Totally Kate

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Kate Mulgrew

Totally Kate

The Official Fansite


Kate Mulgrew



Photos by Marina Kravchuk

Standing Room Only Productions Presents


A live candid conversation with

Kate Mulgrew & Claire Labine

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Somers High School

Somers, CT


An event you will never forget!

A live, in-person candid conversation between award winning actress Kate Mulgrew and writer/producer Claire Labine as they offer insights into their careers, experience, and the joy of a long-term friendship.


This was a fundraising event to benefit SRO Productions (non-profit, youth and family community theatre).


Insights: an Evening with Kate Mulgrew and Claire Labine by Anika

Read on Fantastic Fangirls

  • Insights: A Live Conversation between

     Kate Mulgrew and Claire Labine


    by Marina Kravchuk


    Click to Expand Report


     An opportunity to attend any event featuring Kate Mulgrew is too precious to pass up. And in this case, not only the event featured Kate but also her long time friend and mentor, as well as a renowned award-winning daytime television writer, Claire Labine. I learned about Insights, announced as "live candid conversation" by the organizers, on-line through the TotallyKate website, and immediately purchased a ticket without giving a second thought to the fact that it would be quite a lengthy trip for me to get to the event location. The talk was presented and hosted by the newly-formed Standing Room Only Productions, Inc., a non-profit family community theater group, at the Somers High School Auditorium in Somers, CT. The main reason why the event was held at such a remote spot is that Claire Labine is a current resident of Somers, and is actively involved with family theater as it relates to the school and, therefore, with the SRO Productions. The event was created specifically as a fundraiser to support SRO's efforts.


     As luck would have it, Saturday, March 14th was a dreadfully wet, rainy and increasingly foggy day. It took me just short of three and half hours to drive to Somers from my hometown in New Jersey. Somers High School is a part of a large but isolated cul-de-sac campus containing the elementary and middle school buildings and the town's public library. The high school's auditorium actually turned out to be a wonderful venue for the event - it is reasonably large and very well equipped. The organizers set up rocking chairs and a table with some refreshments for the guests of the evening, which made the stage look rather homey. It is true that, had the event been held anywhere near a large or at least an easy to travel to location, the tickets would have sold faster than you can say "Red Alert!", and the number of fans would have probably filled a small concert venue (it was clear from the host's comments that the event had generated substantial interest on-line). As such, the attending crowd numbered only at about 80 people, which created a very relaxed atmosphere for a lively and intimate discussion that followed on stage.


    What a lovely talk this was! Both highly entertaining and very insightful. Even though many of the topics covered have been brought up time and again in the past in the interviews or during Kate's convention appearances, she still provided remarkably sharp and captivating commentary. And it was absolutely touching to witness the depth of friendship between these two women as they interacted with each other. The evening started with the host's question about Kate and Claire's respective childhoods, and, after that, the conversation just flowed non-stop, moving from topic to topic, discussing how they both started out in their respective professions, the people who inspired them the most, their families, the difficulties of being working mothers at the time when, as Kate put it, "culture was less than understanding". Claire reminisced about casting Kate in Ryan's Hope and about filming Lovespell. She provided an interesting view into how she approached writing the characters. Kate, of course, simply ruled the stage. Her statements, ranging from laugh-out-loud funny to very profound, and whole reenactments of various situations were just beyond compare. She spoke eloquently on the absolute necessity of truth in acting (preceded at the beginning of the talk by a hilarious story how she outright lied on her resume in order to get signed with an agent at the beginning of her career) and about the difference between being an actor and being a celebrity.


    As the event's host reached the end of her questions, the Q&A portion of the evening began, which was largely directed at Kate, and which included the members of the audience expressing their admiration for Kate's acting skills and the importance of the characters she played. Here is a brief outline of some of the questions / comments I jotted down from memory.


    --Two members of the audience shared deeply touching accounts of personal impact Kate had had in their lives. One of them lost a family member to Alzheimer's disease, and thanked Kate for the interviews she had done at the time of her mother's passing, as they had helped her to deal with the grief. Another fan had lost her mother unexpectedly at an early age. She described how Star Trek Voyager gave her hope, how the cast had become like a family to her, with Captain Janeway as a mother-figure.


    --Several questions / comments were made in regards to Orange Is The New Black. One gentleman asked Kate if there was the one role she would prefer to play in any medium right now. Her unequivocal response: Red. The host wanted to know if there were any details that Kate could share about the upcoming Season 3 - no, she signed a non-disclosure agreement, and the powers that be would have her head if she told. However, the next season is expected to be lighter than Season 2. Another question from the audience followed inquiring if there was anything Kate would not do on OITNB, given how far the show pushes the envelope. Reply: any nudity and she would not make love to a woman ("I would not be any good at it!", cue laughter).


    --Several people spoke about Star Trek Voyager, which prompted the familiar story about Kate's invitation to White House and her talk with young women in STEM fields. A young gentleman, who admitted to Captain Janeway being his favorite captain, asked how well she thought Voyager fit with the rest of the Star Trek universe. In response, Kate drew parallels with The Next Generation, noting that TNG was stronger and Picard more loved but Voyager left an important mark and, therefore, fit well ("The Next Generation and Voyager are the only ones that matter!", cue more laughter).


    --Finally, the subject of Kate's much-anticipated memoir has come up during the evening. Sometime during the talk, Claire Labine couldn't help but express her amazement and delight with the book. And then several questions were asked during the Q&A. Kate was asked about her experience writing and how the process differed from acting. Kate replied that she had outlined the book first, and then spent 10 months writing every day, 9am to 4pm. The process was very solitary in contrast to how "wildly social" she could be.


    My personal highlight of the evening was at the end of the Q&A, when I got a hold of the microphone and had a chance to ask a question. The question was actually courtesy of the many fans in UK, which has been echoed on-line by many European fans in general, and that was - was there a possibility of any author events there? I chose to ask specifically about UK, as it would seem to have the highest chance for being picked for foreign book events. Kate's response was very enthusiastic; she would absolutely love to do a book signing in London! Let's hope that this will actually happen. As I spoke about everyone's excitement regarding the memoir's release, I mentioned that I had an opportunity to read the advanced reading copy of it. Kate wanted to know what I thought of it. I suppose, at this point some sort of internal dam broke, as, all of a sudden, I had found myself telling her the things that had been on my mind ever since I read the book, how impressed I was and how much I admired her courage in writing it in the first place and then recording it as an audiobook. Kate appeared to be very touched by this. I sincerely hope that the memoir garners the attention and acknowledgement it deserves - truly, a gem.


    After the event was effectively over, both Kate and Claire graciously and generously spent the time meeting with the audience. They spoke, shook hands and took pictures pretty much with everyone present. Fantastic evening!


     According to the event's host, SRO Productions had officially recorded the talk, and the video should become publicly available at some point in the next several weeks following the event.

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This site created as a non-commercial website dedicated to chronicling the life and career of Kate Mulgrew.  Previously published materials contained herein remain © copyrighted property of the original owners. No profit or copyright infringement intended. Layout & Design copyright Totally Kate. Site created Spring 1998

Official Nov. 2001


This site created as a non-commercial website dedicated to chronicling the life and career of Kate Mulgrew.  Previously published materials contained herein remain © copyrighted property of the original owners. No profit or copyright infringement intended. Layout & Design copyright Totally Kate. Site created Spring 1998

Official Nov. 2001