A native New Yorker, Ellen Gerstein's path into Hollywood's entertainment industry took a number of detours, She spent six years as a social worker in Manhattan and later earned a graduate degree in psychology from Antioch University. It was this background that eventually drew her into writing Waiting for Ronald, a celebration of independence for the developmentally disabled.
Although her first career in psychology and social work was rewarding, Ellen had more to give to the creative world. She studied acting with the renowned Lee Strassberg and script analysis with Stella Adler. A successful twenty-year acting career followed, with roles ranging from Aunt Lisa in Friends to Jane Darcy on the TNT movie "James Dean". She has also played Cuba Gooding's landlord in Murder of Crows, Sofie in Annie with Kathy Bates and Virginia in the theater production of Angel Share with Paula Prentiss.
Then came Waiting for Ronald, Ellen's first film at the Director's helm, and what a beginning. Waiting for Ronald, has been invited to participate in 35 film festivals throughout the world, and adds the following credits:
Winner - Audience Choice Short Film, Methodist Film Festival
Winner - Gold Remi Motivational Award
Winner - Worldfest Film Festival
Honorable Mention - Picture this Film Festival
Winner-Best Film, Hollywood Spiritual Film Festival
Ellen is currently working to make Waiting… into a feature film and she is also developing workshop and workbook materials to offer as part of her outreach program. Ellen continues to entertain, motivate and inspire as she travels the country speaking to audiences.