Saturday, October 23, 2010


Now here's my proud momma moment... I have known Nora for quite some time now. She was in the ORIGINAL cast of "GirlPower" at the Manhattan Theatre Source in 2008 (when Elizabeth and I first took it over, way before we were Project Girl Performance Collective). I remember her sweet 17-year-old self coming in for the audition and talking with us about high school, body image and feminism. I have had the privilege of working with her over the past few years on projects with Co-Op Theatre East and the Project Girl Performance Collective. Now, she's a freshman at Pace University, studying history. I am incredibly proud of all her accomplishments and to work with such a young, talented force of nature. She is destined for great things and I look forward to watching them unfold!

Who are you?
I am Nora Kennedy. I am an actor, singer, dancer, artist, history nerd, writer, Pisces, college freshman, and a very old soul. I am a stubborn girl who doesn’t like to do what everyone else does, and I’m always full of surprises.

What do you believe in?
I believe that there is no such thing as “normal”-being normal isn’t normal. I also think it is important for people to take one moment out of their day to breathe and notice their surroundings, find something they love about where they are and who they are. I believe that the only way to get out there and achieve one’s dreams is to just do it. It’s not as simple as it sounds, I know, but it’s more effective than staying at home, watching YouTube all day.

What kind of change do you want to see? Where do you see yourself fitting into your idea for change?
I want to see more people turning off whatever electronic devices they own (cell phone, computer, television, kindle, etc.), and get active in something. Be it theater, dance, school, music, art, activism, writing or just reading a book. People need to do less staring at screens (of any kind), and do more thinking. I see myself fitting into this because, like I said, I am an old soul, so I’m not a huge fan of technology (even though it does make life easier sometimes). However, I would much rather rely on my own mind rather than the Internet. That’s the kind of change I would like to see in the world.

If your life had a soundtrack what would be on it?
Oh boy, here we go! Okay, this in no particular order: The Beatles, Cab Calloway, Edith Piaf, Patti LuPone, Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Jenny Lewis, Judy Garland, The Like, Tilly & The Wall, Those Darlins, Dr. Dog, Jefferson Airplane, Arcade Fire, Lady Gaga, The Rolling Stones, The Band, Ella Fitzgerald, Beirut, Blossom Dearie, Peggy Lee, The Pogues, Fleet Foxes, Dum Dum Girls, Okkervil River, The Dubliners, Animal Collective, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Mamas & the Papas, The Clancy Brothers, Florence and the Machine, Bob Dylan, Gillian Welch, Iron & Wine, Girls, The Tallest Man on Earth, Amy Winehouse, MGMT, Beirut, Department of Eagles, Chopin, Rufus Wainwright, Grizzly Bear, The Ink Spots, Cyndi Lauper, Aretha Franklin, Simon & Garfunkel, She & Him, George Gershwin, Pavarotti, Rossini, anything Sondheim and (again) THE BEATLES! I’m kind of a music buff, in case you can’t already tell.

If you could be doing anything with your life right now what would it be?
I would be breaking down a script, learning some music, and stretching out for dance. That would be ideal!

I Can't Live Without...
Books, music, laughter, love, theater, creativity. They are all essential to my being, and I’m sure that I would crash if I lost any one of them.

What are you craving right now?
Scones. I’m always craving scones. They are the absolute best!

Talk about a piece or art, performing arts, music or writing that changed your life...
It would definitely have to be, “Documentary: a Suicide Narrative.” Until I was part of that cast, I had really only been in shows at my high school, but this production was so New York—I thought, “Wow, this is what being an actor is really like… I will take it!” For me, being a part of that production refined what it means to be an actor—absolute dedication and effort no matter what.

What motivates you to do what you do?
The fact that I’m not like every other girl who aspires to be on stage. There is so much emphasis on the glamorous side of being an actor, yet very few end up pursuing the career because they want fame without having to do the work. Although fame sounds appealing, I would much rather do the work because it’s always interesting, and stretches one’s creativity. Being famous for the sake of being famous would be boring and unfulfilling.

If you were best friends with any historical figure who would it be and why?
Edgar Allen Poe. I’m a little bit in love with him. His works had such a great influence over me while I was growing up. I’d like to find out what his inspirations were, and why he married his fourteen year-old cousin… I’m not judging that relationship, I’m just curious.

If you were a character in your favorite fictional storyline (this could include a book, play, film, television series etc.) what would it be? How would your character be intertwined within the story line that already exists?
I just finished reading the published books out of the Mary Russell series by Laurie R. King, and am kind of obsessed with them. The first book, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, starts off with Mary Russell walking through a field where she stumbles upon a retired Sherlock Holmes, and eventually becomes his apprentice. I would love to play Mary Russell—she’s an incredibly smart feminist in the early 20th century, plus she works with Sherlock Holmes! How much better could it get?

Talk about a defining moment of your life. What happened? What did you take away from it?
The first time I was onstage was the defining moment in my life. My mother had enrolled me in a local ballet school at the age of two because I was constantly dancing to “The Nutcracker,” or “The Sound of Music” in our living room. We had our recital later that spring. I was three years old by that time. Before the recital even began, I snuck out onstage and began dancing in front of everyone. My ballet teacher attempted to get me off of the stage two times, but I kept climbing back on because I loved being in front of the audience so much. In the end, my mother had to pull me off, and I was told to sit with her until my class had to perform. I learned then and there that the stage was where I was meant to be, as cliché as that might sound. But I just love seeing and hearing the audience’s reaction, and I think that is a vital relationship a stage actor has to work with.

Talk about the best day ever.
Going to ballet, swimming, taking a walk with my mom and dad, visiting my acting coach, and eating ice cream and watching all seven seasons of, “House,” while snuggling with my dogs, Clarence and Percival.

Who is/are your heroes?
Patti LuPone, The Beatles (all four of them), Sherlock Holmes, Betty Boop, Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, Meryl Streep, Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant (he’s also my husband), Grace Kelly, Vivien Leigh, my sister, my acting coach and mentor, Peter Flint, and of course my incredible parents.

Create a required reading list for the world:
Night-Eli Wiesel
The Book Thief-Markus Zusak
The Beekeeper's Apprentice-Laurie R. King
The Hound of the Baskervilles-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Woods-David Mamet
Persepolis-Marjane Satrapi
Ishmael-Daniel Quinn
Gone With the Wind-Margaret Mitchell
The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains-Nicholas Carr
A World Lit Only by Fire-William Manchester

For more pictures of Nora, click here:

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see another Mary Russell fan out there! I help run the Virtual Book Club for the author of the Russell series, and we'd love to see Nora over there, although it would involve some screen-time. :) I think she'd get along very well with Miss Russell, and she even looks like her!

    Vicki VanValkenburgh
    Laurie R. King Virtual Book Club