Teen Seen-Kristin Battersby

Filed under: Dancing, Young Adult (YA)

For awhile now, I’ve wanted to start doing teen interviews.  I’ve had the urge to do this for a couple reasons. The first is that I’m fortunate enough to know some very amazing teens and they always astound me.  The more I learn about them–the more I want to learn.  In fact, I’m usually so impressed, I want to share them with the rest of the world.  

There is a second reason I decided to do this kind of an interview–I write for teens and I’m friends with a whole bunch of folks who do the same thing. *grin*  I know for a fact that they’re always looking for ways to get into the heads of young adults.  As YA writers, we always want to know teenagers as readers, but we also want to dissect them and use their parts in our writing. I mean this in a completely non-bloody, kinda nice way.

I hope you love what can happen when a teen can be seen…

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a Teen Seen interview, but this one has been in the works for a while and I’m really excited to share it with you. Meet Kristin Battersby.  Kristin and I got to know each other by dancing together.  I’m missing her now that  she’s busy being a college freshman, but I loved finding out more about her than I ever knew. She’s so amazing I’m dying to share her with you…

My name Kristin Battersby, and I am seventeen years of age. I graduated high school not too long ago, and come this fall, I will make a fresh start at SUNY New Paltz. My major is undecided right now, but that’s only because there is so much I want to try that I don’t know quite where to begin… I’ve experienced a lot in the time that I’ve had, and I want to do my best to not only keep those experiences as close as possible, but also to expand on them and share them with others.

The theatre is a huge part of my life. It began with my parents, my mom acted in high school, and my father still acts to this day. I fell in love with the stories performers told, and I began to act once I was able to. Since then, I’ve had several roles in not only school shows, but in readings I’ve done locally. I’ve even been paid for my work, which is thrilling to me because I’d love to someday be in a movie or on the stage professionally. I don’t just like to act though, I dance (with you, Kimmie! =D), I write, and I work behind the scenes.

Kristin is a wiz in a dance production of the Wizard of Oz.

I also love music. I love to listen to it, and I love to make my own. I can sort of read sheet music, but I’m much more accustomed to playing by ear. RIght now I play the piano and the guitar, and I love to sing. 

Literature is one of my greatest friends. I read books upon books, and then I read them over again. I’ve been playfully teased about my taste, my favorite books tend have flecks of romance twisted into pain-filled storylines, and there is usually a happy ending. My favorite books are also the ones that capture very pure moments of the living experience.

I love to travel! My family has driven across the US and back over a period of six weeks, and I hope to do it again on my own. I’ve also always wanted to see India, Greece, and Egypt. Maybe someday I’ll find a travel buddy and we’ll have ourselves a nice trip.

And just so you know… I’m a very passionate person. I let things excite me and I’m not afraid to show emotion. I care deeply about others and the world around me. I am consumed with the beauty of life, and every experience to me is worthwhile. I am full of happiness and energy, and I’d like to think it shows.

Wow! I so want to be you when I grow up. I’ve always had this little bit of envy come over me when I watch you. You are so insanely comfortable being who you are. It’s taken me 41 years to get even a snatch of that. BTW-hats off to your parents for nurturing that in you. 

So, first tell me what the best role is you’ve played and what your dream role would be. 
And for the record, I believe you will chase down everyone of your dreams and perhaps a few more. (((hugs)))

Aw, thanks Kim! 

The best role I played would be Smitty in Play On!  

Kristin as Smitty

It’s a show about a theatre getting ready to present a show where nothing is going right. Smitty is a ditzy student who plays the British maid, Doris, in the play within the play. It was a comedic role because Smitty, like everyone else in the show, gets progressively worse at her part at the show continues. I worked with a great cast, all very supportive and talented people. Switching between the two different characters was fast paced and crazy, but it was the most fun I have ever had in a role.

My dream role would be either Mrs. Lovett of Sweeney Todd or Velma Kelly of Chicago. Both roles have a slightly maniacal side to them, Mrs. Lovett because of her unrequited love for Sweeney and Velma because of her crimes. I’d like Mrs Lovett because she has beautiful vocal parts, and I would also love to portray her forlorn affections. Velma Kelly would be great because I would be able to incorporate dance into the role, and she’s kind of obnoxious, so I’d like to try something like that.

I really want to see you act now!!!!  I know this is an interview, but you’ve got me so inspired–I have a million questions to ask. Favorite book of all time? What author would you kill to meet? And lastly, what do authors writing YA today get wrong? What should we know about that we are missing?

My favorite book of all time is I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. It’s the story of a failure of a young man who is chosen to be an anonymous caregiver to people in his town, some who he has never met, and some who he is very close to. It’s a beautiful story, and the writing style is one that I find positively captivating. Meeting Markus Zusak would be spectacular.

I feel that YA authors often stereotype teens as wanting to leave their lives and never return. The characters often feel no need to return to family to check up or help out, especially parents. They’re shown as attempting to forget everything by using drugs and alcohol. I think kids are most commonly portrayed as rebels when they should be seen as people trying to learn about themselves and where they fit into the grand scheme of things.

Ooooo I haven’t read that one, but it’s going one my list ASAP! As for the rest, I sort of believe that some people run away to get to a better place and some people run away from making a better place. Sometimes I think it’s hard to know which category we fall in at any time. I know that I learned a lot as person from watching my parents step up and take care of their parents. That is how I knew who to be when my dad got sick and died. 

Speaking of my Dad, he played by ear. Put himself through college playing the accordion. I know that my writing has given me a voice for the first time. What does music do for you? 

Music is a way for me to create something, something I can pour my emotions into. If I want to express pain, or beauty, or simplicity, there is a way to do it with my own personal touches. It is also a pleasure to be able to play songs people know and to have everyone sing along while you support their voices with the instrument. It’s a great feeling, and I love being a part of those moments.

You have such an affinity for the arts across the board, I feel compelled to ask. In today’s day and age where the focus in school seems to be testing and budget cuts seem to take more and more from the all areas of the arts, I was wondering if teens are feeling the impact? How do you feel this effects the lives of teenagers?
Of course teens are feeling the impact. Many of them find solace in joining clubs and sports teams that they feel they contribute to, and sometimes, these clubs can be their only motivation to keep coming to classes. Arts are the first thing to go, because most scholarships come from the athletics department. Teens who don’t excel in school or in sports (which is, I would say, a majority) will likely lose interest in school if the Art Club or Drama Club is cut. Each student is different, and I believe that all clubs should be kept throughout budget cuts. Funding for such activities could come from students themselves, because if they’re dedicated, of course they’ll contribute.
I also believe that learning should not be all bookwork, but also experience. If teachers and parents want their students to be well rounded and fit for the “real world”, sports and art programs should always be available and encouraged.

I couldn’t agree more.  And by the way, I love this last picture of you.  It’s like we get a sneak peek into the real you.  Kristin, thank you so much for being interviewed.  I’m so lucky to know you and I hope college is everything you hoped it would be.  I’m looking forward to seeing everything beautiful that you’re going to add to the world. 

I’ve never done this before on a Teen Seen interview, but I’d like to add something new–please feel free to leave Kristin a comment–in fact I encourage it.  I think it’s important that we support the amazing young adults who are brave enough to be seen.

Tags: , ,


3 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. Great interview with a great teen! Kristin, you have a wonderful outlook on life. I wish you every success. 🙂

  2. She is really an amazing soul-you'd love her Linda!

  3. Thanks Linda, that means so much to me! 🙂

Leave a Reply

By submitting this comment you consent to your contact details being stored in accordance with this website's Privacy Policy.

  1. Now Available

    Touching the Surface
  1. Follow Kimberly


  1. Archives



    agent Anica Rissi Apocalypsies blogging Bookanistas Book Review Class of 2k12 Conferences Contest Dad drafting Ellen Hopkins giveaway Jane Yolen Jodi Moore John Green Kimberly Sabatini Kimmiepoppins Kim Sabatini LA11SCBWI laurie halse anderson Lin Oliver Michelle Wolfson NaNoWriMo Oblong Books reading revision running SCBWI Simon and Schuster Simon Pulse The Class of 2k12 The Opposite of Gravity Touching the Surface WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN by Jodi Moore Wolf Pack Wolfson Literary writing writing style YA Author YA Book YA Books YA Novel YA Outside the Lines YA Writer
  1. Links

  1. The Apocalypsies
    The Class of 2K12