This Member Spotlight interview was conducted by Rosemary Owens. Rosemary Owen is a non-profit administrative professional with a passion for film and the visual arts. Along with five years of experience in fundraising, event planning, and cultivating community relationships, Rosemary has recently received a graduate degree in Arts Administration from Boston University. She is looking to bring her expertise to nonprofit arts and culture organizations needing assistance in development and communications.
Kate Eppers is a multi-talented actor, singer, and songwriter from Salem, MA. From her early days acting in the Ig Nobel Awards, Kate has performed in many independent films, music videos, shorts, and more. She has also composed music for several independent films and web series. Kate most recently released a music video for “The Wishing Well,” the music video accompanying her album of the same name.
You can check out Kate’s website here, and check out her music video for “The Wishing Well” on YouTube!
Meet WIFVNE Member Kate Eppers!
How did you get started?
I began performance in theater at a very young age at a comedy science show at Harvard and MIT (The Ig Nobel Awards) when I was eight. Of course I was also doing school plays and writing my own. As soon as I got a taste I knew I loved it.
What do you love about the work that you do?
It’s an amazing creative outlet, and I love creating and collaborating with others. Whether it’s music, theater, or film, it’s the people you meet along the way that make it magical.
You've acted in music videos, web-series, period feature films, and more locally. What do you enjoy about acting in the New England region? What projects do you seek out?
Although I live out of state now, I grew up in Salem, Massachusetts and truly enjoy using film to showcase the beauty of our region. There is such a wonderful community of actors and musicians and I am so thankful for the opportunities that I found and fell into.
You also write and perform music. Can you tell us more about your music, especially that new music video that dropped on 1/1/2020?
I wrote my first album quickly but spent years recording it as it was self-funded. As an independent musician it’s wonderful to have creative control, but it’s also great to work with others who provide amazing ideas you may not have thought of for your art. I wished to create music videos during the writing process, and I now have a total of three for this album. The music I write is largely theatrical thus it’s only natural that a short film (aka music video) was to be created to truly showcase the message and visual aesthetic I’m hoping to present with the music.
My latest video came out in January, and it’s the title track from the album entitled “The Wishing Well.” I saved the best for last as this is my favorite song on the album. I wanted this music video to be full whimsy and magic like the song. It came out lovely and starred local independent actors, and local independent film crews in Melrose and Newburyport filmed it.
How does writing your own music compare with the process of composing for a film?
It’s similar because music is the soundtrack to your own life, some would say. The music for this album in particular was the soundtrack to my world as it unfolded during the summer I wrote it. It’s a timestamp of everything I was going through and feeling; emotions melted into piano chords and melodies along with progressively materializing lyrics, making it the musical embodiment of my real life emotions and experiences.
What has your experience as a woman in the industry been like?
It’s been a wonderful experience and of course there are always safety concerns that we have to consider that men may not have to. It’s a wonderful community and I’ve had nothing but positive encounters most of the time. But it’s important to always be aware, ask questions and do your homework before getting involved in projects. From my own experiences I have found the film community of New England to be very welcoming and female friendly.
“Staring Down a Barrel” (Sanford Film Festival, Script to Screen Winner) Stills (Actor)
Were you told or did you learn a piece of wisdom or advice you now tell others in the beginning of their career?
It’s OK to say no and don’t feel you have to take every opportunity that comes to you. At the same time it’s good to start out doing small things, volunteering, being an extra in films. This is a wonderful way to get involved and get familiar with your community, and to make friends and connections. Making new connections and becoming involved in projects will not only lead to wonderful friendships, it could also put you on the path to your next amazing opportunity.
What are some things you wish could change/would help if more women were in the industry?
I would love to see the numbers of female screenwriters and directors grow, and in reality it’s happening! Some of the most amazing projects I’ve been involved with were female led. I know this will continue and women in leadership roles in film will continue to grow and flourish.
Why are you a member of WIFVNE?
I was so happy to have recently joined WIFVNE. Being part of a female led community of filmmakers, writers, actors etc. can only be beneficial. Women working together, supporting one another’s endeavors, mentoring, performing various community outreach projects, etc., will continue to make the community of women in film and video stronger.