We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Koster and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katie, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
That you never finish learning. You can strive for perfection, but you will never actually get there. However, you can still learn more and more along the way!. Even the experts in the acting and VO world still get coaching and work to level up their craft.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have an acting background, which was very helpful for audiobook narration – especially my theatre training and experience. I was a theatre arts major in college. Then, when I moved to NYC, I did a 2-year Meisner Technique acting program at the William Esper Studio and filled up my resume with various plays. Acting for the theatre (as opposed to the screen) prepared me for the expressiveness and range I need for voice acting, and the experience of playing various roles in theatre helps when I have to voice 30 different characters in an audiobook. Also my vocal training (from college, acting school, and singing lessons) helps me keep my stamina for 7-hour sessions in the booth. The difference is that now I’m the sole storyteller, not just one cast member of a play or a film, so I have to really BE a storyteller and own the whole piece. But I was raised by two librarians, so I love reading. Getting paid to read out loud and act out a multitude of characters is a dream.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live on the Westside, so most (but not all) of my recs will be around here. I love downtown Culver City. It has such an “old movie star” vibe, in large part due to the landmark The Culver Hotel and its Wizard of Oz history. Culver City has blocks of awesome restaurants – with sidewalks lined with fairy-lit trees. I recommend grabbing cocktails at the Culver Hotel, a healthful but delicious dinner at Cafe Vida or Italian classics at Novecento, and a show at the Kirk Douglas Theater (like Henson’s Puppet Up if it’s playing). Or if it’s lunchtime, hit up Potato Chips Deli on Main St. for giant sandwiches or Victor Jr.’s for a Chicken Parm hero. Then head up to Culver Blvd. to the Museum of Jurassic Technology for a weird and unforgettable time. Adjacent to Culver City are some great L.A. neighborhood spots. For the best bagel in L.A., head to Mar Vista’s New York Bagel & Deli. Next, DEFINITELY stop for cookies at Zooies in Cheviot Hills: their S’mores, Apple Pie, Salted Caramel, Gooie Chocolate Chip (I could go on…) cookies will blow your mind. Fill up your gas tank at the Cheviot Hills United Oil station while you’re there – they have the cheapest gas around! Then swing up to Atticus Creamery & Pies on Pico Blvd. for tiny, adorable, and yummy pies. And throw in a massage at The Massage Place on Overland Ave. in nearby Rancho Park. For a beachier time, grab a latte at Urth Caffé in Santa Monica, then some delicious Italian food at Locanda Positano in Marina Del Rey. (My husband and I have made it our annual Valentine’s Day spot.) Do a sunset drive up PCH to Malibu (preferably in a convertible). Park in the Palisades or in Malibu and take in the ocean views and breeze. Other dinner options: tapas and wine at Manchego in Santa Monica or yummy pad thai at Ekkamai Thai in Marina Del Rey. And if you head down PCH instead of up, go to Manhattan Beach and be sure to stop by Love and Salt for their duck egg pizza. Make time for weekend brunch! 26 Beach in Marina Del Rey has ice cream-topped pancakes!!! Metro Cafe in Culver City has Sautéed Banana Pancakes (they taste like Bananas Foster…drool). Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in Inglewood has the best …you may have seen this coming… chicken and waffles! L.A. is known for healthy food, but also for BURGERS. Check out Father’s Office in Culver City (if you’re ok with blue cheese on your burger), Plan Check in Sawtelle (for their super-cool “ketchup leather” and “pig candy”), and In N Out…everywhere (get that double-double animal style and a milkshake!). My non-Westside recommendations: Mashti Malone’s on La Brea in Hollywood for creative ice cream (Lavender!), Katsuya (various locations) for their tuna crispy rice and generally awesome sushi, Sunset Ranch in Hollywood for horseback riding, Clifton’s Cafeteria in downtown L.A. for a variety of eats and taxidermy, and Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank for the drive-in burger-and-splitting-a-
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
P. J. Ochlan is my awesome audiobook narration coach! He is a narrator himself so he “teaches from the trenches,” as he says. And Christine Farrell, my lifelong friend and Grammy-winning audiobook producer, got me started in the audiobook world by introducing me to Deb Deyan, who founded L.A.’s Deyan Audio with her late husband Bob and gave me my first book to narrate.