DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 22

January 14, 2015


Did you know that our Acting Associate, Kathryn Bartholomew is actually a student of singing as well? That’s actually how we met… through voice lessons! It was through this process that I discovered what a great actor, teacher and coach Katie is… not to mention a lovely person!  Oh, and she can #SING too! Because of this, I thought it would be interesting to hear a bit more about her story from a student perspective because we pride ourselves on not just being teachers, but learners! Per usual, that’s enough from me… let’s learn from her!

Davin: Hey Katie! So, we already kind of know you as coach, but remind us where you’re from and what fills your day with regards to work & fun etc.

Katie: I’m from all over!  I was born and raised in Indiana, moved to Los Angeles after undergrad, up to Seattle for a couple of years, and then over to Kansas City, Missouri for grad school after that.  Once I graduated, I moved to Chicago. I’ve been here for about six years now.

My days are filled with my day job at the Shedd Aquarium, where I work in Development, as well as theatre and whatever else I can find time for. I am thrilled to be the Acting Associate here at Davin Youngs Voice, and love working with actors on a weekly basis. I act, direct, and produce theater here in Chicago. My husband and I founded Linchpin Theatre, and I am Company Manager of Oracle Theatre as well.  When I’m not doing theatre-related work (which I consider fun as well), I love to take voice lessons with you. I also enjoy hanging out with my husband and friends, my puppy, and occasionally vegging out at home watching crap tv. All that stuff.

Davin: I never know how you keep track of everything you do! Tell us a little bit about how you came to voice lessons? What made you take the plunge? Have you taken them in the past?

Katie: I attended a musical audition a few years ago after not auditioning for a musical since undergrad.  And even though I took vocal lessons and had been in choirs on and off throughout my life, let’s just say that at this point in time I had been “off” from singing for a good 3 or 4 years at least. I didn’t know who I was as a singer, and without that understanding, my song could only go so far.

When I walked into the audition room and the piano began to play, I opened my mouth to sing and was in over my head.  A huge lack of confidence washed over me. I didn’t want to feel that way again–especially about something I really love to do.  I looked you up almost immediately after that, began voice lessons, and have been taking them ever since.

Davin: Your story is not uncommon! Have you goals changed since you began our sessions?

Katie: Changes are bound to occur as discoveries are made. You go down a path, find something new, and chase it for a while until it leads somewhere else.  I like that.  Because I started lessons to become a more confident singer, I have had the luxury of enjoying the exploration.  You are a great guide in helping me discover the different places my voice can take me. I love finding new opportunities for my voice with each lesson, especially because I didn’t really even know what was possible when I first walked through your door.  Along the way, I gather the vocal confidence that I was hoping to find when I first started here.  It’s just so fun.

Davin: Now that you’re coaching acting at Davin Youngs Voice, has the experience of being a student changed at all?

Katie: I think being a teacher and being a student go hand-in-hand. I may have a terminal degree in Acting & Directing, but it is a craft I will never stop learning from.  Learning an art form and teaching an art form are great acts of discovery–whether you are guiding or not.  Those foundational elements never get old.  It doesn’t matter if I am teaching an Acting session, or taking a voice lesson–I’m strengthening my foundation and sharpening my tools.  If you choose to practice an art form/craft, you will always be a student.  As far as coaching goes, I consider that a privilege and a thrill to be able to help others on their journey of finding themselves in the craft. Students teach me as well.

Davin: So, what’s in the future for your voice?

Katie: Who knows!?  I think that is what is exciting.  Sure, I have goals along the way (build a song repertoire for auditions, experiment with musical styles, step outside my comfort zone, develop my range), but I’m also on this ride to see where it leads. It’s fun. I hope that more fun is in store.

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DYV Students: Student Spotlight Interview No. 22