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An Interview with Musical Theatre Alum Bri McKay

Bri McKay

Bri McKay, a versatile artist known for her flair in alternative pop music, acting, dancing, and choreography, takes us on a journey back to her KD Conservatory days. Drawn to the program’s jam-packed curriculum and hands-on training, Bri dove headfirst into singing, acting, and dancing, prepping herself for a wild ride in the performing arts scene. With mentors who were pros in the biz, she not only polished her skills but also made lifelong pals among her KD crew, creating a tight-knit, supportive network. Bri gives props to KD for boosting her confidence, teaching her the ropes, and helping her bust through emotional barriers. Now, she’s rocking out with new tunes, snagging film roles, and even passing on her wisdom through teaching gigs. Bri’s journey from KD to where she’s at now is a testament to grit, creativity, and staying true to herself.


Can you share a bit about your experience at KD Conservatory College of Film and Dramatic Arts? What drew you to the program, and how did it shape your artistic journey?

My experience at KD was nothing short of wonderful. I was drawn to the program because it allowed me to excel in all three specialties of Singing, Acting, and Dancing. I also was drawn to the fact that it was an intense 15month program designed to get you working competitively in the field once graduated.


How did the training and resources at KD Conservatory prepare you for a career in musical theatre and/or Performing Arts in general?

My abilities in all areas grew exponentially with the training and mentorship available to me through KD.  To this day I still use the vocal exercises provided from my 1st semester Voice class. I use them before every performance. The faculty and graduates at KD are all working professionals and I have been blessed with many opportunities to work through those connections.


Can you highlight a specific aspect of your education at KD Conservatory that significantly contributed to your growth as a performer?

My weakest link within all 3 specialties (singing, acting, and dancing) was dance. I knew I could move, but I had no professional training. I had choreographed a few pieces when I was in high school, but didn’t really have technique under my belt. Ms. Paula along with all the other dance instructors taught me how to be aware of my body and how to move it. I may never be what some consider a dancer but I am a very good mover as Ms. Paula would say. I’ve gone on to choreograph a few pieces and even be hired as a dancer in a few shows, so I’d say the growth in my dance abilities is great.


Bri McKay

In what ways did the faculty and staff at KD Conservatory support you during your time there, and how has that support continued in your post-graduation endeavors?

The KD faculty and staff have always been so nurturing while in the program and post graduation. I love coming back to KD because I’m constantly reminded of the love and support from everyone here. I am motivated not just from what the staff are doing but what my fellow KD alumni family are doing as well. And as I’ve mentioned before, I have had many opportunities in my career because of the connections from KD.


Could you share a memorable performance or project from your time at KD Conservatory that stands out as a pivotal moment in your development as a musical theatre artist?

 I felt so privileged to be able to work on an original musical by theatre graduate and teacher Michael Childs for our final semester show. It’s one thing to rehearse a show that is known, a standard has been set, and characters developed. It’s a whole new ball game when you create the character, and essentially an entire show from scratch. There’s so much freedom and creativity that we were able to explore. It was fun and a valuable experience.


How did KD Conservatory foster a sense of community and collaboration among its students, and how has that network impacted your career after graduation?

There is only one way to describe the bond of fellow alumni at KD – family. We all share the same experience of going through the same programs and that creates a starting point and familiarity with others. I can’t tell you how many times I have run into new people on projects who are KD alumni, and we immediately click because we have the same training, and the knowledge of what it takes to make it through one of the programs. A respect is immediately born.


What advice would you give to current students or aspiring musical theatre artists considering attending KD Conservatory College of Film and Dramatic Arts?

It is an intense program designed to make you a competitive entertainer in the field. Be prepared to work hard, and don’t hold yourself back while you are there. Your time at KD is a time to experiment, push your limits, and develop/discover the sort of artist or entertainer you aspire to be.

Looking back, how do you think your experience at KD Conservatory has influenced your approach to auditions, performances, and navigating the industry as a whole?

I wouldn’t be as confident in the industry and in my abilities as I am today if it weren’t for my education at KD. They shaped me into the artist I am. I wouldn’t be the performer I am today without the influence of my teachers and mentors. It has forever changed how I view the industry, how I approach roles, and even performing my own music as a recording artist. I bring a level of professionalism and habits that I learned while in school to everything I do. Example: If I can help it, I am always early to EVERYTHING!


Can you discuss a specific challenge you faced either during your time at KD Conservatory or after graduation, and how you overcame it with the skills and knowledge you gained from the program?

Before I went to KD, I had a mental/emotional block that kept me from accessing certain emotions that allow me to cry in front of people. As you can imagine, as an actor, we need to have access to our emotions and because of KD, in my final semester, I had a breakthrough and was able to release that block. I have more access to my emotions and am able to go there with an audience because of that breakthrough moment.


Lastly, tell me all about you and what you have been doing and or working on!

I just released a new single on all streaming platforms – “Who I Am (Iris)” and I am working on a collection of new music as well, release date TBD. I am also set to start filming the sequel to the movie “Top 5 Weekend” this year along with other small film projects. I have also been teaching privately and in group sessions “The Art of Lyric Writing” for anyone interested in developing their creative writing skills and learning how to write their own songs.




Bri McKay

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