Ruth Kaufman wanted to be an actor since her first lines in her Kindergarten holiday show. From a pumpkin who got lost on her way to a Halloween party in third grade to Princess Lonelyheart in the fourth grade Valentine’s Day play to the cranberry sauce in the fifth grade’s self-written Thanksgiving dinner play (Her opening lines: “I am called the red cranberry. I grow on a bush. And when the people eat me, why then, I go squish.), she loved entertaining audiences even at a young age.
Raised in Beverly and Flossmoor, Ruth earned B.A.s in Economics and Communications at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where her favorite role was the tap dancing Angel, Virtue, in Anything Goes. She earned her J.D. and M.S. in TV/Radio from Syracuse University's College of Law and S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she sang in a symphony chorus and worked part-time as a classical radio host.
Everyone knows earning a living as an actor can be challenging, and Ruth wasn’t positive she could succeed. So instead of pursuing her lifelong dream, she got a “real job.” Though she appreciated the benefits including four weeks of vacation and earned national top performer awards at two companies during sixteen years in marketing, sales and training, first handling a ten-state region with advertising agency and advertiser clients, then managing a several million dollar territory working with large law firms, she preferred the acting, and now writing, she was doing on the side.
Laying the groundwork to further her acting career, she completed multi-level improvisation programs at ComedySportz, iO, and Second City, and took other acting classes while auditioning for as many projects as a full-time job requiring occasional travel would allow. She booked jobs here and there, including a commercial that filmed in Indianapolis. She also studied the craft and industry of romance writing via workshops and attending conferences while completing 13 manuscripts in assorted subgenres. At the end of 2005, she decided her motto would be, "Someday is now," and left her job to become a full time actor and writer.
Now she wears many hats, from an actor doing mostly on-camera and voiceover work with some print and improve to an Amazon bestselling author and freelance writer and editor who also presents in person and online workshops.
Ruth’s credits include independent feature films, short films, a TV movie, web series and national and local TV commercials, and hundreds of voiceover projects including commercials, long e-learning courses and complex medical narration. She has performed in venues from community theatre stages to iO to the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Venetian/Palazzo hotels in Las Vegas. Her unique and acclaimed improvisational speed talking has been featured on America’s Funniest People and other productions including a 24-hour live streaming event on Facebook for Norton.
An avid reader, especially of historical romance novels and historical fiction, Ruth diligently pursued traditional publication of her manuscripts for 20 years, but never got “the call” from an editor who wanted to buy her book. After a New York publisher sent her two revision letters over the course of two years but ultimately rejected the manuscript, she decided to self-publish. The Bride Tournament, the third standalone book in her Wars of the Roses Brides series, releases in January. RT Book Reviews calls it “an intriguing and enjoyable story,” saying, “Kaufman writes well-developed and sympathetic characters with clear motivations. The Bride Tournament is a page-turner of a historical romance that will have readers rooting for a happy ending.”
Writing accolades include a 2011 Romance Writers of America®'s national Golden Heart Award® and an Indie Excellence® Book Award.
In addition to fiction, Ruth has written feature articles for assorted publications including RWA’s flagship magazine, Romance Writers Report. And she presents workshops on topics including self-publishing, creating a persistence plan, handling rejection, improv for authors and top 10 sales skills to share business lessons learned from her years in corporate America to help motivate fellow creatives to be more productive and grow their businesses.
While she loves the feelance (freelance can imply willingness to work for no pay) life, dealing with frequent rejection, maintaining the discipline to keep marketing her talents and promoting her books while putting new irons in the fire and having a positive attitude during slow weeks can be a challenge. She reminds herself of Julia Cameron’s advice in The Artist’s Way, “Leap and the net will appear.”
Need a Renaissance woman to assist with your next project? Learn more about Ruth the actor via her reels, demos and more at www.ruthtalks.com. To learn more about her books and writing, visit www.ruthkaufman.com.