This week, David and Joey chat with the wonderful Karen Olivo about the origins of AFECT, the importance of self discovery, and setting up future generations for success in an industry that continues to demand accountability and transparency.
Karen Olivo (she/they) is a multi-hyphenate living/working on the ancestral lands of the Ho-Chunk Nation in Madison, WI. She is most widely known for their acting work that spans the last 25 years on Broadway and TV. In the Spring of 2020, Olivo co-founded the non-for-profit organization, Artists for Economic Transparency (AFECT), in the efforts to educate the industry and promote discussion regarding entertainment industry structures and how they can be altered to better support underserved communities. www.Afectchange.org
Olivo’s most recent theatrical work is for playing “Satine” in Moulin Rouge, The Musical for which they received their 2nd Tony Award nomination. Olivo is also recognized for their Tony Award winning performance as “Anita” in the acclaimed 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story, a role for which she also earned Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, and Astaire Award nominations.
Some of their Broadway theater credits include originating the role of “Vanessa” in the Tony Award-winning musical, In the Heights (2008 Astaire Award), starring as “Faith” in the Broadway production of Brooklyn the Musical, and in Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning musical, Rent. Additional world premiere theatre credits include Murder Ballad at the Manhattan Theater Club, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage at 2nd Stage, and The Miracle Brothers directed by Tina Landau at the Vineyard Theatre.
Olivo is also recognized for her many television appearances including a series regular, recurring & guest-starring roles on “Harry’s Law”, “The Good Wife,” “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior,” “Chase,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Conviction,” and “Law & Order.”
As an educator Olivo has worked at Northwestern University, NYU-Tisch, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as working as a visual artist, writer, and vocalist. Their 1st solo album LEAVE was released in 2018.