featured juggler with San Francisco's Pickle Family Circus and Make*A*Circus.
She has portrayed a wide variety of characters, from a singing and dancing cookie for Van De Kamps to Olive Oyl (in a big rubber head) swinging on a trapeze in The Popeye Circus. Karen trained at the Dell' Arte School of Physical Theater, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College and The San Francisco School of Circus Arts, where she is also an instructor.
Other studies include Stage Combat and Theatrical Swordfighting with the Academy of the Sword and Seattle-based United Stuntman's Association National Stunt Training Workshop. In 1996 and 1998, respectively, she garnered the Whipcracker of the Year and Comedy Awards at the Wild West Arts International Convention in Las Vegas.
Most recently at the 2001 convention, she competed and won the Women's Big Loop competition as well as the Most Unusual Trick (with Fred Schneider). In addition to live performances, Karen has appeared on National Public Radio's "Whad'ya Know?" with Michael Feldman, PBS' "The News Hour" with Jim Lehrer, and can be found in Chapter 11 (not her financial status) of the newly released book, Cowgirl Spirit, by Mimi Kirk.
From the Calgary Stampede to the Cow Palace, at State and County Fairs from Washington to Wyoming, at International Street Performer Festivals from Canada to Singapore, audiences worldwide have been charmed and delighted at Karen's special brand of skill and Western humor.