Senior Showcase: Drama grad lands internship with NYC casting agency
Lori Kusatzky will walk across the stage of the Stevens Center on May 6, grab her diploma from the School of Drama, then head up to New York City for the next step in her career: interning with a casting agency. We caught up with her for a quick Q&A as she wraps up her time at UNCSA:
Tell us what you’re doing after graduation. How did you find this opportunity?
I will be interning at Tara Rubin Casting in New York, starting in June. Tara Rubin Casting has most recently cast the Broadway productions of Aladdin, Dear Evan Hansen, A Bronx Tale, Jersey Boys, and Phantom of the Opera amongst many others. I want to be a casting director, which is an apprentice-style career, and you have to start out at as an intern. I found this specific office because Merri Sugarman, a casting director at Tara Rubin, visited our school in February and I was able to shadow her for the weekend.
Share something you wish someone had told you when you were a new student at UNCSA.
Don't expect anything. This place will far exceed any expectations you can fathom. Ride the wave.
What’s your favorite performance you were a part of at UNCSA? Why?
I portrayed Louise in After the Fall. This role allowed me to fully dive into my emotional well, and the environment of our rehearsal was so wonderful that I always felt safe. It’s rare that a play challenges you to the depths of your being, and that you can rise to the occasion because the support from the cast, director and crew is never-ending. We were all very lucky to be part of that show.
If you could say thank you to one person at UNCSA, who would it be? Why?
During every year of my training, there were key teachers who helped to shape me into the professional that I am now. The program is designed in a way that you work really closely with a few teachers each year. To answer for this year, I would say Carl Forsman. He has been a huge part of making a very scary and stressful year into one filled with fun and excitement about the future. As seniors, we work extremely closely with him, and I was fortunate enough to be in his senior show as well.
He cares so deeply about the students—our success and our personal wellbeing. In preparing for my internship applications and interviews, he went above and beyond. He introduced me to key people in the profession, wrote my recommendation letter and did practice interviews with me. I truly do not think I would have landed the internship with Tara Rubin if not for his generous help and support.
Do you have a favorite inspirational quote? Why is it special?
You are enough, you are so enough, it is unbelievable how enough you are.
I first heard this from Sierra Boggess, one of my favorite Broadway actresses. It resonates with me because it is true, but really believing it takes time. Actors struggle with feeling like don’t they have the right to be on the stage and take up space. But this is also something people feel about their own lives.
It’s something I struggled with in my four years here. Am I talented enough? Does anyone want to watch me on stage? Am I doing enough? Should I do more? This is a concern that all artists have - dancers, designers, musicians, etc. - and is a large reason behind their drive and need for perfection. Which I believe can be a good thing - to an extent. Finding the confidence to believe you are talented and worthy is an artist’s struggle that never fully goes away. When I struggle with this, I think back to this quote, and remind myself that I am unbelievably enough.