I used to be extremely shy and hardly able to interact at all in social situations. As anyone who's shy will tell you, it can feel like a curse. For someone who wants to be on stage, that curse is even worse. My drive to perform overcame my timidity and I chose to follow my heart even though inside I was terrified.
I've been singing since Jr. High choir but quit when I graduated college and needed to find a "real" job. I always missed performing though and vowed that some day I'd return to it. A blind-date took me to a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Princess Ida and suddenly "someday" became "right now." As much as I enjoyed the show, I knew I'd enjoy it more from the stage. The program mentioned the company was looking for singers for their next production. I auditioned, without a headshot, resume or any formal training. Nonetheless, I soon became a fairy in Iolanthe. I took to performing like a trout in a stream (or a fairy in the forest) and realized quickly I'd need to beef up my chops if I was going to make this a long-term gig. I took singing lessons and after a bad experience with an acting coach, found the best acting school around.
For the next five years I did more chorus work, honing my singing voice and learning everything I could about stage performance. Throughout this period I enjoyed my work but I wanted to be out front, in a principal role, not just in the chorus line. Three hours before a performance of Oklahoma! I got my chance. I had understudied the role of Aunt Eller and one day the principal actress's bad luck became my great fortune. During rehearsal for another play, the actress fell off stage and twisted her ankle. Three hours before curtain I was called in to save the day. I didn't know it then, but being asked to perform on short-notice like that would become indicative of many scenarios I would encounter later in my career. I like to think of myself as an adaptive, resourceful professional and that heart-pounding performance was a great start. The first fifteen minutes on stage seemed like an hour, but I pulled through without a single missed line.
I've since continued to take more acting roles and build my skills. I've taking acting classes, musicianship lessons, singing lessons and expanded into voice over work. I've been in independent films and worked in the web's newest entertainment mediums: audio drama and web series. You can hear me in many audio dramas at the 19 Nocturne Blvd website and see me online in the web series "Family" episodes 7, 8 and 17. You may also see me in the independent film Police Beat which plays on the Sundance Channel.
|© Copyright 2009 Kris Keppeler|