Actress Kristine Knowlton: “More and more people are becoming homeless with nowhere to go; If I could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people it would be to start a Tiny House Community in every county of every state”

Yitzi Weiner
Jul 18, 2019 · 21 min read
Image for post
Image for post

If I could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people it would be to start a Tiny House Community in every county of every state. More and more people are becoming homeless with nowhere to go. Every shelter is overflowing and turning away people left and right.

People coming together through the community to build Tiny Houses to give people a little ray of hope. No one chooses to be homeless. And no one chooses where they are homeless. I live in New Jersey and everything is extremely expensive. One medical bill alone can make a person homeless which isn’t right. Some people are lost or have even been separated from their families due to nowhere to live. People should feel like they have a place and a purpose in life.

My idea would be to give people jobs that need them in building these Tiny Houses. They would be equipped with running water using a rain filtration system and electricity provided by solar panels. Think about it, we would need builders, electricians, carpeteners, painters — everyone would have their purpose in building a Tiny House Community. Even if people didn’t have the skill to build or paint, they can be taught, therefore broadening their skills on their resumes and hopefully hired by local companies or perhaps even the union.

The Tiny Houses wouldn’t just be houses. People have to eat too. Creating fruit and vegetable gardens would also come into play. This could be a community garden as well as having free-standing fruit and vegetable gardens. Also, creating greenhouses for year round vegetation would be ideal. Many food banks run out of food and it’s not right in the day and age for anyone to go hungry, but it happens. Having fruit and vegetable gardens would just be the start. I look at this idea and plan to end homelessness as well as feeding the hungry.


As a part of my interview series with popular culture stars, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kristine Knowlton. Kristine has been a part of many stage productions, film, television, commercials, voice-overs, improv and stand-up comedy. She is most known for her voice in the animated series, “Global Guardians” where she voices the role of Density. Kristine is now focusing on her stand-up comedy as well as sketch comedy and improv.


Thank you so much for joining us Kristine! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

As an only child growing up in the 80’s, the best thing I had was my imagination and friends who inspired me to keep doing what I’m doing. My best friend Jessica and I would love to put on radio shows and also pretend that we had a radio station was one of my favorite childhood memories. I remember we used to get a ton of my parents records and we would play them on my Care Bears record player, which I still have, and just pretend we were Radio DJs. We would announce the songs and dedications as well as make up our own commercials for things that were infront of us or just make up stuff out of thin air. We would also take a boombox from time to time and record these shows onto tapes which we would then listen to over and over. Jessica was the kind of person you just let your imagination run with and she would always be there to execute any ideas.

I can also recall a time we were pretending to be Spies and booby-trapped a room with clear dental floss. As cool as it was, we also has cornered ourselves in and it was a nightmare getting out of that room. She got the floss right between her eyes and I almost lost my head, but we laughed the whole time. Don’t get us wrong like we were just Barbie playing girls — we were always riding bikes, making tree houses and forts, swimming, fishing, camping….one time we even invented seatbelts for our swings, which was a disaster, but it was a creative disaster.

Having parents that also allowed me to watch anything was great. I never had a rating on movies

and was shielded from anything. I was never told I couldn’t watch something because I was too young. I fell in love with Madeline Kahn when I was probably four years old watching Mel Brook’s “Blazing Saddles”. I loved her character of Lili Von Shtupp. For me, back then as a child, it was the music and costumes that really caught my eye. Madeline Kahn was so beautiful too. That and we had all the channels back then which I think included HBO and Cinemax were the first ones out.

Another funny thing and this probably should have been on Kids Say the Darndest Things. My mom and I went to her bank and used the drive up window. She sent her deposit in and I looked through the window and yelled out, “Mom that lady looks like Tootsie!”. I couldn’t have been no more then six or seven. She didn’t know what to do laughing wise or yelling wise. I had no clue the intercom went both ways and people in the bank could hear it. She then had asked me if I knew who Tootsie was and I replied, “Dustin Hoffman who was a man.”

I just loved playing and being someone else, I just wanted to become an actor. From being a Radio DJ to being a Spy and beyond, it just felt like it was meant to be. Also, Halloween was and still is my favorite holiday, so dressing in costumes would also be a part of the acting bug.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

The most interesting story that happened in my career would be the time I was a guest out at the San Diego Comic Con and was on the Besame Cosmetics panel for Agent Carter. I am not only an actor, but a professional cosplayer as well and this is how I became a part of this panel. It was one of the best times I have had so far in my career. It was two dreams come true into one. I had received professional passes into the San Diego Comic Con and got to work with the head of Besame, Gabriela Hernandez who created the wonderful lipstick, 1941 Victory Red which was worn by Hayley Atwell in Captain America as well as the television show Agent Carter. At the end of the panel, we had an amazing autograph session with the fans and they were all amazing. So, why would this be interesting in my acting career path? This provided an amazing opportunity to meet other people in the same industry and make some connections while on the West Coast. I have said before, when an opportunity comes up, you should take it because it may only come around once in a lifetime.

I am a cosplayer under the name, Carter Cosplay. I have been cosplaying for many years now. I mostly cosplay as Agent Carter from Captain America: The First Avenger as well as Agent Carter the television show. Being able to make and wear vintage clothing would not be complete without the line of Vintage makeup from Besame Cosmetics. I was like a kid on Christmas when I got the news that I was going to be not only on a panel with the maker and creator of Besame Cosmetics, but the panel was out at the biggest comic cons in the United States. In nerdom, I totally leveled up.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The funniest mistake I have made when I was first starting would be auditioning for an all Jewish cast show and not being Jewish. I was just going on auditions left and right, just starting out and I had no clue that there were certain shows that had cast this way. I did not book a part or even get in the chorus, but years after that, I began playing and getting type casted as Jewish. In “Coffee with God” I played the role of Rozlon, which was meant to be played by someone Jewish and that particular show ended up winning multiple awards that night including best in cast. Later, I went on to play Woman 1 in Jason Robert Brown’s “Songs for a New World” which had a total Jewish vibe to the character. Then onto a movie, “Pembrook” playing the role of Alice Rosenburg. I found this mistake to be a good one. The lesson I learned was to take a chance, you never know what will happen. I have also been part of choirs for years and interesting enough, my favorite language to sing in is Hebrew.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I am working on a lot of new projects as well as on-going projects. Right now the most interesting and exciting projects that I am working on is doing more improv and stand-up comedy. I have been working with Unity’s Theatre Troupe since February doing improv and we have some amazing things coming up for performances around Atlantic City. I have been doing improv for almost 20 years now which is one of my favorite things to do. Stand-up comedy I am rather new to and have booked several paying gigs which has been amazing so far. My great friend Iggy who is also a comedian and plays with his band, Lick My Soul, him and his wife, Kelly opened up their house to do a comedy show this past winter which I got to be part of and looking forward to more shows there in the future!

I do attend many open mic nights as well because you have to be seen to be booked. A great friend of mine and mentor, Michelle Tomko of Tomkomedy, Best Comedian of Atlantic City, hosts open mic night every other Tuesday at Bourre in Atlantic City and has just been great on this journey and so helpful in many ways. Michelle is a true inspiration to me in getting started and pursing stand-up comedy.

In theatre news, I am doing some decades shows out at the Blue Moon Theatre of Woodstown, where I get to sing and perform comedy. Cheryl and Joe Stark that own the theatre let me write my own material for the decade shows. The material I have written has been based in the decades such as when we did the Speakeasy, all of my material I had written was for the 1920’s. They have been such wonderful supporters in my acting path as well as my comedy career.

Filming wise, Maiden Star Entertainment, the company my fiancee, Michael Sweeney, and I own, will be script writing this summer and getting ready to film again in the fall. We like to shoot all kinds of movies and we’re hoping to have anothing horror short film ready for Halloween under Trick-or-Treat Films. We have already shot some promos for our friend, Pickles the Clown. I’ve also just got done shooting at 1920’s flashback scene where I play a gangster in the film, “Deep Undead” by Sharkey Video directed by David Castiglione, which should be out this October for private screenings.

Voice-overs are going great and hope that I can get into some more animated shows this fall as a reocurring characters. Looks like the 3-D world for Global Guardians by Mind World Entertainment is coming along great and I cannot wait to get started recording for the role of Density again. Density is one of my most favorite characters to play.

Cosplaying events are also coming up on the horizon. I am a cosplay guest out at Wild Con, Jersey Shore Comic Book Show, FanCon and my third year out the the Ocean City Con in Maryland! I am always looking to be apart of my comic cons for cosplay, art and panels. One of my most popular panels which will be at Wild Con, FanCon and Ocean City Con is “Cosplay is for Everyone” where I explain what cosplay is, how to get started, cosplay positivity and more! I cosplay under the name of Carter Cosplay and have been a guest at over 100 events including San Diego Comic Con. Whatever character I cosplay, I become that character. Acting has helped so much as well as being a part of interactive theatre.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

I have worked with many interesting people and companies. The most interesting people I have interacted with would be the directors, cast and patrons of the New Jersey Renaissance Faire. This has been my home faire for about seven years now, six of which I have been the returning character, Lady Buella Percy, sister to the Duke of Northumberland, now known as Lady Buella Percy the Countess of Cheshire and every year I learn so much from everyone. People think Renaissance Faire as people putting on costumes and shows, but there is way more to it then what you would think. In fact, the New Jersey Renaissance Faire is one of the many places that molded me in improv and interactive theatre. Being on stage and playing a character is one thing, but when you develop a character and raise it and set it loose in a village, it’s a whole new world. The Faire holds auditions in January, starts rehearsing in February and opens at the end of May. That is a lot of time and dedicated people to make the faire come to life. We cannot have a villiage if we do not know one another. We start developing our character from the first rehearsal and build on it throughout the many weeks of rehearsals. Once we get into our costumes, er rather our clothing, the characters really start coming alive. Sometimes that just happens with just a simple hat or prop our characters have. It’s really great getting to work with the New Jersey Renaissance Faire year after year.

Patrons have commented on how well this faire is and how amazing the actors are. The directors are amazing for putting it together and work very hard to make this an amazing faire. I consider this one of my most happiest places and will keep returning as long as the faire should run.

I have tons of stories to tell and will leave you with this one: One day in at the West Windsor Renaissance Faire, I had been laying on my stomach over a couple stacks of hay, now mind you, I play a Lady in Waiting. I have kicking my legs up, showing the world my knee socks and bloomers when do comes up behind me but the Duchess herself, and said, “Buella, that is not how a Lady sits properly upon the hay.” And I replied, “’Tis no fun to sit properly, but wilth thou teach me how a Lady should sit properly upon the hay?” She procceeds to the hay stack in front of me, sits down, crosses her ankles. Just then, a big gust of wind comes and blows her skirt over her head. I was laughing and said, “So that is how a Lady sits properly upon the hay…” She replied, “Shut up, Buella…” And every time she tries to teach me something it backfires.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

The biggest tip I would recommend to my colleagues in my industry to help them trive and not “burn out” would be to go and live life. There is just so much rehearsing, video submissions, social media, auditions one can take. Spend time with your family and friends.

Social media plays a big part in todays lifestyle and we’ve all gotten lost in it for hours, days and even weeks, but you need a break. Go for a walk, see a show, go to the movies, read a book, work in the garden, go ghost hunting — whatever you need to take a break, do it. Go explore the world, or your back yard. Everyone needs a day off here and there.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with projects and auditions, it’s ok to say no. Now I know I am contradicting myself saying take every opportinity, it may be a once in a lifetime chance, but your health and happiness should come first. If it’s no longer fun or you’re getting “burnt out” take a step back and see what you can do to get to the level of where you are enjoying acting again. We’ve all been there and we want it all, just sometimes we need a break. We need to recharge our batteries.

For example, I find having a balanced instagram with working photos such as bts (behind the scenes) and new projects are great, but why not explore the world and post photos of places you’ve been or your hobbies and art. People will find you more fascinating as a person and want to work with you more if they could see another dimension in your life.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

If I could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people it would be to start a Tiny House Community in every county of every state. More and more people are becoming homeless where no where to go. Every shelter is overflowing and turning away people left and right.

People coming together through the community to build Tiny Houses to give people a little ray of hope. No one chooses to be homeless. And no one chooses where they are homeless. I live in New Jersey and everything is extremely expensive. One medical bill alone can make a person homeless which isn’t right. Some people are lost or have even been separated from their families due to nowhere to live. People should feel like they have a place and a purpose in life.

My idea would be to give people jobs that need them in building these Tiny Houses. They would be equipped with running water using a rain filtration system and electricity provided by solar panels. Think about it, we would need builders, electricians, carpeteners, painters — everyone would have their purpose in building a Tiny House Community. Even if people didn’t have the skill to build or paint, they can be taught, therefore broadening their skills on their resumes and hopefully hired by local companies or perhaps even the union.

The Tiny Houses wouldn’t just be houses. People have to eat too. Creating fruit and vegetable gardens would also come into play. This could be a community garden as well as having free-standing fruit and vegetable gardens. Also, creating greenhouses for year round vegetation would be ideal. Many food banks run out of food and it’s not right in the day and age for anyone to go hungry, but it happens. Having fruit and vegetable gardens would just be the start. I look at this idea and plan to end homelessness as well as feeding the hungry.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“I advise you to stop sharing your dreams with people who try to hold you back, even if they’re your parents. Because, if you’re the kind of person who senses there’s something out there for you beyond whatever it is you’re expected to do — if you want to be EXTRA-ordinary- you will not get there by hanging around a bunch of people who tell you you’re not extraordinary. Instead, you will probably
become as ordinary as they expect you to be.”
― Kelly Cutrone, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You

This life lesson quote has been relevant in my life and means so much to me. As an overweight person, I was always told, “You can’t act, you’re too fat” and “Fatty’s can’t do that”. Those words hurt and I had let them hurt me for so long. Almost all the people I knew and went to school with, I felt held me back. Instead of seeing me for who I was and my talents, I was just brushed aside like another fat kid. I did not know until later in life, I could have just brushed those people off and cut them out of my life. I do have to say, on the family side, they have always been supportive of me and my dreams.

Growing up heavy really stunk. To me, it just said, “Stay inside, the world doesn’t want you”. And that’s really hard especially when you’re just a kid. I did still do theatre and choir, which choir was my absolute favorite class in the world. Singing and having your voices become one felt like I finally belonged somewhere.

I also booked my first commercial at age 10 and is still run on NJN a local channel for recycling and cleaning up the environment. My classmates and I did a fantastic job and when it was edited, I had received the most time on camera. This really had boosted up my confidence. The commercial had went on to win an award for best environmental clean up commercial in the whole United States. We were presented with a second place trophy which I got to hold when the newspaper took our picture.

Years later, I started taking professional singing lessons and went on to win talent competitions throughout the tri-state area. Once I started competing in just the talent portions of beauty pageants and sweeping the awards, I started entering all the categories that pageants had to offer. One by one, I started winning titles and being a guest a numerous shows. It was honor and to this day, I still hold my title for Miss Hemisphere and Miss Jersey Shore Idol. From there, I felt like it was unstoppable and I could do anything I put my mind to.

I then returned to the stage. I was in numerous Shakespeare productions with lead roles, The Vagina Monologues and let's face it, when you are in that show, you’re no longer shy to say anything in front of a room full of strangers, “Coffee With God”, Jason Robert Brown’s A New World — I just kept wanting more and more I got.

After many years on the stage, I returned to film, television and commercials. Leading up to my main passion today, voice-overs. I have done handfuls of medical voice-overs for companies. I have also done the voice of a ten year old girl for a film, “Phone Call from a Stranger”. My greatest voice-over is for an animated series, “Global Guardians” by Mind World Entertainment where I play the role of Density.

Having met and cut so many other people out of my life has been a joy and I have been able to achieve so much. Again, this quote means everything to me and when I feel like I’m being held back, I re-read it and make decisions to better my life and career. You do not need toxic people in your life.

My fiancee and I have multiple companies, Maiden Star Entertainment which houses our film companies, One Last Breath Productions, Trick-or-Treat Films as well as Cluster Geek which is a geeky, gaming blog. I’ve gotten to write, act, direct, edit and produced a good chunk of films as well as ZombieTV which is where the Walking Dead meets Saturday Night Live. One our films, “M is for Maleficent” was entered into a short film competition. We didn’t win, but we did get picked up for a compilation DVD called, “The World of Death” which is available now. The movie also went on to stream and play in Germany as well as London. We could not have done this without our support team of Jon Foster, Brett Walker, his daughter, Sarah Walker and of course our composer, Matthew LoRe.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I don’t think there is just one person who has helped me to get to where I am. I think being an actor, comedian — all the above comes from everyone around you. Everyone that I have ever worked with has made me achieve success. All of my teachers, acting coaches, school teachers have all made in impact in my life. I would just love to thank everyone that I have ever met and had the pleasure of working with. The biggest person I would be grateful for would be my mom for giving birth to me and supporting me through my entire life.

Going all the way back to the 8th grade, if it had not been for Mrs. McGrath’s English class, I would never had gotten into improv. The class I was in was advanced and we finished our readings and tests for the semester early, so she took us outside one day. There, I was first introduced to improv which I fell in love with on the spot. We were holding court for Goldie Locks and the Three Bears. I was chosen to play Goldie Locks. Goldie Locks was put on trial for breaking and entering the bears home. Just being able to come up with great answers on the spot, I knew improv was something I would grow into.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)

This one was a touch one to answer and yes, I changed my answer like a million times.The person who I would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with would be, it’s just so hard to choose one person, so I would probably say Amber Nash and Judy Greer from the hit television show, Archer because I think that they are amazing, strong and funny females. I would benefit from any conversation with them. I am a huge fan of the show Archer and cosplay Cheryl Tunt/Charlotte Vandertunt (I love the 1940s) and Pam Poovey which is just insane and I love it! I have been fans of them for quite sometime. I’m not the drooling type or one that would even put this out there. Kind of shocked I am doing in here. Judy Greer is just phenomenal as an actor and I love that she does voice-overs also. And Amber Nash is just damn hysterical! Her and I have a lot in common when it comes to improv. I believe in an older article she was in, she stated that improv is a key feature that people are looking for now and days with doing voice-overs. I think I have a good lead on that doing improv for nearly 20 years now with a passion to do more voice-overs. I really also love the way their lives are balanced or so it seems on the internet. They are multi-talented actors and I just would love to meet them sometime. Actually, I do love the entire cast of “Archer” and it’s hard to pick just one or two people. Adam Reed, the creator of “Archer” is also someone I would love to have private breakfast or lunch with. I am opened for Skype…just saying.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

My Website: www.kristineknowlton.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KristineKnowltonOfficial/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristine.knowlton/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/krissielyn

Tumblr: https://kristineknowlton.tumblr.com/

Snapchat: @KrackedKatComedy

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film…

Yitzi Weiner

Written by

A “Positive” Influencer, Founder & Editor of Authority Magazine, CEO of Thought Leader Incubator

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Yitzi Weiner

Written by

A “Positive” Influencer, Founder & Editor of Authority Magazine, CEO of Thought Leader Incubator

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store