ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: KARINA FOX, Fall 2015 Physical Theatre Program
Karina Fox is a Bay Area-based director. Her most recent directing credits include Visible from Four States and X at Magic Theatre. Her recent assistant directing credits include Rhinoceros, The Wolves, and Sweat at A.C.T. and The Gangster of Love and The Eva Trilogy at Magic Theatre. In addition to directing, Karina has also worked as a production assistant, casting associate, and Patron Services Manager. Karina graduated from Muhlenberg College with a major in Theatre with a concentration in directing and a business minor.
When did you attend the Accademia? What did you study there?
I was there in Fall 2015 studying Physical Theatre!
What was your favorite thing about the program?
The people! The members of my cohort were so supportive and talented and the staff/teachers were unbelievably awesome.
Can you share a favorite memory or story from your time in Italy outside the classroom? From a trip or a meal in town etc…
There are so, so many. Everything about Cinque Terre, getting lost in Pisa, having one of the most amazing meals of my life in Arezzo…
What were some of the biggest “take aways” from your time at the Accademia?
Fully commit to whatever you are asked to do even if you feel embarrassed or like you’re bad at it. There’s no room for shame in theatre and you will end up growing from and loving whatever you are brave enough to try. Also have water on you at all times!
Do you stay in touch with anyone from your class?
Many of them!
Can you tell us more about a project you’re currently working on? What was your process? Who has contributed?
I’m actually in the middle of three crazy and different projects right now! I’m assistant directing The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe and Rhinoceros adpt. by Frank Galati at A.C.T. [American Conservatory Theater], and will be directing Visible From Four States by Barbara Hammond at Magic Theatre this summer. Frank has directed some of my favorite shows so I am unbelievably excited to work with him and we just had callbacks for The Wolves which was crazy but amazing since there are so many roles and they are all women! Visible… started with a workshop back in December which was incredible since it was my first time directing a play with a playwright in the room who is actively working on the script. Barbara (who is amazing) and I have spent many, many hours talking about the script and sculpting the best way to tell each of the character’s stories. Next up is casting and assembling the creative team!
What difficulties and triumphs have you encountered in your work, so far? When and where can people see it?
There have been a lot of amazing times and a lot of difficulties. Doing the kind of apprenticeship I did can mean 18 hour days for essentially no pay. I’ve done everything from painting grey rocks a different shade of grey to making 10,000 fake baby’s for Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music. Now that I’m out of the apprenticeship the hours have gotten less crazy but it’s still a ton of work! I’m so glad I did all of it because the people I have met through it are so wonderful. I also just became an associate member of the SDC [Stage Directors and Choreographers Society] which really helps make it all feel worth it!
How has the Accademia helped shape who you are as an artist/creator?
It taught me that the best art you can make is with people who have as much love and passion for the work as you do. Nothing you create alone will be as full and rewarding as something you create with other artists.
In your opinion who is a good candidate to get a lot out of the program?
Someone who is eager to learn and challenge themselves to try things that they’ve never done before. Also someone who is ready to collaborate and make really fun and amazing art. I don’t think the program is just for actors or dancers. I gained skills there as a director that I use everyday.
Where do you live? What part of the city?
San Francisco, CA! I live in the inner richmond.
What inspired you to base your work and life there?
I got really into Sam Shepard my senior year and was offered an apprenticeship at Magic Theatre which was his theatrical home where he wrote shows like Buried Child, Curse of the Starving Class, True West, and Fool for Love. From there more opportunities came so I decided to stay. I am thinking about making a move soon!
Thinking back, what was the transition like going from college life to the ‘real world’? What advice would you give students who are thinking about what’s after college?
It was hard and amazing. You meet so many new people and are introduced to so many new things but the future is unknown and scary (still is) and there is a ton to figure out. My advice would be to find the people, whether few or many, who you can rely on and really lean on them. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help or whatever it is you need. Most people are happy to be there for you and probably need the same.
Besides your work, are there artists / companies that you regularly support or would encourage others to check out?
There are so many theatres in the bay that are doing amazing work like Golden Thread and Ubuntu. If you can check out a show at Magic, I couldn’t say enough wonderful things. Magic almost exclusively does new work and they are huge champions of both established and new playwrights. It has become a real artistic home to me and I would love to share it with the ADA family! Also if you ever get the chance to see Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music do it because it is seriously incredible.
How supportive of artists are the audiences and the community?
Super supportive! It’s not a huge community so you get to know everyone pretty quickly. You can always count on people showing up and running into at least 5 people you know at every show.
Anything else you want to add?
I love everything about the accademia! Becca is amazing and I miss Monica!!!