ISAS Spotlight: Austin Karkowsky

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Kinkaid freshman Austin Karowsky performs “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers with classmate Anna Glickman at the Coffee House, April 3. Karowsky juggled academics and theater as the understudy of Kurt and Friedrich in NBC’s production of “Sound of Music Live!” (Jared Margolis)

Each year, a handful of hopeful high school boys ask celebrities, ranging from Taylor Swift to Rihanna, to prom, hoping to snag a dance or two. Luckily for Kinkaid freshman Austin Karkowsky, he’s already danced with country music star Carrie Underwood.

Last winter, Karkowsky served as an understudy for “The Sound of Music Live!” which aired on NBC, Dec. 5.

A casting director approached Karkowsky following his role as John Darling in the world premiere of the musical “Fly” in Dallas last summer. In October, Karkowsky auditioned in New York for Telsey & Co., a casting company tasked with the selection of “The Sound of Music” cast. The next month, he found himself in New York for six weeks of rehearsals.

Karkowsky would fill in for two of the von Trapp children, Kurt or Friedrich, if either were late or absent during rehearsals. The television adaptation featured Underwood as Maria von Trapp.

“My favorite part of the experience was dancing with Carrie Underwood,” Karkowsky said. “I was kind of freaking out, but she’s super cool and really nice. It was really neat dancing with her.”

Karkowsky is no stranger to being on stage. He has participated in Theatre Under the Stars since he was 8 years old and played the part of JoJo in Kinkaid’s “Seussical” last year.

ISAS festival-goers may have heard him and Kinkaid freshman Anna Glickman performing The Lumineer’s “Ho Hey” at the coffee house on Thursday or seen him tap his way across the VST stage at Kinkaid’s dance performance that night.

Amy Kang & Lydia Liu
Online Editor & Editor-in-chief

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