Vangsness is the 2005 recipient of the LA Drama Critics
Circle Natalie Shafer Award for Best Emerging Comedic Actress,
which was awarded to her this past March 21, 2005 at the Coronet
Adrian: Hello there Kirsten, it's a pleasure to meet you. Currently you are cast as the nutty Belise in the Theatre of Note's production of THE LEARNED LADIES. How are you enjoying the run so far?
Kirsten: I am enjoying it enormously. If someone had told me before that the best way to learn about sit-coms is thru Moliere I don’t know if I would have believed them but I am learning so much about timing and rhythm. And the cast is like liquid soul candy and we just keep getting more and more in sync and discovering and discovering, it's like a whole different show than it was the first week, which is always the case for theatre.
Adrian: The character you play Belise is quite the off the wall person. Tell us a little about her, and how you prepared yourself to fill her shoes.
Kirsten: Belise is that "kooky aunt" that you wish you had, or if you have one maybe you don’t wish it....she's the one whose perfectly comfortable giving her niece a vibrator for her bat mitzvah kinda chick. Very comfortable with her sexuality, way into any and all new agey hoo-hah she can get her hands on. A victim of too much money/too little time/ not a great deal of gray matter but a whole lotta woman. I found the parts in me that were like her and ... just sat around in them. Walked around naked a lot. Started reading tarot cards. Kooky stuff. She's much more confident than I am so that was fun too, to find that. Is that enough of an answer?
Adrian: You are also involved in producing the Los Angeles Premiere of the LEARNED LADIES. How did this come about? Why chose this script?
Kirsten: The director, Larry Biederman, had approached the company with this translation and we needed a producer in order to get it done. He actually had a list of classics he was interested in but THEATRE OF NOTE including myself really wanted this . Larry had directed a play in our late night festival last year and I just dug him so much that I wanted to make the play happen. It was also great to do because I learned so much about the other side. I am usually just the "talent" so to have to single handedly do all the other things behind the scenes was crazy cool in that I learned how to fundraise and how much a set costs and actor wrangling and ego stroking and all kinds of things. I am really proud of its sensibility I love the whole Willy Wonka/Tim Burton/ wacky/laugh -in feel its got. We picked this play because it really speaks about the ‘LA self help spiritually take care of keeping yourself comfy’ vibe. And the translation was so modern and interesting and this play is so rarely done
Adrian: Got it. Tell us a little about the Theatre of Note. How long have you been involved with their company?
Kirsten: I have been an active member for about three years although I was a member for 5 and it took me two year to not be so intimidated by the energy there. It's a beautiful place where art really comes first and everyone is kind and that is rare. NOTE is a company of folks who like doing new stuff and saying new things or things in different ways. We are democratically run so the sensibility changes sometimes we are more punk rock and sometimes we are kooky and sometimes...just depends on the voice of the people....
Any favorite moments to share with the Theatre of Note or with
any past stage production ?
Adrian: Excellent. Sounds like you really enjoy this craft. How long have you been 'an actor' ?
I would say ninth grade was when I realized I was good at it. My
mom forced me to take an acting class because I was too shy and
would not talk. It ended up being the thing that kept me not
flunking out of school. I am [receiving the 2005 LA Drama
Critics Circle Natalie Shafer Award] and I am totally thanking
my high school drama teacher for it which is cool [because] I
thought the "if I ever get an recognition for this acting
stuff get I want to thank her"....
And where do you see yourself in five years?
Kirsten: Five years....I want to...wow I feel strange writing this but here we go. I want to be at a point where I can choose what acting work I do for a living, you know? I want to get better and do more of things I haven’t yet. More films. I want to write another show and have it produced by someone else. I want to have enough clout to at least TRY and land a role in one of the Narnia sequels preferably “Voyage of the Dawn Treader". In five years I see myself being truer to what my intentions are and being very brave and having my career at a momentum that I can afford to help others more. I want to have a hybrid too.
Adrian: Well Kristen, thank you very much for taking the time answer a few questions. Any words of wisdom to share with our readers?
MY advice--follow that bliss....read "The Power of
Now"...show up....know that we all feel like we don’t
know what were doing sometimes and we don’t think we should be
allowed to be an actor/ a writer/ a plumber/ fill in here what
your dream is but we have a right. you have the right to be who
you are and follow your path.
Adrian: Thanks again Kirsten.
Kirsten: You’re welcome.
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