This month, we have the good fortune to get to know Katelyn Spinosa- Actress, Singer, and Model. Katelyn is a spirited, talented artist whose dedication to her craft is reflected in her success wherever her spouse’s career in the Army takes them. Be sure to take a moment to check out the musical performances linked to in the interview to hear Katelyn’s enchanting voice.
Now let’s meet Katelyn…
MilspoFAN: Tell us a little about yourself, your journey as a military spouse, and where you are today. (include things like where you have lived, who is in your family, where you grew up, how long you and your spouse have been “in”, or how you met your spouse)
Katelyn: My name is Katelyn Spinosa. I’m the proud military spouse to an active duty U.S. Army Serviceman. I’m also an Actress, Singer & Model. We’ve been stationed in New Jersey and Monterey, California. We are currently stationed in the northeast in upstate New York.
I was born and raised in Bayonne, New Jersey. My husband, Keith and I have been married for 2 years. Keith loves mountain climbing, hiking and running. I have an obsession with anything Disney. I love traveling to any of the Disney Parks in Anaheim, California or Orlando, Florida. Friends and family can always count on me to be the fun redhead with the constant smile.
MilspoFAN: Introduce us to your work as an actor, singer, and tv personality.
Katelyn: I began performing at an early age. I loved performing on stage in productions over my years in middle school and high school. After graduation, I decided to pursue a
degree in Vocal Performance at Westminster Choir College in Princeton N.J.
As a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, I had the opportunity to perform major works with world-class orchestras and artists in venues such as: The Kimmel Center, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.
After graduation, I began auditioning for movie, television and stage work throughout New York City. I became a member of the Actors Equity Association (AEA) and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). I have earned a number of acting credits in assorted areas of media, including roles on such shows as “The Good Wife”, HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” & “The Newsroom”. I’ve studied with acting and vocal coaches throughout the Metropolitan area. Among these coaches are; Katie Proctor, (RWS & Associates),
Jasper Grant, & Denis O’Hare, (American Horror Story).
My most recent project, was in NYC with the premiere staged reading of the musical, “On the Air”, written by, Cristina and Robby Farruggia and directed by, Hunter Foster. Regional theater credits include: “Carlotta” in The Phantom of The Opera (National Regional Premier), “Musetta” in La Boheme and “Miss Spider” in James and the Giant Peach. I’ve also sang as an ensemble vocalist for Kenny Rogers. My love for singing starts in the Church. I have been a cantor, choir director and member of both the St. Andrew and St. Mary choirs in Bayonne, N.J. My experience singing for weekly masses, ceremonies, funerals, weddings, and at all the major Christian High Holy Days were both fulfilling and spiritually uplifting.
MilspoFAN: How do you meet other artists or plug into the local arts scene when you PCS?
Katelyn: Each duty station is different. First, you have to explore the area to get a feel for what the area offers in the way of the arts. I immediately get my name and face out there, literally, by submitting a mass mailing of headshots and resumes to local talent agencies, casting offices and local theaters. Then, I research voice or dance studios in the area to see if they have programs where I can grow in my own right, by taking classes or voice lessons.
I also look for retail venues where I can teach voice to others. Since I’m an experienced cantor for church services, I then locate local churches to see if they’re in need of a cantor to lead services or masses. In Monterey, there was an acting group that was a part of the educational learning program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. By pursuing opportunities like these, I’ve been able to communicate with artists through classes, auditions, and through the local churches. There are so many opportunities if you take the time to be proactive and search them out.
MilspoFAN: There’s a beautiful video on your website of you singing with your father at your wedding. Tell us about the role of music, performance and artistic work in your family and your upbringing.
Katelyn: Music and Art have always been first and foremost in my family. My Mother, MaryEllen, spent almost 40 years as an Art teacher in an elementary school where she taught children ranging from 5 years old to 13 years old. She enjoyed her career so much. She often explained that in her later years, she had the pleasure of teaching the children of her former students.
Her job asked so much of her. She always worked as if it was the only thing she ever wanted to do. She never got tired of her vocation as an art advocate. School teachers do so much to help children grow. She always greeted her classes with a smile and instructed her charges with kindness and professionalism. She is certainly a master teacher in her domain. I am so proud of her and what she had meant to the children of her school district.
As far as music, my Father grew up in a musical family. His Father, my Grandfather, was a musician his whole life. He owned his own music retail business and performed for weddings, parties and events with his own brothers in a band. My Father, Steven, grew up in this environment and became a music teacher himself. By the way, my Mother and Father met each other while teaching in the same school district, as they were both assigned to lunch duty…lol.
My Father and Mother took me to church and my Dad helped me follow the music missal and soon I could sing all of the hymns by heart. My parents were both very supportive with me in the arts. They helped me audition for and perform in community theater groups, they found vocal instructors for me as I was growing up. Woodwind lessons, piano lessons, music theory lessons, their support helped me to grow as a musician and helped my confidence grow while performing. After high school, I auditioned for various colleges and universities in their music departments. I interviewed and auditioned for Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J.
The tuition was steep, yet Mom and Dad supported my desire to work hard and persevere the challenges of college performances and repertoire as I majored in Vocal Performance with some of the most well-known professors and vocal instructors in the nation. It was a proud day for me, but most of all, for my parents when I graduated from Westminster. After graduation, they supported my journey to audition for Broadway shows, television, and movies. They helped me to realize that no one was going to hand me the golden ticket. It was through hard work that I was going to be successful in a music and acting career. There are always ups and downs, when one door closes, another one opens. Focus, patience, consistency and being ready to perform are always the secrets of your next performance opportunity. Because of my family, I’ve learned to always be ready, and consistency always will breed success. I owe everything I do to the support and love of my Family.
MilspoFAN: Have you taken any surprising “day jobs” to support your artistic work?
Katelyn: I think I’ve aced the ability to obtain “survivor jobs” in this career. I’ve been everything from a birthday party costume performer, waitress to a VIP Event staffer. I’ve worked as a singing telegram vocalist dressed up as a chicken or a pink gorilla in a tutu costume for birthdays or special occasions. I also worked as a substitute teacher in local school districts in Weehawken, New Jersey. Again, singing at local churches for masses and memorial services. Every job and obstacle that I’ve faced has taught me life lessons. Many of the jobs I’ve had have to do with singing, acting, improvisation, customer service, classroom management or teaching skills. These experiences and various situations gave me the opportunity to use these skills to move forward in life.
MilspoFAN: From where or whom do you draw inspiration?
Katelyn: My mentor and continued inspiration has to be my father, Steven Spinosa. As I mentioned, my father was and still is a successful teacher, musician and school administrator. My father was even awarded the prestigious “Mr. Holland’s Opus” Award on the Carnegie Hall stage from music icon, Michael Bolton. Although he is now retired, he has shown me what it means to be focused and passionate about your life’s work. He taught me that focus is a realm of consciousness that takes your inner-self and propels it outwards. Focus, however, needs to be practiced. It needs consistency to be controlled. Passion is something that comes from within and it’s the ability to recognize something you love and work at it every hour of the day. He showed me that I have to continue to have the passion to be able to achieve what I want out of life. It’s been a blessing to have him in my corner as my father, mentor, and friend.
MilspoFAN: What is the most practical piece of advice that you would give to other artists?
Katelyn: My advice would be to never stop pursuing your passion. It’s what you love. It’s what is inside you. It’s your passion which may lead to a career. Even if certain duty stations or financial obligations limit your creative progress in an area you were sent to, do what you can in the area to continue what you love any way you can. If it means to volunteer, find a job in the arts, or even create more of your own music, you still are actively growing as an artist and pursuing your passion. I have tried to create a game plan for each duty station we stop at. Research the area before we arrive, collaborate with fellow church or coffee shop musicians. Teach acting, voice, or art classes. Stay busy and positive, even if you feel that the area was not what you were creatively expecting. Look forward to the next game plan, the next duty station. Remember, you will always have your friends, loved ones and family members there to support you.
The internet is a magical portal! Aren’t we lucky to be able to witness each other’s work from anywhere on the planet? Follow Katelyn on Social Media so you never miss a performance:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/KatelynSpinosa/
Video of my father/daughter wedding duet:
Video of “May the Angels be your guide” recorded in the studio:
Video of my Acting Highlight Reel: