We had the good fortune of connecting with Kayla Kelly and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kayla, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
It’s the strangest thing. I guess you could say that I enjoy living the lives of different people. No other job in the world offers you the ability to be an office worker or nurse one day followed by a sniper or hitman the next… you get a lot of life experiences and learn new skills as you take on different roles. Your workday could take place in 1880, the present or even years into the future. The life of an actor is challenging. It requires serious dedication and a unique ability to help create the minds of fictional characters.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am incredibly dedicated and reliable. I have driven through dangerous snowstorms for up to 8 hours several times to make it to set. I spend a lot of time developing each character; learning new skills and speaking like they do, taking on their mannerisms so that they are genuine. I’m a quirky person myself, and I love to laugh. You may find me making fun of myself as I enjoy the process from time to time. I like to keep things light, in general. But if I’m working on a serious scene, you will find me behaving somewhat like my character so that I stay in their mindset. I like that I’m able to flip that switch off; once I’ve gotten through those intense scenes, I can return to my self.
Learning how to utilize transference is probably the most useful skill I’ve attained as an actor. It is so powerful to be able to relate to a character in a way that brings you to a moment in your life that coincides with how your character is dealing with a situation.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, we’re known as Yoopers. Some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and we LOVE to tell people all about the U.P. There really aren’t any big cities here, but if I wanted to show someone around, I’d take them to Marquette for the closest city-like experience filled with shopping, great food, a hike at Presque Isle Park and a swim in Lake Superior. We’d also need to go to Pictured Rocks in Munising where we could kayak while enjoying the most beautiful spot in the whole Peninsula. People come from all over the world every February to attend The World Cup Ski Jump tournament in Iron Mountain; its a ton of fun! Tahquamenon Falls near Newberry is the most beautiful waterfall here (you can even take a little hike around it!) The Porcupine Mountains up in the Keweenaw is a must for camping. People love to do the “fall color tour” all over the Peninsula in October; which is my most favorite month. Mackinac Island is literally like stepping back in time because only horses and bikes are allowed, it’s a tourist dream spot and you can only get there by ferry. It’s one of the coolest places you can go!
City life? No, we prefer outdoors fun here. And you HAVE to try the local cuisine. Pastys are what we’re known for!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I used to watch all of my uncle’s plays growing up and was fascinated by how he could pretend to be so many different people. I started working on theater productions at age 13, and in film in 2016. I also have to give credit to the community theater in my hometown. The bond and encouragement I received from the group as I returned to acting after a long hiatus is why I pursued a film career 5 years ago. Theater friends are like an extended family. They lift each other up and cheer everyone on.
My husband has been very understanding of my career choice. Its not easy to balance life with this career path, and while doing so can be challenging, he tells me that he’s proud of me often and supports my dream. I couldn’t do this without the love and encouragement of my family.
Ian McClaren Michael Johns Tyler Clement Robert Alaniz John Wesley Norton Brett Bowers