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Nightlife profile: Karina Roberts

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Karina Roberts is an established actor, bartender and director living and spreading her creative genius throughout Charlotte for several years now. Her multifaceted talents coupled with her unique wit and invariably dry sense of humor make her the ideal bartender for an experiential theater company like the Carolina Actors Studio Theatre (CAST), where she performs both onstage and behind the bar.

Creative Loafing: How long have you been in the bartending scene?

Karina Roberts: I started in the fall of 2008. I just showed up at CAST one night after having done a show here; it was the first night of the first show of the 2008-2009 season, and the bartenders hadn't shown up, so Victoria, our box office manager, just kind of threw me behind the bar.

Was that your first time bartending? Would you think about working at another type of establishment aside from CAST?

Oh yes, it was definitely my first time. It was interesting — it was a really adult show, so it was pretty easy to deal with an adult audience of seasoned theater-goers. I made 15 bucks when I didn't expect to make anything at all. I would think about working at another bar or establishment, but ultimately I think it would end up interfering with my acting schedule.

Obviously you go to other bars as a patron. What is the main difference in the energy and environment of other bars when compared to CAST? Do you have to deal with a lot of the same pick-up lines as you would, say, at your normal run-of-the-mill bar?

Well, it's a different kind of clientele here entirely. You know, here you'll see men in their mid-60s being all crotchety and coming over to the bar and hitting on you, and as irritating as it may be, sometimes I think that's what's unique about this place. And usually you don't really have to worry about the under-30 crowd here, which generally tends to work in my favor. The worst kind of pick-up lines or scenarios usually happen with the actors in the show. I think the most recent one was, "Do you like to salsa? I'll come behind that bar and I'll lead you around in salsa circles." But usually, when it's with an actor who gets really flirtatious, it becomes kind of an ordeal because they're here every night during the entire five-week run of their show, and you can't get rid of them ... it's pretty obnoxious. No matter what though, I still wouldn't change my job for the world.


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