Katherine Hutchins: It's Complicated

February 4, 2024

Photo Credit

Katherine Hutchins


Valerie Lopez


Richard Goodwin


This week’s guest marks anoth­er first for us: a triple threat (improv, stand-up, and act­ing) that — almost from the out­set — admits to not tak­ing any act­ing class­es, or even being entire­ly sure how they got into com­e­dy. Rest assured, Valerie was ready (and some might say com­pet­i­tive­ly chal­lenged”) to tease out just how Kather­ine Hutchins notched all three of those tal­ents into her belt.

We’d nor­mal­ly find a glimpse of an enter­tain­ers future by start­ing at the begin­ning, some­time after birth and mas­ter­ing object permanence. 

Hutchins kicked life off as a res­i­dent of Arkansas, where her father worked at the Wal­mart home office. Now we’ve got a lead, it must have been that her famil­ial envi­ron­ment was rau­cous and ram­bunc­tious, a tale as old as time.

My par­ents aren’t fun­ny peo­ple,” Hutchins says, pre­sum­ably pure­ly to embar­rass this writer, but turns a cor­ner quick­ly in the quick fol­low-up: But my moth­er was silly…I think that’s where I get a lot of my sensibilities.” 

So there we have it, Hutchins clear­ly grew up in world full of mirth and joy, and the sto­ry nat­u­ral­ly unfolds from here. 

I was a very anx­ious child. And teen. And young adult. And…,” Hutchins notes, with the per­fect comedic pause that can only come from the moment you feel your brain catch­ing up to your mouth. Hav­ing moved from Arkansas to Plano, Texas, and diag­nosed with social anx­i­ety, per­form­ing was clear­ly not among her top pursuits. 

Nonethe­less, if you have the bug inside you, it will find a way to get out. (We’re speak­ing of com­e­dy here, not COVID, which Hutchins stayed well away from like any sen­si­ble per­son.) I love writ­ing jokes, it’s the most fun part of it for me,” Hutchins says, and that part of her career start­ed with a boyfriend who (with per­mis­sion!) incor­po­rat­ed things she’d writ­ten into his own stand-up. Sounds like the best of all worlds to me: the pay­off of the audi­ence recep­tion, with none of the stage fright. Anx­i­ety is awe­some, right?

Find­ing out that you’re fun­ny out­side of your own head is a time hon­ored moment for per­form­ers, and we can’t help but won­der if this was it, the pin on the map that marks the turn­ing point.

I’ve always thought I was funny, like, just to myself…it's huge when you realize that other people sometimes agree with you
Katherine Hutchins

Hutchins con­firms: I’ve always thought I was fun­ny, like, just to myself…it’s huge when you real­ize that oth­er peo­ple some­times agree with you”. Alas, poor Hutchins, that was almost a self com­pli­ment, and it turns out we may yet know ye well. 

The tran­si­tion from writ­ing to stage hap­pened with Hutchins sign­ing up — on a whim — for a sketch class at New Move­ment The­atre (now Fall­out The­atre). 2 years lat­er she made the move to improv, and even­tu­al­ly found her way to stand-up in 2019. Is Hutchins, then, one of those sure-foot­ed self starters with a vision board and North star to fol­low in the sky?

If I don’t have some kind of out­side source mak­ing me do it, then I won’t do it,” Hutchins admits. As some­one known for birthing the crowd-favorite seg­ment Com­e­dy Stuck in a Well, and her home­grown char­ac­ter—checks notesWeird Gal Skankovic, we’re tempt­ed to be slight­ly skep­ti­cal. Pause for a moment, though, and it all starts to make sense: put a con­cept front and cen­ter, and that opens up the free­dom (and con­fi­dence) to deliv­er mate­r­i­al with what feels like a com­fy buffer between you and those judg­ing from their seats. Well has been a recur­ring part of (many-time CW guest) Dun­can Carson’s Fall­out Tonight show, which you should most def­i­nite­ly get out to see on Fri­day nights at 9:30.

I realized that all my little dramatic little -isms…are just kind of like…’I can just act, this is what acting is!’
Katherine Hutchins

While we’re com­plete­ly tram­pling pre-con­ceived notions of anx­i­ety, we have to touch on Hutchins’ act­ing career. What was the secret, the cat­a­lyst for jump­ing in front of the cam­era with nary an act­ing class? Once again, Hutchins turned a poten­tial lia­bil­i­ty into a super pow­er: I real­ized that all my lit­tle dra­mat­ic lit­tle ‑isms…are just kind of like…’I can just act, this is what act­ing is!’“ She recent­ly appeared in a pilot shot by (anoth­er CW-guest-alum) Christi­na Par­rish, play­ing an Insta­gram influ­encer for a dog. Now that’s act­ing: some­one who admits they hate putting them­selves out there, step­ping onto a set and trans­form­ing into a char­ac­ter focused on shame­less promotion. 

We find out Hutchins is a fan of film from behind the cam­era as well, as she drops a cur­rent obses­sion on Valerie: the movie It’s Com­pli­cat­ed (why, the 2009 Meryl Streep vehi­cle, of course). Hutchins bare­ly gets to build up steam talk­ing about the flick before time runs short; nev­er fear, she’s plan­ning to show­case more of her notes on stage in the near future.

The inter­view ends on the most per­fect of para­dox­es, with Hutchins — she of the life­long anx­i­ety — respond­ing to what she hopes the future holds: more rejec­tion. I think it would be good for me, would tough­en me up a lit­tle bit,” she admits, not­ing again that, with­out some out­side forces butting in, I’ll just stay in the same place, that I don’t total­ly love [right now]”.

Com­pli­cat­ed, indeed.

Fol­low Katherine

Kather­ine can be seen and heard:

  • Fall­out Tonight — Fri­day nights, 9:30pm at Fall­out Theater 
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Katherine Hutchins