A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Kate Cloutier studied drama at the University of Minnesota but didn’t start acting full-time until last year, when she decided to leave her career as an emergency medical technician. Besides knowing how to save lives, she also sings, plays guitar, substitute teaches, is a trained firefighter, and as you can see at left, is very serious about her workouts.
Kate jokingly said giving very detailed answers was part of her obsessive-compulsive disorder, but for anyone wanting to know what it takes to get in the shape you see she’s in, you’ll definitely appreciate the detailed rundown she gives on her workout routine. Oh, I should add the photo at left is from 2009 and Kate’s appearance has changed since. Her hair’s longer now.
CHRIS CHARLES: I know you’re friends with Kelly Barry-Miller, who I interviewed for this site a few months ago. Have the two of you worked on any projects together? KATE CLOUTIER: Yes. We met at the end of March 2011 on the Lumpy set. I was on crew for lead stand-in. The director liked me so much, he would tell me what wardrobe to bring and put me in the wedding scene, and also used in four different scenes, as well. Kelly was in the extra holding area when I met her. She was so sweet and genuine, and not full of herself, like some I know in the business. Later on in another scene, we were put at the same table. I couldn’t believe how we were so much alike in expressions, personality, etc. We became Facebook friends after that shoot, and then met for lunch a little while after. I could not believe how the time flew in our four-hour date. We have such a strong connection, and I wonder where she was when I needed someone to be a vault. We are best friends, and each other’s vaults.
CHRIS: Yes, Kelly’s an amazingly positive person ….and for awhile was even more popular than Asian women in prison movies here. So, I read you’re in the gym every other day, which is evident from your bikini photos. What’s your workout regimen like?
KATE: I do core every day, and then this cardio:
Day 1: Jump rope 30-45 min
Day 2: Circuit: 3 min cardio/1 min strength (weights and resistance bands)
Day 3: Run 5-8 miles.
Day 4: Nine station circuit. 1 minute rotating stations 7 times for total of 63 min.
Station 1: Ladder,
Station 2: Chest fly
Station 3: Wall squat,
Station 4: Ab teasers (Lay flat on mat with large red ball over head, perform pilate teaser V sit, and place ball between ankles, lay flat, perform pilates teaser V sit, grab ball and lay flat, repeat)
Station 5: Hamstring curls,
Station 6: Step aerobics,
Station 7: Lunges with weights,
Station 8: jump rope,
Station 9: Ab challenge: (in a pilates V sit-feet off floor, take 6 lb ball and got side to side from waist).
Day 5: Pilates and weights.
Day 6: Elliptical 30-45 min
Day 7: Aerobic Kick Box and Elliptical circuit: 9 min high impact activity/1 min elliptical.
I also exercise my dog everyday on top of these workouts. For spring and summer workouts, my dog comes first. We run every day, and one day a week we walk. I will ride my bike 30 miles minimum three days a week, yes …this includes a day I run. Weights every other day:
Day 1: Chest and triceps
Day 2: Back, shoulders, and biceps
Day 3: Legs. Core again, is everyday
CHRIS: Wow, that’s quite a regimen. Have you ever considered “crossing the line” from fitness model to bodybuilder?
KATE: No. I did bodybuilding in High School, even more so when I was a firefighter. I needed to prove to the guys I could do the job. I didn’t like being so muscular and bulky. After having my daughter, I went from 130 lbs, to 115, by doing cardio and toning. I don’t like the bulky feel. I like my body better now than I did 10 years ago.
CHRIS: I’ve even noticed some fitness models resent being referred to as bodybuilders. So moving on; you also play guitar, sing, and do voice-over work?
KATE: Having good connections, and being obedient on the set has got me a lot of jobs. I am very upbeat, energetic, respectful and do the job that I am there to do. I am not on a set to make friends. If I make one; great, but I am there for the director and crew. With that stated, the voice over work I got was from being on Lumpy set. The line producer liked me so much, I am featured in “Tour Talk.” You can hear my voice when you ride the Light Rail in Minneapolis. I sing and play guitar. I have a Yamaha APX500 acoustic/electric. I self taught myself when I was 12. Even though I play, and know chords, I am working with a private tour and doing more picking and power chords like in Green Day, Foo Fighter songs. Super hard! I sing alto/tenor. When I sing, people tell me I sound like Carly Simon or Elton John. I did land a musical for Fringe Festival, which is pretty huge and everyone wants to be in a Fringe show. I played the strung out cancer ridden “Cammie.”
CHRIS: How and why did you learn sign language?
KATE: This goes back to the firefighting. I also had to get my EMT (certification), because we would do rescue and ambulance calls. There are a lot of people who need emergency treatment that are hearing impared. I worked as a paramedic for 12 years before I quit that full-time job to pursue my dream. I used sign language a lot in the field. I sub now for a school district that has funding for special needs. I mainly sub as a school nurse. Again, the sign language comes in handy ….and never know, a big role could come up where I play a hearing impared person, fall in love with one, or be a teacher to one.
CHRIS: You’ve performed in some “murder mystery” theater productions. Tell me a little about those.
KATE: A lot of fun. I play in two different ones. Both are comedy and even though a murder is committed, it is like “Clue.” We involve the audience, interact with them for an hour, sometimes more depending on Happy Hour, and throughout dinner. We stagger ourselves and each of us sit with the audience. While staying in character, we dine with them and perform. After the murder, we give them pencils and clues. They can partner up, get out of their seats move around and ask us questions. No one can lie. Only the murderer can. I have not been the murderer yet, but I get 13 or more votes. On Cozy Comfy Cruise Lines, I play Charlie Bankhead. She is working her way in college for her Master’s Degree in Science. She has been employed for five years, and really likes the job because she meets new guys on every trip …but the person who belittles her and humiliates her in public dies from a chemical reaction. In Cabin Fever, I play the ditzy maid Tawnya Twillig, who has been employed at the lodge for only a year. The owner really likes me, and there is speculation that I do more than just change his sheets. When he is murdered, I was on the staircase passing another would be suspect, and another suspect tells everyone that I could be in his room yelling, “Geoffrey, Geoffrey!” Even though our scenes are scripted, we do a lot of improv …like a lot!
CHRIS: It does sound like a lot of fun. Most of the indie actresses I’ve interviewed have done mostly horror. Is that your favorite genre?
KATE: Wow …tough question. I would have to vote comedy. I am told I am just like Sandra Bullock, and at the time didn’t see a lot of her movies. My daughter loved All About Steve all my friends, family and my daughter was telling me to see this movie, because the character is so much like me. After I saw it, I am like CREEPY ….everyone is right. I bought red knee high boots the next day. With that stated, even though comedy is my fave, I am cast as drama or the scorned woman. I can cry on the spot. Right on cue. If you said, “cry Kate,” I would …real tears the total time. I have had some difficulties with my daughter’s father. She has seen me cry, and asks if I am acting. I fake her a smile, and tell her yes.
CHRIS: Where exactly was the short The Cabin shot at and who owns that cabin?
KATE: The Cabin was shot in Minneapolis, close to Robbinsdale. (North Memorial Hospital) Nice residential wooded backyard. Friends of the director. Funny thing, is the people who own the house have all this vintage stuff, washboards, fishing poles, maple buckets, taxidermy, and pinball games on their lower level. Nothing matches. It’s a wall full of mirrored art, with garden gnomes …so tacky, but perfect for the film, and my character. So, little side story for you here: When I got the script via e-mail, John is like, “Sorry Kate, but I have to age you, and you need to be Michael’s mom.” Think gaudy. My thoughts …dude, in real life I am four years older than Michael. HELP!! So, I post on Facebook that I need to be gaudy, and what is gaudy?? I got so many responses. Best one: Peggy Bundy from Married with Children ….what?? I never really saw that show. I was in middle school and high school when it was on. So, I Googled “Peggy Bundy.” I nailed the gaudy look, and used the raspy voice. Oh ya, I can change my voice and stick to that same voice. I am a great screamer too.
CHRIS: Haha! Yes Peggy Bundy, as well as the rest of the members of the Bundy clan, has become sort of a cult icon. So, what behind-the-scenes duties have you done on film projects, so far?
KATE: Lead stand-in on Lumpy. Worked up close and personal with Justin Long, Tyler Labine, Jess Wexler, Addison Timlin, and Shelley Long. Because of the budget, I was stand in for all. I was last girl standing. Went through four male stand-ins because they were not obedient. I learned to appreciate film crews. Everyone on set has such a timeline, and it was amazing to watch set crew create something in 15 minutes. Everyone on the crew works their bottoms off. Since my experience with Lumpy, I make it a point to thank the crew for their outstanding, hard work. I send a thank you e-mail to the director after a shoot to thank him, and also to mention his crew.
CHRIS: And believe me, the behind-the-scenes people do appreciate that. What projects are you currently working on?
KATE: I am in a TV pilot Sick of Normal. I am a superheroine/metahuman who is an ex-porn star. My ability is tracking. My kickboxing background helped me land this role. My name is Tracker/Sonja Rails. We just wrapped episode one this last Friday. Pepsi is one of our sponsors. Six episodes are written so far. Mr. Mystery Dinner Theater is ongoing. I just wrapped another music video pilot for A&E, and four auditions in one day, all within the last ten days. I have a meeting with Stepahanie Allensworth this Saturday. I met her two months ago, and after giving her my business card, she informed me that she will be contacting me. I honestly have been so busy with the holidays, my daughter, filming and performing, that I need to follow-up with her. Then. boom ….she came to me. Good feeling.
CHRIS: Anything unique you can tell me about yourself that isn’t included on any bio information you have online?
KATE: I am genuine and sincere. I front stab. If I have a beef, I will let you know. You will not hear it from others. When I go to an audition, I am very antisocial. Again, I am there to make friends, or chat with you if you are my friend. I am there to study my sides period. The ones that get it know the business, and I respect them. I despise third party hearsay. In conversation, if someone or a group of people are talking negative about someone, I do not chime in. I believe if you are going to talk about someone, let them be there to defend themselves. I do not believe in a nickname unless it is one you can call the person to his or her face. There should be no behind the back nicknames. My #1 pet peeve is inappropriate left lane usage. And lastly; if I encounter a funeral procession while driving, I turn off my radio to give the departed a moment of silence.
CHRIS: Well, now Kelly will no longer have bragging rights on you because you’ve been featured here too, Kate and it’s been a pleasure. I’ll keep an eye out for any future projects of your. In closing, any shout-outs to anyone? KATE: Wow …I love Kelly. She is a true pro. I guess if I would give a shout out to someone, it would be Michael Thomas Cox. I have had the honor and privilege to work with this talented young man. He is an actor, just wrote a short film for Z Fest Film Festival, and will be directing that film as well. This guy is going places. We did a music video together, and have worked on three sets together, as well.
With the St. Paul Saints’ mascot, supporting her hometown baseball team
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris flirted with the music business there and in Nashville before joining the U.S. Army and serving in South Korea. He remained in Asia for several years afterwards, teaching English and covering the regional entertainment scenes. Currently in a mindset between Seoul and San Francisco, besides Idol Features, you can also catch his writings in the print edition of the quarterly magazine, Effective.