NRC's 2010-2011:  Reppie Alumni Newsletter


Katy Irwin
  Katy Irwin’s New York Times: 

A year since completing her undergrad, and the party is just getting started for Katy Irwin. The first six months after graduating, Irwin decided to keep a low profile in Reno, Nevada. “Why didn’t any body tell me all major auditions for non union actors are in the spring, and the best time for theatre majors to graduate is fall?” Irwin commented, “I’m getting older, saggier and less cast-able by the minute.” But when asked if she could go back in time and graduate any sooner, Irwin said it happened exactly as it should have and she wouldn’t have traded her time in Reno for the world. “It was good for me to spend some time where dance classes are less expensive and spend time with my family and friends,” says Irwin, “if I didn’t stay an extra six months after graduating, I wouldn’t have had the stamina or the finances to keep me going.”  

Irwin spent her last days of 2008 in, Obama’s former home, Chicago. There, with other artists- novice and experienced, she discussed where art is headed and the challenged of staying true to "our artistic callings". “It was nice to see what others inside and outside my field were doing to help the world flourish through art,” Irwin said, “my life wasn’t changed or anything, but I got to network with some other industry professionals who are actively seeking social justice through their plays and art.” 
A few weeks after Chicago, (start piano intro) she put on her blue suede shoes (they were actually purple), and she boarded the plane, touched down in the land of the Delta Blueooo ooos, in the middle of the pouring rain... and went walking in Memphis (choir: “Walking in Memphis”). “Truth be told,” comments Irwin, ”I flew into Nashville so I could drive across the state to Memphis- and it never rained.” Never the less, a plate of catfish and hush puppies later, she was at the United Professional Theatre Auditions commonly known as UPTA. Chelsea Saul designed and created Irwin’s audition dress, which she continues to get compliments on at every audition to which it is worn. Irwin is always sure to credit Saul to extend the reach of her networking ;) Because of a collapsed lung she got only months before the audition, Irwin felt she was not at her dancing best. “Life throws you curve balls, “ Irwin states,” being an actor means we act like they didn’t happen and we’re always awesome no matter what.” Irwin attended the musical theatre portion of the audition, and soon after received 12 call backs. Katy’s favorite call back was the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair. They asked her for a second song, as did other call backs. She had her binder arsenal of 12 bars sure to blow anyone away ready.  However, this time they didn’t want some glass shattering 12 bars, they wanted a song you might sing at a bar. “Thank you Sarah Potts and Emily Anderson!” Irwin said,”I sang I Miss England, actually got my competition to sing the final chorus with me, and freaking brought the house down. I did the dance and every thing, it was awesome.” (Thus proving you never know what past experience is going to come in handy at an audition.) 


Katy Irwin
  A month after UPTA, and Katy received a call offering her a contract with the Fair from July-October: her first professional gig. At the Fair Irwin’s main character will be Lady Mary Pillegrew the Pirate Queen.  She will be doing various stage combat including stunts and sword fighting.  She will be in five different shows at the Fair including A musical, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet as well as swing for the nurse and Lady Capulet, Friday Knights at the Improv, and a Pirate Queen “picking fights” with other characters at the fair. In her spare time at the fair, Katy will be “required” to learn how to brew her own beer, ride horses and learn various other stunts. “It’s pretty much my dream gig,” Irwin tell us.

Soon after UPTA, Irwin relocated to New York City. She’s been to a lot of auditions, and counts it all as “face time”. “I’ve seen some casting directors more than once, which is great because I can call them by their first name and start looking familiar to them.” Though she hasn’t gotten any professional work in New York City, Katy is still involved in the theatre scene in New York. She auditioned and was accepted to a group called The Actors Project, which matches new/experienced actors with new playwrights and gives them a chance to help each other get noticed. She will be performing as an innocently racist southern bell named Tammy in a play called “Out of the Blue” debuting Off Broadway in early June. (Yea! only one “off”!)

In addition to The Actors Project, Katy, after an audition with the New York Comedy Club, was offered a spot in one of the club’s improv troupes, and can be seen two Saturday nights in June at the New York Comedy Club for only $5 and a two drink minimum. After the Fair, Irwin will consider continuing her involvement with the NY Comedy Club and The Actors Project.

Katy’s latest success was being offered a reading from a Playwrights Horizons playwright to be performed at the Players Theatre in the Village.  Celebrity encounters include Kevin Kline and Paul Dano on set of The Extra Man. She has also served and talked to Jason Alexander and Vincent D’Offrio at Starbucks. And sees celebs here and there since she makes her money working in one of the hundreds of Times Square Starbucks, and lives in New York. 

“I’ve had some fun times and some lonely times here in New York,” concludes Irwin,”I miss my west coast friends and California like crazy - yet I know, for now anyway, this is where I belong.”


From L-R: Russell Jones & Camille Abelow
  After graduation Russell “Danger” Jones was fortunate enough to get a great job working on and backstage for the illusionists Kalin and Jinger.  “I’ve had the opportunity to travel all across the country and internationally with their magic show,” Russell says.  Unfortunately in November of 2008 there theatre in Reno closed and he was out of a job.  On the bright side, he has recently had success in writing with the publication of a one-act murder mystery play called, “Red Herring.”  Since then he’s spent much of his time working on new plays.  In addition, he’s been holding workshops with friends and students in which anyone can bring a newly written play and have the parts read aloud and discussed.   Most of the plays have been his, but a few people have also put their work up for critique.   “Besides the life of an out of work writer, I have been hosting a monthly magic performance, aptly named “Rusy Baby’s Smile Time Magic Hour,” with Justin Peaks and Sasha Mereu.  Terrible name, good magic,” claims Russell.  Recently Sasha and he have started composing an album.  All zombie related songs.  So it’s not very serious subject matter, but they’re really focusing on the music to create an appealing sound.  In the future he’s looking into starting a masters program in playwriting at a number of universities.