Welcome, Heidi Kurzejka!
BTSCelebs is putting another spotlight on young rising stars in the Midwest. Following my recent interview with local actor/model Randy Bernales, we have a chance to meet a lady in the industry who has a lifetime resume in the business. Heidi, who is an accomplished actress, singer, dancer just to name a few, recently appeared in the popular NBC series “Chicago PD”. The DePaul University student’s BTS role as Production Assistant on “Windy City Live” adds to her already impressive credits.
BTSCelebs virtually sat down with Ms. Kurzejka to hear her BTS view of life behind and in front of the camera. We discuss everything. From her early years with American Girl shows to her future in the entertainment industry, take a moment to enjoy part one of BTSCelebs interview with this star in the making.
BTSCelebs: Who is Heidi Kurzejka?
Heidi: Heidi Kurzejka is an actress, singer, dancer, choreographer, and broadcast reporter. I grew up in Kankakee, Illinois and came from a family of seven. I am the second oldest child to Annette and Ronald Kurzejka. My four brothers are my best friends in the world. Their names are Matthew, Mitchell, Mark, and Michael. My family likes to call me “Mighty Heidi” so that I’m not left out of the M theme. There is never a dull moment in the Kurzejka house, and having a big family is the greatest joy of my life. I am signed with Ambassador Talent Chicago for acting, and also BMG Talent Chicago for modeling and acting. I have acted in an episode of Chicago P.D., commercial projects, short films, and theatrical plays. I am currently a production assistant at Windy City Live, and a student at DePaul University. I have also appeared on ABC7’s Windy City Live as a model for fashion and makeup segments.
Describe your first brush with the acting/entertainment world?
When I was 12 years old, I auditioned for the American Girls Show in Chicago. The show was a musical that told all the stories of each American Girl Doll through singing and dancing. Out of hundreds of experienced singers and dancers, I was chosen to play the double role of Kirsten and Kit. Performing in a professional theatre at such a young age instilled a love for music and acting that would follow me for the rest of my life.
Who inspired you to pursue a career in the industry?
My parents inspired me to pursue a career in dancing, singing, and acting. My Dad introduced me to the world of broadcast journalism because he knew how much I loved performing and writing. He took me to NBC studios when I was a little kid, and I was in awe. This sparked my interest to pursue a career in Broadcast Journalism. My mom signed me up for ballet classes at age three, and brought me to auditions for local plays. From talent shows, dance recitals, to driving me all the way to Chicago to perform in the American Girl show, my parents always supported me. They allowed me to be in the artistic environment that I live and breathe.
What attracted you to the Windy City Live production team?
I came to Chicago 4 years ago to study broadcast journalism at DePaul. I always knew that I wanted to focus on entertainment news in the hopes of one day producing and starring in my own talk show, one that would combine entertainment news with political news. Think Chelsea Handler meets the Colbert Report. Windy City Live is the core of entertainment news in Chicago. I wanted to learn the ins and outs of what goes in to producing such an intelligent show. The internship program at WCL is very competitive, and I was excited to have been chosen out of many applicants. After my internship ended, I was asked to stay on as a production assistant. I am thrilled to still be a part of such an incredible and talented team. Windy City Live stood out to me because it covers entertainment news, but it also incorporates political news, and emotionally riveting themes. Many people think that entertainment news is not “real news.” I am constantly told that reporting on celebrities is shallow and unimportant. Unfortunately, Americans care more about where Miley Cyrus is eating lunch, than they do about the economic state of our country. Creating a hybrid between entertainment news, and political news as WCL does so brilliantly is powerful. It is powerful because viewers tune in to hear about celebrity gossip, but they are also absorbing information about the country and the world, which creates awareness on important issues. The ability to inform and entertain simultaneously is what draws me to reporting.
Name one experience you will never forget about being apart of the WCL team
An experience at WCL that I will never forget was getting ready for the “Holiday Hot Picks Show.” This is the annual holiday show where countless companies donate products for the extravagant holiday giveaways. The products included Marc Jacobs perfume, George Foreman grills, and even suitcases to name a few of the many items. As an intern, we were hauling boxes for days. We were organizing, packing, and moving these items in preparation for the show. While some might view this as a vexatious task, I enjoyed every minute of it. I was so excited to be helping in any way that I could. All of the interns were organizing the products in an assembly line while, listening to Christmas carols on the Pandora on our phone. We felt like Santa’s helpers. It was truly magical and rewarding to see the excitement and joy on the audience’s faces as they opened their gifts.
Heidi will respond to the following questions for part two of our interview:
How did you get involved with Chicago P.D.?
Please tell us about the filming experience
Let’s imagine you are starring in your very first movie, which male celebrity would you choose as a co-star? Any supporting female actresses you would love to work with?
You recently modeled wedding dresses for Brides magazine, what was the shoot like?
Can we expect to see you act in any additional productions in the near future?
**BTSCelebs sends a special thanks to Heidi Kurzejka for the interview and photos.**