Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Egermeier.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Kristen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up a rugrat. I played outside. I read like it was going out of style. I loved it. If we didn’t come home covered in dirt, scraped knees, full of new adventures and stories, we basically weren’t allowed back in until we were. (I don’t think this was ever an issue.) Most people probably know me as the bouncy, running, hiking, adventure-seeking, gym rat who does everything with her dogs. What most people don’t get to see is the focused, grounded, quiet, serious woman who gets shit done.
I am, however, still that dirty, word hungry, focused little kid, and the classic 80’s/90’s childhood helped shape me as an artist today. It was a wonderful time for play, freedom, adventure. I hold this world very dearly and practice it every day. I love to throw myself into uncertain places, just to get better at something.
I also grew up around my English professor Grandmother who would make me read poetry and Shakespeare until I loved it. She’d bring me to the theatre just because it would help “culture” me. Little did she know that it would be what made me, well, me.
Not only did this start me as an actor, but through my adventures, I also started writing, creating. (Granted it’s mostly about the escapades with my dogs Finn and Li’l Dude.)
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I find it’s easier for me to be an actor most of the time. I’m in charge of myself, my tasks, my business. But to produce, you carry the weight of a whole team, and you want their work to be seen, to shine like it should. It’s a wonderful responsibility.
When I was at university, my parents had the rule that I could get a theatre degree as long as I also got my science degree. As a kid, I was always torn between science and art- geologist, volcanologist, wildlife preservationist, hydrologist, if it had an -ist, I was ready to study that. What I discovered much later, is that what I really wanted was to tell the stories of the women who actually had those careers.
By junior year of college (almost a full degree in both science and theatre, and much red tape to try to earn both degrees) I told my parents I was sticking with theatre. Much to my surprise, they completely emotionally supported me in this decision. Having that support makes an incredible difference in this life. But the work, the determination, the courage to make that decision over their initial wishes proved to ME that I was ready, I was making my own choice. I guess reverse psychology works…thanks, parents.
The road post collegiate years wasn’t an easy one to build my acting and producing career. You still have to earn money to live and create. However, earning a living outside of my chosen career for all those years has made me a better all-around human. I’ve learned so much by working with small start-ups and nonprofits. I’ve learned the business of business, in the real world.
Acting, producing, directing are more than creating, they are also a business. Having the educational foundation through practice over theory helps keep me grounded, helps me find the next solution, helps me to not give up. I’ll always believe in education, and that everyone should have the opportunity to earn an education. We can’t change the world if we don’t know anything about it.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
I am really thrilled for my next successfully (almost!) wrapped project. Li’l Chit Chat is a delightful little film that I executive produced, and was written and directed by my life and work partner, Colin Thomas Jennings. We have loved teaming up on this project to create a wonderful environment to play in and execute our whole storytelling philosophy. And who doesn’t love a good story about dogs and relationships!
I’ve been so lucky to grow up around art, adventure, and to start my career in theatre with some incredible companies. I’ve never been great at being just “one” thing in my life- actress, producer, athlete, terrible banjo player. So supporting theatre, in any capacity, started early in my career. Commonwealth Classic in Philadelphia, The Hub Theatre in DC, and now Interact Theatre here in LA have shaped me so much. I constantly watch the artists I’ve worked with over the years, studying their work, their generosity, their spirit, in hopes to share that education too. I’m a firm believer that observing and listening is the first rule in storytelling.
Through this work and continual study, I’ve focused my executive goal to be on creating and fostering an environment of safety in the workplace, a place to contribute, a place to play, a place to share, a place to spread joy, and a place to be heard. I am not interested in just making movies, I am interested in telling stories. We all have a voice, we should use it. People should feel included, should feel they can find their “team,” should find their voice. Because I am privileged enough to walk through life without fear, with an education, I am here to observe and listen. We don’t all have the same story, but I want to help tell them.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
When I run and I’m struggling, I look for the next visual marker. If I can make it to that, I’ll re-evaluate my next steps. Each marker is a goal, is a success. It really helps attributing that philosophy to acting especially. Each task in the business is a marker, is a success. Get there, move forward, success. Whenever I start questioning those markers is when I start faltering, and when I start doubting, that’s never helpful.
Producing is so wonderfully task-oriented that simply getting through the day and completing one marker is a success in my book. I never know where projects will go, or can even truly plan on what will happen with anything I work on. And, sure, it’s fun to dream about, but if that’s my only focus, I lose sight of the story I’m telling.
It’s been such an interesting transition over the last six or so years from working primarily in theatre to now working mostly in film and voiceover. If you had asked me 10-15 years ago, I’m not sure this is where I thought I would be, but I’m very proud of where I am. And I’m so happy to be here, working.
- Website: kristenegermeier.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @dogandgirlgo, @lilchitchatmovie
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lilchitchatmovie/
- Twitter: @dogandgirlgo
- Other: http://www.kristenegermeier.com/li-l-chit-chat.html