Life and Career
She was born in New York City, New York, the daughter of actress Sasha von Sherler and Paul Avila Mayer, and granddaughter of screenwriter Edwin Justus Mayer.
After contributing to the New York Shakespeare Festival as a teen, she graduated from Wesleyan University with a dregree in theater and history. Her experience with theater served as a foundation for her upcoming career as a director, where she would later apply her understanding of stage acting to her work for the screen. Upon graduating interpretations of classic plays such as Euripides' Electra, Shakespeare's The Tempest, and Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Her feature film directing debut was the critically acclaimed 1995 film Party Girl. She also co-wrote the film, which starred Parker Posey and her own mother, with her partner Harry Birckmayer. The success of the film led to a Fox television series starring Christine Taylor.
Since Party Girl, she has been writing and directing films, as well as directing television productions. She directed Madeline, a 1998 film based on Ludwig Bemelmann's famous children's books about the adventures of a young red headed French girl. Madeline starred Frances McDormand, Nigel Hawthorne, and Hatty Jones as Madeline.
She is married to film composer David Carbonara. They have two children.