I would like to introduce to you all my friend Katie Walter. She is an amazing person and I am very grateful for having her in my life. My first time meeting Katie was on W57th Street in NYC several years ago and I knew from day one that she was a unique woman. I have been inspired by Katie's outgoing personality and adventurous spirit to live life to the fullest. Katie is smart, beautiful and talented and I am honored to have the opportunity to interview her for you all to know her story.
REYNOLDS 2.2: Where are you from?
Katie Walter: I was born in Hollywood, Florida and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. I moved to Manhattan at age 16 and after seven years took an opportunity to move to London. I was there for six months before moving to Hollywood, California in February, 2009. I still have my NY apartment (and spent much of February and March there) but call Los Angeles home.
REYNOLDS 2.2: How tall are you and what color are your eyes?
Katie Walter: I’m 5’11” with blue eyes.
REYNOLDS 2.2: How is life being a model and actress?
Katie Walter: Life as a model and actress always feels like a gift. Acting has always been my passion and pursuit and modeling was a great way to earn a living and an unexpected excuse to move to NYC at an early age though I left modeling full time several years ago (though in recent months modeling seems to be making a come back). I feel very blessed earning a living doing what I love. It’s not always easy, but I believe every moment is what we make it, so I strive to see the beauty in everything and leave no stones unturned. I’ve seen and experienced a lot of good in these industries which typically get a bad rap because I look for, and focus on, the good so the competition, rejection and shallowness we so often hear about doesn’t become an issue for me. Having been free-lance my whole life, I appreciate making my own schedule and having a lot of time to pursue life outside of work, but find that being self-employed actually keeps me busier than someone who might have a 40 hour work week. My mind is always going, always “on the job,” so I often admire people who get to leave work at the end of the day or week and just BE without taking another thought for it....relaxing can be a struggle for me!
REYNOLDS 2.2: What inspired you to be a model and actress?
Katie Walter: Since I was old enough to answer the question “what do you want to be when you grow up,” i’ve had the same answer..... “a singer, actress and dancer.” From a young age, I admired Bette Middler for her triple threat talents and began going to theatre classes at an early age- taking any opportunity to be on stage or in front of the camera. I was fortunate enough to go to a large high school with an amazing performing arts program, as well. The opportunities afforded me there and in some quality community theaters in my area, solidified that this was what I wanted to do for my career. Modeling came into my life rather unexpectedly. I have always been a “big girl,” so modeling was never a thought but people would often comment that I had a “pretty face” and should pursue modeling. Eventually I listened and began doing some work as a plus-size model in the mid-west- signing first with an agency in Cincinnati called Wings. They introduced me to a Ford Models in Chicago and it was through them that I scheduled a test with Fadil Berisha in NYC. During our photo shoot, spring break of my junior year of high school, he asked if I had met Gary Dakin, the head of Ford NY Plus Division. When I said no, he went right to the phone, and proceeded to hand me a post-it with the agency address. He said my mother and I were to head there right after the shoot, Gary was waiting to meet us. Gary signed me that afternoon and asked if I would come to NY for the summer. He said I most likely I wouldn't work but could go to castings, get my comp card around, meet clients and hopefully fly in for some gigs during my senior year. I had already auditioned for- and been accepted into- the American Academy of Dramatic Arts summer program in LA, but was able to transfer to their NYC school. My mother (who also happens to be my best friend) picked me up after my last final exam of eleventh grade and we headed towards the big city. We got a call half way there saying I had a booking on Monday- a national campaign for JCPenney- and we needed to get there asap! The entire summer unfolded that way- I worked a ton, week after week and all my mom and I could do was look at each other in amazement-, to us it was very clear that this was Divine Intervention. After just a few weeks, we knew there was something bigger than us (or modeling) going on here and we decided to put our Indiana house on the market and started looking for a place to buy in New York City!!!
My career flourished that year while through Indiana University Online, I finished the final two credits I needed to graduate with honors diploma- the two credits I could take ONLY as a senior (I have a thing about procrastination so I had completed as many credits as I could early...and that proved to be very beneficial)! Soon thereafter my mom got an amazing job opportunity in Boston and moved north as I began training professionally as an actress in NY.
REYNOLDS 2.2: Can you tell me what type of work you have done as an actress?
Katie Walter: I am a member of Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity Association. A few of my favorite film credits include: Revolutionary Road, The Inside Man, Baby Mama, Cadillac Records, Games, Meant To Be and Colette. Television: Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Mad Men. Pieces (of Ass) was my professional stage debut in New York at Dodger Stages, Off-Broadway. The show was made of up 12 beautiful women who each wrote and performed (eight shows a week) a monologue around the tag line “so you think pretty girls have it easy?” I was the ‘token’ plus-size piece and had the privilege of sharing my experiences as a plus-size model in a skinny woman’s world. I have also done several commercials including national network spots for Slimfast, Alli, and Playtex Bras.
REYNOLDS 2.2: What type of print work have you done as a model?
Katie Walter: In high school I shot for mid-west companies such as Dillards and Value City. Once I hit NYC I did a wide variety- everything from editorials to catalogues to in-store posters. Client's included Macy's, Bloomingdales, Kmart, etc. I have been in magazines from Harper's Bazaar to Glamour to O, Parenting, Figure, Family Circle, Elle to Vogue. In addition to print work, I did some runway (though there are not a lot of runway opportunities in the plus-size industry) and fit modeling (where an entire clothing line is built to your body as if you're the mannequin)- I was the fit model for J.Lo's plus-size clothing line, Lovelies.
REYNOLDS 2.2: Do you travel a lot and can you share with me some of the places you have been?
Katie Walter: My parents were both avid travelers so I was raised being exposed to a wide variety of cultures- especially European (I am first generation American with my father- who passed away when I was nine- who was born in Germany and where we spent many summer vacations growing up). Highlights include a two month backpacking trip when I was twelve with my mom as far North as Scandinavia and as far South as Italy; a twenty day trip to Greece (Athens, Crete, Rhodes); and I recently returned from 18 days in India for a friends wedding. Living in London, of course, opened the door for fun adventures in the UK and through out Europe.
REYNOLDS 2.2: You have a strong belief in God, how does that belief help you with life and your career?
Katie Walter: I do have a strong belief in God, very strong, and I don’t know what I would do without that relationship and foundation. I believe every step of the amazingly crazy, serendipitous stories that have gotten me where I am today are the effect of Divine Unfoldment. Knowing that God is good and God is all, and that He is working His purpose out at all times, I can surrender my sense of human will and trust. That trust and yielding has taken away so much of the stress and pressure that knocks at my door- whether with career, relationships, body image, or anything. I have a favorite little poem that I learned years ago in Sunday School. It is very simple, but it has gotten me through so much:
“I am the place where God shines through,
For He and I are one, not two.
I need not fear, nor fret, nor plan,
He needs me now right where I am;
And if I'll be relaxed and free
He'll carry out His plan through me.”
REYNOLDS 2.2: What are some of your hobbies?
Katie Walter: I LOVE dancing and singing and acting, of course (i’m lucky that my favorite hobbies also happen to be my career). I also love hiking, swimming, roller blading, biking, yoga, transformational work, traveling, spiritual study and I spend a lot of time volunteering, as well!
REYNOLDS 2.2: What can we expect from you in 2011?
Katie Walter: I, myself don’t know what to expect from 2011, but am excited to be able to dedicate myself FULLY to my career for the first time in my life. I am very good at getting distracted with volunteer organizations or serving on boards of directors and not giving acting my all. This is the year I want to commit to playing the game full out! What comes of it, I can’t say- I want to know I gave it my best- but I know that whatever unfolds will be perfect!
REYNOLDS 2.2: What has been one of your most exciting and/or memorable jobs to date?
Katie Walter: One of my favorite modeling jobs was for GLAMOUR magazine- an editorial with tips for “softer, shinier, sexier hair.” I kicked off the day getting a pedicure/manicure on set at our location which was a stunning brownstone in the Village and then being shuffled from one gorgeous bathtub or shower to the next (wearing a white strapless bikini, of course). I was turning into a prune but it was a fun and laugh filled day as hair and make-up artists doused me in concocted bubble recipes to give the shot that perfectly sudsy look! There’s nothing like a good tear sheet of you washing your hair! Another memorable modeling moment was during a work trip to LA to meet Jennifer Lopez so she could determine if my body type was what she wanted to use to base her clothing line on. I was standing facing away from her and she was sitting down with with her hands on my hips. Her manager expressed concern that I wasn’t big enough and she replied “this girl’s got back.......” That’s right, J.Lo told ME I had back.....it was an honor! I always love being on the film sets but have some extra special memories from my time on the Law & Order set and shooting Colette in London.
REYNOLDS 2.2: Is there any advice you can tell the next girl who wants to get into the industry you are in?
Katie Walter: My advice to anyone who wants to get into acting, modeling or anything, really, is to follow your gut and don’t let negative advice or feedback keep you from following your inner voice; leave no stones unturned- live so that you have no “what ifs?” in the end; and trust the opportunities that come- we are constantly being sent little message gifts but if we are set on what the gifts are that we want and when we want them and how we want them, we can overlook the present right before us. One more BIG point is gratitude- BE grateful for everything and everyone right now, as is- I find that creates a space for more things to be grateful for to show up!
On that note, i’d like to thank Robert Reynolds for this opportunity and seeking me out and always encouraging me- who knew we’d still be in touch after meeting on W57th street in Manhattan years ago!
Looks like Katie has been doing big things since day one with her career and I am truly happy for you Ms Walter! I'm so blessed to know such an amazing friend like you and thanks for the love! Keep doing what you do and may God continue to bless you throughout your career.