Kathrine Brown: ‘Superpower? Flight. Just imagine the savings on petrol!’

Actor Katherine Brown tells all in our Q&A

Katherine Brown: If you want to do something or get something or achieve something, don’t make excuses for not getting it done
Katherine Brown: If you want to do something or get something or achieve something, don’t make excuses for not getting it done

24 years after moving to Malta in 1996, and 15 pantos later, the half-American actor Katherine Brown has put down roots in school and on stage. She’s currently known for her fun and fantastic YouTube lessons in Math and Science, which she produced with the help of her theatre friends to keep her students interested and engaged while learning from home – most notably the series ‘Math Avengers’.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Generally, remove a cat from somewhere on my person. If I’m lucky, it’s my feet. If I’m unlucky, it’s my face.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

No excuses. If you want to do something or get something or achieve something, don’t make excuses for not getting it done.

What do you never leave the house without?

Clothing. It’s about the only thing I’ve never forgotten!

Pick three words that describe yourself

Teacher, Nerd, Bookworm.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Teaching – those times that I can reach a difficult student and see them achieve. There’s nothing better in the world! I get to be funny, silly, goofy and creative every day. No two days are ever alike and I never know what to expect. I love how my kids make me laugh out loud every day and I could never imagine doing anything else.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Cupcakes. I’ve been known to chase the birthday girl or boy down the hallway for a cupcake!

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Don’t be too stubborn to ask for help. I can’t say that the lesson is complete – I still struggle to ask for help when I need it.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

My sofa. I love it! It has an electric recliner built in and it’s so comfy!

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

Eating healthy is important. I probably wouldn’t have struggles with maintaining a proper diet if I had established healthy habits when I was younger.

Who’s your inspiration?

My students. They teach me so much about overcoming obstacles, looking at the world with wonder, approaching problems from different angles, finding creativity everywhere, laughing at life’s weirdness, un-selfconsciously being yourself, expressing your feelings without reservation, and so much more. I learn from them every day.

What has been your biggest challenge?

When I don’t connect with a student and therefore can’t reach them in the way I would like. It can make you feel like such a failure. There are days when I go home crying because I just can’t figure out how to reach a particular student so that they can achieve. It’s the worst feeling in the world. When that happens, you just have to regroup and try something else tomorrow.

If you weren’t an actor what would you be doing?

I really can’t imagine doing anything else. Teaching is the best job in the world, why would I do anything else?

Do you believe in God?

Usually, though it has been a struggle lately.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

Terry Pratchett. Anyone who has read his books knows what I’m talking about. It would be a privilege to be able to just sit and talk to him about his perspectives on life, death and the universe in general.

What’s your worst habit?

Procrastination.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

Weepy. It’s quite embarrassing, so I don’t get drunk. Inflicting that on my friends is just not what I’d want to do.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Jewel Staite. The Browncoats out there know who I mean!

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Wilful ignorance. I don’t mind if someone doesn’t know something but refusing to educate yourself on a topic because you’d rather cling to your misconceptions is just something that drives me up the wall!

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Selection of Broadway songs – mostly Sondheim.

What is your most treasured material possession?

My books. I have slightly more than 2,000 and I wouldn’t part with a single one of them. I was very glad when e-readers became affordable because I really have run out of room to put more books. I have bookshelves in almost every room in my flat.

What is your earliest memory?

Playing with my sister when I was about 2 or 3. I can’t remember what we were doing but I do remember that we must have been naughty because we got told off!

When did you last cry, and why?

Last week – re-watching a very sad episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Who would you most like to meet?

Right now? My friends! I want a loud, fun get-together with all of my friends! In person!

What’s your favourite food?

Chocolate

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

Um… I really don’t social media.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

Forward! I want to know where we’re going to go in the future and when things are going to get better.

What book are you reading right now?

I’m re-reading my Terry Pratchett ‘Discworld’ books. I’m on ‘A Hat full of Sky’ right now.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Flight. Just imagine the savings on petrol!

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Go back to Cambodia. I really miss going there in the summer and working with the children. I miss it more and more every year.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

The ‘Hamilton’ soundtrack. Great fun.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

On the treadmill, I watch an episode of Dr. Who – I don’t even notice the time go by! In the shower, I often belt out some Broadway classic. I do sometimes feel sorry for my neighbours.

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