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An Interview with Kat Kramer, Star of Mother's Day Memories

by Mike Haberfelner

February 2021

Films starring Kat Kramer on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie Mother's Day Memories - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Mother's Day Memories is the story of a woman showing signs of memory loss, and how her husband and son both argue over if she should be tested, and Alzheimer's disease impact on families. It's based on a true story. Alzheimer's and dementia touches so many lives.

 

What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much Kat Kramer can we find in Michelle?

 

I'm drawn to social issue films. Michelle is an intellectual, and also a calming influence on John. I refer to Michelle as the "voice of reason", and I relate to her serious, sensitive side. When I was cast in the role, I was filming an indie film called Turnover. I play Fran, a narcissist, although I tried to imbue her with human qualities. My hair was reddish blonde. I thought Michelle would be a brunette, so I actually dyed it brown, and then had to dye it several times back to the original color to finish filming Turnover. I really am a method actress.

 

How did you get involved with the project in the first place?

 

I had worked with the director Matthew Michael Ross, and he asked me to play Michelle, I met with him and the creator, producer and star, Bill Hoversten [Bill Hoversten interview - click here]. They asked if I had an actor in mind to play his father Ben. I immediately thought of character actor Conrad Bachmann, whom I knew. Luckily he was available and agreed to play Ben. He did a great job.

 

What can you tell us about Mother's Day Memories' director Matthew Michael Ross, and what was your collaboration like?

 

We always work well together. Matthew has filmed a lot of animal-rights PSAs with me. We had no rehearsal. Matthew would go over my scenes with Bill, block it, and shoot. Matthew keeps a set running, especially on a limited budget.

 

Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere!

 

Concentrated. We had a lot to finish in a short time. There was a safety hazard on-set. Part of the equipment from a studio light fell on my head, and we had to stop filming while my minor injury was treated. It turned out okay, and I'm lucky as it could have been worse. That's the nature of independent film shoots.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I'm working on many projects. A priority is developing my new solo show which I plan to workshop. I play multiple characters. It's called She's a Rainbow. I'm also planning the 10th anniversary celebration of my cinema series Kat Kramer's Films That Change the World. It's a unique screening series where I present socially-conscious films and documentaries. I also moderate the "power panels", and this year I will present a mini-film festival featuring the theme: #sheroesforchange. I have 10 feature/television projects I'm working on, some in the animation space. I'm also set to film a new anthology series called Civil Disobedience in which I'm an actor/producer.

 

What got you into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

I've been an actress since I was a toddler. I also pursue the triple threat of acting, singing, dancing. I performed "live" as a singer since grade school, I did musical theatre, played famous people in professional theatre such as Helen Keller, Anne Frank and Saint Joan.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Mother's Day Memories?

 

I've acted in a few films, and a webseries. It's called Child of the '70s and I was lucky to play an over-the-top diva Frances Rye, and a few characters. I created two male characters on the web series, Rabbi Herbert Schweitzergold and B.Fred Baker. I won as best supporting actress for the role of Fran in Turnover, an award winning indie film about diversity and inclusion currently streaming on Amazon Prime and multiple platforms.

 

Besides making movies, you also did lots of theatre work - so what can you tell us about that aspect of your career, and how does performing on stage compare to acting in front of a camera? Any which do you prefer, really?

 

Theatre is my passion. I acted on stage in professional theatre as a child. I love theatre because it's an actor's medium. I love both stage and film. I think acting in front of the camera is harder in a sense. I prefer stage, but hope to do more with film acting.

 

How would you describe yourself as an actress, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?

 

I go for authenticity. Having studied at HB Studios in New York, and with many acting teachers, I developed my own method. It depends on the role. I do find comedy is harder than drama. I believe in doing theatre and keeping my chops up. You learn by doing. I tend to work from the outside in, establishing what the character looks like first, before finding their essence. With my solo show, I work from the inside out. I created a character named "Auntie Kate", an alter-ego based on my late godmother/namesake Katharine Hepburn. My method is: Imagination. If it's a real person, I do extensive research.

 

Actresses (and indeed actors) who inspire you?

 

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Katharine Hepburn, Lily Tomlin, Shirley MacLaine, Barbra Streisand, Meryl Streep. Let's just stop there. I have too many role models to mention. Lily Tomlin is my performing idol in defining the solo performance genre.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Grease, Terms of Endearment, Reds, 9 to 5, Big Business, On Golden Pond, The China Syndrome, Scarface, A Beautiful Mind, A Bronx Tale, Yentl, Funny Girl, Being There, Return of the Pink Panther, and of course all of my father Stanley Kramer's films. My personal favorite: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

Nobody sets out to make a bad film, so I'll pass on this question.

 

Your website, social media, whatever else?

 

I have 2 websites: www.katharinekramer.com and www.katkramersfilmsthatchangetheworld.com, my Twitter @katharinekramer, I have several Facebook pages. My YouTube channel is katkramer1. I've done tons of podcasts and videos, which most are on my channel. I'm an activist and influencer, and use social media to spread awareness. I'm also a journalist and many of my articles have been published online, including one-on-one interviews.

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

I plan to direct at some point. My father was filmmaker Stanley Kramer. I'm a budding producer, but don't feel ready to direct. I will direct and produce some virtual table readings for my new outreach program  called New Voices for Change. It's part of Kat Kramer's Films That Change the World.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

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On the same day
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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starring
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