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Pictou County acting hopeful is off to study at Humber College in Toronto

Katherine Hope Basile
Katherine Hope Basile

Katherine Hope Basile is a star in the north shore Nova Scotia galaxy.

She has been radiating her calm beauty from behind the counter at the LBR grocery store near Barneys River for several years now.

Soon she’ll be on a trajectory towards Toronto. Kate, as she is known in the neighbourhood, has long nurtured a desire to become an actor. “It’s all I think of when I wake up,” she confided as she shared some of her journey to fulfil her dream.

After a chance encounter at the LBR three years ago, Basile agreed to help a local filmmaker finish a movie. She wanted to find out more about the process. Getting involved with the project made her vocation became clearer. She wanted to be in front of the cameras.

Eventually she was cast in a role in the film. After getting her feet wet on location in the woods of Merigomish, she set her sights on professional training. Today she is preparing to begin a program at Humber College in Toronto. The path to enrolling there has been full of challenges that will likely give her much-needed resilience as she pursues her thespian career.

First, when uncertain about how to proceed, Basile asked for help. She availed herself of friends in the area who have expertise. Vivi Chediac, a much-esteemed choir director gave her singing instruction. This led to involvement in the local dinner theatre where Basile distinguished herself as one of the most entertaining players in a very strong company.

During a winter semester she went up to study Shakespeare at StFX in Antigonish. Sitting in on professor Paul Marquis’s classes, she sought guidance there too as she got ready to audition for the famed British Theatre school RADA. Over the course of two years she carefully chose her monologues, then rehearsed them religiously.

She even took a trip to London, England, to get a feel for where she hoped to study. Her resolve deepened as she explored the city, attending shows at the Royal National Theatre there.

Back home, Basile performed her monologues during the Karen Lynn Variety Show at the Lismore community centre. She thrilled audiences with her engaging interpretations of comedic contemporary bits, musical numbers and serious Shakespeare scenes.

When the time came for her to head to the RADA auditions, held in New York City, she was more than ready. She even had a back-up plan. She also presented herself to Canada’s National Theatre School the same week in Halifax.

The day after her tryout in the Big Apple, she was jubilant. “I nailed it!” She shared over the phone. The audition for Canada’s National Theatre school, like many second nights in show business, was not as fun for her but she took everything in stride: “I didn’t feel as focused, but I know more about what I want to work on,” she reflected.

Her grace and poise in the face of bitter disappointment when she was not accepted to RADA or the National Theatre School are a sure sign of the staying power she has. She didn’t miss a shift at the LBR. Undaunted by her rejections, Basile took to heart the counsel of the director of RADA who had responded personally to her audition in a letter. He suggested she get more experience, then audition again. So that is exactly what Katherine Hope Basile is doing. She has enrolled at Humber College in Toronto. She will be begin the next part of her trajectory this fall.

Kate will be missed at the LBR. There, a few days before her departure, a good friend, Lois Thompson, embraced her. “This is great! You chose the perfect place to hone your craft. You are an inspiration.”

Basile embodies her middle name. Here’s to a local star shining bright beyond our maritime constellations… stay tuned for more on her journey.

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