LARRY LIPSON –
AFFORDABLE WINE REPORT
For fifty years Larry Lipson was the food critic for the Los Angeles Daily News and now reports from Florida weekly with his thoughts and favorite picks for Food & Wine. His lovely Wife Lillian is also on hand at the Lipson Institute for advanced wine studies.
VANESSA CLOKE – ACTRESS, THE BIG SHORT / THE WALKING DEAD
A native of Paramount, California, Vanessa comes from Greek roots on her father’s side (her maiden name is Dimitropoulos). Her performing career began at age 5 when she began dancing. When her local dance school closed down, she began studying at Studio C in Downey, California, where she worked with the Caspary family, including Tina Caspary (Can’t Buy Me Love) and Dennis Caspary (Head of the Class). Later, at Alondra Junior High, she tried out for the Paramount High School Drill team and was the only 8th grader in the city to land a spot.
Vanessa attended Cal State Fullerton for a year, then transferred to Chapman University, where she received her BA in Communications, with an emphasis in advertising. During college, she worked 3 jobs: teaching dance classes, performing as various characters at children's birthday parties, and delivering food. After graduating, Vanessa owned and operated a dance company of 300 students. She simultaneously bartended on San Clemente Island, where she met and married a sailor. They were eventually stationed in Spain. Vanessa traveled a great deal before they again received orders to move to New Orleans, where she took a job as the director of an acting modeling school. It was while escorting a group of youngsters to Los Angeles for auditions that she seriously began to pursue acting assignments, the first of which was an industrial for the Firestone Tire Company.
Vanessa made her television debut as a wine store clerk in the HBO series Treme, then made her feature film debut as Randy Orton’s wife, and opposite Amy Madigan, in the controversial drama That’s What I Am, in which Ed Harris played a gay schoolteacher. Shortly thereafter, Vanessa won the part of Dakota, the female half of a bohemian couple in the USA series Common Law, working on all twelve episodes.
Her television credits include: Wild Card directed by Tim Matheson, Satisfaction, NCIS: New Orleans, and Powers. Her feature film credits include: 90 Minutes in Heaven, Mind Puppets, and Slaw. Vanessa has directed episodes of a number of web series, including Job Interviews, and Shrunk, and she also starred as Victoria in the short film Equal, which she wrote and directed.