Creativity Spotlight: Kara Chamberlain
Our Creativity Spotlight series features advice on artistic practice, inspiration, and a glimpse into the worlds of artists working in a variety of disciplines.
Kara is a multidisciplinary artist from Canada, now based in London. She stars as the sassy teenager Cecilia in Friday Night Love Poem.
"If you create your own opportunities, you never have to wait for the phone to ring. "
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I moved from the Canadian prairies to the UK in 2014, and graduated from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2015 with an MA in Acting. My creative work includes writing, performing, and being co-Artistic Director of Crossline Theatre, where I produce, perform in, and create new work.
As an emerging actress, my most notable work includes various performances in both the Brighton and Edinburgh Fringe festivals, as well as my acting work in an upcoming series for the History Channel. As a writer my work is wholehearted and deeply human with a quirky sense of humour.
What does your creative practice look like?
My creativity comes out in many different ways, so my creative practice morphs and changes a lot. When I am working on my writing I love getting into research, making lists, writing all sorts of random bits on scrap paper with big markers, it’s a very messy process before things start to take shape. My acting work is similar, I love to break down a script and write notes all over about my character and the world they are in. By the end of a rehearsal process it can be hard to distinguish between the script and my scribbles, that’s usually when I know I’m ready to perform.
I like this quote from George Bernard Shaw: “A fool-proof method for sculpting an elephant: first, get a huge block of marble; then you chip away everything that doesn't look like an elephant.” That’s how I like to work, as if the answers are already there and I just have to find them.
How do you stay inspired?
I love finding inspiration in the world around me. Going to art galleries, watching a movie at the cinema, seeing live theatre and music, sometimes just getting out in nature. Anything that takes me out of my own perspective.
I'm also deeply inspired by my family history and my ancestor's stories, and all the different ways we can find belonging.
What advice would you give to other creatives?
If you create your own opportunities, you never have to wait for the phone to ring.
What is the best advice you have received?
Make a list of all the things you can control - that you have the power to do or change directly. Anything not on that list is none of your business.
PLUG TIME! What are you working on at the moment?
Through the 2020 lockdown I wrote my first solo show, a comedy about a millennial Canadian trying to “make it” in London despite facing crippling anxiety. I am hoping to premier the show in 2022.
To stay up to date with Kara's work, follow her here: