[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”23″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_pro_masonry” size=”180″ padding=”10″ ngg_triggers_display=”always” captions_enabled=”0″ captions_display_sharing=”1″ captions_display_title=”1″ captions_display_description=”1″ captions_animation=”slideup” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]Real performers know that the show must go on regardless of any challenges. No one knows this better than Leader resident Kathleen Knight, professional singer and educator. And boy, does she know how to put on a show.
Knight has devoted her entire life to the theater, whether it be performing, teaching, or directing. Knight says she has always known she wanted to be both a performer and an educator. She often thinks back on her first real performance at the age of ten where she played Gretel in her school’s production of Hansel and Gretel.
“My major passion is singing, but I also dance,” said Knight. “I’m no Gwen Verdon, but in roles I’ve done, like in Mary Poppins for Disney, I would sing and dance together.”
Over the years Knight has created an extensive resume that reveals her talent as both a singer and educator. While attending The University of Denver on a vocal scholarship, Knight was claimed Miss Colorado and awarded best classical singer in the Miss America Pageant.
Knight nurtured her passion in every situation and took every opportunity. In 1998 Houston Community College created a drama/music position specifically for Knight and encouraged her to create an entirely new musical theater program. She has since taught many different types of musical theater classes and has directed 25 large scale musicals.
“Teaching is something you do when you have something to teach; so I always wanted to go into the performance profession first, and then become a teacher,” said Knight. “I put all of the performance pizzazz that I’ve learned over the years into my teaching and I think that gives me an edge.”
For a person with so much energy and joy, Knight is not a person you would expect to be living with cancer. Knight says that although the cancer is strong, she is stronger and knows how to manage it so that it does not slow her down or keep her from living life to the fullest.
“I travel to Brazil often to participate in a natural healing, that really works wonders,” said Knight. “I’m feeling fabulous now, although I have decided to slow down just a bit by no longer working my very demanding full time position.”
Although the demands of her illness have created a hurdle in her life, Knight knows how to jump over it. What may be seen as slowing down to some, can also be seen as just changing gears.
“I recently went to a book writing seminar and I’ve already got a big start on my book,” said Knight. “It’s going to be an autobiography, about my journey to healing. We as people help each other by sharing our journeys I think.”
Aside from a new found interest in writing, Knight also continues to perform and teach with all the same energy as before.
“I’m not done working, I’m just taking it a little easier,” said Knight. “But I’ve still got the jazz in me to do it. I am looking to start teaching private singing lessons in my home.”
Knight sings for more than just her career, she also sings to serve others. In fact, she created the College Musical Theatre Operating Fund that works tosupport HCC’s musical theatre program.
“I like to sing with purpose,” said Knight. “I love to sing at fundraisers and to my friends and loved ones when they are in need of some love.”
Although raised in Denver Colorado, Knight says Houston is her home.
“I’ve enjoyed Houston a lot, because it gifted me with one of the best academic jobs that one could have,” said Knight. “Theater is where I have found the greatest form of expression and the greatest happiness, and HCC provided me the opportunity to help others get in the spotlight and feel that joy.”
Knight says one of her fondest memories was helping a student who was majoring in Japanese realize his potential as a performer.
“That conversation lit a spark in him and I coached him with singing and he choreographed for me,” said Knight. “I gave him the leading role in Little Shop of Horrors and he was phenomenal. He went on to become a successful performer.”
Knight teaches with the understanding that no two people learn the same way. “When it comes to performing, one size does not fit all,” said Knight.
“So I’ve become very good at knowing how to get through to different kinds of learners.” Kathleen Knight has created quite a stage for her life and she doesn’t plan to quit or pause the show any time soon.
If readers wish to know more about Kathleen Knight, or want to sign up for private singing lessons with her visit http://kathleenknight.com.