Blog30

Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Karin de la Penha

Karin de la PenhaActress and singer; director
New York, New York USA

I glean tremendous inspiration from both past and present influences, encompassing many diverse worlds. But there are few people more inspiring to me than the generous creatures who choose the performing world as their path in life.

I was plunked into this biz at the tender age of 4, and was soon earning serious enough money to pay our rent. I went to a performing arts boarding school in England, and was taught by, and was a student with, extraordinary people, with many of whom I’m still in touch. It was a rich and unusual childhood.

I quit performing when I was still very young–barely old enough to vote–because I knew I was becoming a little myopic. This decision took me in a couple of other professional directions: journalism, psychotherapy, and, finally, I started and ran a couple of theater companies successfully enough that the US Embassy invited me to teach and put on a show Kuala Lumpur in the wake of 9/11.

Twenty years later, I realized I had unfinished business as a performer, and in coming back I’ve found a balance I hadn’t realized I was missing. I’m thankful for my time away, because I steeped myself in very different disciplines, broadened my perspective, honed my mind, traveled a great deal, and filled out as a person more than I believe I would have done had I spent my entire life exclusively as a performer.

I feel most myself when I’m being thoroughly well-used as an entertainer. It’s immaterial whether I’m acting, singing, or directing, working in front of a live audience or hunkering down in the 2-dimensional media. I’m an omnivorous and gluttonous reader, adore animals (and some humans…!), and for psychic R&R, I can think of nothing better than hiking in the hills with my dog and our doggy friends (which is hampered by the fact that she lives in Santa Barbara and I see her all too rarely).

One thing few people know about me is that my grandmother was found in a shoe box under the Brooklyn Bridge.

Karin de la Penha (KarindelaPenha.com) has worked in the US, UK, Europe, and Malaysia. Selected credits: The Clean House, Fallen Angels, The Fly in the Fridge (Ed. Fringe Fest. Award); Private Lives (Independent & Dramalogue Awards); Old Times (Independent Award); FILM: Lock Out (Lead); Time After Time (Jenny). WEB: www.VelvetMoonChronicles.com

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