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Kathryn Parks making lemonade from COVID-19 lemons


Kathryn Parks prides herself on being indefatigable. She spent the final two months of 2019 filming, editing, producing and submitting Her Place to film festivals around the country.

2020 saw her in another run of When X Meets Y at Florida Studio Theatre Improv, playing the part of Lola in Damn Yankees at Manatee Performing Arts Center, promoting the musical on ABC7’s Suncoast View, and playing an ex-beauty queen and mother in Southwest Florida Films’ Kung Fu Pink (Cynthia Mallick directing).

She was in her second week of rehearsals for a new musical for a premiere West Coast theatre company when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

And she was booked through the end of May with life-altering career changes on the horizon.

So what does such a high-energy creative do when suddenly forced to self-quarantine at home?

“I’m taking virtual banjo lessons,” she shoots back with a rolling laugh. “It never hurts to have another special skill when you’re auditioning for a role. Besides, the banjo’s a happy instrument.”

Such as jazz, ballet, tap, one-handed cartwheels in high heels, yoga, blogging and being conversant with the teleprompter.

She’s also been performing around the piano with her parents, David and Sharon Lesley Ohrenstein on Facebook Live, working with her friends and other contacts in the theater and filmmaking communities to pull together videos of themselves that they can share in social media, making her previous film, 50 Words, and Venice Theatre’s 2018 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream available on YouTube and submitting Her Place to additional film festivals.

“And I’m working on several film projects that I have under development,” she adds.

There’s no rest for the weary COVID-19 notwithstanding.

Or as Kathryn likes to say, it’s all about making lemonade from lemons.

April 5, 2020.


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