Vanessa earned her Actor's Equity card while performing the role of Rusty and singing "Let's Hear It For the Boy" in the musical Footloose. She originated the role of Nemo in Robert and Kristin Lopez's Finding Nemo, the Musical at Orlando's Disney World. Vanessa embodied the character of Olive Ostrovsky in the National Tour of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She joined the Broadway cast of Hair in its final year as Crissy, and sang her heart out in the "Frank Mills Song".
She made her on-screen debut as Chris in the youth-oriented video short feature, The Sparky Chronicles: The Map (2003).