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Victor Garber as Jesus in the musical, Godspell.

Child I Nanny: Katie, are you smarter than Jesus?

Me: Yep.

Child I Nanny: Are you sure?

Me: Yes, I am definitely smarter than Jesus.

Child I Nanny: Well, the only person smarter than Jesus was his mom, Eve.  Are you Eve?

Me: Yep, I’m Eve.

Child I Nanny: Wow, that’s amazing! How old are you?

Me: Like 4,000 years old.

Child I Nanny: And you were married to your husband, Madam, all that time?

Me: Only part of the time–he turned out to be mean, so after a while, I started doing my own thing.

Child I Nanny: Like dating Bryce?

Me: Yeah, that wasn’t the best decision, either.

Child I Nanny: I can’t believe you’re that old.

Me: I’ve aged quite well.

I don’t exactly know how the above conversation started. I just know that when we got to the question “Are you smarter than Jesus?” I immediately answered “Yes.”

Church is what got me into theatre in the first place.  I think that’s the case for many people–our first steps onstage are usually as some sort of animal in the manger scene (unless we’re born close to Christmas–in that case, we may have actually portrayed the baby Jesus.)

I played a donkey in a Christmas play when I was 5 or 6. My costume was made entirely out of cardboard. I had no lines. I don’t know if I was really bitten by the acting bug at the time, per se, but I was my interest had been piqued.  I kept auditioning for church plays, gradually ascending until, at age 10, I landed the role of Zerubbabel in an off-season musical.

The director cast a girl two years older as my understudy.  She pulled me aside in the church basement before a rehearsal and said, very pointedly, “I hope you get sick.”

My theatrical progression was from church plays to children’s theatre plays to school plays and a summer Shakespeare program.  Somewhere around middle school, I became really passionate about theatre.  I started strategizing for auditions.  I loved (and still love) theatre because when you are cast in a show, that cast becomes your temporary community, a family almost.  Theatre was (and is) a refuge–a safe place to be loud and take risks and really be myself.

I love musicals, in particular. Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar are among my favorites.  I can’t say why exactly, but it might have something to do with the fact that through the form of musical theatre, you can take on any topic. Including Jesus.

Who I apparently outsmarted tonight.

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