By Wendy Lamm
Theatre Arts professor at East Los Angeles College Kelley Hogan was inspired to pursue acting because she grew up watching plays with her father.
At the age of 23, Hogan moved to London to attend the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art to get her professional acting certificate.
“It was a given at an early age that I loved performing and entertaining,” said Hogan.
“I did ballet when I was a little girl, so I would always have recitals where I have to perform. I was definitely a theater girl,” she continued.
After she attended LAMDA, Hogan went back home in Scottsdale, Arizona to do some acting to get her Equity Card.
The Equity Card is proof of membership in the Actors’ Equity Association, which is a union to protect the rights of stage actors and stage managers in the United States.
Hogan moved to New York City then to Los Angeles to expand her knowledge of theater.
She performed in a few plays in both cities, but felt like she wanted to pursue her career in the United Kingdom.
Hogan moved back to London where she did more acting and worked as a tour guide.
When it came to Shakespeare’s London tour, Hogan loved taking tourists to walk along the banks of the River Thames and often recited Shakespeare for the tourists.
“Shakespeare is my guy. I find him so relevant in everything I do, all day long,” said Hogan. “He fills you up with creativity,” she continued.
Hogan then went and did radio dramas, where she sat behind a microphone and performed only with dialogue and sound effects.
She performed in “Murder After Midnight,” where she had roles of being an American serial killer, police or a victim. She also performed in “The Ghosts of London,” where she told ghost stories live.
“I really enjoyed radio dramas, but I was always playing the American,” said Hogan. “I went to theater school to learn how to do Shakespeare, but I never got a chance to do Shakespeare in London,” said Hogan. “It was my dream.”
Hogan moved back to Los Angeles where she figured doing theater was not going to make her much money. She decided to become a theater professor and taught at a few schools and colleges.
Hogan eventually became an adjunct at ELAC in 1995, and started a summer Shakespeare workshop in 1996.
“It’s incredible to watch students immersed in Shakespeare,” said Hogan.
“It’s like another foreign language in the beginning, but by the end of the course, they totally understand it,” Hogan continued.
“I do think it is about turning out students who grew up in a not so beautiful area who have an appreciation for beauty,” said Hogan.
“Theater and Shakespeare gives you this beauty that you may not have in your life. It lifts you in a world that doesn’t exist,” she added.