Photo Credit: An Uong
By: Jeannie Mai
They walk the same, they talk the same, they even look the same—they must be the same, right? Wrong.
It’s easy to see why strangers would mix up identical twins Katherine (Kate) and Kristine Paguinto (’13) so frequently, but, to be quite honest, they could not be any more different. Though they have the same aspirations, Kate and Kristine have extremely contrasting personalities.
Meet Kate: She describes herself as “outgoing” and “friendly.” She enjoys listening to Good Charlotte and reading The Perks of Being Wallflower. Kate spends her free time making art and writing short poems and creative stories.
Photo Credit: An Uong
Meet Kristine: She describes herself as “more calm” and “reserved” than her sister. She enjoys listening to The Smiths and teaching herself new songs on the guitar. She also has a keen interest in fashion and enjoys comedies like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
Photo Credit: An Uong
Though very different, however, both share a passion: theatre.
“We were never close before,” Kate said. “This was the first year we really opened up to each other.”
Their mutual interest in acting shaped their friendship and the two are now inseparable.
It all began in the summer of 2009, when there was only one seat left in David Scate’s Health class. Kate quickly snagged the spot, leaving Kristine with drama for the first semester of summer school.
Kristine instantly fell in love with acting and gives drama teacher, Dave Huber, all the credit. When second semester came around, the sisters switched classes, leaving Kristine to take a semester of health and Kate with the class that her sister had been talking about nonstop for weeks.
“When I joined drama, I immediately loved it,” Kate said. “Not just the art of acting, but the environment in our theatre was so carefree and open.”
So far, both have appeared in school productions such as “12 Angry Women,” “J.B.,” “Spoon River Anthology,” and “The Yellow Boat.”
However, it was not until this past November that Kate and Kristine finally experienced changes in terms of their acting careers. The twins were used to playing similar roles in school productions but for “The Diary of Anne Frank,” Kristine was cast as the lead role of Anne, while Kate did not receive a part in the production, but took the responsibility of being one of three stage managers for the production.
Huber said that he “likes the way they support each other” and that Kate did not show “jealousy” upon her sister receiving the lead role. Her “maturity and professionalism” really stood out to him.
Kristine found it “strange” to act in a play without her sister but thought it was “good that it happened” because realistically, both know they will not always be working together in theatre.
“Since they first arrived in my class, whenever they leave, they say ‘thank you for teaching me.’ In all my years of teaching, I’ve never had a student say that to me,” Huber said.
Kate says that she looks up to her father, Michael Paguinto, as her biggest role model and inspiration because of all the love and support he has for their interest in acting. He attends all the shows the girls appear in and drives them to auditions whenever necessary.
Michael says that he just wants to “make [his daughters’] dreams come true.” He knows that the acting industry can be a difficult one, but is willing to do whatever it takes to make his girls happy.
“At first, I was skeptical about their interest in acting, but after seeing how much of their own time they gave up for after school and even weekend rehearsals, I realized that this was something important to them,” friend Samantha Flores (’13) said.
In August of 2011, the girls got their first real taste of “Hollywood” when they created online profiles on LAcasting.com and were casted as extras in an independent film called “nightdreamblues,” directed by Nadine Truong. They played students sitting in a classroom.
Though a “small role” in Kristine’s eyes, she found the entire experience “motivating.” As it was their first time on a real set, the girls were amazed to see how the cast and crew worked together.
The plot of the movie involved three childhood friends reuniting and reminiscing about the hopes and dreams from their youth. The movie is currently in post-production and is set to release in 2012.
After high school, the twins hope to stay close to home and attend Chapman University to study filmmaking, producing and/or directing.
Kristine’s dreams include succeeding as a professional actress and living in a “cozy, modest home” with a husband and two sons. Like her sister, Kate hopes to marry and have two children, whilst achieving a career in acting, but also sees herself helping run the family business.
In 2003, Michael opened a small family jewelry business named “Kriskate & Co.,” which the sisters help run. They sell anything from sterling silver rings to engraved necklaces.
Kate likes that the jewelry company gives her a chance to work hard and that she learned “the value of a dollar” at a young age.
“I really like the way they support each other—they’re best friends. You don’t see that often with twins,” Huber said.