Robin was born on April 9, 1974, in Highland Park, Illinois, a quaint suburb of Chicago also known as "that town where all the John Hughes movies were filmed" in the totally awesome '80s. (Trick-or-treating at Ferris Bueller's house was an annual thrill, even though the home's real owner was a crabby orthodontist who gave out miniature bottles of plaque-resistant mouthwash each year.)
When she was three, her sister, Mandy, came along and Robin scored an instant best friend. If her life were a MasterCard commercial, Mandy would be the "priceless" variable. Though they never had an Easy-Bake Oven, they had a great childhood and always enjoyed creating their own entertainment over the store-bought stuff. Their parents encouraged them to use their imaginations and applauded their plays, poems, and other demented fruits of their labor as if they were diamond encrusted. Looking back now, Robin probably wouldn't have become a writer if her mom and dad hadn't insisted insisted insisted that her childhood haikus about bacon and sonnets about cat barf were the most brilliant works of genius in the history of mankind.
At age eight Robin won the Principal's Writing Contest for scribing Ravinia Elementary School's official school song, which she considers one of her greatest achievements. She remembers thinking, Holy shit (her uncle was a truck driver)… I beat all the third, fourth AND fifth graders?! Me? A second grade nobody with an appalling red Afro? Mom and dad are right! I really am a genius! Never mind the fact that she rhymed the word "more" with "more" (click here for lyrics) and didn't know how to hold a pencil correctly (still doesn't), Robin knew in her heart what gave her the most joy.
Sure, she also dreamt of becoming a surgeon, telephone operator, and prima ballerina, but what fascinates her most is though she had it all figured out as an innocent, young Little Orphan Annie look-alike, as the years passed and reality set in, she totally forgot what she knew as a kid.
As a drama queen teen, Robin enjoyed acting in high school plays, singing in the chorus, and perfecting her Oscar acceptance speech for best leading actress. She was always a black sheep and identified herself as an outsider.
While other girls in her school were shopping for cool clothes with shoulder pads, arguing over which popular boy to ask to the Winter Formal, and practicing how to French kiss the palms of their hand, Robin was practicing origami, memorizing Shakespeare monologues and cutting herself bangs in the dark with a toenail scissors (she got grounded for this stunt). She didn't go to one Winter Formal.
Robin went on to graduate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a B.A. in theatre and communications, and after spending a summer in glitzy Los Angeles interning at a big Hollywood production company, she decided she wanted to become a filmmaker.
Tinsel town wasn't for her though, so she moved to New York City and spent nearly a decade working various executive-type gigs in the independent film industry before she finally faced the truth that she wasn't happy and felt stuck. What the hell was she supposed to do now? All she knew was that she needed a creative outlet. STAT!
After taking some improvisation courses at The Upright Citizen's Brigade, Robin began performing on stage regularly. Slowly but surely, she started to rediscover her smile. Ever since winning the Principal's Writing Contest, she'd written as a hobby for her own yucks and giggles. Over the years Robin had produced countless short stories and personal essays, most of which got stuffed in her "junk drawer" or were eventually tossed due to an economy of space in her tiny East Village abode. It wasn't unusual for her to spend hours a night writing. And right before her 30th birthday it hit her: writing makes her happiest of all. Why doesn't she pretend to be brave and see if maybe - just maybe - she can make a living at it? If not, she'll settle on being a prima ballerina.
According to Robin, "it took 22 years to figure out what the 8-year-old me already knew, and I feel blessed that it didn't take longer" .
Robin is currently working on her third novel and studying ballet. Just in case.