Katja Langenbahn-Schremser grew up in Vaduz and trained as an actress with Fritz Hammel in Vienna. She is currently also active as an author – following on from the play ‘Die Vernissage in Anderland’, a book of her poetry will soon be published. She is also planning a cabaret with her brother, Jürgen Schremser. Katja Langenbahn lives in Planken, Liechtenstein, and is 54 years old.
Where and how did you grow up?
I grew up in Vaduz in Bangarten 13.
Could you describe your professional background?
Our street was populated by family homes. As a child, I spent most of my time outdoors, playing, sitting in my grandparents’ trees and eating their fruit. Time seemed to be suspended, and I often thought it lasted forever. Anything more would go beyond the scope here.
Were there certain events or stations that were formative for your career?
Every event and every station was and is formative, because that’s how I became who I am now.
Were there certain people who were formative for your career?
Formative for me were my Mum, my Dad, my grandmother, my brother Jürgen, my husband Sigi and my sons Zeno and Louis, from whom I still learn and feel what it means to love unconditionally.
Has your environment supported you in your career?
Yes. My parents especially, who also cut out every single article about me in the newspaper and archived them in folders.
What are your current activities?
Since the theatres are closed at the moment, I am devoting more time to writing.
Does what you are currently doing fulfil you?
Writing is another way for me to express myself, to reveal my innermost self, to reflect myself in what I do and who I am.
Do you think that you yourself have an influence on whether your activities are fulfilling?
I have always let myself drift in my life, and have never pursued THE plan, believing that what comes my way, even if it is sometimes unclear or impalpable at the time, is always for my benefit if I recognise the big picture. So far it is working.
What or who inspires you in everyday life?
Everything and nothing and especially my friend Jacqueline Beck. With her I dance on the rainbow again and again. She inspires me. She sometimes makes me bubble over with ideas and I am infinitely grateful to her for that.
What or who gives you strength and energy in everyday life?
I draw my strength for everyday life from myself and from the love that happens to me. I believe and feel that love is the source for me and it can be limitless.
There are ‘magic moments’ when everything seems to fit. Moments that fulfil, inspire and give strength. Moments that confirm that the effort is worthwhile and that what you do is meaningful and valuable. Have you already experienced such moments in relation to your own activities?
My magical moments are always unexpected, unpredictable, surprising, blissful and spontaneous. On stage, when you feel this ‘flow’, just as in private moments, either alone or together with others. That moment when you just feel and you are at one with everything. A fleeting moment and yet so wonderful.
Do you actively do something for it, so that such ‘magic’ moments can happen?
I live and love intensely.
Are there moments when you doubt what you are doing?
I actually always doubt myself. I am constantly asking myself if it is really good and if it is, then it can still never be enough. What comes after perfection and in what way do I strive for it?
Do I satisfy myself, do I satisfy others in what I do? What is more and what is the most? Doubting spurs me on, makes me restless and drives me on and on.
In retrospect, can you find something positive in difficult moments?
Every difficult moment I experienced made sense at some point and moved me forward. If the big picture in the difficult situation often remained unclear, I moved on and at some point the piece of the puzzle emerged that made me or let me recognise the positive value.
Is there anything you would do differently in retrospect?
Then I would be someone else and I am happy to be who I am.
Do you want to contribute to society with your activities?
To be emotionally touching, very deep and lasting.
Is the recognition of other people or the public important to you?
Sure, because we all want to be recognised and loved, don’t we?
How well can you live from what you do professionally?
If I have money, I spend it; if I have little, I save.
Is there something that is particularly occupying you at the moment?
My question was and is always: What remains at the end of the day, who am I and what remains of me?
Is there something you would like to (increasingly) spend time on in the future?
What are you most grateful for in life?
My sons Zeno and Louis, they are the best I have produced. For the love and friendship shown to me.
Laura Hilti, January 2021
Portrait photo: Katja Langenbahn-Schremser
Photo childhood: Kurt Schremser
Foto ‘The Valiant Little Tailor’: Jacqueline Beck
This interview is part of the project ‘Magic Moments’ by Kunstverein Schichtwechsel, in which people are interviewed about their careers, activities and their magical as well as difficult moments.
Curated by Stefani Andersen and Laura Hilti, Kunstverein Schichtwechsel.
Supported by Kulturstiftung Liechtenstein and Stiftung Fürstl. Kommerzienrat Guido Feger.
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