The Brief Bio

I'm a writer and sometimes a musician or an actress, depending.

I'd stop here if I were you.

The Long, Boring Bio

I was born in New York City and grew up in Connecticut. I majored in English at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated from the Circle in the Square Professional Workshop in New York. My first book, Why I'm Like This, came out in 2002 and was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and a BookSense bestseller.

My essays have been published on The New York Times Op-Ed page and the opinion page of The Philadelphia Inquire, as well as in The Palm Beach Post and The Minnesota Star-Tribune. My work has also appeared in New York Magazine, Self, Health, the now defunct Rosie, the now defunct Organic Style (worrisome trend here?—you decide), the journals Tin House and McSweeney's, and has been posted on the internet at and I can also be heard reading my work on the CDs Writer's Block Party and Mirth of a Nation.

I am the co-writer, with director John Walsh, of the feature film Pipe Dream, starring Mary-Louise Parker and the very dreamy Martin Donovan. I am also in it, playing Charlotte.

My work is included in the anthologies More Mirth of a Nation, The Best Contemporary Humor; 101 Damnations; Walk Softly and Carry a Great Lipstick; Sleepaway; The Worst Noel; and The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt.

As a solo performer and comedienne, I have appeared with theater companies and in clubs throughout the city. My comic songs and monologues have been heard on WBAI, presuming people were listening at the time, and I performed for seven years with the What I Like About Jew music series. When that broke up (a sad, sad day) I continued on as a guest star of the absurdly talented Sean Altman's Jewmongous, touring to sold-out clubs on both east and west coasts, including two deeply upsetting performances in L.A. For two lovely years I co-starred in a monthly show with actress/writer/CBS Morning Show essayist/radio host extraordinaire Nancy Giles, called The New Jack Paar Show at the West Bank Café. Jack didn't know about it.

As an actress I starred in Rachel Riechman's film Work, was featured in John Walsh's Ed's Next Move, and in the aforementioned Pipe Dream. I have appeared in many off and off-off Broadway productions and in some commercials. Sports fans may remember me as the nut who stalked Peter Gammons on ESPN. I have never appeared on Law & Order.

Finally (thank God), I co-starred in writer/director Madeleine Olnick's award winning short film, Hold Up, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and has appeared in about thirty national and international festivals.

Did I say finally? Sorry. In 2010 I released my first comedy rock album, Fangry, recorded at Gout Studios in NYC with my band, The Cynthia Kaplan Ordeal, and produced by the renowned Jon Spurney.

Oh, and I am married, have two children and no pets, although I like dogs. I dreamed we had a cat the other night and woke up very depressed.