When she received the Distinguished Alumni Award last week, Katie Hartsoe ’02 spoke about her work as a costume designer for various TV shows and theatrical productions, how The Country School helped shape the person she is today, and how her interests over time evolved from performing to design. Her overall message to Country School students was simple though: Don't be afraid to try new things. If you keep exploring, eventually you will discover your passion.
Here are some excerpts from her speech (click here for the full text):
TCS has hugely shaped who I am. It has led me to try and become as well rounded and intellectually curious a person as I can be. The unending desire to explore and learn new things that TCS instilled in me served me well in high school and college and continues to serve me well in my professional life. Being exposed to a wide range of subjects, art forms, environments, and ways of life through the classes and field trips I took at TCS has given me a wealth of knowledge that I draw on regularly.
Everyone figures out what they are passionate about in their own time. Some think they have it figured out only to question it a few years down the line. Even if you do love what you do, not every day is thrilling and creatively fulfilling. For all the times I’m shooting in some glamorous location or fitting a really great actor, there are more times when I’m standing in a field on Long Island in 10 degree weather distressing a costume with sandpaper, dirt, and furniture polish until I’m caked in grime. Although it’s what I love to do, it’s still a job that can get boring, frustrating, and exhausting. But even in those times, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else and that keeps me going.
By being exposed to different things at TCS, hopefully you will each start to get an inkling of what you can’t live without. And, if you don’t know, that’s fine too. It’s probably buried in there somewhere just waiting for the right opportunity. So I encourage you all to take every opportunity that TCS and your higher education will give you. Don’t close yourself off to new experiences or get so focused on one thing that you don’t see what else is out there.
For more about Katie and her career path, click here.