Several years ago, I went to see Mike Carty's movie, Beautiful Kid and I was impressed by the actors who portrayed his characters. Kate played the unattainable girl in the movie. The girl of every man's dreams. She frowned upon his drinking and way of life. She was college bound and had the power to help him aspire to be something more. However, fate had different plans and the two did not end up together adding to the already unfortunate events of the script. I met Kate briefly at the premiere and remembered her as bubbly. When I met her again almost eight years later I noticed she still had a dynamite personality and looked younger...I wonder what her secret is.
What do you do?
I’m an actress…as an actor you always come up with other interesting side jobs…but I’m an actress. I handed out coupons for a brand name mop…when swifter just came out. And people were like, ‘Fourteen dollars for a mop? No thanks!”
From my research I read you were in many soap operas-what was that like?
I like soap operas (All My Children, Guiding Light, As the World Turns) because they are very intimate and you learn a lot from the cast. The amount you learn in such a short time is immense.
What was it like switching?
It wasn’t a contract role.
Who were you most ga ga over?
I mean it’s always very nice to be around such attractive people…it’s part of the business. I see people for who they really are as opposed to, ‘Wow, he’s really hot but he’s not that nice.’
Biggest role in a movie so far?
I was in an independent film, Unreal that did really well in the independent film circuit. I made such great friends on that movie…when I have production questions, I can reach out to them, it was just a wonderful experience.
I loved you in A Beautiful Kid!
That was about eight years ago, we began to film right after 9/11. I look back and I think, ‘Did I really know what I was doing?’ It was so much fun though, I got to fly by the seat of my pants….don’t tell Mike though.
You were the good girl.
I was the good girl (insert evil laugh).
Do you prefer to play these kinds of roles?
Um,,,you always want to play fun roles. It’s fun to do things differently then what you would normally do.
What was it like working with Column McCann, Frank McCourt, Malachy McCourt and of course, Mike Carty?
It was such a great experience…working with people that are so down to earth, so genuine. I will always have a special place in my heart for the boys. I look back and think about how young I really was and the patience they had with me.
You missed out in the fight scenes.
Yes, I missed all of that…the smashing of the car, the bar scenes, I wasn’t there for any of that…(being the good girl character, the contrast to the have-nots)
Are you from Sydney?
No, I went over to work for a famous family as a Tutor and lived there for a bit.
For whom…(to be left omitted) OMG, how did you get that job?
I was student teaching and a friend who knew I was looking to teach in NYC got me hooked up with them.
You took risks! To just move to Sydney like that, I always thought that’s where you were from!
I did, when the opportunity arrived, they were like, ‘Did you want to think about it?’ I was like, no.
Were you able to get acting gigs over there?
While working…work experience adds to it…when I realized I was going to be there for longer than five months, I began to look for acting work and I was cast in a play, Hell Hath No Fury. It was great to be in a different country and working with many actors. You have this amazing thing in common and you’re half the world away.
Do you still communicate with the family?
You’ve been back in NYC for awhile?
About a year and a half…I work with a few agents who submit me.
Is it hard to get an agent? I’m looking for one now for this book and I find it’s really tough.
It’s really hard…because if you’re too new, they want you to get more experience…you have to take all of your creativity and you just have to be persistent. Persistence really is the key. You just have to pick yourself up and look for the person who’s right for you.
Are they nice?
Any business is full of bad people and good people…the beautiful thing about the acting community in the business, everyone has heard of everything so if someone worked with a bad agent, it would be well-known…so there is hope.
Any actresses you aspire to?
There are many. I steal stuff from actors, people on the subway….’oh I could use that….’ I think Kate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, I have so many and right now, I’m drawing a blank. There are also all those people I’ve seen watching plays. There was this one actress in Sydney I saw on stage and I thought she was really good…I forget her name. So, I can get inspired by the famous or the unknown, both can be equally good.
Do you have a set schedule?
Um…it can be a little crazy. It depends upon the day. I make sure everyday I try to get to the gym. I try to work at least an hour a day on work and aside from that it’s up in the air.
How does one survive financially?
Oh, I have a day job…it’s kind of encouraging to me to know that I can work really hard at acting and have a day job and one day I’ll be able to just act.
Can I ask you what you do?
I teach second grade in a private school. I have a brilliant co-teacher who is so supportive of me.
Do you get paid for indie films?
It depends. Being in the business, you do a lot of free work. It’s hard to battle through when there are so many people out there that would do this for free. For some, just to get on TV…just to get the exposure…It’s a really grey area, you know?
Do you expect to be cast in an unexpected success indie, like Little Miss Sunshine or Slumdog?
While you’re waiting, it’s important to enjoy your work, it’s very easy to lose sight of why you’re doing it, you have to love doing it.
Do the actors/actresses get residuals on successful movies?
It depends,,,you can get points…it really depends on the contract.
Teaching and auditioning.
Everything…I think that would be fun which is good to think like this. I like all different roles, I work hard…
What is your philosophy of life?
Philosophy of life? Oh my goodness, That’s such a big question. I think, happiness. Find happiness in whatever you’re doing.
Favorite make up on stage?
I have to say, Mac…except I also love Maybelline black mascara.
I was going to say, your eyes look really good.
Thank you, you know you have to change (makeup) it so often and it’s really affordable.
While in Sydney, you did movies?
In Sydney I did plays and sort of like a commercial spot, it wound up being a commercial but it was more a campaign for climate change awareness.
They’re really strict over there but we are quite welcoming of foreign talent whereas over there they’re more strict to make sure their actors get work.
Two movies all together?
Two features, just did a short film. I’ve done student films and industrial films also.
What is a short film?
Just in a different category…like 20 minutes. I think! But don’t quote me!
Do you have a specific genre?
It depends, as long as the writing is good and being surrounded by good actors…as long as the work is good, I don’t mind.
I think that’s the hardest question to ask, it depends on my mood really. I like all genres, I guess. I love classical, rock-in-roll…
What’s the longest time you‘ve dedicated to a role?
The acting is such a small piece of the project…it’s inevitable you’re waiting around a lot,,, there are so many other people involved in the process.
Compare the making of a movie to a play?
It’s about the behavior…it’s such a different journey for each. Theater is a different experience that you live out every night whereas films are moments from a day of your character’s life. The same skills are involved, you know, but in different ways.
The toughest project?
I was in a play that for some reason the character did not sit with me, I worked on it, I worked on it…maybe I wasn’t ready for that character…my soul just would not understand that character…it was a great learning experience though.
Ever see Sean since?
(character from A Beautiful Kid) Oh, Dan Brennan! This is what’s great about NY….I was walking down the street and I heard, “Kate?” and it was such an arbitrary experience and it just made me smile. We just shared in the coolness of the moment. He was a lot of fun….it was a good time.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I want to be happy doing what I love and to just be happy. A part of me thinks I’d love to do successful movies but at the same time, setting goals like that is good and bad…it’s good because it’s imperative, but it’s bad because you can’t…you can’t define yourself by whether or not you’ve accomplished these goals.
Thank you so much for sharing your acting experiences with me today.
You’re welcome. It’s like this book I read, The War of Art, about being creative and getting out of your own way…when you’re an artist it’s about treating it like it’s the real deal.
So, I should just get out of my own way?
Yeah, I really like the idea of this book, it’s good.
I appreciate all your encouragement…please let me know about your next play or film, I’m going to rent Unreal tonight!
(laughing) No problem!