Artists in Conversation is a weekly column running on QuadCities.com.

It features a conversation with a local creator or creators going Want To Learn More About Quad-Cities Creators? Welcome To Artists In Conversation!into their artistic process, projects and more. Get to know your local arts scene and local creators better on QuadCities.com with Artists In Conversation!

If you’re a local creator and would like to be featured, please email us at Sean@QuadCities.com or Tristan@QuadCities.com!

This week’s artist is KIRA RANGEL, currently featured in Beehive and Elephant & Piggie and the up-coming The Mountaintop, The Rocky Horror Show

You’re new to Quad City audiences. What’s one fun thing you’d like them to know Kira Rangel Is Quickly Making An Impression With Quad-Cities Audiencesabout you?  

I actually have been an on and off again resident of the QC for quite some time, and have always said the people I have met and the friends I have made here are my favorite part of the Quad Cities. (Sorry I got sidetracked)  A fun fact about me is that I taught myself how to be ambidextrous. Middle school Kira thought this was necessary so I could achieve the perfect symmetrical eyeliner. If that’s not fun you dont know what is!

The pandemic had an effect on us all… 

How did you stay sane? What did you do to cope?

Girl, I am not the one to be answering this question. If you were able to stay sane props to ya! I guess rooting myself in my technique and staying goal oriented. Like, knowing if I trusted Kira Rangel Is Quickly Making An Impression With Quad-Cities Audiencesscience and did my part to keep others safe, especially working in my survival job in the service industry, gave me hope.

What lessons did you learn during the world wide show biz industry shut down?

I definitely learned the importance of convictions. Especially with the Broadway shut down bringing to light the amount disenfranchisement when it came to who held the power behind the table and who got to be represented. That taught me the lesson of paying attention to who actually steps up when difficult questions need to be answered and

following through. I feel like my convictions as an artist were definitely reaffirmed and I was given a new purpose

Kira Rangel Is Quickly Making An Impression With Quad-Cities AudiencesWhat do you hope yo see in a post-pandemic show biz world?

I hope to see an industry that keeps itself in check and doesn’t tokenize experiences for the sake of money. I feel like the art created in the quarantine is gonna be this cultural reset in itself this way. Definitely more introspective works and hopefully more perspectives that were not even at the forefront. All in all:  More new stories,  less revivals.

What brought you to the area?

Miss Rona literally hit in the tail end of my senior year at Illinois Wesleyan last spring break. So I had to figure out as an independent student where I was gonna live last moment. I chose the QC and crashed with friends for a bit till I finally got my own place.

How did you land at Circa ‘21 for the summer?

I actually worked with Shelley Cooper when she directed me in Mississippi Bend Players 2018 production of Big River , then she reached out Kira Rangel Is Quickly Making An Impression With Quad-Cities Audiencesto me asking if I was in the area. I loved working with her and submitted for Beehive. One thing lead to another and I have been fortunate enough the people of Circa like me and asked me to submit for some of their other productions. I am so grateful they have welcomed me into their company and given me a creative outlet again

How are you liking your time there?

Circa ‘21 is like a match made in post grad heaven. This being my first post grad contract is a major win for me, and I love getting to work with such committed artists. They all make me raise my game and I live for it!

What’s next for you? What shows do you have coming up?

I can’t wait to start production of Pulitzer winning playwright’s Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop which is the opening of a new theatre in the QC, The Mockingbird On Main. After that I will be starring in Circa’s Speakeasy production of Rocky Horror Picture Show in late October!

What is one piece of advice you would give to a young artist right now?

Best piece of advice I ever received as a young artist is ‘Other people’s successes are not your failures’. Those words helped me realize that I am the master of my own reality and can choose what to give importance in my life. Especially as a young artist this reminder keeps me sane and focused on my own journey.

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Kira Rangel Is Quickly Making An Impression With Quad-Cities Audiences
Tristan Layne Tapscott has been dubbed the “Quad Cities’ P.T. Barnum” and although the person who initially said it meant it as an insult, he happily accepts the title.