We had the good fortune of connecting with Kirsten Grace Hoge and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kirsten Grace, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking is essentially my entire career. You can’t be an artist without taking a risk. I take a risk every day whether that’s making a character choice in an audition or project, or deciding to launch a new creative festival. For example, I recently produced the Atlanta Theater Sprint for Ponce City Market’s Rolecall Theater, which is a 48-hour playwright festival. This was a huge risk to start a brand new inaugural writing & performing festival outdoors, PLUS during covid. The event turned out massively successful and if I wasn’t comfortable putting my neck on the line for the possibility of success in it, we would have never met numerous amazing artists here in Atlanta and we would’ve taken away an opportunity for people to create, perform and enjoy entertainment during this time.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I believe what sets me apart from others is my work ethic. I grew up with parents that came from nothing and worked their way nonstop to provide for my sister and I. That work ethic naturally carried over to my personal life. I am a bit of a perfectionist and tend to over obligate myself, but at the end of the day, I will always get the job done. I would rather have three sleepless nights than not finish a project I obligated myself to. Currently, I’m producing the Atlanta Theater Sprint and multiple projects coming up for Rolecall Theater @ Ponce City Market. I just launched the first ATS and it was hugely successful; I even put together an industry judging panel in less than a day to fairly judge the contest and the judges were absolutely amazing. Shout out to Tony DeMil, Cathy Reinking and Dustin Presley for helping out. We are one of the few theaters openly operating right now, and it’s so exciting to be able to create impactful, original projects in Atlanta, especially since I’m originally from here. Thinking about how I got to where I am today professionally — that’s a hard one. I feel like in life, each step leads to another stone. I’m a big networker, and I was fortunate to start networking at a young age. I began acting at age thirteen and casting at age eighteen. I believe it’s a mix of putting yourself in the right position, maintaining professionalism and being genuine with human connections. Everyone I meet, I genuinely care for. If I keep in touch with you, it’s because I want to and that goes a long way in this industry. Kindness and work ethic, I believe, are the keys to staying busy in a beneficial way. Was it easy? No. However, nothing worth chasing is ever going to be easy. I’ve always felt like I’ve had a calling to change the game when it comes to entertainment. There have been more obstacles than I could name from self-doubt, peer/family doubt, working for people that don’t respect women, the list goes on. All I can say is every day is an opportunity to learn. You will inevitably work with someone you don’t see eye to eye with. What you do with that time and how to navigate through that project will show a lot about your character and ability.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Because I’m biased, I would bring them to one of my shows at Rolecall Theater. Prior to that, we would probably go eat at Ponce City Market or Krog Street. Anywhere on the beltline is amazing, because it’s so unique to Atlanta. Probably grab a drink at New Realm, Amano, or Botanico (3 of my current favorite spots), head to a show, then end the weekend playing frisbee in the park with friends, which I also love to do. If there’s any art shows at Wish in Little 5 Points, I would definitely force them to go there too.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Cynthia Stillwell Casting, Stephen Beehler with Rolecall Theater, Tony DeMil or Get Scene Studios and fellow actor/coach.
@hocastudio (They’re also my film studio I assist in running.)