Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
I'm Katy Schutte and I’m an actor/writer/improviser from London. I'm currently acting in One Woman Alien for London Horror Festival.
What does your job involve? Give us the typical outline of a day?
Like a lot of artists I'd say that there is no real typical day. A few things a day might involve are; rehearsals, corporate work, teaching improv, performing in plays, improv and comedy shows, writing, good old admin and more.
If I can, I like to start the day with a meditation and have a cuppa before I get going on anything else. Rehearsals for Alien involve me walking across a park for 45 minutes then getting the train to Brighton.
I'll go over my lines and do any urgent admin. We'll get into the studio and run the show a bunch of times, pausing on physical or complicated bits or line-running the sticky parts. Then I often need to rush off to teach or do a show afterwards.
What’s great about your job?
It's very varied. I would probably go mad with too much of a routine. And I love the community I'm part of - the improv community especially are very positive and connected. Similarly all the theatre people I get to work with are delightful nerds that are fun to spend time with.
What are the bits you don’t like or find challenging?
I think it can be overwhelming sometimes. Because of being self-employed I tend to say yes to everything and have a very busy diary. The older I get the more careful I'm trying to be to give myself time off. It's hard having time off when your job is fun, but you absolutely need it or you'll burn out. I also struggle with line-learning. I'm mainly an improviser so the discipline of lines takes it out of me.
What are the highlights of your career to date?
I'm sure I'd say different things on different days. I'm very proud of the work I do with The Maydays and I loved our recent Improv Retreat because we did some really stellar shows. I am always excited for a show I've made to have an impression on people.
I was thrilled to be a finalist for Best Comedy Show at Brighton Fringe last year and I was equally thrilled to get amazing reviews for Let's Summon Demons at London Horror Festival last year too. It's not the reviews and the nominations so much as the fact that I wrote those shows because I wanted to make them. I didn't know if they would make sense to other people or if they'd sell, so it was lovely that the art I had to offer spoke to other people.
Right now I'm extremely excited to be making a comedy series called Sideliners and crowdfunding the pilot on IndieGoGo.
How did you get into an arts job? Have you also worked outside the arts?
I've had a few other jobs, but always to make ends meet as I toiled to make art my main job. I've been a massage therapist, medical secretary, pole dancing teacher and more...
Can you describe your biggest challenge so far in your career? How did you overcome it?
Like a lot of artists, the struggle with ego, depression and anxiety and self-worth are the hardest. I'm still overcoming it, but I have healthy practices and lovely people in my life.
Have you noticed any changes in the industry? If so, what?
People are much more self-sufficient, there are fewer guardians and if you want to make something you mostly just... can.
You’ve been granted the ability to send a message to 16-year-old you. What do you say?
You get what you think you're getting, it just takes a lot longer than you'd like. You get to travel the world and that's cool. Can you please learn to code? I think that'll save you some shitty temping jobs.
Do you have any advice for young people interested in doing your kind of job?
Do all the projects you want to do. Build a community and make things you want to make. The more you do of what you want, the more you'll get to do that and the more - correct - doors will open for you.