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Christina Apathy can start out a sentence as an upper class British person and finish it as a disillusioned smoker from Ohio. In fact, she might finish it as quite a range of people from Ohio - she recently performed a one-woman play in which she portrayed "a community" of 17 distinct characters all from that state.
A Day in the Life of: Christina Apathy - Actor, traveler 100913 AE 1 Capital City Weekly Christina Apathy can start out a sentence as an upper class British person and finish it as a disillusioned smoker from Ohio. In fact, she might finish it as quite a range of people from Ohio - she recently performed a one-woman play in which she portrayed "a community" of 17 distinct characters all from that state.

Photo By Flordelino Lagundino

Christina Apathy, the artist behind "K of D."


Photos Courtesy Of Christina Apathy

Christina Apathy seen doing one of 17 Ohio characters in her performance, "K of D."


Photos Courtesy Of Christina Apathy

Christina Apathy seen doing one of 17 Ohio characters in her performance, "K of D."

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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Story last updated at 10/9/2013 - 1:17 pm

A Day in the Life of: Christina Apathy - Actor, traveler

Christina Apathy can start out a sentence as an upper class British person and finish it as a disillusioned smoker from Ohio. In fact, she might finish it as quite a range of people from Ohio - she recently performed a one-woman play in which she portrayed "a community" of 17 distinct characters all from that state.

Apathy, a first-generation American with parents from Hungary and Germany, is an actor, singer, mover and dancer.

She was born in small-town Florida, where she and her younger sister had an imaginative childhood. Their grandfather was a bookbinder who carved wooden puppet heads and they supplied them with the witch, princess, devil and robber voices they used to bring folk tales to life.

After nine years in New York, where she received a Master of Fine Arts from New York University's graduate acting program, Apathy moved in Juneau in 2006, starting out as Perseverance Theater's Education Associate. Since then, she's worked a variety of jobs and stayed involved with Juneau's theater scene - Juneau theater-goers might know her as Laurey from Oklahoma!. Her 17-character performance this spring was called The K of D, and was her final project for a three-year Fox Fellowship grant she received from the Theater Communications Group.

The play, written by Laura Schellhardt, centers around a death and its resulting urban legend. She and those who helped her put it on are planning a remount this winter.

"It's just people," Apathy said, of portraying men, women, and people from many different backgrounds.

"It's here," she said, pointing to her heart. "The rest is manifestation - in what part of the body do they hold tension, where do they hold the burdens of their life... Everything's fodder for the mill."

As an actor, Apathy likes to "play" - in other words, "invent things with a group of people that you trust."

At Perseverance, she's performed using rural Ohio and standard British dialect, and she's coached German, Scottish, Italian, Cockney, Irish, Russian, Brooklyn, and British accents, among others.

She's fluent in German, which helps her with dialects. So does "a musical ear."

"Instead of stereotyping, you archetype," she said.

Culture, family dynamics, and all the aspects of a character provide a context in which to anchor his or her dialect and voice, she said. So does the actor him or herself.

Apathy also coaches other actors with dialect. To begin, they discuss "oral posture."

Americans, for example, tend to talk more towards the back of their mouths (just think of how we fill time in speech and say "um" to yourself). Italians tend to speak more towards the front. Apathy helps actors think about how characters' many differences might influence their speech. Whether they live in the city or a country, whether the weather is hot or cold, and class all influence a character's voice.

As a serious person, acting has always been "a place I'm allowed to have fun," Apathy said. "There is a freedom that happens on stage - and there's permission and license to dream... the more you practice that, the more ... you begin to approach life that way - with courage, abandonment, playfulness, and earnestness. (The stage) is an arena to create with other human beings and to envision a better world a lot of the time."

When she was younger, acting was more all-encompassing. Now she's taking a break and exploring other things, like travel.

"Art makes life that much better, but you still have to live your life with all its up and downs and circles," she said.

She also sometimes teaches at UAS.

Apathy also loves hiking and swimming outdoors. As part of her recent fellowship, she backpacked through 11 countries in five weeks, researching her family history.

Her advice to aspiring actors is to "love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art."

"It's exciting to discover layers of oneself," she said. "Work to find the balance between self-focus and giving energy outward, being present and available with others."

Apathy's website is www.capathy.com.

Mary Catharine Martin is the staff writer for Capital City Weekly. She can be reached at maryc.martin@capweek.com.


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