'WHAT'S COOKING' is a blog series wherein the team behind Kitchen Party Theatre Festival gives you a closer peek at some of our secret ingredients, so to speak. What exactly does a recipe for artistic process call for? Who inspires our company members? What have they learned in the industry so far? What do they find interesting about the various characters they play? Today, company actor Josie Sheppard tells us all about who motivates her.
It’s funny - all my life I’ve wanted to be on stage. From the moment I knew what acting even was, I was completely drawn to it. Something about delving into a character, being able to tell their story and understand the world through another perspective that might not be your own was just always so special to me.
And there have always been people in my life who’ve supported me, who saw something in me, even at the times I couldn’t see it in myself. My first director, who gave me the opportunity to go to Drama Fest in middle school, to the wonderful people I worked with in highschool, who took me out of comfort zone by making me the lead in a musical (also the first time I had ever sang on stage), to Bernardine and Nicole, who graciously allowed me to work alongside them the past four years as I honed in and developed my skills. Thanks to all of these people, I wouldn’t be half the actor I am today. However, who inspires me everyday to work hard and reach for the top, is my parents (as cliche as that sounds!).
Even though they didn’t quite understand my desire to act, and might’ve thought it was quite a strange thing for their 9 year old daughter to be writing skits that absolutely none of the neighborhood kids she would attempt to coerce into starring were interested in. But, they rolled with it. I remember when they enrolled me into drama camp (which, to my chagrin, ended up being more of a dancing camp!) and they were so happy to see how excited I was to perform for the first time. They’ve always been front row at every single show I’ve ever done, cheering me on. Even when I get a bit embarrassed when they ask me to randomly perform monologues for guests, it makes my heart warm that they care so much that I’m doing what I love.
They’ve always made sure to let me know how proud they are of me, and to do whatever makes me happy. And, of course, they introduced me to my second biggest inspiration, Audrey Hepburn, whose movies I’ve made them watch over and over, always telling them when I was younger that “I wanna be as big a star as her one day!”
JOSIE SHEPPARD (she/her)
Mainstage Performer (The Codfather), Stand-in/Swing (Girls From Away)
Josie made her debut with the Kitchen Party Theatre Festival in 2021, having been part of The Rowdies cast. She's been performing since middle school, having been a part of a variety of musicals and plays, most notably as Lonny in Rock of Ages. She also read the part of Boots in the play, Brass Rubbings. Off stage, Josie loves to cycle reading through her same favorite books over and over, and watching Netflix snuggled up with her adorable feline companion, Zeus.