C-K’s Work/Life: Claire Rutkowski
C-K Work/Life features stories about the many hobbies, passion projects, side gigs, interests and hustles that C-Kers pursue in their lives.
Claire Rutkowski is a receptionist at C-K. The first person you meet at C-K, she automatically makes you feel welcomed and can strike up a conservation up with just about anyone. Since the age of three, she has memorized lines and portrayed various characters. Her current role? Our Town’s main character, Emily Webb, a small town woman who suddenly passes away, but has a chance to relive one day. The production of Our Town by Saint Sebastian Players is playing until November 17, 2019.
How long have you been acting?
I’ve basically been acting since I was three. I was the type of kid who watched one or two Disney movies a day and mimicked everything the characters did in my living room, so my parents stuck me in an acting class with my park district. There were costumes and blocking but no line memorization for those plays. The instructor of the class would be up there narrating, and she would say our lines and then we would repeat them.
Do you ever get stage fright? Any rituals you do before a show?
I’ve never gotten stage fright but when I was in seventh grade, I recall being in the school’s production of Godspell and I got so nervous that when the house lights dimmed, I started to tear up. I have no idea why. I didn’t do that in sixth or eighth grade, or really, ever.
I don’t have any rituals but I have a rule: always go to the bathroom before the show starts. Even if you don’t think you have to- try.
What’s your favorite thing about acting?
Aside from completely taking on a character and living their life through the art of storytelling, there’s something very beautiful to me about the aspect of communicating and connecting in live theatre. It’s truly a shared experience. Through acting I communicate with both my scene partners and the audience and I hope that when the audience leaves the theatre, they can feel more connected to other people.
Who inspires you?
The girls who can apply red lipstick in one smooth motion.
How do you find the time to act outside of C-K?
I’m not exactly a “Somebody” in the theatre scene so that means everything I audition for only has rehearsals and performances at nights and weekends.
Tell us about your current play.
The play is called Our Town and it’s a profound study of the way we live. You follow a set of characters in a small town and watch them go about their daily life. You mainly follow a girl named Emily (the character I play) and watch her grow up, fall in love, get married and suddenly Act III opens with her funeral because she passed away during childbirth. She gets to choose a day to relive and when she’s reliving it, she realizes that alive people don’t understand what it truly means to live. We take everything for granted, don’t savor the moments we should and allow time to get faster and faster as we age.