Elizabeth Vanessa Harper (born 1982 or 1983), known professionally as Class Actress, is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. Class Actress was originally conceived as a trio, consisting of Harper, Mark Richardson, and Scott Rosenthal.
Harper majored in drama in college and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an actress, but she was unable to make it work and soon found herself disillusioned by it. After relocating to Brooklyn, she decided to pursue a career in music instead. She formed Elizabeth Harper & the Matinee, and in 2004, Harper's self-titled debut solo album was released by UK label Angular Recording Corporation.
Harper later contacted Philadelphia-based producer Mark Richardson, who had remixed a song from her debut album. She preferred Richardson's version to the original, and the two began recording songs at her house, trading Harper's previous guitar-based sound for electronic music, which she had long been interested in exploring. Along with multi-instrumentalist and engineer Scott Rosenthal, Harper and Richardson formed Class Actress—the name being a joke on Harper's original career choice.
2009–2012: Journal of Ardency and Rapprocher
As a solo artist under the moniker Class Actress, Harper signed to Casablanca Records in 2013. That same year, she moved into a bungalow at The Beverly Hills Hotel in order to write and record songs. Class Actress premiered the track "More Than You" on May 20, 2015, and on June 2, it was announced that her EP Movies would be released on June 23 via Casablanca and Republic Records. Taking inspiration from "the films of '80s excess, glamor and self-discovery", Harper wanted Movies to tell "a dark story of a woman who explores the glamorous fantasy life of a Hollywood party girl." The EP was executive-produced by Giorgio Moroder and Evan Bogart, and features production by Harper herself, Moroder, Neon Indian, and Mess Kid.