The Catholic University of America

Alumni Relations

The Hundred and One Voices of Kathleen McInerney...A Big Career Inside a Tiny Booth

  
 


We asked this month's spotlight a few questions. Below are her answers.

AR: Tell us a little bit about yourself.


KM: Well, let's see, I'm an actor. I live in New York City with my daughter. Both of my
parents went to Catholic and both went on tour with National Players, as I did.

AR: Can you tell us about your career path? How did you get started?


KM: When I graduated from Catholic, I toured with the National Players for two years, went
to graduate school at Brandeis, and then moved to New York City. I've been an actor here
ever since. I've had many interesting jobs, the craziest probably being The Batman Stunt
Show at Great Adventure. Besides doing stunts, I also provided the voice-over for the
show...so I guess that was my professional "voice" debut.


AR: Tell us about your career as an actor?


KM: I'm an actor whose jobs are primarily voice related. I've been lucky to have a flexible job schedule so I can pick my
daughter up from school, go on field trips, that sort of thing. I didn't decide to only do voice acting, but as a single mom, I
found it difficult to pursue jobs where the hours were set or too crazy -- rehearsing a play and performing every night was
not something I could do. So, as more animation jobs came my way, I continued to follow that path. It has been incredibly
fulfilling to play so many characters who are so different from myself. "Voice acting" requires a full body commitment, and
the engagement of all of your technique and training to come together and funnel out through your mouth. You don't have
the luxury of gesture, a look, or movement, you just have sound. It's quite a fun challenge.


AR: What are some challenges you face daily in regards to being an actor?

KM: I face the challenges that all people in the creative fields face -- not knowing when the next job will come, staying
healthy so you don't miss work, trying to stay on top of the changes in your field and adapt constantly. I try to remain
positive, knowing that this is what I love to do. I'm constantly trying to push myself to go further, to not be complacent, to
dig a little deeper to find the reality of characters no matter how crazy they may be.

AR: What is a typical day of work like for you?


KM: I work every day. I am usually in a studio somewhere in New York City recording a cartoon, an audiobook, a
language-related project (teaching English or other languages), a commercial, an app or video game, hosting a
financial podcast. Some days I do a little of everything. I also record some projects at home, submit auditions,
prep audiobooks ahead of time, and try to email professionally for work projects. It's a lot to squeeze into a day.

AR: What are some of the favorite parts you've had?

KM: I've been lucky to work on some great Saturday morning cartoons like Pokémon and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,
among many others. I've narrated incredible books for wonderful authors including Judy Blume, Wendy Mass, Louise Erdrich,
etc. I know it's sounds crazy, but I love every role I have. I need to love it, to enable myself to invest in it fully. 

AR: How do you draw inspiration for your voices? Do you draw from other actors?


KM: I've always loved cartoons, doing accents, and just mimicking people. I'm inspired by great acting -- people who throw themselves wholly into a character, be it on stage or just voice-over. One thing I learned on tour, if you aren't fully committed,
your audience won't be either. I also listen to people all around me. I try to pick up their inflection, tone of voice. I often use
people I meet/know as a basis for a character. 

AR: What is the most interesting event or person that you have come across in your line of work?


KM: I am fortunate to work daily with some of the best people in the business, maybe in the world. When one works with
people who are committed equally to creativity, quality, and creating something great even with a limited budget, well, that's
where the magic is. I have also been fortunate to travel to sci-fi/comic conventions around the world. Getting to meet and talk
with actors who are so good at what they do as well as talk with "fans" has been a great learning experience.   

AR: When you are not working as an actor, what do you like to do?


KM: Ha! I'm always working or looking to work. I squeeze in a bit of adventure along the way. 

AR: Were there any specific faculty members who mentored you?


KM: I had the most wonderful and influential teachers at Catholic. Everything I do is a result of something I learned from them,
be it technique, discipline, or just love of the craft and its history. I didn't have any specific mentors, but the teachers whose
words continually echo in my head include Bill Graham, Teddy Handfield, Janet Waters, and Don Waters. Jim Petosa was
my favorite director (and still is!).

AR: What clubs and organizations were you a part of, if any? How did they prepare you?


KM: I played on the women's soccer team which went varsity my junior year. I'm so proud to have been among the
founding members of a team that continues to play strong today. I worked on shows both onstage and behind the scenes.
I also studied and went to the Rat. All of this prepared me for what I do today. It's important to have a well-rounded education
-- both in your studies and in getting to know your fellow students. College is about learning who you are, how to think, and
how to find a place in society and in the world. Catholic U. was the perfect place for me to grow.

AR: Do you keep in touch with other friends or classmates from CUA? If so, how? Who in particular?


KM: Yes, I do keep in touch with classmates of mine both from the drama department and other classes as well as some
of my soccer teammates. I try to come back for reunions, drama department or National Players celebrations, and alumni
soccer games. I have the benefit of knowing friends of my parents who are still in the business and I run into them at
auditions or at Sardi's on a Wednesday between shows. There is a bond that unites us all, regardless of when we went to
Catholic, or how long it's been since we last saw each other. There is a universal quality of genuineness, a deep regard
for one another, and a great sense of humor in all those whom I have had the fortune to meet up with from time to time.

AR: What is one of your favorite memories of your time at Catholic University?


KM: I loved our school spirit, and the fact that you just knew everyone. I have been struck by that fact as I go to reunions
lately. I went to school with so many incredible people who continue to be incredible today. I was also lucky to be in
some terrific productions in the drama department. I still have my letter jacket from soccer. I have to wrestle it away from
my daughter, but I still wear it occasionally...it's vintage now.

 


















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