Thirza Defoe (Giizhiigoquay), a performer from the Ojibwe and Oneida tribes of Wisconsin, is widely known for her sacred hoop dancing that she has been performing since the age of 8. Dancing has taken her around the world to Spain, Japan, Egypt, and Italy. Her passion for acting has brought her to Los Angeles.
Thirza is well versed in music, theater and dance. Her acting credits include the starring role and narrator in 'People of the Forest' (PBS educational documentary), Helena in 'Midsummer Night’s Dream', and most recently, Sacajawea in 'Stone Heart' at the Autry Native Voices and a principal role in the independent film, 'Road Reps'. As a versatile performer she played a young girl in Susan Lori-Parks’, 'In the Blood' along with composing and performing the soundtrack. Other credits include 'One Tribe Many Nations', a children’s book that highlights Thirza. When not performing, she can be found pursuing her other interests: photography, playing guitar, writing, snowboarding and mentoring young native playwrights with the Mentor Artists Performers Project (MAPP) and the Autry National Center.
In May 2004 Thirza graduated from the world-renowned, California Institute of the Arts were she received her B.F.A. in Theatre. Later that year, she was awarded the First Americans in the Arts Scholarship for students pursuing careers in acting and the Indigenous Heritage Festival award in the category of Performing Arts. This award is given to artists who have made a major positive impact on indigenous people and issues of the world. She is currently an artist-in-residence with the L.A. based theatre company, Theatre Fo Fo. In addition, she travels the country providing educational presentations and performances for audiences in various communities.
Education: California Institute of the Arts, B.F.A. in Theatre, 2004.
Spoken Languages: English
Horse Back Riding, Skateboard, Snowboarding, Swimming, Guitar, Air Guitar, Terribly Ticklish.
Dialects: American Southern, Cockney, Minnesota, Standard American, Fluent in the Ojibwe Language.