We had the good fortune of connecting with Kate Samonte and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kate, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
As a child I’ve always wanted to be a cartoon character. It would be a dying wish for Tara Strong to gift me the VO role of Bubbles. But growing up as a first-gen Filipino American daughter, you have unspoken roles you need to fulfill, primarily through your career path. My first interest in the arts was ballet, and all throughout school I always engaged in the musicals, choir, tv production- anything with a stage or a camera you would find me. Of course my parents’ would make it a point to sit in the front rows, but in their eyes they always saw those interests as “hobbies” and never anything I can pursue as a career. When I told my mom I wanted to go to college for Musical Theater, she looked me dead in the eyes and asked, “What are you going to do with that degree?” So as any other teenager would do without a fully developed frontal lobe and opinions for themselves that felt this cultural guilt hanging over their heads to please their parents, I studied Behavioral Neuroscience to become a health professional. But don’t get me wrong, I promised myself that after this accomplishment, inner-child Kate’s goals of being Voice Over Actress will be fulfilled shortly after. It was not until I went through the most difficult academic hardship to be accepted into graduate school to become a Physician Assistant, was when I had a revelation: “Why am I doing my backup career-first? Who am I even living for?” It took countless tears and sleepless nights getting into PA school, objectively that was my biggest accomplishment thus far. Yet when I received my acceptance letter, I still wasn’t happy. I had this plan of pleasing my parents’ idea of me and establishing a sense of security in my life by pushing my real passions aside. Pretty soon I’d find myself middle-aged in a spacious house and a white picket-fenced backyard looking in the mirror with utter disappointment, having not accomplished anything for *me.* So as any other adult individual I would hope to do with more life experiences and thoughts of their own, I dropped out of the program and chose the road less traveled. I pursue an artistic career because quite frankly this is the only direction meant for me. Never have I ever been so true to myself. Never have I felt such risks taken and agonizing uncertainty actually worth living for.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
2 and a half years ago I did a complete 180 and decided I’m not going to live the lesser life. The universe was like hell yea Kate let’s get this shit going! I’ve achieved so much for MYSELF since I’ve embarked on this career endeavor than I I ever have thus far. They’re not massive- but it goes to show that I have more gratitude toward these micro-accomplishments than the goals I’ve reached to please the people around me. Back in Philadelphia I produced a short film my brother and I wrote called Loco Talk, one of the first official forms of art I’ve ever created from scratch. It ain’t Sundance material, but I sure am proud of it simply because it it comes from a place of authenticity and expressing who I am as an individual, and it was made with someone who not only is my idol, but has always supported me from the beginning. It’s definitely not easy maintaining a positive attitude. The arts industry is a major contrast to the medical field. Being a successful health- professional is certainly no stroll in the park, I commend anyone pursuing this profession, but there a definite light at the end of the tunnel. The hard work will lead to tangible success. As an artist you have to sacrifice security and stability. You’re nothing but vulnerable to people’s opinions and criticism about your craft, which inevitably can reflect on the consistency of your success. But everyone is talented. Everyone is special in a way that sets them apart from others. It’s just a matter of how you say it so people listen to it. Little did I know becoming a certified Yoga Instructor would actually help me find a side of my voice I didn’t know could come out of me. That’s the thing about expressing yourself through all the passions you pursue- they can be so different yet somehow they all connect and make you, you. My voice carries in every crowded room. It cuts through the wavelengths like a sharp knife slices into a block of cheese. My voice has been called annoying, or distinct, and not always in a positive way. For every 100 no’s I still never get a yes. There comes a point when that hard pill to swallow becomes a daily dose of your every day routine. It’s the moment when someone actually hears me, and see’s me for what I am worth, that I know I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. I’m looking forward to what else this path has in store for me.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My best friend from the East Coast actually did visit recently for a couple days, and we had a blast a Joshua Tree! To be honest, I am an awful tour guide. It’s been a little over a year moving here from Philadelphia so I’m still trying to figure out places for myself to check out. But more on the local areas, I spend a lot of time at cafes and parks. I live in silver lake, so I’m usually hangin around there or Echo Park. Love love love Stories! It’s a cute little cafe on Sunset Blvd with a book store inside and a backdoor seating area. Pan Pacific Park located by Melrose is a spacious recreation center with plenty of grass to post up for a picnic and paths to walk around. I’d definitely make my way to Pine and Crane for some good eats. Located in Silver Lake on Sunset Blvd. If you’re looking for tasty Taiwanese cuisine, this is the place to go! Being any other classic starving artist who has to accept random jobs because that’s just the way life is, I’ve found some of my closest friends through being overqualified and underemployed. The jobs may not be the funnest, but the people I have met along the way certainly are.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
As hard of a time my Mom gave me for completely and abruptly abandoning a career path she much so supported and answered every hysterical phone call of mine during the pursuit of it- she is still my biggest fan today. I understand how hurt she was from me flipping a sudden switch in my life endeavors that was not essentially the conventional path I was so obedient following, but she also understood how hurt I was enduring it. The ultimate blessing of simply being able to pursue my true passion in the first place- all boils down to my Mom. I would not be able to choose the road less traveled if it weren’t for Shirley. The sacrifices, the support, the unconditional love I know I don’t deserve, is what I dedicate this shoutout to. I certainly cannot forget my first and forever VO instructor Rob Holt. Whenever I slate my name in a recording, he is the first person that comes to mind, and he is the first person I reach out to when I land a role. I wouldn’t know my full potential if it weren’t for him. I wouldn’t be so confident in my craft if it weren’t for him. During discouraging periods and when I lack motivation, he believes in me even when I don’t. His words are what I always turn to when I feel stagnant. “I know with my story that even the ups and downs, over time there was a cumulative effect from all of the ups I had…kind of like when you shut off the engine at speed in a boat. The boat doesn’t just stop dead in the water. It keeps going and then the wake catches up and gives it that push from behind.” Oh, and of course my therapists that have guided me along the way. Shoutout to Lola Georg- you’re a real one!

Website: katesamontevo.com
Instagram: kat.but

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