Glass speaks to American actor Kaitlyn Black


AFTER living in LA for 12 years, Kaitlyn Black  made her New York stage debut this year. Glass discusses her transition from television to theatre and her latest success in writing her viral comedy sketch. She is most known for her role on Hart of Dixie, writer and star of Relationship Deli with over 9.5 million views on social, and most recently as the lead for Westside Theatre’s off Broadway musical comedy ‘#DateMe – An OkCupid Experiment.


Kaitlyn Black. Photograph: Phoebe Cheong

Congratulations on your big move and welcome to New York. What attracted you to the big apple and what led you here?
New York was the city I wanted to move to right after college because I grew up doing musical theater. A back injury took me out of dance so instead I did street theater and acting which eventually led me to a career in television in LA. I’ve been trying to find ways to get back to New York for the past few years and feel lucky that everything fell into place.

I got a call to audition for the musical comedy #DateMe and being a hopeless romantic, I connected with the material right away. I never thought that after my injury I’d be on stage again, but musical theater has always run in my family. My mother was in A Chorus Line, my uncle in the original cast of No No Nannette, and both my parents have a master in theater.


Kaitlyn Black. Photograph: Phoebe Cheong

Your family must be so excited for you to join the world of theater. What did you find most challenging for this transition from television to theatre?
The most challenging part for me was the constant changes. Even when we got to previews we continued to receive new pages to memorise. I would rarely have dinner breaks on those days because I would rewrite all my lines since that’s how I memorised. While we do get some of these changes in television, especially from our table read to when we’re shooting, it’s much more challenging when your muscle memory has already performed the lines on stage for a week or two. I have to be malleable as an actor and be willing and open to take and incorporate criticism and changes.


Kaitlyn Black. Photograph: Phoebe Cheong

Your first comedy short Relationship Deli won best comedy short at CIFF43, has over 9.5 million views and 80k shares on Facebook. Clearly it connected with a lot of people. What inspired you to write this short and why choose comedy as the genre?
I enjoy acting, but if I can make someone laugh, that is the biggest reward for me as an actor. I have a self-deprecating sense of humor and a lot of women relate to that. After being dumped and having had a fair amount of tequila, I was on the phone with my girlfriend Kristen and said, “I wish we could just order a man like we do a sandwich”. After that call, I wrote the script effortlessly in an hour. I occasionally get comments saying, “oh that’s really sad”. But I believe that Tragedy + Time = Comedy.

Wow, you’re a one woman show with television, theater, and now writing! What future projects do you have planned?
I want to continue the deli franchise; we did a male version of the comedy short called Pick-a-chic Bar. I’m hoping to do another short on the concept of Couples Café, which is couples seeking other couples as friends. I’m also looking forward to a pilot season in New York and a whole new group of casting directors and fresh faces.


Kaitlyn Black. Photograph: Phoebe Cheong

What else about New York are you looking forward to and do you miss anything about LA?
I look forward to having four seasons and not just be in tank tops throughout the year. My new neighbourhood is in the Upper West Side and it’s so great to have a ton of musical theaters, improvs and plays at my fingertips. I do miss having the beach and the mountains in drivable distance, but not the 405. LA was incredibly kind to me, especially with Hart of Dixie, Raising Hope and a handful of lifetime movies. I’m very lucky to have worked fairly consistently for twelve years but I felt like that chapter was definitely coming to a close.

by Yinan Xia

Photography by Phoebe Cheong

Hair & Makeup by Megan Kelly