Katie Carpenter is an actress I first heard about when she was filming Fix It In Post as Lexy. A zombie comedy where Katie plays a featherbrained young actor. The director, Christine Parker, was proud to have Katie as one of the stars saying "She was a natural as the ditzy self absorbed actress in Fix It In Post. No one could have played that part as well." Brett Mullen was one of the cinematographers on that movie and is currently collaborating with Katie on her latest creation Maid To Order.
Maid To Order is a webseries created by and starring Katie as a struggling young actress (see the parallel?) that has resorted to running a fetish cleaning business to make ends meet. Her customers begin to asked for very strange things by her clients. The dilemma...how to keep her dignity and continue on her path as an actress.
Another collaborator on this series is Kevin Welch who along with Katie formed Going Cheek Productions. A company founded with the premise of providing more opportunities for women in filmmaking. Her and Kevin first met on the set of Murder Mill, a horror movie and have became very close since.
Kevin, who always seems to turn up working on projects I'm interested in, had this to say about working with Katie. "Katie is a true actress, and I mean that in the sense of how seriously she takes the craft and art of it. The first time I worked with her was on a campy horror short film and she just dominated each scene she was in. She has this ability to play really any character, whether it's a poised attractive killer or a vulnerable protagonist.
I've since been lucky enough to work with her on more short films, features and web-series. In each project she has demonstrated again and again her incredible ability to bring a character from page to screen.
Katie has also been working incredibly hard behind the camera. She has done make-up for multi-million dollar projects and is heading into a Costume Design position on a large scale feature shooting in Georgia. I trust her implicitly and am incredibly lucky to work along side her." He added,"Katie is my rock. She is the most fiercely loyal person I've ever met. She's taught me so much about my own self worth and fighting for what I deserve. She is my best friend and love of my life and I consider myself the luckiest guy." Indeed!
Maid to Order is being produced by Kevin along with Kendra Staub and Katie. The director's chair belongs to Brooke Jaye Taylor.
The pilot has been completed and they are currently in the process of raising funds to complete the first season which will consist of 10 episodes.
There's a way you can help with Maid to Order.
Visit the link above to learn more about the series and contribute what you can to benefit more films for women and filmmaking in the southeast. Their goal for 10 episodes is very modest and any help will be appreciated. Contributions start at $1 and up with lots of perks for donors at different levels.
Besides acting and producing Katie fills in the spare time with modeling. Thomas Leckwold, a photographer I spoke to recently.said "Katie was fantastic to work with. She is a creative professional that has a lot of energy and an extraordinarily positive attitude that made her an absolute pleasure as a model."
Another thing I noticed on IMDb while researching her past work is something that Katie would not tell me about (non-disclosure agreement). She has a part in an upcoming episode of House Of Cards. I love this series and am looking forward to seeing her in it.
Below is our conversation.
What are you currently working on?
Katie I'm working on a webseries called Maid to Order. It's about an aspiring actress who starts a specialized cleaning business, and gets odd requests from clients. The series follows her trying to follow her dreams while still keeping her morals intact.
You are involved in many areas of the performing arts including acting, theatre, films, TV, commercial films, and modeling. What dominates your schedule?
Katie I've been fortunate enough to be pretty well-rounded! I went to college for theatre, but since then, I've spent most of my time in television and film. I've acted in two feature films this year; All Girls Weekend, and The Malevolent. I'm also thankful for the television I've worked on; Homicide Hunter, A Haunting, and a popular political drama that I can't talk about.
What is Going Cheek Productions?
Katie It's a production company I started along with Kevin Welch. We want to provide more filmmaking opportunities to women. So far, we worked on Trespassers this year, which was a short film with two female leads, and then Maid to Order, which also incorporates leading ladies. I should also mention Kendra Staub, a really talented actress, has performed in both of our projects.
Trespassers, that sounds intriguing. Tell me more about it.
Katie Benjamin Thomas is a published writer who wanted to turn one of his short stories into a short film. He approached me, and I helped write some portions and turn it into a screenplay. The story is about a girl who lives with a terror of a roommate. Jennifer screams in the middle of the night, has panic attacks, and forces Abigail to the brink of her sanity, so she has no choice but to move out. There's only one twist: she can't.
How did you know Benjamin?
Katie I actually didn't. One of our mutual friends connected us.
Had you done any screenplay writing before?
Katie I actually hadn't done much, just a few shorts on my own. I'd written plays in high school that were staged, but this was the first time I worked on a screenplay that got made.
What do you find most rewarding about your career?
Katie I think it's just the chance to create. To tell or live in a story, to relate to the characters, and to hopefully affect someone else's life for the better who's watching it. It's very therapeutic.
Do you see yourself doing any more theatre in your future?
Katie I would love to do more theatre in the future. Getting that instant audience feedback is really rewarding.
You participate in a lot activities outside of acting. Have any of them helped you when it comes to making films?
Katie I've worked in a ton of different jobs, especially right out of college. Mostly sales and marketing- which I definitely believe is a valuable skill set that everybody should learn. I did the server life for a bit too, which is a great lesson in customer service and how to be a people-pleaser; skills that definitely come in handy. I've also worked on the crew side in Costumes/Wardrobe- which is really fulfilling in a unique way. I think...how a character dresses is pivotal to their personality, and just having an appreciation of an alternate view on a film set has really contributed to my overall understanding of this industry.
What about your sports and leisure activities. Have any of those benefited your acting, either directly or indirectly?
Katie In the past few years, I've gotten really into health and fitness. Yoga, boxing, running, eating somewhat clean- it's all been very beneficial towards getting my mind and my body in the right place. As an actor, the body is one of your most precious tools, and I've learned that you've got to treat it right. So it can be a blank canvas and you're able to paint whatever color the role requires.
When your meetings with people who are not in the business, what misconceptions do they have about actors and acting?
Katie I'd learned that a lot of people who make assumptions about actors generally believe that actors tend to be irresponsible or crazy. Yeah- it's true that actors may not fit into the traditional business world of doing a 9-5, in an office all day. A lot are free-spirited, for sure. But to be an actual working actor, it requires a level of business savviness a lot of people don't expect. You're constantly marketing and re-shaping the product that is yourself. It takes some skill. And then as far as the craziness- I've met my fair share of crazy people, and probably close to half were actors. This may not be the best statistic to support my point, but actors need to be able to access certain types of emotion, any second of the day. It takes a special kind of person to do this. That quote, "There's a fine line between genius and insanity," really sums it up. Actors are on the line of sane and insane.. some just sway more to one side than the other.
Tell me about your Kickstarter Project.
Katie So Maid to Order is about an eager actress who starts a cleaning business and gets odd requests from clients. She's a little naive, and definitely in over her head. We've gotten inspiration from shows like 30 Rock, Portlandia, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, as well as my own life. I've worked lots of weird jobs throughout the years (and probably still will) which has been perfect material to help create this series. We fully funded the pilot out of our own pockets, and are looking to secure funds for the rest of the season. What's cool about our series in particular, is that it's interactive. We want to hear what fans have to say, and what they want to see happen. It could be like a terrible, Pandora's Box type of situation, but we're really hoping to hit gold with some creative geniuses, hiding behind their computer screens in their mother's basement. We've had lots of enthusiasm so far, and feel like we've gathered a great team to make this dream come to life.
How did you meet Kevin Welch and Brett Mullen?
Katie Kevin I met on a short horror film called, Murder Mill, two years ago. He was producing and ADing, and was really talented at getting things done while being one of the most genuine people I've met. That can be rare in this industry! And Brett I ran into several years ago working on a feature... then I got him hooked up with Kevin for some music videos, and now we're all working on a horror feature called, The Malevolent. Brett's got a fantastic eye. He could shoot an apple and make it look beautiful. Which is why I feel confident with him behind the camera because I know he can hide all those weird moles I have. (Just kidding, I don't have moles).
Who's doing the writing for Maid to Order?
Katie For the pilot episode, it was myself. But for future episodes, we plan to have a team of writers, like traditional television shows do. We're excited to work with Eryk Pruitt, who's a published author and screenwriter known for his killer storytelling skills.
He wrote the award-winning short film, Disengaged and I acted in it.
Any advice for aspiring actors or things that you know now that you wish you had known earlier?
Katie I think to really be true to you, and know your value. Don't let your success in the industry determine your worth as a person. Go out and live, enjoy life, because it's going to make the rest of your life, and your life as an artist, that much more fulfilling.