By Katie Chambers
Welcome to NYWIFT, Kate Shine! Kate is a Boston-born actor, writer and comedian currently living in Queens.
Kate and her writing partner Molly Kiernan wrote a pilot, Let’s Sick Together, based on their experiences living with epilepsy and eating disorders. It’s funny, they swear! It was even selected as a finalist at the Big Apple Film Festival, Austin Film Fest, & the Filmmatic Comedy Screenplay Awards!
Kate can be seen in commercials for M&M’s, Tempur-Pedic, WETV and is a house performer at The Magnet Theater.
Kate talked to us about approaching serious topics through humor, her journey as an artist, and her hopes for the future of disability representation in media.
Tell us about yourself – give us your elevator pitch!
I’m a NYC-based actor, writer, and comedian. Born in Boston, I love to explore messy, funny, complicated characters in my writing and performing. I have performed at regional theaters and comedy festivals all over the country including Miami Theater Center and Austin Sketch Comedy Festival and have appeared in commercials for M&M’s and Tempur-Pedic. I have worked on productions for Netflix and HBO and have appeared on shows such as 30 Rock and The Job Interview.
What has been your favorite project to date and why?
My favorite project is definitely my pilot with my writing partner Molly Kiernan. Our pilot is semi-autobiographical and tells the story of two very different women living with mental and physical illness – and it’s a comedy! We are very excited to be pitching it to networks and streamers and have two amazing producers attached! Pitching this story that is so personal has been really exciting!
Wow! Pitching a comedy about your journey with epilepsy sounds challenging. I’m interested to hear how you approach a very serious topic with humor, and what you hope to see for disability representation in media going forward?
I’ve always used humor as a coping mechanism, so writing jokes about my disability was my only way through it. Laughter is the best medicine, right? It took time, though! It took me some space from when I was diagnosed to be able to have a sense of humor about what I was going through. There was definitely a lot of “is this really happening?” But I think that’s what makes a great show – we laugh and we cry.
As far as disability representation moving forward: I think the only way we have true representation is when we are represented all the way across the board. What I mean by that, is representation in front of the camera, behind the camera, in the writer’s room, producing, heading up networks, the list goes on! I think that’s how we actually get the ball rolling.
What excites you about being on set?
On set I always feel blown away by all these pros at the top of their game-I’m happy and grateful to be there every time. I love the community that’s created when we are all working together to make this thing, everyone has their part to play.
What is your dream role?
Too many to count! I think my true dream role will be one I write or at least get to collaborate on.
What is the best advice you ever received?
Your journey as an artist will not look like anyone else’s.
What inspired you to join NYWIFT and how do you hope to engage with the organization?
I assisted producer Sirad Balducci [a NYWIFT Board Member] on a film recently and she encouraged me to join! I hope to attend events, network, and continue to learn and build community within the industry.
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