We met up with Kate Phillips through LIFESTYLE Collective member Steve Laciak. The two have been performing together for some time and it was dope to hear more about Kate’s creative story. Originally from upstate New York, Kate has lived all over the United States performing as a singer and dancer and in musical theater. Kate brings up various dope fresh ideas to the Collective touching on creative reflection and response and growth within artistic communities, the important role of the performer as a provider of solace for an audience, and other themes from the perspective of a creator that has always stayed true to the craft. Kate Phillips continues to forge a creative path filled with new and exciting projects in her current home of Tennessee and we are lucky to feature encouraging words of wisdom from an experienced and invigorating creator.
An entertainer provides a moving sound, a fresh look, and quite often a new perspective. That role is essential in our society, allowing imaginations & expressions to cultivate change and growth.
– Kate Phillips
Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?
KP: I lived in upstate New York as a child, riding my bike to the village library and along the Erie Canal, through a lovely town called Fairport. Growing up there was a wonderful experience, but since I couldn’t wait to live in a big city, I moved to Manhattan on my 18th birthday. After spending 6 years in “the big apple” because of a couple of dance scholarships, I was fortunate enough to begin a career that involved travel. For 2 years I sailed around North America, while performing on cruise ships as a singer and showgirl. I have lived in 8 different states and toured the country as a “triple threat” in musical theatre. The latest adventure I took a leap for has led me to a beautiful place, nestled in The Great Smoky Mountains, as I’m thrilled to now call Tennessee my new home.
What does Reflection and Response mean to you?
KP: Recognizing that all of this is a true gift that I was meant to share and ultimately ‘giving back’ to people in my community. First, I give credit to the creative education I received; understanding how I have been influenced by such amazing teachers. Then, I recall moments of excellence I’ve witnessed, gathering inspiration from other talented artists and friends… always studying their methods. I was, and still am, surrounded by people who dedicate their life to their art, and I believe we are all reflections of each other.
Listen to more of Kate’s music here: http://www.reverbnation.com/KatePhillips
How do your performances fit in with that definition?
KP: All of the extensive training and sacrificing a singer-dancer goes through can be difficult at times, but I have a personal theory about this. For the duration of the show, each member of the audience is given a chance to escape. They are encouraged to sit back and relax since someone else is “on” for the moment. Whatever may be causing them grief, sadness or pain, just disappears for that short amount of time. An entertainer provides a moving sound, a fresh look, and quite often a new perspective. That role is essential in our society, allowing imaginations & expressions to cultivate change and growth. That person on stage is what I call “Brasilient” (brave and resilient). Considering numerous auditions, disappointing rejections, painful injuries, missed holidays with family, and ongoing challenges, we continue developing as a seasoned professional, because it is our purpose.
What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?
KP: This has been a pretty exciting journey! Last year, I performed at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. A holiday song I recorded played on the radio for 2 years in a row. Recently I reunited with the love of my life after several years apart, and together we have fulfilled a life-long dream by combining our musical talents as a duo. This year I began volunteering again with at-risk children & teens in my community by teaching workshops in the evenings. Next, I look forward to announcing a few new projects that are still in the works, including a music video and more collaborations with local songwriters.
Who or what inspires you?
KP: I have always been inspired by my mom & my sister, to do the right thing, work hard, and set a good example for others. A celebrity and pop-culture icon that influenced me for decades is Audrey Hepburn. Dolly Parton is actually another role-model for me right now, not only because of her continued success as a Country Music legend, (she’s launching another world tour right now), but for her philanthropic effort in promoting early childhood literacy. My current “9 to 5” gig is actually working for a non-profit organization known as Imagination Library, that has expanded now to 4 countries. Just when I think I’m too tired or I’ve got too much on my calendar, she reminds me that there are always enough hours in the day. In my opinion, Dolly proves time and time again, that 1 tiny person can do many things, and do them well.