18th Style

Inspirational Woman: Kate

Every month on the 18th, I celebrate women.

This month I sat down with Kate, my dear friend and sorority sister from Emerson College.

She is a Resource Specialist Teacher (RST) in Los Angeles and breast cancer survivor.

Her strength, positive mindset, humor, kind heart and love for life makes Kate one special woman. I am incredibly blessed and grateful for her friendship and sisterhood.

Meet Kate

18th Style: Where are you from and where do you live now? 

Kate: I grew up 25 miles from Chicago, Wheaton, Illionis. I now live in Los Angeles, California.

18th Style: What do you love most about living on the West Coast?

Kate: The weather and the ability to ski, swim and horseback ride all in a couple of days.

18th Style: What’s your day job?

Kate: For the past 21 years, I have been a Resource Specialist Teacher (RST). I teach special education kids  with average and above intelligence and processing deficits, or that are on the ASD spectrum.

18th Style: What led you to teaching?

Kate: The reason I’m teaching and not doing theatre, when I was 37 years old, my 46 year old husband had an unexpected stroke and died. My whole world exploded. I needed to make more than I was an a actress. I had friends who walked me through the teaching credentials process and I ended up getting my 2 special ed credentials while teaching and in between breast cancer 1 and breast cancer 2.

You just do what you have to do and this was all before Facebook, so I had lost touch with all my schoolmates and sisters.

Kate and her parents at her aunt’s 80th birthday party (rare shot of all three)!

18th Style: I know the theatre is an enormous part your life, what do you love most about it?

Kate: Theatre transports you to a different place, and you get to experience many different kinds of emotions and journeys.

18th Style: You attended Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, (Central Royal College of Acting)  London, UK, how long did you live in London and what was that experience like?

Kate: I did the Graduate course for a year, stayed for another year and traveled back and forth for 7 years. The strange thing for me was when I got off the plane for the first time, my whole body sighed and it felt like I was coming home, though I’d never been there before.

18th Style: What is your favorite Broadway show?

Kate: There are too many! I love shows that I was in and others that I sang music from. West Side Story was my national tour, but I was always being in called for the Mystery of Edwin Drood. The last time they called me in for a replacement, they asked me what size shoe I wore and I asked them what size show did they need? 🙂

I loved song and dance, my go to audition song, Come Away, Hamilton, Follies, The Band’s Visit…you get the drift. Old and new.

I also love, A Chorus Line, Cats, On the Twentieth Century, Babes in Arms, Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein….a ton more!

18th Style: Switching gears here, and if you’re ok with talking about this, you’re a breast cancer survivor and an inspiration to me and so many other women.

18th Style: What would you say to all the woman out there who are afraid to go for their first mammogram?

Kate: It’s no big deal and a hell of a lot less painful than a mastectomy. So suck it up and get to it! 🙂

18th Style: What message do you have for others who have been diagnosed with breast cancer?

Kate: Everyone’s journey is different, know your own body and converse with your team. Now it the time to kick its ass.

18th Style: Where are you now in your journey with Cancer? 

Kate:  After 2 bouts and 3 years of battling, I am 11 years cancer cured! My oncologist states I’m no longer a cancer patient, heck it’s not a pre-existing condition!  That’s not to say it was easy. It was my belief, I had complications that sent me to the hospital a few times and ICU once and I had to work through both times to maintain my health insurance.  But ultimately I kicked its ass and had a boob job paid for my insurance. 🙂

What I learned was asking for help does not show weakness, but strength. You are part of a team, you know your body, they know all the beneficial stuff and humor really helps. For instance, all my hair fell out except that one annoying hair on the side of my chin! Of course! 🙂

18th Style: Ok, so I like to close with a few fun questions.

18th Style: Favorite show on Netflix?

Kate: There are few, but I;m obsessed with Outlander on Starz, Romance History, and A Little Bit of Time Travel. The books are stunning.

18th Style: What’s your go to podcast? Do you have one?

Kate: I don’t have a podcast, but I listen to Sirius – The Broadway Channel!

18th Style: Best thing you bought online within the last 3 months?

Kate: My bridesmaid dress for my sisters wedding. Art Deco beaded, stunning. Check out DECOHAUS.COM

The dress!

18th Style: What’s your favorite quote?

Kate: “Everyone goes to hell in their own way.”  Thank you Grandma Karp! (my late husband’s Russian grandmother!)

My great-grandmother’s saying, “Everyone except me and thee is a little queer, and I’m not sure about thee!” 🙂 and “It’s a lot of work to remain neutral!”

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