Karen Ireson

by Julian Dolman • September 5, 2018 •
Karen Ireson Headshot Photographer

"I'm inspired by people who work twice as hard outside the spotlight than they do in it."​​

Karen Ireson is an artistic force, with a background in dance, acting and musical theatre.

We discussed her career to date and what keeps her inspired on the creative journey.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in Hobart and moved over to Victoria when I was 18 to get my BA in Music Theatre from BAPA (The Ballarat Arts Academy, now Federation University). I love all things Arts, Music and Fashion. 

How long have you been dancing/acting and when did you first discover a passion for it?

My mum had a dancing school when I was growing up, so I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t performing. When I  first watched Fred and Ginger, with Gene Kelley and Cyd Charisse, it inspired me so much that 4 year old me would spend hours trying to copy their moves on the ‘tap board’ my dad set up, so I wouldn’t tear up the carpet.

Do you work on the stage or film?

I love all opportunities. My latest project was the choreography on a short film called Behind Barres. It’s about the mental health of dancers. It’s currently touring around Victoria with the St. Kilda Film Festivals Regional Program as well as touring internationally.

What would be your dream role?

Anything Fosse!! Roxie in Chicago, Cassie in A Chorus Line, being a Bond Girl … imagine that! Or even just playing music to crowds of people or playing the role of someone who does. That would be a dream. 

What has been your favourite acting job?

I did a show called RICERCAR at Theatreworks. It was created  by Nate Gilkes and Bryce Ives. They are both so creative and forward thinking, I will never forget it.

What kind of people inspire you?

People who work twice as hard outside the spotlight than they do in it and who constantly push or pushed creative boundaries. For example: Bob Fosse, Leonard Bernstein, Prince, Pharrell Williams, Tilda Swinton, Sandra Bullock, Margot Robbie, Tina Fey, Issa Rae, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Virgil Abloh and of course Beyonce. 

Who are your favourite directors in film/photography? 

Baz Luhrmann, Stanley Tucci, Greta Gerwig and Steven Meisel.. They’re all very different. So imagine all the knowledge you’d get. 

Any hidden talents?

I played the flute for 10 years, I like writing my own songs and I make a mean Gin and Tonic.

You can follow Karen’s journey on social media:

Instagram: @karenireson

Karen Ireson Julian Dolman
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Written by:
Julian Dolman



With over 15 years experience as a portrait photographer Julian captures a distinctive brand of natural light headshots for actors, models, musicians and business professionals.