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THE FOSSIL RECORD: An Interview with Actress Kelly Wasser

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

Q: Hello there! Tell us a little about yourself!

My name is Kelly Wasser, my pronouns are the She series, and I earned my BFA in Theatre Performance at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, as well as a minor in Film Studies. I’ve performed in a few shows with Westminster, my first role being in Ah, Wilderness! as Norah, and the radio play adaptation of Gaslight as Elizabeth to name a few.

Q: Have you done any other shows with us at AOTC? If so, what show(s)?

This is my very first show with AOTC and it has been an incredible experience.

Q: What drew you to The Fossil Record? Why did you want to be involved in this production?

I think what drew me to this show was the fact that Liz Whittaker, who was the guest director of Gaslight, told me she works with AOTC and thought I should look into what auditions they’re holding. After I read the audition post I thought to myself, “What the heck, let’s go for it.” It was a last minute decision because I was unsure of myself, but I thought that if I want to get acting experience, I have to audition, audition, and audition, otherwise, you won’t gain any experience. I wanted to be a part of this production because the script was very dark and complex which was very different from the few shows I did at Westminster.

Q: Tell us a little about your character! Who are they? What was your first impression of them after reading the script?

My character’s name is Kim, she’s the youngest daughter of Margaret, youngest sibling of Laurie, and she has a teenage son, Andrew. She’s also married to a man named Ryan, but I won’t give too many details away. When I first read the script, I was drawn to Kim because of how different she was from the other characters I’ve played and how complex of a mother figure she is and I’ve never played someone like that and welcomed the challenge. I felt I could relate to her in some ways, the main similarity in becoming somebody that you’re not, wanting to be “perfect” all the time for other people.

Q: What three words would your character use to describe themselves?

Three words Kim would use to describe herself would be stubborn, conflicted and caring.

Q: How have you approached your character and their role within this story? What insights have you gained about your character through your acting process?

I approached Kim more by instinct than by analysis. I learned from Kim that she just wants what’s best for her son no matter how difficult the stakes are, but the way she’s going about it with her family comes off as if she’s disappointed or upset with them even though she’s not. She just wants what’s best for everyone.

Q: What has been the biggest challenge in taking on this role? The biggest reward?

One of the biggest challenges I faced was reaching the emotional stakes within certain situations because I had a hard time staying in a moment where everything was so intense that when I reached those stakes I felt uncomfortable because I wasn’t used to feeling all these intense feelings at once. Another big challenge I faced was trying to relate to Kim with personal experiences that I’ve never experienced before. With both of these challenges I found the biggest reward was trusting my work that I put into Kim and sticking with it throughout the entire process. I’ve always had a hard time trusting my work, but throughout the process it felt amazing to be surrounded by a group of people who want to see you succeed and put everything you have into a character and trust that you’ve done everything you can to bring the character to life.

Q: What do you hope audiences will take away from this show?

What I hope audiences take away from this show is that family is and will always be complicated, but you have to try to come together and help each other out even though you might drive each other crazy. And that you’re willing to fight for one another. It’s also important to know that it’s okay to step away from family problems, re-evaluate the problem and come back to them later.

Q: What's your favorite line (*no spoilers*)?

“I don’t think we’ve laughed together in *insert British dialect* all of history.”

CONTENT WARNING: “The Fossil Record” contains themes and depictions that some viewers may find distressing. Visit our ticketing page to see full disclosures.

THE FOSSIL RECORD is a limited streamed production. Performances are Feb 4th through Feb 27th (four weekends) with streaming being available Thursdays-Sundays. All performance links are accessible from 6pm - Midnight for each performance. You can find your tickets here.

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