Archives for July 2016

3Ws – Kate Billingsley

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What do you create?

I’m a trilingual improv artist, performing in the U.S.—New York and Baltimore, Paris, France, and Seville, Spain, with my solo show CommuniKate:ArtAlive! The show focuses on artists, mostly Impressionists, whom I love and whom I want audiences to know and appreciate as well.

Things I’ve learned on the trilingual circuit: Clowning and physical comedy are a must for getting the character across, and in France my clown has to be quite cruel and haughty to get a laugh, while in Spain the clown is much louder and melodramatic with lots of singing and gestures, which suits audiences there. Also, European improv is performed in a smaller, more intimate café-style venue than here, where you disappear into the wings after a show, so you have to not be afraid to be right on top of your audience, feed off of them: they’re learning you, as you’re learning how to improv in their language. It’s super-gratifying.

 

 

Why do you create?

CommuniKate was borne out of me wanting to get back to France after living there for three-and-a-half years. I was lucky to find the perfect director, Mike Harris, executive creative director of BIG, the Baltimore Improv Group, to help me create this blend of traditional theater with improv and take it on the road.

 

 

What do you consume?

Chocolate, despite my best intentions. I LOVE the movie Before Sunrise to transport me elsewhere. My friend Esther Garboni’s Spanish poetry is amazing. I binge-watched UnReal, the Lifetime drama about reality television that has really textured female characters. I like to watch an episode of Amy Poehler’s podcast, Smart Girls at the Party, before I go to bed. She interviews “ women who are changing the world by being themselves.” It helps me nurture my weird.

 

Links

 Baltimore Improv Festival: http://www.baltimoreimprovfestival.org/performers/#communiKate (Monday, July 25th at 7:30 PM)

 

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3Ws – Caroline Angell

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What do you create?

As a writer and a director, I do my best to create characters by fully exploring the complexity of their emotional lives. My favorite living writer is Elizabeth Strout; I had the chance to hear her speak recently, and she talked about how fiction offers an opportunity to extend our empathy. I agree, and my goal is to create a world to explore my own “what if,” and provide a chance for a reader (or a viewer) to say “what would I do if…?”

Also, I like to create silly, rhyming songs for kids. Just, like, in my regular life. I never write them down, though, because they’re rarely funny to anyone except me and the kid.

 

 

Why do you create?

I’m an avid reader, and one of my favorite feelings is to be completely sucked into someone else’s world. When I read something that gives voice to a feeling I’ve had and maybe not had my own words for or understood fully, it makes me feel connected. It helps me understand myself better. It makes me want to try and understand the people around me better. I think a large part of the reason that I write is to be part of that circle; to explore the things that cross my mind, that I wrestle with, in the hope that someone else might feel connected by my words.

 

 

What do you consume?

Old episodes of Friends. Quality time with people I love. Fiction, especially by lady writers. Matzoh ball soup from the 2nd Avenue Deli (I’m pretty sure I’m keeping them in business). Lots of caffeine, in many forms. And libraries. I might actually be addicted to libraries.

 

Links