27 April 2020

Isolation Interviews: Loren Kinsella

Next up in my Isolation Interview series I have Loren Kinsella. Loren is an American actress who has appeared in both film, TV and on the stage. Her stage credits include Anna in Choice, Lady M in Macbeth, Luciana in The Comedy of Errors and Diana in The Strength Of This Nation. You can visit https://www.lorenkinsella.com/ to find out more about Loren's career.

Loren Kinsella.
Q - What was the first piece of theatre that you remember seeing?
A - Actual theater, as opposed to symphony or ballet was a short version of King Arthur. It was a 'Young Audience' production of the whole play that was showing in New Orleans at the time. I believe I was 4 or 5 years old. It was brilliant. I can still remember how excited I was to see Arthur pull the sword from the stone! Just magnificent. There were special effects and thunder noises and smoke-- to a little kid, that was the best!

Q - What inspired you to get into acting?
A - Good question. I honestly don't know. It's just something that I always knew I was going to do. There never was any doubt.

Is that odd? I mean literally, I had my entire career projection figured out by the time I was nine years old. That was a defining moment in my life. I was taking a shower at the time and figuring out what I had to focus on at which point in my life. Evidently, I was a bizarre child.

Q - Who during your career has had the biggest impact on you?
A - That's a tough one. I've worked with so many inspirational people. 

I do remember working with Gene Hackman though, and watching him. He would take a long time before his lines. I was quite confused by that. I often wondered if I wasn't speaking loudly enough, which is possible since I was so star-struck, or if he just forgot what he was to say. Looking back now, I'm guessing I wasn't speaking loud enough.

I've also worked with some fantastic instructors. There are too many to name, but I'm grateful to each and every one. 

Q -  What are your top 5 favourite pieces of theatre?
A - The Scottish Play - you really can't beat it, can you? I can't count how many versions of this play I've seen, and I've enjoyed most of them. Even the more modern versions.

Hamlet - I've seen some fabulous productions of Hamlet. Also, some not so good ones. No matter what though, the story is always fascinating to me. Seriously, who hasn't wanted to kill their relatives from time to time?

All About My Mother - Granted, I'm probably biased, but I saw Diana Rigg in this show when it was at the Old Vic. I was blown away. Mark Gattis was also in it, and I can't tell you how they both lit up the stage. I was in theater nerd heaven!

Choice - Even if I've never been in the show I'd love this one. Best selling author of Regret, Timothy Allen Smith wrote this play as a sequel to the novel. The play is interesting and thought-provoking without being preachy. It's hard to create a balance like that. I don't want to give away the plot, but if you ever do get the chance to see it, I highly recommend doing so.

The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time.
Besides being a great story, the play reaches out to people who wouldn't necessarily like theater. I think this is one of the most important plays in modern history. Not because of the content in general, but because the play is about an autistic boy. Other kids who are autistic do see themselves in the character and can relate. To me, this is the very definition of art. It brings people together and helps to start a conversation. A conversation that perhaps some people would be too embarrassed or feel uncomfortable to have otherwise.

Loren Kinsella
Q - If you could tell your younger self something what would you tell them?
A -  Forget what other people think and be yourself. I spent and wasted a lot of time worrying about what people thought of me. Even when I was relatively accomplished as a performer, I was still plagued with insecurity.

It's taken a long time for me to grow out of that. I'm not quite sure I'm there yet, if I'm honest.

Q - If you could have dinner with 3 theatre-related guests (doesn't have to just be performers). Who would you invite and why?
A - 
Dame Diana Rigg - She's been my hero from a very young age. In New Orleans, where I grew up, on Saturday the local Public Broadcasting Station would play The Avengers series from the 60's. I would go outside and pretend I was Mrs. Peel. She was the most beautiful, smart, strong, independent lady I had ever seen.

Dame Helen Mirren - Because she's fabulous. No, seriously, she really is. To this day I have never seen her do anything I didn't believe.

Andrew Lloyd Weber - I want to know all about the process of creating Jesus Christ Superstar. What an inspiration it must have been to take on something so magnanimous! How does something like that come about and how do you work up the nerve to even try it?

Q - If you were to write an autobiography of your life so far what would you call it?
A - "Wait... What?" That's pretty much what I ask when I look back and remember all of the stupid things I've done.

Q - If you could play any of your previous roles again, who would you choose to play and why?
A - Anna from Choice. She really spoke to me. The character is rich and well written. You really love to hate her. In a nutshell, she's a manipulative mother of a mentally ill daughter. 

Q - Away from the theatre what are your other favourite hobbies?
A - 
Reading - I love learning new things. 

Traveling - I love aviation. Airports are one of my favorite places. I know that's bizarre, but I could sit in an airport lounge for hours watching the people come in and out. 

Scouring the internet for the newest, cutest tech gadgets- If it's cute, tiny and functional, I'm all in. Especially if it's a travel gadget and I can use it while sitting in an airport lounge being a voyeur.

Q -  Can you tell us something we wouldn't know about you?
A - I'm a sucker for police procedural and paranormal television shows. My guilty pleasures.

I'd like to thank Loren for her time and for taking part in my interview. Loren wanted me to add her best wishes for everyone's health and wellbeing.

You can find out more about Loren on her website https://www.lorenkinsella.com/. You can also follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/lorenkinsella and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lorenkinsella

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