Russell Kupfrian ’77

Born in Waldwick NJ, I’m the son of a man of German descent, Laurance Backer Kupfrian, and a first generation Italian woman whose maiden name is Isabella Coletti.

I graduated from Waldwick High School in 1971.

I decided to follow in my eldest sibling’ footsteps, my sister Laura Constance, and next eldest, Laurance Baker II, and attended Hope College in freezing Holland, MI. I believe the true purpose of a liberal arts’ education is to show you many options from which to choose a path. I started out as a Bio major and then went from science to Art and became a Theatre major with a Dance minor.

I was an itinerant actor working at a number of regional theatres doing primarily musicals, but also did a season with the New Hampshire Shakespeare Festival in Manchester.

In 1978 I was at the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre when my 5th lumbar vertebrae moved in and to the left, and rested against my sciatic nerve, causing me an inordinate amount of never ceasing pain, and an inability to walk.

My parents had moved to Royal Palm Beach, FL, and graciously opened their home to me for my recovery. The orthopedic surgeon did nothing for me, and didn’t prescribe any pain medication. My brother, Paul, suggested I go see his chiropractor, who cut my pain by 50% with one adjustment. My insurance was paying for it, so I was at his office everyday.

I arrived in New York City in 1979 at 26 years old with very little savings. In order to survive I worked 2 jobs for a number of months.

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