Kelley Pierre is from Bozeman, Montana, with a BFA in Performance from Central Washington University. Kelley has spent the last four years in NYC, performing in web series (Going Social), touring Shakespeare (Stages on the Sound), while also completing five seasons with The Virginia City Players; who most recently, produced her original melodrama "Murder Before Tea." Having just relocated to Southern California this fall, Kelley is honored to be welcomed into the ECT artistic community and inspired by what this season will bring. LA acting credits: Eviction
Notice (New Valley Theater Co.)
Tell us about a transformative educational experience.
A big "Aha!" moment during my undergrad training was the introduction to the idea of being a "nice" actor. One of my favorite professors would stop an exercise when we were stifling impulses and say - "Wow guys, that was so nice. That was a really nice scene about two people not wanting to offend each other. How nice." What he meant was, the worst thing you can do for an acting partner is hold back. I think of that every time I'm working with a new scene partner or in an unfamiliar audition setting. The greatest gift I can give that other person is to affect them and force them to react to me. How beautiful is that?
What about transformative professional experiences?
Honestly, I'd have to say performing Vaudeville and Melodrama in an old ghost town was the best growing experience I could have asked for as a young actor. I've always been intense about emotional honesty and being prepared, but when I was hired by the Virginia City Players, I had to learn how to do that while also playing over the top characters, opening shows with less than a week of rehearsal and doing audience contact numbers with a feather boa. It was ridiculous. And I absolutely love them for it.
Why I do what I do...
I do what I do, mostly because I can't help it. There's a great passage in some self-help actor book that advises, "If you can be happy doing anything else- go do that! This job is not practical!" And I completely agree. I love doing what I do because nothing is more fascinating than the human experience, and nothing is more freeing than exploring it under imaginary circumstances.
What about ECT inspires you?
The true value of storytelling and acting, in my opinion, is that exploration of the human experience. The members of ECT are beautifully dedicated to the moral obligation to live truthfully and they do so in a collaborative and supportive environment that is completely infectious. I have total respect for any company that is guided by a larger-than-itself, humanitarian purpose, and ECT shows it both onstage and off.
Where have you traveled? Where would you like to visit?
I'm ashamed to admit it but I've yet to travel outside the States (total wanderlust fail, I know!). However, I have lived in Bozeman Montana, Washington State, a ghost town called Virginia City, Montana, New York City and now Southern California. I would love to go anywhere with purpose. Learn a trade that can only be found in Florence or tour a show based out of Copenhagen, etc.
My favorite "day-off" event would be...
Listening to live music at a Vineyard, or going on some sort of low-key, outdoor adventure with loved ones. Solo adventures are a personal favorite too.
If I had one million dollars I would...
Oh lord, what a thought... Honestly, I'd probably use it to get certified to teach a few of choice acting techniques, get out of the country for once, visit my family more, rely less heavily on a survival job and put the gears in motion to invest in a black box space with an apartment above it.
Did you know...
I'm not a big fan of the name "Kelley." Most people that get to know me just say "Kel." The extra "e" is kinda fun though...
I have a twin sister and a twin for a mother.
I almost always do lists from bottom to top (I think it's a left-handed thing).
I make an excellent cat purr/growl noise. (Think Michelle Pfeiffer)