Our first DreamCatcher winner. Amanda worked as an NBC Page, labored backstage on Broadway, and appeared in commercials for Subway and Volkswagen before earning a master’s degree at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. For fun, she runs, takes ballet lessons (“I’m terrible at it”) and reads (current book: “The Razor’s Edge” by W. Somerset Maugham).

What is your dream?

I’ve wanted to be a storyteller forever. I’ve always wanted to give people the same feeling I have when I leave a movie, or a Broadway show, or a great art exhibit. I’d like do that as a writer and producer for TV and film, be it fiction or nonfiction.

How did you discover your dream?

I was a very observant kid, and I used to do imitations. I’d repeat dialogue from my favorite TV shows and movies. I read a lot of books, but I’ve always had a fascination with TV and film. I became an actor — I studied at a conservatory — and although some people don’t think of actors as storytellers, because the words are written for them, you have to emote in a certain way for the audience to truly feel the story. I tried to cross over from commercials to TV and stage, but I didn’t move to New York City to be an actress. I just really wanted to write.

What are you doing to realize your dream?

I’m working on a screenplay. I’m probably halfway through it.

Who is your inspiration?

I’ve always been inspired by risk-takers — people who put their reputations on the line because they have a strong conviction in what they’re doing. I’ve also been inspired by countless stories I’ve heard over the years that have yet to be told.

Whom do you admire?

Charles Dickens is one of my favorite authors. Mark Twain. Master storytellers — people who can take a story and tell it in such a way that people are still thinking about it weeks later.

If you win a DreamCatcher Award, how will you use it?

I would take the Award stipend and do a week in LA to get started — a combination of a writer’s retreat (to work on my screenplay), and meetings with people in the industry.

What is your biggest fear?

A friend of mine recently said that her greatest fear is that she will have lived her life without actualizing her full potential. I thought, “Yup, I have to agree.”

What is your biggest hope?

I want to give to people what I have felt from other creators — I want to have the same sort of impact and feel like I have contributed in some way.