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Meet Katy Sullivan: 2023 Tony Award nominee

Acclaimed actress Katy Sullivan chatted about her 2023 Tony Award nomination for “Cost of Living.”

Katy Sullivan
Katy Sullivan. Photo Credit: Dirt Sugar Photography
Katy Sullivan. Photo Credit: Dirt Sugar Photography

Acclaimed actress Katy Sullivan chatted about her 2023 Tony Award nomination for “Cost of Living.”

She made Broadway history as the first amputee to earn a Tony nod.

Portraying Ani in the play

She opened up about playing Ani in the play. On her favorite part about playing this character, she said, “It’s changed over the years. I was first sent this play over seven years ago and the things I love about her have really evolved with time. I love her sense of humor, even though that can be a weapon to keep people from getting close to her.”

“I love how practical she is,” she admitted. “Ani sees the world very black and white and she doesn’t get emotional about that. It is what it is. But playing her on and off for so long it really is like seeing an old friend at this point.” 

Katy Sullivan: The 2023 Tony nominee

She is nominated for “Best Featured Actress in a Play” for her acting in “Cost of Living.” “To be a theatre kid who dreamed on this from such a young age, it’s an absolute dream come true,” she said. “Especially to get recognition for a role that you originated and taking that role all the way from workshop to Broadway and a Tony nomination on top of that. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

“Any actor would be lucky to be here but to have the added layer of making history is incredibly humbling,” she acknowledged.

Motivations as an actress and performer

Regarding her daily motivations, she said, “I’m motivated by ‘doing the work’, I love digging into a character and every time you get in rehearsal or on stage striving to find something new, a deep layer, another level of truth in the moment. And you get another crack at it the next day. I’m truly motivated by story telling and striving to be the best actor I can possibly be.”  

The digital age

On being an actress and performer in the digital age, now with streaming, technology and social media being so prevalent, she said, “It’s a mixed bag, I think. It can be pretty daunting to feel like you have to figure out that balance between sharing so much of yourself and making sure you’re taking your mental health into account.”

“It’s an exciting time to have access to so much whenever we want but knowing your limits and paying attention to when to take a break is key for me,” she added.

Katy Sullivan: The Paralympian

She also shared her insights about being a Paralympic athlete in track and field. “Honestly, being a Paralympic athlete is probably the most random thing is my life,” she said. “It makes way more sense to be on Broadway than to represent my country on the track.”

“It was an opportunity at a time when there wasn’t a lot going on for performers with disabilities so I just went along for the ride to see where it would go. And I landed at the London Games in 2012,” she said.

“Acting is my first passion but sport taught me so much about my strength, inside and out, and to be so thankful for what this body can accomplish and what it has done for me,” she added.

Advice for hopefuls in acting

For young and aspiring artists and performers, she said, “Work hard. No one is going to care as much about your career as you do so working hard is key. This is a career of people tell you no or ‘they’re going in a different direction’ so figure out ways to keep your self motivated and try to release an attachment to the outcome.”

“Easier said than done but if you can show up, be present, and leave knowing you worked your hardest, there’s nothing to get in the way of your success. And nothing to regret,” she added.

Success

On her definition of the word success, Sullivan said, “It can be a range of things but at the end of the day, I believe a successful person is someone who has achieved a level notoriety so that they can continue to do their work without having to worrying about how to make ends meet. It’s hard for artists to get to that place.”

“To me, success means I just get to keep making my art and the rest figures itself out,” she added.

Closing thoughts on ‘Cost of Living’

Sullivan concluded about “Cost of Living,” “There are so many things that I hope people took away from Cost of Living but I think the number one would be to maybe have a little bit more kindness and empathy for what people around you are going through. Getting a small does of perspective on how fragile life is and how at the end of the day, we all need someone.” 

To learn more about 2023 Tony nominee Katy Sullivan, follow her on Instagram.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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