When we were told that, as a part of sessions, we would have to interview a member of the executive committee I got immediately nervous, thinking “oh my! what questions will I ask?” and “who will I get? I don’t even know who is on the committee!” It was at that moment that I realised exactly why we were doing this task. If I don’t know who’s on our Executive Committee, how on earth is everyone else meant to!
So welcome to my blog post on the secretary of TheatreiNQ: Kellie Esling. (Fingers crossed I asked all the right questions haha!)
I met Kellie in 2021 when I did my first show with TheatreiNQ, Blood Will Have Blood. I remember getting rostered on a park shift together and being super nervous, of course I knew of her, but I didn’t really know her at all. And it was from that moment onwards that I have truly looked up to Kellie as an actor, but also as an admirable human being.
So, who is Kellie Esling. Well let me tell you!
Kellie was born and raised in Ingham and started her love for acting when she was 11, performing in the Ingham Theatre Restaurants. She has always adored the theatre and it has always been constant throughout her life.
She moved to Townsville after high school to attend James Cook University, studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in two areas: Italian and Theatre. Her practical Theatre classes were shared with the Bachelor of Theatre cohort and this is where she met some of the most prolific members of the company now, including the artistic director of TheatreiNQ: Terri Brabon.
Kellie went on to perform with Townsville Little Theatre for sometime before joining Tropic Line Theatre under the direction of Jean-Pierre Voos. When Jean-Pierre sadly passed away in 2008, Terri Brabon and Brendan O'Connor decided to take on Shakespeare Under the Stars and incorporate the event as its own company. Kellie remembers the whole thing starting in a coffee shop, with 8 or so people around the table talking about how they would begin this journey.
“If Jean-Pierre could see what is happening, part of him would be frightened!
But he would be so proud.”
A new company was created; three years later, a building was sourced and TheatreiNQ became what it is today! Kellie remembers having to keep set pieces and props at her house when the company didn’t have a home, and now look where we are, a beautiful building that highlights all the hard work that has come before it.
“I wish I had the chance to have been a part of something like this when I was younger.”
Kellie has always been a constant throughout TheatreiNQ. She was there when the idea was first hatched, she was there when the idea came to fruition and she has been there every step of the way ever since. And to be frank, she was a constant even before TheatreiNQ was a thing, as one of Terri’s best friends ever since university and throughout Tropic Line was something Kellie kept reiterating:
“I love my friend, but I also love what this company represents.”
Kellie has been in a plethora of TheatreiNQ shows; 14 to be correct! But I don’t think there has been many where she hasn’t been involved in some way. Her most recent production was Blood Will Have Blood where she played Cecily Neville, I really hope you saw that one because she was incredible!
In true TheatreiNQ fashion, Kellie has done it all. Whilst she may be the Secretary on paper and an actor by nature, she has also had her share of stage managing, helping out with front of house and also assisting with the costuming when she can. She puts her hand up to assist with anything and everything. She is such a selfless person and I admire that immensely about her.
Now, how could I interview an actor without asking them if they had a favourite line from a play! And Kellie most certainly did: "Better a witty fool than a foolish wit." This line is from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and not only does she love this line of text but it also resonates with her: “Sometimes people can take my enthusiasm and exuberance as unintelligence, but I would rather be taken that way than the opposite''.
I asked Kellie if she had any advice for the next generation and if she has something that she wished she knew when she was younger. She said:
“What is meant for you will not pass you by. You are enough, in everything”
This quote captures Kellie completely. She is unapologetically herself, so incredibly genuine and truly believes these quotes. I admire her so, so, so, so, much!
And now, I suppose you’re wondering what she’s been up to recently. Currently, Kellie is a mum to Jacob and Declan (her most important job) but she is also working as a school officer and recently became a marriage celebrant! (So if anyone is in need, she will make your special day incredible!)
But of course, she’s at TheatreiNQ whenever she can be. She is a part of the foundation of this company and will forever be involved. I can’t wait to keep working with her, and next time you see her, ask her a question or two, I’m sure you won’t regret it.
And, don’t forget to keep updated with TheatreiNQ and keep your eyes peeled for more blogs to come! Who will be next I wonder!