Alumni Profiles


Sosie Bacon '10

Can you describe the process and experience of filming a television show?
Filming a TV show or movie is a unique process and one that’s hard to explain without going into great detail, but I’ll do my best! For me, the process always begins with auditioning. Once one audition is under your belt, usually you have about 3 more before you actually get the role. After that, you might have some time to meet the other actors and director, or you might just jump in on your first day if you’re a guest star on an existing television show. There are so many important aspects of filming that don’t actually involve actors at all. The crew is always on set before any actors arrive and long after they leave. Jobs in the crew include, but aren’t limited to, focus pullers, camera operators, light designers, and sound. Everyone works incredibly hard to make the best product possible, and I feel it is my job as an actor to be extremely prepared with all of my work done, so I don’t hold up anyone else working hard on set. Once you actually get to set you might rehearse with the director and the other actors, then go get into your wardrobe hair and makeup while the cameras set up. Then you’re usually brought back to set to work. It can be fast moving or it can feel REALLY slow. Film and Television acting is it’s own animal, and each actor has their own way of doing things. I feel preparation and a deep exploration of a character before arriving on set is the most important way to be in the moment and to be able to play off of your co-stars while shooting a scene. 

What types of roles do you gravitate toward?
I mostly gravitate towards really grounded realistic material. In my opinion, that material usually has everything. If something is real, it is both hilarious and heartbreaking, because that’s what life is like. I am drawn to little moments, very human moments. I think film, TV and theater bring us all together, because, if it’s good, it makes us all feel something, and that helps us feel connected. I love interesting characters, and I love to watch things that bring new fresh voices to the forefront, maybe voices we haven’t heard from much in the past because, frankly, film and TV has been mostly saturated with the stories of straight white men! Now we're seeing a lot more fresh new stories, and I LOVE that!

What has been your favorite project to work on thus far?
My favorite project was probably the HBO show I did called Here and Now. It only went for one season, but it was probably one of the happiest times of my life! I worked with incredible actors, an amazing crew, and such great material. I learned so much in that few months and I will forever be grateful. 

In what ways did your time at Riverdale impact you after graduation?
Riverdale has impacted me in many ways. I have incredible friends from there, and  I feel that I sort of re-fell in love with theater and singing while there. Mr. Romano, my Acapella teacher was a big inspiration. I also loved doing plays at Riverdale. It was so special for me to go to that theater after school and be around people that I wouldn’t normally meet. People  in different grades, and different social circles. For that short period we would all get so close and I loved that. That’s another part of acting that I love. On each project you make such close intimate friends, you feel like you’re a family for that little moment.  I also really enjoyed the literature and history courses. I’m now getting into screenwriting, so I often think about how much Riverdale pushed us to write, and I’m thankful for that. Shoutout to Ms. Moore for always being encouraging in that department and all others! And all the other teachers at Riverdale, such brilliant wonderful people! 

What are you currently watching/reading/thinking about?
There’s so much content out there so I’ll just name a few! I just finished “Educated” the memoir by Tara Westover. I found it to be a truly incredible personal story about abuse within a family. I just re-watched “American Honey” a film by Andrea Arnold and have decided it’s my favorite movie of all time. I’ve been watching lots of foreign films. The ones I would suggest are “Y Tu Mama Tambien”, “Amores Perros”, and the Japanese film “Shoplifters”. Also, recently I read “White Fragility” and am always looking for new ways to dig deeper into the subject of privilege, race and whiteness. I am trying to educate myself, as a straight white woman who comes from a privileged background, on how to name that privilege and live in the world as an ally to people of color, and people in the LGBTQ communities. 


Jordan Barsky '11

How did you become interested in writing plays and films?
This is tough because I don’t think I was ever interested in anything aside from TV and theater.—At age 4, Saturday morning cartoons were a sacred part of my week. In high school I was a cinefile and a comedy nerd. It wasn’t until I got to college that I discovered plays while studying under the great playwright Peter Parnell.

Can you describe the process and experience of writing an episode for Law & Order: SVU?
Writing an episode of TV is a wild, intense, highly collaborative process. Every writer’s room functions differently, but basically all of the writers sit in a room and discuss the seed of an idea. Once we have a concept we break out the large moments and write them on index cards which are then divided into five acts. Then the writer is sent off to turn the cards into an outline. Once the outline is approved the writer produces the first draft. While casting and location scouting happens the script goes through several re-writes. Shooting takes around 8 days and some weeks there are actually two episodes being shot in tandem.

In what ways did your time at Riverdale impact you after graduation? 
I will do my best to keep this short because there are few things in my life that RCS hasn’t impacted: Constructing, ILS, Ms. Katz’s English class, Dr. Nicholson’s advanced writing class, Mr. Crosby, Ms. Quarshie, Ms Morales, Mr. Shaller and the class he taught on Through The Looking Glass. And pretty much every other teacher I had. The secret to Riverdale’s excellence is its amazing educators.

What do you miss most about Riverdale?
My happiest memories are those early mornings in the cafeteria chatting with my friends until Ms. Morales came by and yelled at us for not going to first period.

What is your dream writing job?
To write the next Batman.


Jake Poses '02

Give a brief overview of your app Jumprope.
Jumprope is the place to discover how it’s done. Inspiring creators from around the world share their knowledge and passion in a step-by-step format that you can tap through at your own pace. Explore guides for everything from the perfect dumpling-pinching method to your go-to glam to the killer kettlebell workout.

What was your experience creating a start-up?
I really enjoy understanding what consumers need and designing and building experiences for them. Doing that from scratch with Jumprope has been a lot of fun. I believe the best products are built iteratively. We had a working prototype in the hands of users a few weeks after starting the company and have continuously evolved it week-by-week as we’ve learn more about what people need. I was lucky to join Thumbtack when we were 8 people and just seed funded. The experience of helping the company to grow to $1B+ valuation and 500 employees from 2011-2016 was amazing. Now as a founder, I feel very lucky to have first-hand perspective about the road ahead.

What are your goals for the app and its users?
Whether you’re inspired by discovering something new or need to get something done now, we want you to open Jumprope. We’re building Jumprope to be a global community from the start. We already have creators sharing their knowledge and passion from all corners of the world. I believe that giving people an easy way to learn about other cultures and traditions can bring the world closer together.

In what ways did your time at Riverdale impact you after graduation? 
Riverdale taught me how to think. I’m really grateful that the education was more focused on helping me become a critical thinker than stuffing my head with a bunch of facts. I especially loved freshman and sophomore year world history. It was really interesting to start by understanding the current economic and geo-political order and then getting to understand how and why we got to that place. ILS was awesome too. I often think about my big ILS take-away: throughout history scientific breakthroughs were the catalyst for changing worldviews. It’s clear were in the middle of one of these seminal moments of scientific change right now and it’s fun to be part of it.

What do you miss most about Riverdale?
I miss the fall and spring days on campus when everyone’s spending time outside. People often ask me what kept me sane a NYC kid, and I think getting out of the concrete every day was really important for me.

Bonus: Currently listening to: (ie: song, album, audiobook, podcast, birds chirping outside, or any way you interpret the question!)
Pod Save America. 

Romy Soleimani '92
How did you become interested in makeup as a career? 
I was always interested in art and I loved painting and drawing.   I was always in love with makeup. I also loved fashion but I  didn’t know that you could have a career in makeup. So I started in fashion. I was then exposed to what went on behind the scenes creating beautiful images, the runway, the makeup, the artistry. And I knew that that was what I wanted to do. 

What are your favorite types of projects to work on?
I am lucky that I get to work on lots of different types of projects and I love them all. 

How did you become connected professionally with fellow Riverdale alumna Tracee Ellis Ross '90? 
We met on a shoot. 

What do you miss most about Riverdale?

I loved AP art history and  hanging with Satish Joshi in the art room. I remember that starting around 9th grade I would do my friends makeup in the bathroom of the main building. 

When I went to my 10 year reunion I realized that looking back at the yearbook that the prediction for me was makeup artists. My classmates knew before I did.

What is your favorite Halloween costume to date?
It’s more fun for me to do the kids, so probably my older daughter Luna’s a few years ago. 

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