Sunday, September 19, 2021

52 Questions with Kristi Boulton

If you’ve been to an improv show in Hamilton, chances are that you’ve seen Kristi Boulton. In addition to performing regularly with local troupes The Understudies and Flop Sweat, she can also be found teaching improv and working as a voice actor.

Kristi can next be seen performing with The Understudies, in their musical love story, Swipe Right for Love, at The Staircase Theatre as part of the Hamilton Fringe Festival (July 18-28).

I posed 60 questions to Kristi, and asked her to pick and choose which questions she wished to answer (minimum of 15).

1. What are three things that make you love living in Hamilton?
The arts community FOR SURE. It’s so vibrant and expansive. On any given night you can find theatre, improv, dance or music performances. Plus everyone is kind and welcoming. The competitiveness is pretty low, everyone wants everyone else to succeed. I love being within a 5 minute walk/drive of gorgeous nature spots and hiking paths. It’s pretty special to be able to access that so close to the city. I know I already said community, but I have to shoutout my improv peeps and The Staircase in particular. It’s such an incredible hub and I’ve never felt so much love and acceptance in one space. That’s in a huge part because of Hugh MacLeod, Kathy Garneau, Colette Kendall and Keith Toms working their butts of to cultivate that space for everyone.

2. Default drink of choice?
Whiskey Sour. I like to pretend I’m classy when I order them.

3. Name your favourite venue in Hamilton.
Staircase for community vibe, Hamilton Theatre Inc. for intimacy in performance, Players Guild for their classic vintage theatre vibe, Aquarius for the big star stuff!

4. Name your favourite venue anywhere.
Stratford Avon Theatre.

5. Who are your role models?
Amy Pohler, Colin Mochrie, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wigg, Taika Waititi, and honestly, Colette Kendall. This is going to be embarrassing if she reads this.

6. What makes you the happiest?
Singing on stage and making people laugh. Honestly, it’s a high like nothing else. That’s what draws me to improv in particular. But I miss musicals. There’s nothing like that moment when you take the stage about to rip an amazing belt with the lights beating down on you, feeling the audience there with you, everyone taking that breath with you just as the note is about to leave your throat. It’s incredible.

7. What makes you the angriest?
Rude people. They’re making the choice to be rude. It takes energy to be kind and I respect that. Also people who take food without asking first. How dare you.

8. What is your favourite sound?
The cracking of a fire, the sound of a bubbling brook, and the sound of classical music from under water. It’s so ethereal.

9. What is your least favourite sound?
Old TVs static. That really high pitch squee.

10. What is your favourite smell?
Vanilla, peppermint, fresh roses, campfire, skunk.

11. What is your least favourite smell?
Hamilton fart pockets. You know what that is if you’ve smelled it.

12. What is the strangest road you’ve ever travelled?
Metaphorically? Navigating my mother’s death as a 12-year-old girl. Literally? When I lead a Ghost Tour last year. It got dark and my group and I got lost, and I had to find our way through brush until we came upon a cemetery. Creepy.

13. What is your favourite word?
Serendipity or Sonder.

14. What is your least favourite word?
I can’t say it in a family-friendly article, but it rhymes with “fits.”

15. What is your favourite animal?
Sea otters!

16. What animal scares you the most?
Sharks. Though I know they’re not out to get me. But still…those teeth…

17. First thing that comes to mind when you think of Hamilton.
New beginnings.

18. Three books that you read that have really made an impact on you/your life/your career.The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gillman; The Red Tent by Anita Diamant and Improvise: Scene from the Inside Out.

19. What is the title and author of the book closest to you right now?Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

20. What television show could you watch over and over again?
Frasier or Parks and Recreation

21. Who are the three historical characters that fascinate you the most? Mary of Nazareth. Not for any particular religious reason, mostly just because I’d like to hear the story from her perspective. Gilda Radner. How she preserved through her trauma with comedy is something I have admired and aspired to. Her strength reminds me of my mother. And Shakespeare. Less for the man himself, more for the mystery of his origins and whether or not he was actually the writer of his work. Also I’d love to talk about his process for storytelling. Can I say a fourth? Because Queen Elizabeth the First was also a badass.

22. What are the first three things you do every morning?
Press Snooze. Press snooze again. Hum on my way to the washroom to get ready for the day.

23. If you could board a plane today, where would it be taking you?Tuscany. I am in a romantic entanglement with Italy.

24. What is the game you are best at?
Mass Effect, because I am also in a romantic entanglement with Garrus Vakarian.

25. What is your biggest phobia?
Giant mouths, hunny, unfinished pottery, and Liver Lips of the Country Bear Jamboree.

26. If you had a motto, what would it be?
Let yourself laugh, because what is life without comedy?

27. What is your signature meal to cook at home?
Stir fry or Red Thai curry.

28. Where did you go to school?
McMaster for Theatre/Film and Multimedia, with a minor in English.

29. What is the strangest talent that you possess?
I can play the trumpet without the instrument. I’m quite proud of it. Also I’m a wiz at the Kazoo! Also, also, I can speak Pig Latin euntfly-eh!

30. What talent do you wish you possessed?
I wish I could dance well or play any instrument I touched. I watch dancers and it hurts my heart, both in good ways and envious ones.

31. What relatively normal piece of clothing do you believe you look ridiculous in?
T-shirts, because my torso is WEIRDLY SMALL.

32. What different career path would you could have gone on?
Full-time musical theatre. What a life that would be…

33. What sport did you give up and why?
Baseball, hockey and soccer, because I discovered theatre at age 9.

34. What is your ancestry?
Scottish, British, Irish and French American. I’m all kinds of European. Thanks 23 and Me! (This has been a paid advertisement for 23 and Me)

35. What are you listening to as you answer these questions?
Musicals. It’s always musicals. Is there other music?

36. What is your major character flaw?
I don’t always think before I speak.

37. What character flaw in others can you not stand?
People who don’t think before they speak, but only because I’m so conscious of it in myself all the time.

38. How do you know when you can trust someone?
When you have the magic friendship moment. If you’ve had it, you know what I’m talking about.

39. What is the best way to die?
Old and surrounded by friends and family. It’s stereotypical, but that’s because that’s what the dream is, right?

40. What musical instrument do you secretly long to play?
Violin; it’s beautiful.

41.What are you the most proud of?
The play I have written, rewritten, produced and reproduced 4 times, The Yellow Wallpaper. It just keeps getting better every time.

42. What are you the least proud of?
The one time I bullied a boy in grade seven because I was trying to be cool. Felt bad then, feels bad now.

43. What was the luckiest moment in your life?
When I walked in to 1Up Games and met my fiancé, Marc Nascimento. It could have been any day and any person working there, but it was him and the circumstances were just right!

44. What was the unluckiest moment in your life?
I broke my arm in a three-legged race when I was in grade two. A lot of factors lead to that moment. I can still hear the crack ringing in my ears. After I was taken to the main office, my Vice-Principal thought it was dislocated and took my arm to try and re-located it. He gave me a spiral break. I couldn’t play baseball that summer or be in any plays. It was devastating!

45. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?
I took advantage of a friendship once and paid for it. Never again.

46. What is the best thing about your work?
I get to share art with the world and talk about it all day. After hours? I get to make people laugh and teach people how to make people laugh. It’s pretty rad.

47. What is the worst thing about your work?
I sit at a desk. There is no window. My computer background is a window. It only convinces me I’m outside like 7/10 times.

48. Name three things that have no monetary value that you own, but you love dearly and will keep forever.My teddy bear, Reggie. He’s the bomb. Marc calls him “Ebola Bear”, but I love him anyway. An old nightgown that belonged to my mother. It’s also got teddy bears on it! And my Hogwarts letter, because I’m a wizard, Harry.

49. Describe your artistic style in three words.
Goofy, occasionally dark.

50. What stage or performance work could you watch over and over again?
Avenue Q! Puppets are the best, and playing Kate Monster was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

51. Who is the artist whose work you most admire?
Charlotte Perkins Gillman. She was an incredible woman of her time.

52. What was the first play that made you love theatre?
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, starring Donny Osmond. I saw it when I was six and fell in love with theatre. We listened to our cassette version until it wore out. Then it was Les Miserables with Colm Wilkinson. That 10th Anniversary recording…*shivers with delight*

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