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avatar for Tarja Parssinen

Tarja Parssinen

Tarja Parssinen is a writer, performer, producer, and director.  Her written work has appeared in places like The Washington Post, Salon, The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, and her own blog, The Flying Chalupa. Tarja also does frequent performances and readings at places like the Cornell University Alumni Comedy Night in New York City, on KQED public radio, at San Francisco’s Lit Crawl, and as a cast member in the Listen To Your Mother San Francisco 2013 and 2016 productions. Raised in Saudi Arabia, Tarja called the desert home for the first 15 years of her life. In 1992, she moved with her family to Austin, Texas - a land of queso and football - and found herself performing pom-pom routines to "Rhythm Is A Dancer" as a member of the Cavalette Dance Team.
She attended Cornell University, and graduated with a degree in English and a focus in French. Sadly, that focus has become hazy over time but does not deter Tarja from becoming fluent in full-fat Gruyere. While at Cornell, Tarja performed with the school's premier sketch comedy group, The Skits-O-Phrenics, and credits her talented group members with introducing her to comedy writing, the power of smart, subversive humor, and the pure joy in making people laugh.   
Tarja worked briefly in public service advertising at the Ad Council, followed by a career in publishing at Random House, Inc., where she worked in sales as a National Account Manager to Barnes & Noble for the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Romance titles under the Random House imprint.