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Helen Mandlin is a native New Yorker. She grew up in Knickerbocker Village on the Lower East Side and attended the High School of Performing Arts as a drama major. A theater major at Queens College (CUNY) she went on to graduate school, first at Bankstreet College of Education and then In 1984, at Hunter School of Social Work.
Helen taught Pre-School and Kindergarten in both public and private schools for fifteen years before becoming a psychotherapist. She worked with teenagers at a residential psychiatric facility for five years before beginning her private practice in 1987. She finished psychoanalytic training at the Contemporary Freudian Society. After twenty-five years in private practice with adults and teens, she retired in November, 2013.
Since age 4, Helen has performed as a singer/dancer/actress. She was a cabaret performer in the ‘70s. At that time she appeared in Taking Off, Milos Forman's first film done in English. In 2006, she returned again, writing and performing a solo act, and also, with the trio, Flashback. Currently, Helen performs with the ShowStoppers, a volunteer ensemble that sings standards at geriatric facilities throughout Manhattan. She still performs her cabaret act: So Far – A Musical Memoir.
As a recording artist, Helen has recorded two CDs: Love & Again, jazz standards and The Long Drive, a fantasy song cycle composed by Melissa Shiflett. Melissa and Helen are the vocalists along with Nancy Montgomery.
Recently, Helen and her college friend and actor, Judy Copeland, co-starred in the short film, SISTERS, which won an award at the 2015
Ft. Myers Beach Film Festival. You can watch it here!
My Father, My Son & Baseball, Helen’s first essay, was published in Social Work Today in 2002. In 2010, Helen began writing her memoir, Death, Divorce, & Real Estate: An Upper West Side Story. It will be completed this spring.
Recent publications include an excerpt of Helen’s memoir in Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, an online magazine; an op-ed piece in The West Side Spirit: How West Side Little League Shaped Our Life—an account of Helen’s experience as a mother on the West Side in the ‘80s.
When Helen isn’t writing or performing, she enjoys spending time with her partner Joe Josephs, a photographer. Joe and Helen met eleven years ago on Match.com and spend summers and winters in Cambria, a small town on the Central Coast of California.