Sunday, July 7, 2013

17 Questions for Kathy Chaney

By Brian Walker
Entire contents are copyright © 2013, Brian Walker. All rights reserved.

Louisville actor and choreographer Kathy Chaney is all about family, friends and performing.  She’s been teaching dance for over 30 years in various spots around town and is starring in Wayward Actors Company's upcoming production of Steel Magnolias opening at The Bard's Town on July 12.
Brian Walker:  Alright, I have some questions for you; 17 to be exact, you game?
Kathy Cheney:  I feel honored to be asked!
BW:  The honor is all mine!  Thank you for your time.  Okay, Number 1:  You’re starring in Wayward’s upcoming production of Steel Magnolias. What role are you playing, and what drew you to the project?
KC:  I am playing M'Lynn. I have always loved that play. I have seen the show many times, as my daughter Rebecca has played Annelle twice. I have always wanted to play M'Lynn, and now I get to. Yay! One role off the bucket list!
BW:  Number 2:  Are you the type of actor to stay away from the film version, or have you watched it recently?
KC:  I have looked at the movie to see what the accents were like. But I didn't watch the movie as a whole. I don't like to copy another actress’s style. I'd rather make it my own.
BWNumber 3:  What’s been your favorite part of the rehearsal process so far?
KC:  The best thing about the rehearsal process is that the women in this production are also my friends. There is already a bond between us, which makes it easier to bond as friends in the show.
BW:  Number 4:  And what about the hairdressing? How big a part of the rehearsal process has that been?
KC:  We had Lucas Meyer, who is a hairdresser, come to help the actresses playing Truvy and Annelle learn the necessary skills to do what they needed for the show. We are now off book, so we are able to do hair as part of the rehearsal process. With each rehearsal they are getting better and better.
BW:  Number 5:  Anything in particular you’re looking forward to with doing a show at The Bard’s Town?
KC:  I am especially excited to work in that space with this show. This is a show that works best in an intimate setting. That is exactly what The Bard's Town offers. It will be nice and cozy, which will work perfectly. It also doesn't hurt that The Bard's Town has excellent food.
BW:  Number 6:  Have you done other productions with Wayward?
KC:  Yes. I was Juanita in Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean; Dr. Eisner in Insane with Power; Bella Lamb in Rehearsal for Murder; and Mae in Reefer Madness.
Kathy Chaney in the 2012 Wayward Actors Company
production of Reefer Madness.
BW:  Number 7:  And do you have any productions on the books for the upcoming season?
KC:  Actually I am directing and doing choreography for Wayward's next show, Halloween with Broadway's Greatest Villains, which will be at The Bard's Town in October.  I will be choreographing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for Kentucky Country Day opening in November. In February Spamalot will be performing in The MeX; I will be doing choreography for that. The last thing I have on my calendar will be in June as choreographer for Carrie, The Musical with Wayward.
BW:  Number 8:  What’s your favorite thing about acting?
KC:  My favorite thing about acting is being able to transform into someone else. You get to know this person, figure out who she is and what makes her what she is.  After that, on stage, you get to introduce her others.
BW:  Number 9:  When you’re not doing theatre, what keeps you busy?
KC:  I owned Kathy Todd Dance Studio for over thirty years. I sold it two years ago to one of my past students/teachers, Jamie Lynn Sutton Gilliam. I teach one day a week for her. I also teach part time for Kentucky Country Day adding dance into the drama curriculum and teaching after-school programs. For fun, I like to spend time with my husband and daughter and get together with my friends.
BW:  Number 10:   What’s your summer addiction?
KC:  I don't really have a summer addiction, but in the summer I always look forward to taking a family vacation. My daughter is a teacher, and I am able to spend a lot more time with her during the summer. That is always very special.
BW:  Number 11:   If you could play any role in any play, what would it be and why?
KC:  I saw the play Nunsense Off-Broadway many years ago and fell in love with it. Since then I have wanted to be one of the "Little Sisters of Hoboken." I would really like to be Sister Mary Amnesia, but I would have fun with any of the roles.
BW:  Number 12:   Have you always lived in Louisville?
KC:  I was born and raised right here in Louisville, Kentucky, and have been here all of my life.
BW:  Number 13:   What’s been your favorite role to play up to this point?
KC:  "Glinda the Good Witch." I have always loved The Wizard of Oz and I know it inside out. The thing that made this even more special is that I got to share the stage with my talented daughter, who played the role of Dorothy.
BW:  Number 14:  What advice would you give to someone looking to break into the local theatre scene?
KC:  Be willing to take small roles or be in the ensemble. Most people starting out in theatre for the first time won't get leads. The most important thing is to be a hard worker and be pleasant to work with.  In local theatre word spreads if someone is or is not easy to work with. You don't want a bad reputation preceding you to your next audition. Lastly, audition as often as possible and don't get discouraged if you are not cast.
BW:  That's all great advice!  Number 15:   Where’s your favorite place to go in Louisville?
KC:  Any place I can be with friends and family. It's not the place that's important, it's the people you are with.
BW:  Number 16:   Who is someone who inspires you and why?
KC:  There are actually two people who inspire me. My husband, Larry, who is the reason I am doing theatre. Every year we went to MTL's summer performances. Every year I would say, "This would be so much fun to do." Finally, one year he said to me, "Stop talking about it and do it." I auditioned and have been addicted ever since.  I returned the favor and got him into theatre later. He has such wonderful work ethics on and off stage as does the other person who inspires me, my daughter Rebecca.  She has been on stage since she was 6 months old. Even as a child she was dedicated and focused, not only in theatre, but in everything she has done from dance, theatre, school and now as a teacher. It keeps me focused to keep up with these two. I am fortunate to have their love, support and examples every day to keep me going.
BW:  That's amazing!  Alright, last question:  Number 17:   What’s one thing folks would be surprised to learn about you?
KC:  People would and have been surprised by the fact that I bowl on a league. My parents took me bowling as a child. I joined a league when I was 10 and I have been bowling ever since.

Steel Magnolias

July 12, 13, 16, 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m.
July 21 at 3 p.m.

Wayward Actors Company at
The Bard’s Town
1801 Bardstown Road
Louisville, KY 40205

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