Karis Gallant

Alumni Spotlight
Karis Gallant: Class of 2012
‚ÄčKaris Gallant
As we continue stepping into Spring, we are proud to feature Karis Gallant in our Alumni Spotlight. After graduating in 2012 Karis continued her education at the Hartt School of Music, Theater, and Dance in Hartford, Connecticut graduating in 2016 with a Bachelors’ Degree in Fine Arts. Reflecting upon her college career, Karis notes that “Training in this field made for a lot of full-credit semesters with everything from music theory to dance training to scene study to crew assignments to rehearsals. Lots of 8 AM to 10 PM days.”

Along the way, Karis performed in some great shows and had opportunities to audition for summer stock as a way to build her resume and hone her craft. She and her classmates also had the chance to be a part of a new works festival at Goodspeed Opera House, putting an entire show together in one short week. The tasks of of implementing continual change to the musical score and alterations to the scenes were challenging yet exhilarating. According to Karis, “Being able to apply all of the quick learning and memorization tactics we had learned when our backs were up against the wall was amazing.” Her four years of rigorous training have paid off!  She continues, “Sometimes you feel like nothing changed in-the-moment but then you look back at who you used to be and realize that everything has changed!”

As a career, acting poses some unique challenges. “Being actors and constantly auditioning, we are usually one-on-one with our vulnerabilities and nerves. In short, we face a lot of rejection. Rejection from doing something so personal and exposed is never an easy pill to swallow!” But as we in Robbinsville continually try to convey to our students attitude is everything. 

Karis has learned that most of the time, being rejected is ultimately not about you. “It’s important to never let rejection dim you, but instead to let it fuel you while continuing to look for the gig that IS right for you.” She muses that in her business “casting is a moving puzzle. If there isn’t a spot for you now, you have to trust that there will be eventually.” She prefers to embrace the idea that rejection is a small part of a much larger journey. “Although it’s a challenge not to grow bitter or jaded if you’re not continuously booking work, you have to find ways to keep yourself sharp and inspired. Though you graduate, you never stop learning and therefore, you should never stop taking class or voice lessons! Ironically, it is the dark and unsure times in which actors often grow in completely unexpected and wonderful ways! It’s a marathon, not a sprint. In our business longevity is the key to building and sustaining a career.”

She urges others to keep the fire! “For me, it’s been a thrill so far and I’ve loved every second of it. And when I look back, I've even loved the seconds I don’t love because they all lead me to the place I was truly meant to be! I find comfort thinking about it like that.” 

Shortly after graduation, Karis was offered the opportunity to sail aboard a luxury cruise line serving as the lead female vocalist for seven months. While preforming she got to see much of Alaska as well as the Panama Canal. In addition to fulfilling her dream of travel, she landed dream roles portraying Sandy in Grease, Janet in the Drowsy Chaperone, Olive in Bullets over Broadway. She is currently starring in the role of Lauren in the National Tour of the Broadway and six-time Tony Award winning musical, Kinky Boots and is be traveling across the U.S. and Canada. She is grateful for the experience and recognizes it as a wonderful gift. There is also an added bonus! Karis’ costume is predominately comprised of jeans and comfy sweaters! And for that she offers a hardy thank you to the wardrobe department!

When asked what advice she would offer students preparing to graduate from Robbinsville High School, Karis sums it up this way. “I would say to soak up your resources as much as possible because they will be gone before you know it. It won’t be long before you’ll be drowning in more school-work than you ever thought existed, eating more ramen noodles than you thought possible, and dreaming of the days you had time to nap...that is, if attending college is the path that you choose.”

She continues, “All around advice, college or not, is this. Trust in your knowledge and trust that you have all the necessary tools to make things happen even if it feels impossible! You’ve been prepared for this, so trust in it. Take leaps. Do something that scares you. Do your best. Set goals, dream big. Say thank-you. Cling to your people for love and support because you are not alone! And before you know it, that TOO will be gone and you’ll have graduated college. Or you will be about to turn 25 and find yourself wondering where all the time went. Which is a cool feeling! But you will miss it. The real-world is a thrill and it's not always kind! But it's full of gifts, and many you won’t recognize until you’ve already been given them.”

As Karis welcomes the lessons yet to come, we in Robbinsville wish her well. We are proud of the path she is taking and, more importantly, of the human being that she has become. 

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