How Up with People prepared a young alumna, Mallory Kidd (13A), for her career in the fine arts
Up with People International Alumni Association (UWPIAA): When did you travel in Up with People and what inspired you to do so?
Mallory Kidd (‘13A): I traveled in Cast A and B 2013. My aunt and uncle, Grant (‘87A) and Gretchen (Van Dusen) Axton (‘87A) took me to their reunion one year toward the end of high school. It took me one day of Cast T (Teen) to decide to interview; without consulting them or my parents. I traveled a bit after graduating high school because I still wasn’t positive what I wanted to do with my future. I figured UWP would be a great way to ask others about their college experiences and take a journey around a world about which I knew nothing. I was one of the first two students to complete a full year of UWP’s new study abroad program.
UWPIAA: What did you learn during your experience?
Mallory: I learned so much; almost too much to write about! I learned how to interact with anyone, no matter the language. I learned how to look at the world not only with realism with also with hope. I also learned major adaptation skills and how to remain calm in pretty much any situation. This has helped so much throughout college and now my professional career.
UWPIAA: Where are you living and what are you doing now?
Mallory: I live in New York City where I work as a Dresser, Hair and Makeup Artist. I am currently working Off-Broadway for the musical, The Other Josh Cohen.
UWPIAA: Does your current profession have anything to do with your UWP experience? If so, how has your UWP experience been an influence?
Mallory: While on the road, I did four rounds as a costume assistant because I had some basic knowledge in the area. I thought it might be something I would do professionally. I learned so much about how to fix costumes “on the fly” and doing costume changes in the craziest of areas. I also did six stages as the Costume Shirt during Staging while I was attending college in Denver. It was great to pass along knowledge to and teach others, just as I was learning. I learned about restoring clothing (as you know, many of the costumes on the road have a colorful past) and tricks for rigging a costume and making it “dance safe.”
UWPIAA: Have you met any other alumni along your journey?
Mallory: I’m so thankful for the alumni community! I lived with alumni this summer while on a short contract in Wichita, Kansas. I’ve stayed in their homes while moving across the country from Colorado to New York City, and I’ve even had some support in New York!
UWPIAA: Do you feel that Up with People’s message is still needed today?
Mallory: Our world is so full of disagreement and negativity. Of course UWP is needed; even if people just think it’s a camp/show/choir program. Those who travel know that the UWP community a selfless community who commit their blood, sweat, and sleep to make people smile, and to care a little more about the people who might be different from them. I think that, even if non-alumni can’t always see it, we know the wonderful kind of people the program attracts, supports and grows! I don’t think I’d be as open to different people and situations as I am now if it weren’t for UWP.