Maya studied design & production at Baltimore School for the Arts, finishing her BFA degree at SUNY Purchase. After graduating, Maya began working in the New York area as a designer, draftsman, and model builder; eventually relocating to Las Vegas, and finding work as a scenic artist and a stagehand with IATSE Local 720.
In 2004, Maya returned to the East Coast to teach scene-painting at Vassar College. While there, she discovered a love of teaching which inspired her to pursue a Master's of Art in Teaching from Towson University with which she taught 8th grade mathematics in Baltimore City for a number of years.
Although teaching in a Baltimore City public school is in its own way a daily "live event", Maya missed the energy and excitement of working in production, and traded in her teaching hat and joined the el-j productions team.