Kristina McNamara on her 16-year-old Chicago dream

I recently caught up with Kristina McNamara who is currently contracted as an off-stage swing in Chicago. What you might not know is that McNamara dreamed of performing in Chicago as a teen. We spoke about Kristina’s journey, which provides some great food for thought for any performer, especially those feeling stuck or lost with their dream jobs. 
Although she started dancing at a young age, it was only ever a hobby for Kristina who fell into a career as a yoga instructor and an HR office worker. 
“I realised it would be a mistake to quit something  I loved so much – dancing. I knew future me would regret letting that go.”
This was confirmed when she saw a performance of Chicago on Broadway and fantasised about dancing in the production. Kristina knew she needed to make some radical changes to transition from the corporate world into that of musical theatre. So, she got organised. She visualised her future and the steps required to make it her reality. By naming her fears she was able to put them aside and focus on the goal. Surrounding herself with like-minded people and taking the time to list what she could offer were two of the most important steps. Armed with an agent, vision board and timelines, Kristina was back out in the world of a performer, auditioning for jobs. It wasn’t long before her dream audition for Chicago, came knocking. By recognising her goal and making it her focus her 16-year-old dream became a reality. 
The achievement of her goal has not been without more life lessons. Kristina discovered that as swing everything you know as being a performer you have to forget. It challenges you to be your best self regardless of what’s thrown at you. 
What advice would Kristina give to anybody else struggling? She says “It is really important to have clear goals. I can speak to this – this year I have done three amazing shows. 
“Have regular check-ins with yourself and ask, “what are the inspiring, invigorating products you believe in? What are the ones that will bring fulfilment?” And review this, if what you set out to achieve is no longer fulfilling, its time to set new goals.”

Peter J Snee

Peter is a British born creative working in the live entertainment industry. He holds an honours degree in Performing Arts and has over 12 years combined work experience in producing, directing and managing artistic programs & events. Peter has traversed the UK, Europe and Australia pursuing his interest in theatre. He is inspired by great stories and passionately driven by pursuing opportunities to tell them.

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