Mimi Torchin Photography - Martha's Vineyard and Manhattan

Biography

I was born in Laredo, Texas, in 1946, entered the University of Texas in Austin in 1965, and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting. When I graduated in February 1969 (I took a semester off in my senior year to star in a movie that no one saw), I immediately moved to New York, and have lived there ever since. I think that makes me a New Yorker rather than a Texan, but my early life in a border town had the profound and positive effect of making me a person of  “multi cultures” for the rest of my life.

I was the founding editor-in-chief of Soap Opera Weekly and helmed the publication for 11 years. Subsequently I wrote a weekly critical column for the magazine based on my popular “Speaking My Mind” editorials. For six years I wrote first a weekly column, then a monthly one, for SoapNet.com. I had my own board on the site’s message boards, where I shared the knowledge and experience that 25 years as a leading journalist in the soap industry had afforded me.

I was a celebrity interviewer for SoapNet’s original magazine show, Soap Center, and appeared often as a guest on the network’s Emmy-nominated talk show Soap Talk. I co-hosted E! Entertainment Network’s live Daytime Emmy “pre” show for six years after providing color commentary for four years, and was a guest on dozens of television news and talk shows.

I also spent many years in the fashion industry, including doing public relations for Yves St. Laurent men’s wear, and wrote copy for Revlon, Charles of the Ritz, and many of the world’s leading cosmetic and fragrance manufacturers. Prior to starting Soap Opera Weekly in 1989, I was a successful entertainment writer in New York, beginning my career with Cue magazine, the leading New York City entertainment guide for 40 years, as theater editor and columnist.

I was a member of the prestigious Manhattan Class Company as a playwright for nearly 10 years. As a freelance writer, I also wrote theater reviews, celebrity profiles, and articles for a number of leading publications, including the New York Times Arts and Leisure section.

I began taking photos as a child when my parents gave me a Brownie camera for my eighth birthday. It was strictly a hobby for many years and one I largely abandoned through college and my early years in New York. I began taking photographs seriously again in my early 30s and took several courses at International Center for Photography, where I continue to study. During the late ’70s and ’80s I shot black-and-white photos of celebrities to accompany interviews I wrote, and took scene stills of Off and Off Off Broadway productions, sometimes for the cast and theater companies and occasionally to appear with my reviews.

My first love, however, was always landscape photography, and I began seriously pursuing this passion when I started visiting Martha’s Vineyard in the mid-’80s. I purchased my home on the Vineyard in 1993 and within a few years was dividing my time between the island and New York City.

My professional career as a photographer really began with the advent of consumer-priced digital cameras and when Kennedy Studios (now known also as the Island Art Gallery) agreed to show and sell my photos in 2000. I’ve been in several group shows, including a juried, digital show at International Center of Photography: Sensory Prelude (March 8-April 6, 2008).