We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie J. Stone and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katie, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think of risk in terms of vulnerability and resilience. Taking a risk, be it personal or professional, means being vulnerable to potential rejection. But here’s the important part, the other half of this thing, having the resilience to get back up and try again. Over and over again. I’m a big fan of the musical Hadestown, and this lyric always guts me: “Cause, here’s the thing: To know how it ends And still begin to sing it again As if it might turn out this time I learned that from a friend of mine…” To know how it ends and to still begin to sing it again. This, to me, is the risk cycle we all must take as artists, as professionals, as humans. There is no “secret to success”, no way to circumvent the potential suffering from taking a risk. But there is a short-cut straight to failure, and that’s to not even try. One of the biggest reasons I have the modest level of success I’ve been fortunate enough to attain is my willingness to continually take risks. Everyone complains about how much they hate some essential part of making in entertainment be it, networking, self promotion, auditioning, general meetings, “paying your dues”, day jobs or fill in the blanket with whatever it is for you. I bet that under that compliant is a fear of looking stupid, desperate, failing, wasting your time, getting stuck … etc. Which at the end of the day is just a fear of risking rejection. You can dress it up as modesty, but it’s weirdly a form of arrogance. You’re too good to even try? My career started to take off once I got over myself and starting advocating for myself as if I were someone else that I cared for deeply. Someone I believed in and wanted to see succeed. What wouldn’t I do for her? What risk wasn’t worth taking? Of course I still grieve my losses and am frustrated by my failures. But guess what? Once that’s done, I pick myself up off the floor and get right back at it. I’ve risked so much come this far, and there’s no way I’m stopping now.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Professionally I’m most proud of selling a pilot to ABC last year, with SONY as our studio and Freddie Highmore as our Executive Producer. https://deadline.com/2019/10/adversaries-abc-drama-navy-top-gun-series-freddie-highmore-1202754648/ This was a long time career goal that happened just two weeks after my wedding (2019 was a *good* year for me.) I wish I could say from there I sailed off into production, but it wasn’t meant to be. ABC did not pick us up to shoot in 2020. Which, with the state of the world and our industry now, feels like a blessing in disguise. We still have hopes that Adversaries will find a home in cable or streaming, but in the meantime we’re getting ready to take out new pitches for this development cycle and are excited about about what the future holds. Risk, vulnerability, resilience. Repeat.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well this is tricky in the time era of social distancing, but here’s some local businesses I recommend supporting during your quarantine: KleanSpa https://kleanspa.com/ Turn your home into a spa experience with their candles, lotions, and bath/shower products. Pasticcino Di Irucci https://www.yelp.com/biz/pasticcino-di-irucci-los-angeles My husband got me pavlova (my favorite) from this bakery for my birthday and it was amazing! Beautiful Patisserie/Cake Shop. Veronica Krok Fitness https://www.instagram.com/veronicalifts Keeping fit, getting outside, and moving your body are essential for your mental and emotional well being – not just your physical health. Book a virtual training session with Veronica, your body will thank you! Gangadin https://gangadin.com/ Spice up your quarantine with amazing Indian food, local to Studio City. They deliver! Alexis Artin https://www.alexisartin.com/ Dance and moving meditation classes on zoom! There are free community classes, and smaller private sessions for $20. A great deal either way, and a wonderful way to feel connected. Dr. Nadine Macaluso https://www.nadinemacaluso.com/ Dr. Nae has been my therapist for over 4 years now, and I would not have the personal or professional stability I’ve built without the work we’ve done together. This is such a scary time in the world, it could be the perfect opportunity to start therapy from the comfort of your own home.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Shoutout is to my writing partner, LCDR David Daitch. In addition to being a TV Writer, he’s a Navy Reservist, senior fellow at the USC Schwarzenegger Institute, and stood beside me at the “Man of Honor” at my wedding. Taking a risk on becoming David’s writing partner was one of the greatest decisions of my life. He’s continually pushed me to be my best, drug me into my own success on days when I just wanted to give up, and taught me to like peaty scotch along the way. He’s the Sheldon to my Penny, the Brain to my Pinky, and the older brother I never had. David is hardworking, loyal, and honest to a fault. Anyone would be lucky to work with him (and I’m not just saying that because that means you’d have to hire me too!)