News from our Dance Alumni: Kaylee Harwood

June 29, 2011

Alumni, Community, Dance

Kaylee Harwood

Graduated 2004

Major:  Dance

Years at LFAS:  Grade 5-12

What have you done since graduating from LFAS?

I went straight to Trinity Western University in the Fall of 2004 with no idea of a discipline I’d like to study. By the following year, I had become involved in Community Theatre in the Vancouver area, which soon led to me scoping out the Theatre department at Trinity, auditioning for shows, and majoring in Theatre. During the summers, I took acting classes and performed wherever I could in Vancouver. I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts with great distinction in Theatre in the Spring of 2009, after finishing my degree in Fall 2008. Since finishing at Trinity, I’ve been acting professionally in plays and musicals in the Lower Mainland and across Canada, including Vancouver Island, Vancouver, Kamloops, Edmonton, Saskatchewan, and currently, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario. I’ve been nominated for two Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards and won one, and was also honoured to receive the Sam Payne Award for Most Promising Newcomer last year on the same evening. Last summer, I was proud to participate in a 5-week Intensive acting course at UBC. I’ve also had many chances to travel for pleasure all over the United States, Canada, Paris and the UK. I’ve worked day jobs while performing at night and sometimes been lucky enough to have extended periods of time off between gigs, when I like to practice yoga, cycle the Stanley Park seawall, and sit on the beach when I’m in Vancouver.

What is your favorite memory of LFAS?

I was fortunate enough to take a trip almost every year in high school. In grade 8, 10 and 12, I traveled with the Esprit de Corps dance company to California, Miami and Philly/NYC, respectively. In grade 11, the Chamber Choir got to go to Toronto, and one year I remember us going to Banff for a festival.

Looking back at your experience at LFAS, would you have done anything differently?

I wouldn’t have let anything intimidate me about the other majors/ art forms. Now that I’m so actively involved in Theatre, I see what a collaborative art form it is. There is no division between these disciplines if you don’t let there be. When I was in school, I identified with being a “dancer”. Now I see that I’m many things. I’m so grateful for my training at LFAS and I was involved in so much in my years there.

What surprised you the most about life after graduating from LFAS?

Unfortunately, how few people I’ve stayed in touch with from my years there, due to moving around so much. Also, how much things cost. I’ve become an expert at budgeting.

What has been your proudest moment since graduating from LFAS?

Hard to find a moment that takes the cake. One has to be seeing my mother get remarried. Moving out of my mom’s place (several times) was a highlight, too – it really made me appreciate our relationship when we weren’t seeing each other as much. Opening night of Les Miserables in Vancouver was a definite high point. Driving all the way from Vancouver to Los Angeles in one day with my best friend was a feat. Traveling alone through the UK with no phone or internet was an exciting challenge. Flying to Toronto to (hopefully) get the role that I’m currently playing was a real rush. 

What advice do you have for current students of LFAS?

Get involved in whatever interests you, regardless of age, experience, major or people you know. And remember that education doesn’t ever end – not when you graduate high school, not when you get a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD. Remember that each person’s journey is his or her own. His or her successes or failures have nothing to do with yours. And remember to read your assigned readings in class because one day you may want to quote The Outsiders or Brave New World and wish you’d actually read it.

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