Katie Ivey is a senior at GTA and is graduating this May with a BFA Acting major at Brenau University. Katie has graced the GTA stage in Sophie and the Pirates, Legally Blonde: The Musical, The Bra and Panty Club, and Henry V. Her next project is the upcoming GTA musical, Songs for a New World. Katie tells us how she started acting, her after-graduation plans, her role on the GTA Marketing Team, and why she choose Gainesville Theatre Alliance.
What is your year and major?
I am a Senior BFA Acting Major at Brenau University.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I am busy busy busy. I have class typically from 9:30-5 PM every day and then rehearsal starting at 6:30 PM. For example, this semester, my Monday is Ballet 9:30, Advanced Stage Management at 11 (even though I’m an acting major, I have room to take stage management classes, which I enjoy), and then Marketing Practicum from 1-5 PM. It’s like this every day of the week. I’m also in a sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, and President of our chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, so I am one busy lady, but I live off the adrenaline.
What are you currently working on?
Currently, I am working on Songs for a New World at GTA. I am singing “Just One Step.” It’s a song about a woman who threatens to throw herself off the 57th floor (it’s hilarious, I promise) because she wants her husband (Murray) to love her.
When did you start acting?
I started acting when I was in middle school. I did a few 20-minute plays in my drama club, but things really took off for me in high school when I started doing four shows a year until I graduated and came to GTA!
You are also on the GTA Marketing Team. What can you tell me about your position?
I am the Head of the Digital Content Creation Team at GTA. We create all of the content (go figure!) for the GTA social media pages and the YouTube channel. We interview faculty and students, edit all videos, and produce anywhere from 6-10 videos a week. We work on the ad videos for GTA and the promotional videos for the shows on the GTA Instagram and Facebook accounts.
How has the pandemic affected you and what kept you motivated?
I am one of the rare few who had the best year of my life during the pandemic. I took the time to learn to love myself. I started doing yoga every day, I spent a lot of time with people I love most, and I finally slowed down. It was hard at times because I tended to get lazy, however as I’ve mentioned above, I RUN off of being productive, so I always found things for me to do. I took up baking a lot of bread and doing a LOT of puzzles. Knowing that things are temporary is a really good mindset I have tried to have throughout this time.
What plans do you have after graduation?
I’ve gone to audition conferences and have applied to specific apprenticeships that I am really interested in. Nothing to announce yet, but I want to stay in Atlanta and take classes in film and focus on submitting to agencies. I would love to do an apprenticeship because it would get me actively involved in a theatre, taking classes and workshops while possibly understudying professional roles and exploring my arts administration love. My goal after graduation is to find a day job in the theatre, regardless of what I am offered. I want to be surrounded by creative theatre artists who will remind me of the work and keep me involved and motivated.
Why was GTA the place for you?
I grew up in Gainesville my entire life. I went to preschool at Children of Grace, across from Brenau’s campus. I saw Sophie and the Pirates when I was little, on a field trip. I grew up watching GTA shows, and who would’ve thought that my first show at GTA over a decade later would be Sophie and the Pirates, the very first show I ever saw and made me fall in love with theatre. I’ve known GTA is the place for me. I explored other options, but nothing felt like home compared to GTA. The show quality is unmatched; the collaboration between two schools is unique, being the only collegiate program in the country to do so. The training and guest artist connections you get in your time here is so helpful to your career as a theatre artist, whether you’re an acting major or a technician.
What advice would you give to high school students? Any audition tips?
Don’t give up. I have been told no so many times, but I promise your time will come. You’ve got to get through the bad auditions to get to the good ones. You just do. Jenna Fischer says that you’ve got to be told no 50 times in order to get one yes. Instead of getting upset at a no, she gets excited because it means she is one ‘no’ closer to getting her yes! It will make you work ten times harder than everyone else, and whenever you do finally get what you’re working towards, you will appreciate it ten times more than everyone else. It makes those experiences that much more special. Also, with auditioning, this sounds very morbid, but it genuinely helps me… We’re all going to die one day anyway, so no one’s going to remember how badly you do, so just be you and have fun!!!!! Give your gift, act like it’s a performance rather than an audition.
What is your favorite show?
My favorite show is Wit by Margaret Edson. I played Dr. Vivian Bearing in high school (I know, sounds crazy), but I fell in love with it. It solidified my passion for acting, and I was also going through a lot emotionally when I did it, so it became such a release for me. It’s about forgiveness and has such beautiful poetry. “Death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die” is one of my favorite lines in the play. So much so, I got “no more” tattooed on my body as the only tattoo I will probably ever have. I cherish that experience and will always be attached to the story.
As you get ready to graduate, what are you taking away from your GTA experience, and why should prospective students choose GTA?
I am so thankful for GTA because I could explore who I am as a theatre artist instead of just an actor. My freshman year, I was on run crew twice and was even trusted to be the Projection Operator for The Odyssey. I was in Lighting Practicum, I have been in Recruitment and Marketing Practicums. I’ve learned I am an excellent videographer and even served as videographer on the virtual GTA Cabaret Series. I’ve worked in the costume shop. I’ve been able to take voice and dance classes even though I am an acting major. I’ve been cast in musicals even though I’m an acting major. I’ve taken Stage Management and Principles of Design. I feel confident going into the industry that I am capable of so much in the world of theatre and am easily marketable to professionals in Atlanta. If you want to be a well-rounded artist, choose GTA. If you want a network of people who will push you outside of your comfort zone and teach you new things you’d never think you’d love, choose GTA. My resume is now set up to where I could apply for almost every job in a theatre and have enough credits to back it up.