Monday, June 9, 2008

Spotlight on Catherine Arnold

Catherine Arnold is playing Lady Capulet in "Romeo and Juliet."

Catherine enjoying a break between rehearsals.

Catherine's love for theatre began at a young age, although it would take her many years to fully realize it. She grew up watching old black and white movies and would memorize lines from them and perform them around the house. She even made her family sit down and watch her--at the age of three--dress up and perform. But the Catholic school she attended for elementary school didn't do plays, so Catherine resorted to singing in both her school's chorus and her church's choir.

Then, once Catherine got to school in seventh grade, her brothers and sisters told her the drama department was "weird," so she became a cheerleader instead, a sport she stuck with until her senior year in high school. Unable to get away from drama--albeit the different kind of "drama" that came with being a cheerleader--Catherine finally auditioned for the school's straight play in her senior year. The play was the British farce "Noises Off," and Catherine got the part of Dotty.  This is when she finally learned that "the drama kids were weird, but it was a weird she learned to love." So though she went off to college loving theatre, her brain steered her towards a more practical major, but couldn't decide which one to pick, so she entered college at Liberty University taking general courses and hoping she would pick a major. 

Fast-forward to spring break of 2005: Catherine was on a trip to New York City, standing in the lottery line for a new, extremely popular musical--"Wicked"--when she "had a little inner-dialogue with God. 'Ok, God,'" she said, "'I love this feeling. I love standing outside of a theatre, in a theatre, I just love the energy, the emotion of it. I can try and get over the fact that nothing else excites me like the theatre and get the 9-5, but can you just let me know which direction I should go in? My choice would be the impractical one. So if you don't want me to act, don't let me get a ticket to this play. If you do want me to act, let me win this lottery."

Coincidence, divine intervention, or otherwise, Catherine Arnold was the second name to be called in the lottery. 

Catherine worked too much to fulfill the play requirement for Liberty's theatre major, so she took a marketing major instead. "I have every intent of marketing myself as a product in the industry," she said. And though she's only played a few roles, Dotty from "Noises Off," Lizzie from "The Rainmaker," and now Lady Capulet in "Romeo and Juliet," she is still moving to New York City to pursue a career in theatre. As for why she does it? "We tend to lose the beauty in our day-to-day activities. We miss out on sunsets and picking flowers and stars and the laughter of little kids, the singing of crickets, because we are busy with papers, deadlines, traffic, cell-phone calls, car-pooling. Theatre, art, stories--they have the ability to purposely capture the beauty of life and portray it to an audience. I think people need that."

Kirin McCrory
Endstation Blogger

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