Mandy's Cast and Crew Biographies
Asal Safoura Forotan, Hostess
Linda Hymes, Chef
Amanda "Mandy" Egron, Producer
Kaveh Nikpour, Director and Camera
Barbara Butler, Set Designer/Art Director
Asal Safoura Forotan,
Mrs. Forotan was born the youngest of five siblings in Shiraz, Iran.
Her family immigrated to Sweden when she was nine years old; there she
graduated from high school with Swedish as her second language. Swedish
television broadcast Mrs. Forotan’s performances of Persian folk
dance at cultural events and thus her love of performing was born.
She has traveled extensively throughout Europe, picking up various languages
as she experienced the diverse cultures of Italy, Spain, Greece and Morocco.
In 1998, Mrs. Forotan completed advanced studies in Spanish at the University
of Malaga in Spain. Traveling to the United States, she met her husband Mike
and continued her education, receiving an AA degree from De Anza College in
Mrs. Forotan was recently featured in a Persian music video that is airing
worldwide. She has appeared as a bridal model at the Santa Clara wedding Fair
and on the KNTV-11 morning program “Bay Area Today”.
Community service is very important to Mrs. Forotan. She volunteers her time
as a backup singer at her Santa Clara church and aids in caring for children
at a local childcare center on a weekly basis.
Ms. Hymes is the Author, Designer, and Publisher of “The Dancing
Gourmet, Recipes to Keep You On Your Toes!” winner of the 2002
Gourmand World Cookbook Award.
Ms. Hymes has incorporated her life-long background as a professional ballerina
to develop her unique approach to healthy cooking. Ms. Hymes danced professionally
for 15 years, performing as a Principal Dancer with the Ohio Ballet, American
Ballet Company, the Pennsylvania Ballet and the San Francisco Dance Theatre.
Speaking several languages, Ms. Hymes was awarded a full academic scholarship
to live and study in Germany as a Congress-Bundestag Youth Scholar. While training
at the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York City, she earned her
BA degree in International/ Intercultural Affairs from Fordham University.
Ms. Hymes moved to England upon retiring from dance and attended Le Cordon
Blue School in London, becoming a classically trained chef. “The Dancing
Gourmet” cookbook is a complication of her favorite recipes and experiences
with photographs by her Irish born husband Derek Gaffney.
Ms. Hymes donates a portion of her cookbook proceeds to Career Transitions
for Dancers, a New York nonprofit organization supporting dancers after retirement.
She is a spokesperson for National Dance Week. More information at http://www.dancinggourmet.com.
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Amanda "Mandy" Egron,
Mrs. Egron is very excited about producing her first television series
for children titled, Mandy’s Place. The creation of Mandy’s
Place has combined her love of teaching young children with the creative
outlet and vast audience that television provides.
As a young woman, Mrs. Egron was a professional ballet dancer in America with
the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and in France with the Ballet du Rhin. Mrs. Egron
left her on-stage career in order to raise a family, thus beginning her second
career as a mother, ballet teacher and teaching assistant (pre k and k) at
the French American International School in San Francisco.
Mrs. Egron graduated from San Francisco State University in 1993 with a BA
in Radio and Television Arts. While attending SFSU, she directed the Northern
California student EMMY Award winning music video “My Little World”.
Mrs. Egron also holds an AA degree in broadcast communication Arts from City
College of San Francisco where in 1991 she was the recipient of the annual
Mrs. Egron has worked in many varied positions within the television industry
for the past 12 years. Mrs. Egron is a member of IATSE/BAFA 119 and works as
a freelance Phone AD/ Stage Manager for live sporting events throughout the
Bay Area. Her clients include FOX Sports Net, NBC, ABC and ESPN.
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Kaveh Nikpour, Director
Mr. Nikpour is currently a staff Producer/Director for KCSM-TV, a PBS
affiliate in San Mateo, California. He was recently nominated for an EMMY
as the Co-Producer/Director of the documentary “In My View: Photo
Memories of 9-11” a half hour special featuring two Bay Area Journalist
who share their photos and memories in the aftermath of this national tragedy.
Mr. Nikpour began his professional television career in 1986 as Director
of the Educational Access Channel at Indiana-Purdue University in Fort
Wayne, Indiana. Moving to California in 1990, he worked as a freelance
Director/Videographer for such companies as the Hewlett-Packard Television
Network and KTEH-TV in San Jose. Mr. Nikpour joined the staff of the Telecourse
Program at City College of San Francisco in 1991 as a Producer/Director
of instructional programming for their Educational Access Channel.
Since 1994, Mr. Nikpour has produced and directed many of KCSM-TV’s
weekly half-hour public affairs programs such as “Authors and Critics” and “The
New California Media” which focuses on ethnic news and views from
around the Bay Area. He Co-Produced/Directed the award winning 26-part
telecourse series “Career Advantage” and the 8-part series “The
Language of Photography”; both distributed nationally by PBS. Upcoming
documentaries include, “The Railroad Empire” and “Jazz
on the Hill”.
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Butler, Set Designer/Art Director
Butler is a San Francisco based artist-designer-builder of unique,
custom outdoor play structures for families. For 15 years Ms. Butler
has designed each play structure as a beautiful extension of the
home, providing “outdoor rooms that stimulate a child’s
physical and imaginative play”.
Ms. Butler has designed and built dozens of unique children’s
play structures in various locations around the country. She was commissioned
by Robert Redford to design a global-village play area and a children’s
theater for the Sundance Institute in Utah.
Ms. Butler has generously agreed to design the sets and oversee the
artwork for Mandy’s Place because of her belief in the project,
her love of children, and her desire to promote peace and understanding
between all people. For more information, visit http://www.barbarabutler.com.
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