Katie Adler Part Two
I want to work with people who inspire me and that I can learn from so I can grow personally and artistically. I want to stretch myself.
Here’s part two of my interview with Katie Adler.
A reminder: Katie currently plays “Linda” in Jim Beaver‘s play “VERDIGRIS” at TheatreWest. Beaver is best known for playing Whitney Ellsworth on the HBO Western drama series Deadwood. He portrayed Bobby Singer in the CW television series Supernatural and Sheriff Shelby Parlow on the FX series Justified.
VERDIGRIS was just extended through April 26, 2015.
After studying the Meisner technique Wendy Ward, The Ward Acting Studio, Katie researched Meisner teachers in Los Angeles. She decided to study with William Alderson, who taught along side Sandy Meisner at The Neighborhood Playhouse Professional School and was the school’s associate director for 20 years.
Katie studied with Alderson for three years. While studying, she didn’t go on a single audition.
“I got the training of my life. I focused on the work because I wanted to make sure I was a legit actor before I stepped in front of casting directors.”
After completing the program, Bill recommended Katie study with Jack Waltzer, a lifetime member of the Acting Studio who has worked with Dustin Hoffman and Sigourney Weaver.
“It was a privilege to be in his presence and his student.”
Feeling prepared, Katie started using her acting tools. Two years ago, she joined Theater West as an associate. She did the grunt work of cleaning toilets and slowly worked her way up by doing play readings and performing in the theater’s children’s shows. Last summer, she auditioned for and earned the role of Susan in “Against the Wall,” a play written and directed by Charlie Mount and based on his experiences in New York’s stand up comedy scene.
“I got my chance to demonstrate my capabilities and use everything I’ve learned. I incorporated it into the character and the show, which was amazing. It scared the shit out of me. As I was reading the script, I thought, ‘I don’t know if I can be funny’, but I knew it was something I needed to do. Thankfully, I felt really safe exploring it with Charlie.”
Serendipitously, Charlie suggested she research Sue Kolinsky, a stand up comedian to get a better feel for the role. Katie recently waited on Sue while working at the W Hotel.
“Adler’s performance is the main reason to see the new play.”
“…Adler has appeared mostly in supporting roles in five plays with the company. In Against The Wall, she’s given the chance to shine, and shine she does.”
“I was taken aback and blown away by the great response we had and grateful for all the kind words in the reviews.”
The show earned a four week extension.
Theater West’s current production, “VERDIGRIS“, is the 30th Anniversary Revival of its 1985 Hit. Katie is one of 11 cast members and the ensemble experience is very different from “Against the Wall.” Under the direction of Mark W. Travis, Katie has stretched her improvisational muscles through character interrogation (responding to questions as the character) and character play dates (getting together with other characters on a play date and remaining in character the entire date).
“It’s really great to be a part of something so special. Opening night, I felt the biggest high. We received a standing ovation and the response was moving. That’s why we do theater. It’s a story that touches you. I thought, ‘I could die happy right there.'”
What’s next for Katie Adler?
“I have no idea. And I’m totally okay with that. I’m embracing that. I want to work with people who inspire me and that I can learn from so I can grow personally and artistically. I want to stretch myself. I love watching movies that touch your heart that change you. I want to be part of stories like that.”
When Katie’s not acting, you might find her immersing herself in nature. She often goes on road trip adventures with her best friend of 17 years, Melanie. On their outdoor hikes, she carries a handful of dresses to change into when inspiration strikes, and Melanie shoots a bunch of photographs. I suggested she turn these into a coffee table book. I’ll take the writing credit.
“Spirituality is really important to me. I feel closest to something higher than me when I’m in nature. I go outside to regroup. It’s crazy here. It’s a grind. It’s a hustle. I feel like you need to check in with yourself and nature’s my favorite way to do that. It’s an equal passion of mine. There are so many great places just hours away. I don’t have places like this in New Jersey, so I’m trying to take full advantage.”