Jackie Returns...

I'm pleased to announce that I'll be playing Jackie Kennedy again, this time in a free reading of a new play called Prince Jack. Written by Graham Barnard, and directed by Apollo Dukakis, this classical retelling of the tragic demise of president John F. Kennedy is written entirely in iambic pentameter!

Time Winters and Casey McKinnon

Time Winters and Casey McKinnon

I'm looking forward to revisiting the role with my friend Time Winters who is playing LBJ again as well, and the talented Will Rothhaar who played an amazing Lee Harvey Oswald in Killing Kennedy. We have a great cast, and I'm so excited to be a part of it.


Prince Jack
Wednesday, August 2nd at 8pm
Studio/Stage, 520 N.Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Tickets: Free at the door.

Greetings from 1967!

A few weeks ago, I was transported back in time to play a young mother named Marie Stahlmann in a staged reading at The Blank Theatre. Myra Slotnick's The Shadow Child takes places in New York City in 1967 and follows a Polish woman haunted by the death of her son in WWII. When her son's doppelgänger walks into her life, she must find a way to make peace with her tragic past. It's a beautiful story and I was very happy to be a part of it, even for a moment.

While I was lucky to work with my first child actor in The Baby Snooks Show last year, this was the first time I got a "child of my own!" Young actor Samuel Faraci played my son Jack, and it was kinda magical. Sam has worked on a number of television shows that shoot in Canada, like Nikita and The Rick Mercer Report, and is now living and working in Los Angeles.

Sound familiar? Like mother, like son!

Sam and I have a lot in common, from our Canadian upbringing to the fact that he looks quite a bit like a younger version of my real life husband. We had a great time keeping a balance between professionalism and silliness, and I was proud that I could work with this young actor on his stage debut.

I'm very grateful for director Christopher J. Raymond who brought me onboard, and was very pleased to work with this lovely cast. I look forward to seeing where the playwright takes her touching story in the future. 

And if you're sad to have missed this, be sure to make the next one! On July 2nd, I'll be playing Eve (from the Genesis creation myth) in a reading of a fascinating new play called The First and the Last.


The First and the Last
Sunday, July 2nd at 7pm
Screenland Studios, 10501 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601
Tickets: Free at the door.

Readings Galore!

I've been cast in staged readings for two wonderful new plays: The Shadow Child and The First and the Last.

The Shadow Child by Myra Slotnick is an emotional piece set in 1967 where I play a young mother (Marie Stahlmann) who sends the main character (Dora) spiralling back into her traumatic memories of World War II. The story is written with technical elements that weave the present beautifully with the past, and it would make an incredible full production or feature film. I'm very excited to be working with director Christopher J. Raymond and his talented cast, especially Brea Bee who plays Dora and young actor Samuel Faraci who plays my son Jack.

The Shadow Child
Monday, May 22nd at 8pm
The Blank Theatre, 6500 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90038
Tickets: Reserve for free online.

In The First and the Last, I will be playing the biblical character of Eve in a very fun exploration of sin and the afterlife. The script by Daniel Botello is a blend of classical and modern storytelling, with familiar characters from both history and literature. I'm very impressed with Botello's writing, especially his feminist approach to character development. Also attached to the project is my dear friend Brian Brennan who played Lee Harvey Oswald in The Tragedy of JFK.

The First and the Last
Sunday, July 2nd at 7pm
Screenland Studios, 10501 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601
Tickets: Free at the door.

I'm really happy to see these brilliant young playwrights creating smart, emotional, and intellectual works. I hope to see more from them both in the future.

Two award wins & a staged reading with Ed Asner!

2017 is off to an incredible start!

I am happy to announce that I won a BroadwayWorld Award in the category of Best Featured Actress for my role as Jackie Kennedy in The Tragedy of JFK. I'm also proud to say that fellow cast mates Tony Abatemarco and Susan Denaker, who played J. Edgar Hoover and Lady Bird Johnson, also won awards for Best Lead Actor and Actress. My deepest thanks to everyone who voted.

I also received recognition from The Last Straw Awards, where each year Los Angeles theatre reviewer Joe Straw names a number of artists who inspire him with their unique and hair raising work. In addition to myself, Straw named fellow cast members Time Winters, Tony Abatemarco, Chad Brannon, Jacob Sidney, and Cris D'Annunzio for their distinguished work, as well as our magnificent writer/director Daniel Henning. Thanks, Joe!

Photo courtesy of Rudy Jahchan.

Photo courtesy of Rudy Jahchan.

And, if that wasn't enough, I got to start my year acting in a staged reading of Persephone Unbound with entertainment legend Ed Asner. Initially I had been cast in a supporting role, but after our first rehearsal, Ed had some very flattering things to say about me and the next thing I knew the producers called and offered me the lead role of Persephone! The play is a coming of age story based on Greek mythology and following a young Persephone who rebels against her parents by running away with Hades, god of the underworld. Ed Asner played my father Zeus, and the entire cast was made up of highly accomplished and recognizable actors. I was pleased to work with Chad Brannon a second time, and to become acquainted with Irene Roseen and James Handy, who I greatly admire.

All in all, I think this is a great start to the new year, and I look forward to what else 2017 has in store.

Being Jackie Kennedy

The Tragedy of JFK director Daniel Henning surrounded by The Kennedys on opening night. (Photo courtesy of Rick Baumgartner.)

The Tragedy of JFK director Daniel Henning surrounded by The Kennedys on opening night. (Photo courtesy of Rick Baumgartner.)

It's difficult to put into words how much of a joy it has been to play such an incredible woman and icon of American history. Even as a Canadian, I grew up adoring her style and grace. And over the months we spent rehearsing, I did as much research as I could to be worthy of the shoes that I was about to fill. I read a ton and didn't sleep well through the whole process; early on I couldn't sleep because I had such horrifyingly vivid images flashing through my head, and later I couldn't sleep because I was just so darn excited to wake up every day and play Jackie Kennedy!

The role was even more than I dreamed it would be. I bonded very strongly with my cast mates, especially fellow Kennedys Ford Austin (JFK) and Chad Brannon (RFK), and we all worked so hard to bring these people back to life with our research and camaraderie. We were constantly sharing specific details and rare personal photos to better understand the spirits of the people we were invoking in our play.

When we opened, it was touching to come out after each performance and greet the awaiting audience members. It was music to our ears to hear how well each of us embodied the spirit of the people we were portraying on stage. And I felt an enormous outpouring of love, especially when Charlotte Rae blew me a kiss, and Teri Hatcher gave me a hug while uttering the word "amazing" in my ear. 

McKinnon is a gentle Jackie, full of grace, with a stunning resemblance to the first lady.
— Ellen Dostal, Broadway World
Casey McKinnon’s radiant Jackie.
— Steven Stanley, StageSceneLA
Casey McKinnon is the apotheosis of Jackie Kennedy, and she is equally stunning. Her craft is evenly exquisite as she executes with a precision rarely seen in a 99-seat venue down to the wisp of hair that falls near her eyes in the burial scene.
— Joe Straw

After the election, we weren't sure how the play would read with audiences. To our delight, the piece resonated even more. Especially the march to Selma with Martin Luther King Jr.'s powerful timeless message reflecting the Black Lives Matter movement, and Bobby Kennedy's tragic vision for a more compassionate and unified America.

We were so pleased to see the play get extended. And I was thrilled when it received seven nominations in the BroadwayWorld LA Awards, including my first ever nomination for a theatre role (Best Featured Actress). Voting is open until December 31st, so vote online before it's too late!

It's been interesting to play Jackie Kennedy on stage at the same time as Natalie Portman's highly publicized portrayal on screen. While I'm sure we both did very similar research from books, documentaries and archival footage, we had to take different vocal approaches to the character. Since Portman was playing Jackie on film, she had the liberty to use the delicate, whispered voice Jackie was known for. In the theatre, however, that wouldn't work. So, I had to do a ton of digging to find audio samples of Jackie speaking louder; something she only did when she was either giddy with delight or very upset. It was much more common for the first lady to use a sort of 1960s vocal fry in order to provide emphasis instead. I was so relieved when I came across the Schlesinger tapes released by Caroline Kennedy, as well as this interview with a beaming Jackie after Jack won the Democratic nomination in 1960. Portman and I both worked hard in our own mediums to honor this great lady, and I'd definitely love to trade notes with her someday over a cup of tea.

For me, becoming Jackie was a life-changing process. My mental image of myself changed significantly over the past few months. I found that whenever I removed my wig after a performance, I stopped recognizing the girl looking back at me in the mirror. Every day I found myself being more comfortable having thicker eyebrows, parting my hair to the side, and dressing a little more sophisticated. I even cut my hair to a shorter length, something more polished; a bit of a modern Jackie, I suppose.

In other ways, the role distanced me from the first lady. Playing a woman in the sixties, and surrounded by a cast of 13 men, I found myself slipping into a more traditional female role; being treated as a beauty, but overlooked in intellectual discussions. In order to maintain my sanity as a human being, I had to really speak up and be more assertive. It's funny how playing someone who criticized feminism has replenished my desire for gender equality.

Gonna miss Camelot...

A video posted by Casey McKinnon (@caseymckinnon) on

Before our final performance, everyone backstage was very emotional. We knew that what we had here was special; our own Camelot. 

Our final performance was filled with very real tears. Our JFK sincerely did not want to go to Dallas, every moment and touch was more profound, and the funeral scene was heartbreaking for every single one of us. 

It's been an incredible opportunity and a rewarding journey. I'm so grateful to Daniel Henning for creating this amazing play and bringing together a cast of lovely, talented actors who I hope to work with again and again. 

Thanks to everyone that came out to the theatre to support me, especially my loving mother Marian, my brother Greg, and my sister-in-law Jaimie who all flew in from Canada! This is the first time any of my family has seen me on stage as an actor and I was thrilled beyond words to have the opportunity to share this experience with them. On the night my mother came to see me, I got so choked up after the curtain call just taking in the knowledge that my mother was there. I have tears streaming down my face as I type that. I also had tears streaming down my face as I reread this paragraph hours later.

It meant a lot.

It also meant a lot to have so many of my best friends and new friends come out to see me. Thanks to my love Rudy Jahchan, my mentor Armin Shimerman, my bestie Raya Yarbrough, Bear McCreary, Paul Whitfield, Yuri Lowenthal, Tara Platt, Charlie Bodin, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, Celeste Wolfe, America Young, Jenelle Riley, Christian Lebano, Rob Nagle, Marcelo Tubert, Faith Collins, Dana DeRuyck, Andrew Perez, Crystal Keith, Ulka Mohanty, Eileen Rivera, Tom Merritt, Liz Miller, Meredith Berg, Ethan Erwin, Deborah Cresswell & Jack, Eunice Wilson, Eric Rudnick, Rachel Berney Needleman, Kitty Swink, Bo Foxworth, Elyse Mirto, Nar Williams & Rachel, Priscilla Taylor & Thane, Ken Simms, Leshar McGhee, Bree Wernicke, Mario Perez, Martine Battle, Amelia Meyers, Jason Rosenwach, Lorelei Bunjes, Corryn Cummins, Leslie Ranne & Patrick, Paul Romero, Olivia Delgado, James Ferrero, Shannon Leigh Reeve, and Sue Anna Yeh.

This was an extraordinary ride with some of the greatest cast and crew I've had the opportunity to work with so far. Thank you to all that shared in this one brief shining moment with me.

'The Tragedy of JFK' nominated for 7 BroadwayWorld LA Awards!

BroadwayWorld LA Award nominated actors Ford Austin and Casey McKinnon in The Tragedy of JFK (as told by Wm. Shakespeare). Photo courtesy of Rick Baumgartner

BroadwayWorld LA Award nominated actors Ford Austin and Casey McKinnon in The Tragedy of JFK (as told by Wm. Shakespeare). Photo courtesy of Rick Baumgartner

After a successful extended run, The Tragedy of JFK (as told by Wm. Shakespeare) has been nominated for seven BroadwayWorld LA Awards! We're all very proud of to see our production get such wonderful recognition, and we hope that you'll take the time to go and cast your vote online before it's too late.

Here is a full list of our nominations:

  • Best Play (Local Production) - The Tragedy of JFK
  • Best Direction of a Play (Local Production) - Daniel Henning, The Tragedy of JFK
  • Best Featured Actor in a Play (Local Production) - Ford Austin, The Tragedy of JFK
  • Best Featured Actress in a Play (Local Production) - Casey McKinnon, The Tragedy of JFK
  • Best Leading Actor in a Play (Local Production) - Time Winters, The Tragedy of JFK
  • Best Leading Actor in a Play (Local Production) - Tony Abatemarco, The Tragedy of JFK
  • Best Leading Actress in a Play (Local Production) - Susan Denaker, The Tragedy of JFK

Working on this production has been rewarding in itself, but receiving this nomination for my role as Jackie Kennedy is the cherry on top of an already delicious sundae. Thanks to everyone who came to see us during the run, and to everyone who continues to support us by voting! 

Playing Jackie Kennedy in The Tragedy of JFK

I'm so excited to tell you all that I've been cast to play the iconic Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy in the world premiere of The Blank's The Tragedy of JFK (as told by Wm. Shakespeare)

I don't know how to explain it, but when I heard about this new play about JFK told in the words of William Shakespeare, it awakened a dream in me that was hiding in the depths of my heart. Somewhere deep in my subconscious, I just knew that it was perfect for me and that I always did want to play Jackie Kennedy.

I left nothing to chance and lived by my personal motto of "no fate but what we make." I cried with joy when I got a callback, and expected to do the same if I was offered the role. The wait was excruciating. As a devout atheist, I prayed to no one, but just kept whispering my motto to myself whenever I felt nervous. At this point, it was out of my hands. The night after the callback, I saw a shooting star and instantly thought of the play, hoping it was a sign even though I don't believe in signs. I didn't make a wish (for fear of the monkey's paw!), but again I whispered my motto under my breath.

Finally, a couple of days later, I got the email.

Just like my acceptance from RADA a year earlier, I read and re-read the message a dozen times or more. I wasn't sure whether I was reading everything correctly or not. Had someone typed something wrong? No, they didn't; this is really happening!

I immediately started reading Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story by Barbara Leaming, a biography I had come across in my research over the past few weeks. I've been busy pinning information and images on Pinterest, watching videos and listening to old Jackie interviews on YouTube. I watched The Day Kennedy Died on Netflix, rented Camelot, and finally sat down to watch Oliver Stone's JFK. At this point, I'm listening to Caroline Kennedy's Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, an audio book of the Schlesinger interviews from early 1964, and reading Mrs. Kennedy and Me, an intimate memoir written by Jackie's Secret Service agent Clint Hill, who ran up to the limousine after the shots rang out, climbed on the car and protected Jackie with his body as they drove away in the havoc and terror of that fateful day. I think my favorite find in all this research so far, however, is this delightful phone conversation with President Lyndon B. Johnson on December 2nd, 1963.

I've always had a soft spot for Jackie Kennedy. When I left for my high school prom, wearing big round sunglasses and a scarf to protect my hair from the wind in my dad's rented Sebring convertible, my mother called out, "you look just like Jackie O!" Previously, my mother had told me about her own experience on the day JFK died, and it always stuck with me. She had just started working as a secretary at a big investment firm in Montreal when it happened. Someone in her office heard the news on the radio and everybody stopped to listen. I had never experienced anything quite like it until I watched the twin towers fall on 9/11. I can still recall the stunned silence at McGill University that day when hundreds of students huddled around the television in the cafeteria basement of the Bronfman Building.

While Jackie and I grew up in different worlds and different times, we share so much in common. We were both born into Catholicism. We were both raised with the false idea that we were descended from royalty. We both hungered to get away from a cookie-cutter life. We both moved to Europe at the age of 19 and froze our asses off in bedrooms with no heating! We both learned multiple languages. We've both spent a lot of time around dignitaries. And we both worked as secretaries, and had short-lived careers as journalists before getting married (her for the Washington Times-Herald, and I for The Guardian).

Aside from the sheer joy of getting to play Jackie Kennedy in The Tragedy of JFK, I'm excited about this production for so many other reasons. I get to work with an incredible group of people, a director I admire, for a theatre company that I have a lot of respect for... and I get to do my favorite thing in the whole world: Shakespeare!

Previews begin on September 24th, and tickets are available here. Don't you dare miss it!

Actor Tailor Soldier Spy

I did a quick shoot with the Headshot Truck last week to refresh my headshots and get some photos of character types. My agent was enthusiastic about getting a powerful shot in a suit for roles like manipulative politician, lawyer, and agent (of the FBI, of real estate, of A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.S., etc.). The second look she wanted was a strong army look, which could also work great for roles like resistance fighter, local militia member, or apocalypse survivor. And, thanks to the efficient photographer in the Headshot Truck, and my own over-preparedness, I was able to sneak in a third look...  a somewhat period appropriate (and somewhat inappropriate) girl next door type.

I had a good experience with the Headshot Truck, and I may choose to visit them in the future for another look; perhaps doctor/scientist, nerdy intellectual, or Shakespearean ingenue? We shall see. In the meantime, I'm very pleased with the results and I hope they serve their purpose well.

It's never too late to play an 8-year-old girl...

Last week I had the opportunity to perform at The Autry in The Baby Snooks Show, a comedic radio play from the 1940s that originally starred Fanny Brice. My character, Henrietta, was the privileged little arch nemesis to Baby Snooks and I had a thrilling time portraying her to a packed house in the 206-seat Wells Fargo Theater.

The event was organized by SAG-AFTRA and featured two other golden era radio plays; Gunsmoke, and an episode of Five Minute Mysteries. The script for every radio play was unchanged from its original air date and included commercials and live sound effects. Our episode of The Baby Snooks Show was titled "The Ugly Duckling" and originally aired on October 24, 1947. It featured some hilarious Jell-O ads that became a running joke weaving throughout the story, and the play concluded with a delightful jingle for Log Cabin maple syrup performed by our quartet of male singers.

As for the role of Henrietta? I was born to play it. I was raised on reruns, and I've spent years mimicking classic children's voices, so it's about time I get to use those voices! I really should be doing more voiceover roles, so this has reminded me that I need to record a voice reel. I do have a voiceover role coming out that I can't wait to share with you, especially if you're a video game fan! Details soon.

I had a great time working with this amazing cast under the direction of Lee Purcell, who you may know from her extensive list of acting credits. I'm very grateful to have been a part of this production, and I hope I get to work with these talented actors again soon.

My favorite scene partner had to be Mariel Sheets, who played Sally in The Peanuts Movie last year. Mariel is the first kid I've had the opportunity to work with professionally, and she made every rehearsal a joy. Her energy reminded me what it's like to be an actual kid again, and her intelligence reminded me never to take children for granted!

Special thanks to Devon, Paul, and Rudy for making the schlep to Griffith Park, and thanks to photographer Michael C. Sheets for these great shots:

Woman vs. Woman

Erin Barnes and Casey McKinnon face off in a scene from The Importance of Being Earnest at Antaeus Theatre. (Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Wade)

Erin Barnes and Casey McKinnon face off in a scene from The Importance of Being Earnest at Antaeus Theatre. (Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Wade)

Today is International Women’s Day and I’ve been reflecting on my rocky relationship with women over the years.

When I was in school, I had a very hard time befriending girls because of the cliques. No matter whether they were popular or alternative, it always felt like I was stuck in the movie Mean Girls. These young women were always in competition with me, even though there was no competition to be had. Apparently I couldn’t like the same boys and I wasn't allowed to hang out with them unless I “followed the leader.”

So I went my own way and took refuge with the boys.

For a time, I enjoyed being the Princess Leia of the gang, but eventually I started to meet other women who were also bullied and excluded by their sex, and I started to build meaningful friendships with them.

However, entering the workforce caused more competition. When I worked harder or faster than other women in my office, those women would feel threatened and would often lash out or try to block me from future projects, so they could get the attention focussed on themselves. The best way I felt to get around this issue was to have very solid job descriptions. If the work is too open between co-workers, people tend to step on each other’s toes, so I worked as hard as I could to prevent that and continue to do my best work.

When I started working in the entertainment industry, the competition continued. It was every (wo)man for themself, and I felt upset when my own female friends wouldn’t help me out. But in addition to that, I realized that I was taking part in that competition. I felt jealous of my peers who were more successful than I was, and I propagated the competitive behavior that I detested.

It wasn’t until I started studying Theatre at The Antaeus Company that I began to see another path: collaboration.

When I was taking classes at Antaeus, the class moderators were mentors; people who pushed and championed each actor to be the best they can be. In addition to building up my skills, they helped volunteer information to help me build my whole career. There was no room in these classes for competition unless it was in the actual scene. This meant everyone was working together, and it was a breath of fresh air!

This changed me. I started sharing information instead of keeping it all for myself. If I heard about a role that would be perfect for one of my friends, I would send it to her ASAP! I still do this today because, to be honest, we are all so unique and have something very different to offer that sometimes it’s just best to trust in the casting director and help each other in the process.

Theatre is a very collaborative work. Eventually, we will all work on a project together, so I think it’s important to help each other when we can and keep building our relationships to last. I only wish the rest of the entertainment industry and the world worked the same way. I will be working to try and change that in my own life.

So, for International Women’s Day this year, I challenge every woman to drop her shield and to help another woman reach her goals. End the competition, and begin to build relationships with collaboration.

Dana DeRuyck and Casey McKinnon in A Woman of No Importance. (Photo courtesy of Armina LaManna.)

Dana DeRuyck and Casey McKinnon in A Woman of No Importance. (Photo courtesy of Armina LaManna.)

Together again... for SCIENCE!

Writer/director Tim Pyle tweeted this cast and crew photo last night from our shoot with Ed Wasser, an actor you may recognize from his work on Babylon 5. Both Mike Romo and I were invited back to reprise our roles from the popular Fusion vs. Fission video released last year, and the new video is slated for release in 2016.

Pyle joked in his tweet that I'm "throwing a gang sign," but perhaps I was teasing how many roles I actually have in this video. ;)

Excited to share it with you all! 

On Studying at RADA: "Parting is such sweet sorrow..."

The cast of As You Like it at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in July 2015 (Photo courtesy of Nathanael Taylor)

The cast of As You Like it at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in July 2015 (Photo courtesy of Nathanael Taylor)

So many people have been asking me what it was like to study Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). If I could describe it in a few words, I would say that it was: tiring; fun; hard; and satisfying. 

Though the time was short, we worked on so much. We worked every day on scenes and speeches from most of Shakespeare’s plays, especially the more difficult and lesser known ones, and my acting toolkit has expanded exponentially.

During the course of the Acting Shakespeare program, we had a number of presentations (or showings) for the faculty and our fellow students, including: 

  • Period dance - We presented at least six different styles from the Renaissance under Dancing Master Darren Royston, focusing more on dances done during the reign of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.
  • Sonnets - My sonnet teacher (and now one of my favorite people in the whole world), Zoe Waites, chose Sonnet #40 for me to perform: “Take all my loves, my love, yea take them all.” It was scandalous.
  • Stage combat - We presented the fight scene in Act 1, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet. Our particular scene was set in a school rec room where a group of nerds (Capulets) were playing an RPG, when suddenly a bunch of Jocks (Montagues) came in and started causing trouble. We had some wonderfully choreographed hand-to-hand combat thanks to Master of Combat Bret Yount.
  • Scenes - My amazing scene teacher Tim Hardy thoughtfully selected a role for me to work on; I played Helena in in Act 1, Scene 3 of All’s Well That Ends Well. It ended very well… :)
  • Singing - Our choir of 28 students sung two madrigals together under the arrangement of Andrew Charity: “Since First I Saw Your Face” and “Adieu, Sweet Amaryllis.”
  • Monologues - I chose to work on a Queen Margaret speech from Henry VI, Part 3. With the gentlest of touches, my teacher (Alan David) pushed me to test new boundaries within the character. Someday I hope to play this character on stage; Queen Margaret is one of my favorite females in all of Shakespeare.
The three Rosalinds. (Photo courtesy of Nathanael Taylor)

The three Rosalinds. (Photo courtesy of Nathanael Taylor)

Our last two weeks were devoted to producing an entire play, from a shortened rehearsal process to three performances. The director, Nona Shepphard, chose to work on As You Like It, which she set in Andy Warhol’s factory in the late 1960s, and I was absolutely thrilled to be cast as Rosalind. Due to the time constraints of preparing to put on a play in a week and a half, I shared the role with two other actresses, Amanda Gann and Shanna Sweeney. The role was broken up into thirds, and I got to play the final Rosalind who comes into her own and gets her happy ending.

It was incredibly tough to rehearse and perform a Shakespeare play on such a tight schedule, but spending 12+ hours a day on my craft was so satisfying. I’ve always wanted to work in TV as well, so I consider this training for my future series regular jobs.

Overall, I think the most beneficial things I got out of my training was an ease of stage physicality and a stronger confidence in my instincts and abilities. Though the program was difficult at times because I was learning from a number of teachers with conflicting views ranging from simple breathing to iambic pentameter, I also had teachers that trusted me with the text and let me do my thing. I was a bit like Dumbo learning that he didn’t need a feather to fly!

Rosalind prepares in her Ganymede costume. (Photo courtesy of Nathanael Taylor)

Rosalind prepares in her Ganymede costume. (Photo courtesy of Nathanael Taylor)

In addition to the teachers mentioned above, I’m grateful for the opportunity to do Alexander Technique and Laban under the tutelage of Katya Benjamin. Though I had taken Alexander before getting to RADA, her classes were pivotal to my development. I’d also like to say that I wish I had more time with Alison Hardy, who taught the Character in Text class, and Nick Hutchison, whose knowledge of history was so detailed that I took notes on every word that came out of his mouth. All of these great teachers will be in my heart and mind forevermore; it was a life-altering experience to learn from such brilliant people.

At this point, I’m back in Los Angeles and excited about the future. I have a new work ethic and schedule that’s perfect for television, as well as a toolkit for Shakespeare that’s overflowing. 

I will miss you, RADA, but more than anything I’m grateful for the knowledge that you’ve given me.

brb... I'm studying at RADA!

It is my greatest pleasure to announce that I will be spending the next two months studying Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. I spent a lot of time preparing for this opportunity, and I was absolutely thrilled to be accepted. I believe very strongly in working hard and getting the proper training to achieve my career goals, so this is a giant leap in the right direction for me.

While at RADA, I will be studying every possible aspect of acting for Shakespearean theatre including Physical Performance, Alexander Technique, Stage Fighting, Period Dance, Choral Singing of the period, Voice, Voice into Text, Character in Text, Sonnets, Monologues and Scenes; as well as weekly workshop sessions. At the end of my course, I will get to perform in a play with my fellow classmates. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be surrounded by others who have developed a love for Shakespeare’s plays as much, if not more, as I have.

Since I was accepted, I’ve been reading a lot in preparation. My favorite book so far is A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599, which makes a number of astonishing connections between what was happening in England at that time, both socially and politically, with the themes of Shakespeare’s plays written and performed that year. I especially enjoyed reading actual quotes from Queen Elizabeth I that just go to show that women have always been smart, bold and witty creatures. If she were around today, I bet her Twitter feed would be HILARIOUS.

Upon completion of this intensive course, I plan to return to Los Angeles to further reach for my dreams; going for more lead roles in theatre and working towards my life goal of playing a dynamic character in a sci-fi TV series.

I am infinitely grateful to my loving husband Rudy Jahchan for supporting me in this once in a lifetime endeavour, and to Armin Shimerman for his priceless mentoring on the works of William Shakespeare at Antaeus Academy.

No fate but what we make.
— Ancient proverb.

That time we got married...

On 10/11/12, I married my beloved partner in crime in the biggest production of our lives. The ceremony was officiated by the incomparable Ted Raimi, attended by all our besties, and written with love and nerdity by ourselves.

To honor our special day, I have compiled wedding photos, the official video, and our engagement story at RudyandCasey.com. Head on over to check it out now! Especially the video... it took me years to get it just right.

Now back to that happily ever after. <3

In case you didn't see Sight Unseen...

Last night we performed Donald Margulies' Sight Unseen at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood for the last time. It was a good run and I enjoyed getting to know my fellow cast members and stage manager. I especially loved working with my scene partner Jason Weiss and director Nicole Dominguez, who were both such a joy to work with that I relished every single rehearsal.

Though I was only in two scenes, the reviewers had some nice things to say about my performance as Grete, a German art journalist:

McKInnon’s cool understated presence also serves the story well.
— Deborah Klugman, Stage Raw
Casey McKinnon is a SASSY DELIGHT as an art critic, interviewing Jonathan about the meaning behind his body of work. She challenges him cerebrally with every question.
— Pat Taylor, Tolucan Times
[T]he best moments come in two pivotal scenes in which a smart and aggressive journalist (Casey McKinnon) puts Jonathan and his insecurities through the wringer.
— Les Spindle, Frontiers Media
The most interesting scene in this production of Donald Margulies’s 1992 play involves an encounter between Jonathan (Jason Weiss)... and Grete (Casey McKinnon), an art journalist of German extraction who is interviewing him.
— Deborah Klugman, Stage Raw

Playing the character of Grete was an interesting experience. There is so much conflict and anti-semitism present in my scenes that the audience response was always fascinating. There were nights when the audience was so absorbed and shocked by our scenes that we could actually hear them gasping and muttering "Oh, my God!" and "I can't believe she said that!" from their seats. And, though I don't have the blonde hair attributed so often to German nationals, there were nights when audience members would meet me outside and they couldn't believe that I wasn't actually German! It was fun, and I'm very grateful to dialect coach Adam Michael Rose for helping me pull it off. 

I'm also grateful to all my wonderful friends who came out to support me, like Sean Bonner, Tara Brown, Paula Rhodes, Charlie Bodin, Keri Safran, Paul Baird, Tina Molina, Rudy Jahchan, Cerina da Graca & Tim, Yuri Lowenthal, Tara Platt, Paul Whitfield, Lorelei Bunjes, Raya Yarbrough, Kyle Higgins, Emma Sleath, Jacob Sidney, Corryn Cummins, Desiree Mee Jung, Barrett Garese, Beth McDonald, Ulka Simone Mohanty, Nar Williams, America Young, Chris Rosa, Tom & Christine Ashworth, Eric Rudnick, Armina LaManna, Christine Sage, Erin Barnes, John Bobek, Cynthia Beckert, and Leslie Ranne.

Looking forward to telling you all about my next adventure soon... it's gonna be a doozy! In the meantime, here are a few behind the scenes photos that I took during our run.

Casey to play Grete in 'Sight Unseen' at The Lounge Theatre!

Jason Weiss as Jonathan Waxman and Casey McKinnon as Grete. Photo courtesy of director Nicole Dominguez.

Jason Weiss as Jonathan Waxman and Casey McKinnon as Grete. Photo courtesy of director Nicole Dominguez.

I'm happy to announce that I've been cast as Grete in Sight Unseen at The Lounge Theatre in Los Angeles. The play, written by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Donald Margulies, follows Jonathan Waxman, a successful Jewish-American painter, as he revisits his past by reconnecting with a former lover and muse. 

My character, Grete, is a determined young German journalist with information that could potentially ruin Waxman's career. The role of Grete was played by Laura Linney at the Orpheum Theatre in New York in the early nineties. 

I'm really excited to be working with director Nicole Dominguez and the great little cast and crew that she has assembled. Even after only three rehearsals, I can see that it is shaping up to become something special.

Previews begin on Thursday, March 12th and we open on Saturday, March 14th. The play will run until April 26th. Tickets are available here.


My Childhood Crush Has ALS

Young, adorably embarrassing Casey McKinnon.

Young, adorably embarrassing Casey McKinnon.

The boy in the North Shore jacket was the cutest boy in all of Dollard-des-Ormeaux.

While the other girls in my school were busy fighting over which New Kids on the Block member they liked most and fawning over the lyrics to Richard Marx's "Right Here Waiting," I was busy embarrassing myself over that cute boy in the North Shore jacket.

The other girls in my class teased me relentlessly about it, shouting his name and then hiding behind me, or calling his parents' house and handing me the phone, but I embarrassed myself the most.

Like REALLY embarrassed myself. More humiliating than that scene from Forever Young where Elijah Wood serenades a girl with "You Are My Sunshine." That was adorable. No, no... I can't imagine any of my actions were ever that endearing.

There was the time in grade 5 when I choreographed a dance routine and modded the lyrics to obscure 1950s song "Pink Shoelaces" to express my admiration in the schoolyard during recess. If you want a better mental image, the chorus went "He wore Converse, with white shoe laces, a North Shore jacket, and man-oh-man!"

Then there was the time when his cool older brother came to visit our elementary school and we break danced outside the gym; I did a sweet headspin which was probably waaay cooler in my mind than it ever was in reality.

Oh, and there was that other time in junior high school when my friends got me to sing "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid while he was watching. I was mortified, but I did it because, y'know, peer pressure and all.

Needless to say, there were many other moments of dorkery that I have tried to forget over the years.

So, when my sister texted me at 6:24am last week to tell me that Dean Stock was diagnosed with ALS, it all came flooding back to me.

I feel terrible for the struggle Dean will face and moved by the support he's getting from his family, especially that cool older brother of his, PJ Stock. I wish him the absolute best treatment and I will be crossing my fingers for a cure. To help, I'm donating to the ALS Society of Quebec in support of Team Stock. My eleven year old self would have wanted me to. 

Join me by donating here: TeamStock.ca

Old Hollywood Photo Shoot

Just before the holidays, I did an "Old Hollywood" shoot with amazing photographer Nick Holmes. He used strong, dramatic lighting inspired by the work of George Hurrell, and I believe he succeeded in getting some very, VERY glamorous shots. Above are my favorite images from the shoot, but you can see more on his Flickr and Instagram accounts. If you're interested in shooting with him, you can book him through his official site.

Lady Stutfield's Wilde Ride

On December 6th and 7th I had the pleasure of playing the role of Lady Stutfield in Oscar Wilde's A Woman of No Importance at Sacred Fools Theatre in Los Angeles. It was such a joy to step into the shoes of a proper lady, and slip into a British accent that I've been perfecting since childhood on those rainy days when I had no one to play with but the little girl in the mirror.

I was so happy to be cast in this production, especially after taking Geoffrey Wade's Shaw, Wilde & Coward class at Antaeus Theatre last Spring. I read a lot of Wilde plays at the time and A Woman of No Importance was my absolute favorite. I firmly believe that you can sit a chauvinist down in the theatre and he wouldn't notice it's a feminist play until the very end, when he's already on the female protagonist's side. If Geoffrey's class sounds interesting to you, he's offering it again in a couple of months. The class prepared me very thoroughly for late 19th century theatre, including dialect work, proper posture, interactions between upstairs masters and downstairs servants, and social dos and don'ts.

I had a great time preparing for the role as well. I did a lot of research on hair and makeup appropriate to the time period and ended up with a Gibson Girl updo, and wearing minimal makeup with a little, slightly period inauthentic eyeliner to make my eyes pop for the audience. I found this hair tutorial on YouTube to base my hairstyle:

Working with Sacred Fools Theatre was an excellent experience. I personally think that this theatre is one of the most cutting edge companies in Los Angeles and I admire their work immensely. In the past year, they have produced a stage adaptation of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, a hilarious musical comedy about the life of behavioral scientist John Broadus Watson, and a cannibal play called Taste - based on real events - directed by horror master Stuart GordonA Woman of No Importance was their first Oscar Wilde production, and I felt very lucky to be involved in this lovely little anomaly. I met some wonderful people and I hope to work with them again and again, especially producer David Mayes and director Armina LaManna.

Special thanks to all my dear friends who came out to support me: Rudy, Barrett & Beth, Raya & Jenny, Priscilla & Thaine, Cameron & Arielle, Simone, Leslie, Crystal, Paul, Liz, Cerina, Paul 2.0, Yuri & Tara, and my "Canadian contingent" Teddy & Dave, and Diane & Bruce! Your applause were so loud at my curtain call and I was incredibly touched. You made this girl feel like she won the lottery. <3

Looking forward to doing more theatre in 2015. Happy new year, everyone!