Late blooming Hippie kid makes it in the big apple

What Does That Mean?


     I was an early member of The Metro Playhouse and an original “bat” at The Flea Theater.  I learned to act “On The Boards” doing a lot downtown & regional theater with some fantastic actors and directors, and of course, taking pro-classes every chance I got.  More recently, I’ve found an artistic home with The Barrow Group, where I joined FAB Women and wrote GONE WITH THE WEED, a Solo Musical of Sorts, chronicling my childhood adventures.  I’m also a big fan of and participant in Naked Angels’ long running cold reading series TUESDAYS @ 9.  And Guess What? I was recently offered a role in a ½ hour comedy pilot… but I can’t talk about that now.   SHHH.

     How did I get HERE?

     I was raised by outlaw hippie-musicians who traded Pine Plains, NY for the wilds of Northwest Arkansas and some rather creative home-schooling for me & my big brothers & my big sis.  My mom, incorporated Chaseholm Farm Memorial School, prompted by a visit from the local Sherriff to our own front door.  Our biggest lesson, back then, was on keeping it cool around straight folks, so as not to be placed in foster care.  Otherwise, the focus was on listening to music by Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Neil Young... [Insert 70’s playlist here]...and lot of other greats were sung & played by my step dad and big sis.  There also was a lot of reading aloud: fascinating stories by Tolkien, Kipling, Ingalls-Wilder and Seuss. Time was endless… keeping bees, skinny dipping, exploring the woods, gardening, chopping firewood, fetching water from the well, gathering polk salad, persimmons and watercress, stargazing…  One day my folks offended a red-neck neighbor who showed a little too much interest in my big sis, and he threatened to dynamite our dirt-floor love shack.  So we sought solace in the college town of Fayetteville.   We lived communally in that town, for a couple of years, while my mom started a home daycare business.  

     Finally we had an opportunity to move to our own house in Springdale, complete with indoor plumbing and an in-ground swimming pool! It was a miracle to watch a toilet flush! And we made quite a splash in this polyester-pant-suited white-bread town, with our Yankee accents, hippie styles and mixed-race volleyball parties on the front lawn.   

     Re-entry to public school was a rough transition socially, as I showed up on the first day with bright green hair from spending all my waking hours in the cement pond.  But it was The Bible Belt, and “Love Thy Neighbor” was the way. By junior high, I reached full-tilt assimilation, going to church with friends, running track in the spring and dancing on the pompon squad in the fall and winter to Prince, Janet, Michael and Chaka Kahn, while Metal reared its shaggy head and David Allen Coe provided a backdrop to the fast-food landscape of sprawling strip malls with “You Don’t Have to Call Me Darlin, Darlin.”

     My “real” dad was a Cornell grad, so for college, I headed back east to Mount Holyoke, where I majored in English Literature and learned to ride horses English style.  I spent my junior year in the U.K. and traveled Europe as the Berlin Wall was crumbling down. Back at MHC, my senior year, I took an acting class and performed with Shades of Expression, a multi-cultural theater and dance company.  This whetted my appetite for the arts, and two years post-grad, I was diving into it in New York City.  

I love collaborating with inspired storytellers, filmmakers, singer-songwriters & musicians. Let’s find a way to play!   

Copyright 2016 Kristin Chase All Rights Reserved

   What do you think? My hair is now longer than that of my brothers! Can we pass for Straight Folk? Who looks a little stoned?

   What do you think? My hair is now longer than that of my brothers! Can we pass for Straight Folk? Who looks a little stoned?