Storyteller and Performance inspiration
As soon as Katie could walk and be taken into a theatre, she was.
Katie was enamoured by her talented, entertaining grandmother’s storytelling
and singing. Mix in her enormous pride while watching her cousins as leads in
musicals on the West End stage. Equals, Katie was sold, AKA naturally attracted
to the art of voice work and the world of performance.
Theatrical Family Inspiration
A huge influence in Katie’s life was her grandmother Joan Reddin.
Joan was an incredible singer, well known on the live circuit and on the BBC as
the “Irish Colleen”. She sang to sold out theatres from home in Ireland and England
all the way to the palace of the Sultan of India. Joan was also an actress
and the comedy double act for Jimmy O’Dee in Dublin. After the war she
moved to London and became a Personal Manager and looked after the careers
of actors such as Mollie Sugden, Bill Moore, Jimmy Ottoway and Jean Alexander.
Joan’s Aunt, Teresa Reddin was involved in the theatre scene. She held ‘At
Homes’ in 1 Merrion Square, Dublin – Oscar Wilde’s childhood home. When the
audiences grew too large for her drawing room, they decided they needed a
bigger boat. So Teresa helped Micheál Mac Liammóir and his partner Hilton Edwards
co-found the Gate Theatre, Dublin.
Joan was inspired by her father Tony Reddin who was publicity manager
then director of Paramount Pictures.
Tony looked after stars like Elvis and Sophie Tucker when they came to London.
Tony also had his own radio show THE OLD PHILOSOPHER on Radio Caroline.
Joan passed the baton on to her niece Jacquie Reddin who was a regular on the
West End Stage attracting even royal audiences.
Katie was very close to her grandmother and they went on many a tripette to
the theatre to watch plays, musicals, opera and what with Joan’s own performance
stories and Irish songs, Katie was hooked. Joan tried to persuade Katie
against performing as a career, “try and do anything else and be happy” but it
was too late, the spark had been lit.
You can see why Katie fell in love with the theatre when she actually knew
Katie’s cousin Jacquie Reddin was a very talented musical theatre actress and
regularly played Cinderella with Lionel Blair at The Palladium. Going backstage
for Katie was proof that this magical world exists. She could feel it so she wanted
to be in the gang. Also the costumes were way better than real life so…
Jacquie also played Sandy in GREASE, whilst Olivia Newton-John played her on
screen… which obviously was Katie’s favourite film.
If that wasn’t enough, Jacquie married Maynard Williams, AKA Electra and later
Greaseball in STARLIGHT EXPRESS. Every birthday it was, “Katie, what would
you like to do for your -”, “Starlight please.”
It felt like every time Katie switched on the television, Jacquie was also either in
the commercial or the voice of it. She was one of the top voiceover artists in
London at the time. This seemed a great job….talking into a microphone.
Passion for Music
Katie followed her grandmother’s advice and pursued her other passion –
Why?! When Katie tried walking in her families’ shoes, her admiration for them
all multiplied…a million fold. This was not an easy industry. In fact it was pretty
much dead man’s shoes to get a voiceover agent when Katie started. So she
trained with Steve Hudson at VoiceMaster International in 2002, started creating
demos in studios and doing silly animation voices at home… and sent them to
agents. She was out the starting box.
Meanwhile Katie trained as a journalist and specialised in Radio presenting and
producing at Sussex University. She was already a big fan of the d floor for all
things house and electro. Crazy P is still her favourite band.
It was in Brighton, however, that she found breakbeat at SUPERCHARGED in the
club Audio. Each Wednesday she’d dance like it was going out of fashion and
then interview the DJ for her radio show.
Fate then meant she interviewed Jay Cunning and Terry Ryan from Atomic
Hooligan who then asked her to co-present and produce their radio show,
MENU SESSIONS on Breaks FM and Ministry of Sound.
They started a label – Menu Music, Atomic Hooligan won Best Album, Best Live
Act at Glastonbury and they did have a label tent at Glastonbury, but the lightning
obliterated it on the first night! However, they were still nominated for Best
New Label and came second, to the one and only, Annie Nightingale on Radio 1
for Best Radio Show.
In those days – 2007 – they were getting 150,000 downloads a month which was
pretty good going. Let’s just say, their My Space was busy! The boys were big
characters in the scene and Katie would interview and edit established and up
and coming artists, so they had a good mix of entertainment, tunes… and chaos!
Katie was then asked to be the backstage reporter for the dance music village at
Glastonbury for GFM Glastonbury Radio…which she did.
Katie reported from many a music festival and interviewed a plethora of incredible
dance music DJs and producers for production companies.
She also won a pitch and took a team to run a TV station inside a holiday park at
TRIBAL GATHERING THE WEEKENDER. She interviewed DJs and broadcast
them with their mixes to the festival revellers in their rooms. So that happened…
It was a weekend she’ll never forget!
Katie even DJ’d herself a few times. Here with Tamsin Egerton warming up for
Jade Jagger, at The Ivy, London and various private parties.
Industry Baby Steps
Katie’s grandmother kept saying, “I know what I’m looking at, it’s my job.
You’re a comedienne.”
Katie had no idea what she was talking about, doesn’t every child bring their
grandmother breakfast in bed – at noon- with a funny walk, bizarre accent, in
character and costume?
It’s funny how we don’t really hear what our family says until a friend backs up
their story. One day Katie’s friend Nat sat her down and said, “when are you
going to train as an actress?” Good question.
Katie knew if she was to submerge herself in this acting lark she needed to leave
town. So she applied to Atlantic Theater Company in New York, on Nat’s insistence…
and got in. Just had to do a quick radio show at Glastonbury from backstage
in the dance village, then she was offski. Atlantic is David Mamet, William
H Macy and Felicity Huffmans’ theatre company… and it was incredible. Katie
was particularly inspired by Josh Pais, wait, wasn’t he a Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtle? He was. Basically Katie was taught to act by Raphael so…
Back in London, with her new superpowers, Katie got serious with the voiceover
work whilst doing commercial acting work such as: an Escada perfume commercial,
ITV3 idents and she worked for brands such as Malmaison, Burberry,
Manpower, Sony, ING, Nike and did a front cover for Mimobot Clooci.
She also did some screen work and was in David Broyles’ short film, HOMECOMING
at the Austin Film Festival and the first Horatia in HAMLET at the BFI. Katie
was on the book cover of one of Nicholas Evans’ novels. He also wrote THE
HORSE WHISPERER, so this was a personal best for her, as she later started
training as a horse whisperer with Monty Robert’s protegee here in the UK –
Kelly Marks. Monty was the real horse whisperer that Robert Redford played in
the film. But that’s a totally different website…
Back to creating… Katie went to the theatre most weeks and lost count how
many writing courses she did in fiction writing for novels, film, television but
no, it was theatre that she wanted to create.
She particularly loved solo theatre. Could she do that?! Could she write, perform
and produce a one woman show? This could only be answered, again, if she
pressed eject, as she needed inspiration, support, focus and no distractions.
Time to move to Melbourne. Katie had always wanted to go. She plugged herself
into her friend’s acting school 16th Street where she met incredible people
and the guru of all gurus: Larry Moss. He was not only hugely inspiring about
writers, writing, the life of an actor, our craft, but also the dedication and persistence
that was needed. If Katie is going through a tricky time she just hears
“There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is no one is coming to save
you. The good news is… no one is coming to save you.” Larry Moss
She understood. She was terrified but she understood.
Creating Theatre and Comedy
Seven months later KATE MIDDLETON SHOWQUEEN was born in La Boheme
in Adelaide Fringe Festival – a 50 seater and then they transferred to Red
Bennies – a 300 seater for Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Larry
was back in town and she offered to work the lights for his four day workshop
which she did. Accidentally opening the curtains at the back of the stage after
an incredibly powerful scene…to reveal a church stain glass window. She was
mortified but it was a pretty magical moment. So she left her lighting tech
Next she took on set assistant. Larry needed a fake door taken to Sydney from
Melbourne for his four day workshop there. Seconds later Katie offered to drive
the boss’s car with the door on the roof 14.5 hours there, watched the four day
course, met some incredible actors and drove the door 14.5 hours back. She
showed Larry her flyer for her first show and said, “I did it”. “And don’t you feel
better now you’ve done the work?” he said, “now keep going.”
The show was about Kate Middleton’s lookalike preparing for Kate’s maternity
leave and being advised by some pretty dodgy advisors. Katie is hugely grateful
to her director Sarah McCusker for getting them up and running…
Katie was tripping and stumbling in the theatre world but moving in a forward
It wasn’t just the experience of her first show that was life changing, but she sat
in Tommy Bradson’s SWEET SIXTEEN show and felt like…. that was what she’d
come all this way to experience. That was the type of show she would love to
create. Full of characters, comedy, pathos, cabaret, audience interaction and
you’re left at the end, stuck to your seat. Not knowing what to say. It is a lifelong
Katie’s second show GRACE was a daring undertaking but they picked up a
nomination for BEST NEW PLAY at Brighton Fringe in 2018 thanks to the very
talented directors and dramaturgs: Logan Murray, Colin Watkeys and Peter
GRACE explored the spectrum of gender and performance through a gender fluid character. Alfie,
who performed as the male half of a double act re-entered the stage… as Zora, a
woman. Their agent, the venue host of an Am Dram theatre and a ghost also
made an appearance.
Since the summer of August 2019 Katie has been writing her third show
EDUCATION WE DIDN’T HAVE.
She developed her playwriting technique and was totally inspired on courses at
The National until December. She then worked with Bryony Kimmings on her
autobiographical show course in Brighton… which blew her mind. Since then
and during lockdown Katie has been honing the show and is excited as to what
her brain will want to do with it next! Can she actually pull that off on stage is
what she keeps asking herself. Give the director interesting things to solve…
Launching a Voiceover Business
With Covid-19 shaking our industry to the core, Katie thought this was the
moment to create her own home voiceover studio.
That way she can still look after and create with the wonderful clients she’s met
so far and future ones around the world all from her study. I wonder if it’s you?!
More information about her voiceover career, studio and services are here.