When you are ready, do start posting your work online. Post it everywhere you can, and post things you made that you don’t like. I’ve had my favorite artists of all time notice my work and either simply comment appreciation, or ask to collaborate — and from works that were my least favorite and I didn’t want to share initially. The power is in attention, and there are so many free ways to advertise yourself.

As a part of our series about creating a successful career in theatre, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Katerina Vitaly.

Katerina Vitaly is a multimedia designer and a videographer based in New York City. Her work spans from theatrical productions on and off Broadway, to dance performances and documentary work. Some of her recent work includes the Thanksgiving Play (Broadway), El Niño (The Metropolitan Opera), Peter Pan (National Tour), Create Dangerously (Miami New Drama), Skin of Our Teeth (Lincoln Center), SpaceBridge (La MaMa), videography for Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski, Amal: The Walk, Harlem Chamber Players and upcoming work at The Metropolitan Opera with Hannah Wasileski on the production of El Niño.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I grew up in Siberia, where access to arts is somewhat limited, but my parents always exposed me to the arts, especially film, which led me to both wanting to work in film and learning English so I could hear the actors’ real voices and understand what they are saying. To say the least, both came in clutch!

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

Filming and editing videos was always a passion, and while studying to be a performer I found out about projection design, and implementation of video on stage; seeing the video that I animated on my laptop at large scale for the first time was unforgettable. That moment I knew projection design for live performance was what I wanted to do, and the excitement of seeing my animations projected on a large scale is still there every project I work on.

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?

William Cusick was my professor and the first person to introduce me to projection. Having him as a mentor for many years after was one of the greatest privileges. He showed me the value of being a good collaborator above anything else, and it continues to be my biggest priority in every project I participate in. Having such an incredible mentor in my life also excited me about being that to someone else later in my life!

You probably have a lot of fascinating experiences. Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Would probably have to be working on set with J Balvin. His music was really significant to me because I danced growing up and many of the dance numbers were to his songs. He was outstandingly kind!

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. 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?

To be honest I can’t remember any funny or big mistakes (thankfully). But many small ones along the way for sure: learning about time management and deadlines, backing up the footage and edit in at least two locations… technical things! I believe having mistakes is inevitable and the faster you get through the basic ones the quicker you’ll get better at your craft.

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

Right now I am ramping up to work with Hanna’s Wasileski on El Niño, an opera directed by Lileana Blain Cruz that will open at The Metropolitan Opera in spring of 2024. Lileana’s directing and the way she leads the room is one I look up to the most. I strongly believe that the way the room feels, and the joy of collaboration is far more important than any other details of the project.

You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of rejection, lack of support, or failure?

I can say with confidence that performing arts is one of the most welcoming and warm communities. Folks really care, and look out for each other. Rejection, mistakes are part of the journey and the earlier you make them, the quicker you realize how insignificant they are in the grand scheme of things.

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

Definitely having a schedule and setting some boundaries for your work hours. Work never stops and there are always more projects you can take, but you have to be your own project manager and look out for yourself prior to hitting burnout.

Thank you for all that. This is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career in Broadway, Theater or Live Performances” and why?

  • Research as much as possible. Look at original sources, not only work that has been processed by other people and reiterated. You will get inspired, and want to make it better, and different, and new.
  • If you feel like ideas still don’t come easily, work on your creative muscle. Little by little, you can (in your own space) reiterate other people’s work, figure out how they did something step by step and challenge yourself to create something around a similar idea. You don’t need to share it, it’s just an exercise.
  • When you are ready, do start posting your work online. Post it everywhere you can, and post things you made that you don’t like. I’ve had my favorite artists of all time notice my work and either simply comment appreciation, or ask to collaborate — and from works that were my least favorite and I didn’t want to share initially. The power is in attention, and there are so many free ways to advertise yourself.
  • It should probably be obvious, but will state just in case: deliver on time, value collaboration and relationships over the final work, be a collaborator you wish you were working with.
  • Most importantly, keep meeting people. Online, offline, meet them not only with the purpose of networking, but really talk to them and get to know how they think and feel about the industry, about their work approach. Challenge your own ideas and approaches with theirs. Learning from others is a lifelong process and it can only bring value to you on a personal and professional level.

For the benefit of our readers, could you describe how the skill-sets you need in a theater performance are different than the skill-sets you need for TV or Film?

The two differ more for performers, I think. For video designers specifically, the biggest difference is considering the stage set and lighting in live performance. A lot of the times your video content is not going to be viewed on a screen or a perfect projection surface, there will likely be textures, shadows, and lighting might sometimes be very powerful and dim your projection, so all of the above have to be considered.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire 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. 🙂

Probably meditating, and it’s already a big enough movement! It Is number one tool to get to know yourself and have original ideas. It’s perfect for freelancers, and people with quick life pace. Implementing meditation into my daily routine positively affected every area of my life, and especially my creative practice.

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

I wouldn’t say I stay attached to phrases or quotes for too long. They float in and out of my life. But I believe in power of our mindset, and that by changing how we think we can change our lives.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

I’ve been obsessed with Anton Reva’s work for a while now. He goes by @savemymind on instagram. I am really interested in his mixed media approach combined with the way he thinks about composition and color. Talking to him about technical and conceptual process would be very exciting!

How can our readers continue to follow your work online?

You can check out my website:


This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

Thank you, Authority Mag!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.