DISHIN’ OFF THE CUFF
by michele weston
KATIE WALTER is a super-glamourous woman from the inside out. Firstly, as a women’s role model at age 21 – and then a plus size model. I’ve known Katie since Mode Magazine when she came to New York City at age 16 to model for Ford Models. The modeling career for this curvy girl skyrocketed and to live out one of her dreams, Katie moved to Manhattan permanently spending what would be her Senior year of high school modeling and finishing up getting her honors diploma. Katie said that she has developed what she likes to call the "Katie Walter Conservatory, Which involved studying at various professional venues.” She decided in 2004 that it was time to start auditioning -- and with the 'Goddesses' watching her - she was cast in the NY ensemble!
It just so happened that this great play is all about women and their bodies -- written as a series of their very own monologues -- was coming to town from the west coast! I had the pleasure to see this piece this past month called Pieces of Ass. Each one of the 12 women in the cast wrote their own monologues, a very cool way to get to the truth of the matter for each of us is to have to ‘suss’ out how we feel about our bodies, sex, and relationships!
I sat down afterwards to talk about the other actresses in the show and what she had learned as the only plus-size woman in a truly ‘de-segregated’play Off-Broadway that has women of all body types and ethnicities on board. So here goes:
MW: When you auditioned Katie, you said you had to write your story to the producer Brian Howie. How many pages did you start out with when you emailed him after the first audition?
KW: “I sent Brian 30 pages total. My piece now contains one and a half pages of that.”
MW: Your monologue really touches the core of whole body image struggles - especially with the models I have met over the years - for those with curves -- Do you have a favorite favorite word or thought you say in the show”
KW: “I am that I am” which is from Exodus – Chapter 3 Verse 14.”
MW: What do you think of the play’s balance of 12 women’s stories?
KW: “I think the balance is admirable. There is a ‘token’ African American, a Lesbian, and a Plus-size girl, but hey … At least they are there at all. My wish for the pieces is not to have more variety necessarily, but to dig deeper into the stories we currently have. I have said before that I wish the audience could know and hear what I do about each of the women’s stories in the show.”
MW: What is your least favorite word or thought from another performer in the show?
KW: “One of the women says “I wanted a place where they would focus on my body and not my messed up soul” That’s a rough quote – It is not that I don’t like it but every time I hear it said each night I feel rubbed the wrong way. I guess I understand and empathize because I am on the opposite end of the spectrum, but I hate for her that that is the way she has had to feel.”
MW: So let’s get personal – What’s you most favorite asset about your body?
KW: “I appreciate my balances proportions and hourglass figure.”
MW: And lastly, what is your least favorite asset about your figure?
KW: Being ‘Big- Boned.’ I’ve been trying to get generally smaller my entire life.”
MW: Will the show travel at all again from NYC and it's beginning in California?
KW: “The producers definitely have hopes for traveling again. This time to places such as London and Australia, and our contracts for New York City have been extended as of now.”
Log onto: www.playbill.com for reviews and more info on the NYC Off-Broadway show if you want a real treat with women making history this month!
about michele weston
Michele Weston, author of Learning Curves: Living Your Life in Full and with Style (Crown) and co-founder of Selling Style is one of the world's leading industry experts and speakers on fashion and style. You may have seen her on Oprah, The Today Show, The View, The CBS Early Show, E!/Fashion Emergency 911, Lifetime Television and Oxygen Networks as well as numerous regional morning show appearances across the country.
She is the former founding fashion & style director for Mode magazine and has also served as senior fashion editor for Mademoiselle, and special projects editing for Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan and In Style magazines. Michele continues to lecture on positive body image and also is called upon for expert quotes in various women's magazines.