A Conversation with Katy Bodenhamer
Witty, smart, inventive, beautiful, and full of faith. Meet the next big thing: Los Angeles-based actress and writer Katy Bodenhamer.
Katy is the perfect example of someone who exhibits the qualities of an empowered female. She is passionate, ambitious, kind, and authentic. Not to mention, she is the perfect mix between Kristin Wiig hilarious and Audrey Hepburn fabulous. Definitely girl squad material.
For this interview, I asked lots of questions about Katy's ability to juggle three jobs while working as a full-time actress. Katy is definitely an open book in this exclusive. She shares everything from a day in the life of Katy, to her definition of "dreams," to her personal triumphs and struggles, to her current beauty obsessions. She even invites you to join her on her latest business endeavor. It really can't get any more real than this. You may also just end up sharing a mutual love for binge-watching Netflix original series, and sneaking in clever movie references. After all, acting is kind of her thing. So, sit back and enjoy a dynamic conversation. If you find yourself loving Katy as much as I do, you can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
It's Danielle Marie (IDM): I'm so happy you're on board. You're definitely a "Jill-of-all-trades." Tell me about your profession as a working actress and how you started that particular career path.
Katy Bodenhamer (KB): I'm not really even sure how I started. It's honestly just God doing his thing. I just say "okay," and hold on. I grew up in Nebraska, where I never had considered acting as an option. I was a very curious kid, eager to learn about everything: every subject in school (closet nerd), sports, art / drawing, dance, writing, etc. etc. I loved working on the farm, although I was usually the last one out the door in the morning (thanks for saddling my horse, Dad). That curiosity and eagerness to learn seems to be very common in an actor's mind, but, honestly, the last thing I wanted to do was speak in front of people. My mom had already pegged me to be the doctor of the family (sorry, mom). I was extremely quiet and probably said all of two words to classmates in Jr. High. No exaggeration. One word was "Okay" and then I'd end up in this Jr. High "romance" where I'd ignore and never talk to the poor kid. Then I had to give a speech in English class, played hooky to get out of it, still had to recite it for the teacher the next day while the other kids were out to recess, and suddenly threw on a Southern accent and bossy momma demeanor for this How-To speech I wrote. How To Go On A Date. The teacher laughed when I emphasized bringing your tic tacs. My sister sneaked in to watch, then told me I should be in the upcoming One Act play. Then I started doing Mary Katherine Gallangher impressions from SNL for the volleyball team, after my sisters brought up my home performances. I guess I could thank my sisters. Then, once I realized there was nice weather outside of Nebraska and my gut instinct wouldn't cease about needing to leave, I started traveling and the rest is history.
Now pursuing acting full-time, along with having 2 side businesses...no, 3 (I just became a Landlord :), I get a never-ending challenge, which I truly enjoy, and I get to now have a legit excuse to read Entrepreneur magazine. I also remember being a pretty proud 4-year-old, consumed with thinking "If someone has done it before, then I can do it too...and probably even better" and then followed by heartache and "But what if I die tomorrow?" Ha, cute kid. There's a "destined for actor-dom" in there somewhere. I guess those two thoughts are enough to push you to doing anything.
IDM: Tell me about your latest endeavor - an ambassador for Lip Sense!
KB: Why thank you for asking! Haha, I'll tell you, I truly latched onto it, and ordered my first lip color because I was curious about the business opportunity. Subsequent results were me learning how to do my makeup, falling in love with this magical (no exaggeration) magic, and creating some of the best friendships I've ever had. But this lip color stuff is magic. I'm fascinated by the technology behind it. It makes wearing lip color so easy and hassle-free. Ladies, check this out, it's an 18 hour lasting lip color that is smudge proof, waterproof, kiss proof, wax free, vegan, animal-cruelty free, and has over 70 colors. The second I tried it, it blew my mind like a successful science experiment, plus I saw the huge opportunity to jump on board with the company before it explodes and becomes a household name. The company is so generous and loving towards their distributors too. The commission plan is seriously unparalleled. Joni Rogers, the owner, has provided women (and some men :) with this amazing opportunity to build their own, mega-successful businesses in such a short amount of time (less than a year if you really work it). She's an angel filled with faith and great morals, living on love and giving to others along with the exploding success of her company. Anyone wanting to learn more, go to Senegence. My Sponsor ID is 224519 when enrolling as a distributor. Otherwise I sell it in the Facebook group "All-Day Allure by Katy." To my business women, though, there's huge, quick potential with this business. Get in now for numerous reasons, while the number of distributors is fairly small.
IDM: How do you juggle a life as a working actress and a beauty expert / entrepreneur? Is there one occupation you like better than the other?
KB: I never seem to play favorites. My "favorite" color since I was a kid has always been white or rainbow (both all-inclusive). Haha. I feel like that's my friends circle too. It's the same curiosity kick; I love experiencing everything and learning what I can from everything. How can you pick a favorite when there's always more to learn? I love meeting all kinds of people. I tend to my businesses the same (Acting, LipSense, Graphic Design, Landlordship). Eventually I want to evolve into more writing and directing, so substituting time might have to happen down the road. The LipSense will always stay. It's great selling it to people on set. It's such a hit. As far as juggling goes, I have a daily schedule with half hour time slots I TRY to adhere to, until something like The OA on Netflix gets in my way. Mornings I read my Bible and I'm trying harder to get to daily Mass when I can. There's a 7:30 am Mass. There's really no excuse. It's a great way to start the day. I have to give thanks to God because that little girl hasn't "died tomorrow" yet, despite all these adventures. He truly always has had my back, and teaches me exactly when I need it. Plus, he put me in this town, so we have to figure this out together. Then, I workout...scratch that...I do a couple sit ups and pushups and call it good. Post office runs for LipSense, different Acting schedule daily, Design work...editing, writing, ...I'm the type to stay up until 3am because I can focus better then... meaning, sneak in The OA.
IDM: Has acting and being a business owner always been a passion of yours? When did you finally grasp the courage to chase after your dreams?
KB: No dear, acting, no. You know that part in Old School when Will Ferrell blacks out while giving a brilliant answer when he's debating. That so often is me with acting. I hear "action" and stuff happens. Haha, so I don't know if I'd as much call it a passion as much as this outlet that I definitely enjoy. I suppose the creativity luckily feels second-nature to me, so I don't see it as a passion as much as just something that I do. I do feel like it's what I'm suppose to be doing, despite my fears, and think it's a great opportunity to be a role model and have a position of impact. Owning a business, definitely a passion. I've always wanted to develop success from the ground up, and developing a business feels as creative as any other art field. You can't beat being your own boss either.
Part two - Chasing dreams: I've probably used the word "dream" here and there, but I've never liked it. For me, dreams are what you have while sleeping, and I'd never want mine to become a reality. I have some weird dreams. I never like to talk about "dreams" and goals either because if you're talking, you're not doing. I'd rather be doing and taking steps forward instead of yapping about the future all day while the present passes you by. I love LA, but, dang, people talk A LOT here. People say "Let's write a script, and meet for coffee." How about we just write the script and not meet for coffee? So, yea, I think the cocky 4-yr-old was always going to follow her gut, God-willing, when she can feel it. I've definitely had moments when I couldn't. I did have a very special person help me with my very first move out of Nebraska to San Francisco which was difficult for me, so I'm always immensely grateful for that support and companionship when looking back.
IDM: Tell me about your experience being invited to speak at Dreams and Decisions.
KB: What a great organization! I'm a Soroptimist for life now! Haha. It was such an honor and such an amazing group of women and young girls. The writer, Cyndi Monroe, of the feature film, FALSE HOPES, that we just wrapped on, is the one who invited me to speak, along with another actress in the film, the wonderful Christine Juarbe. Cyndi, you rock my world. We got to share our stories and advice for making it through those early years, and always following your "dreams." Haha, there it is again. I felt like the advice Nazi on stage being more like "LISTEN to your gut, and listen good. And you work HARD." Hopefully there were a few kids in the audience who read Entrepreneur magazine and liked my approach. But it's a great organization, Soroptimist. Look them up. Women support women. That was another big topic I spoke on. Us women have to stick together. I would have loved to have that kind of event when I was younger.
IDM: What advice are you willing to share to young girls trying to break in the industry and make a name for themselves?
KB: I would say, don't try to make a name for yourself. Just be yourself, and work hard. Be kind. Always be kind. Always be open to learning. There's a lot of opinions in this town. Know when to learn, and when it's best to smile and nod and walk away. There's a lot of posers in this town too. Unfortunately, the posers are the ones that appear so easily out of no where and promise you the world. Walk away. Stand for something. It sounds cliché, but you'll get much more respect in this business if you're willing to say "no" to opportunities that don't suit you or that aren't aligned with your morals and values. Value yourself and your dignity first. Then, better opportunities always come to follow. Young women, don't sell yourself short for social media attention. An intellect and true talent will get you much farther in life than a million views of you booty shakin'... I hope. God bless America. And learn to read parking signs. (Anyone else have "Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen" playing in their head as they read this?)
IDM: What's the hardest part about being a working actress? What's the most rewarding part? (And for being a small business owner)?
KB: Hardest Part: Being so consumed with and enjoying the creative part that you easily forget about the, what should be, practical part of your life. You get adopted into so many film families, but once the project is wrapped, Orphan Black baby... I've never actually watched that show. But, yea, I keep seeing myself as this awesome grandma, and keep forgetting that middle part where I probably need to have some kids to make that happen. That and the "Actors aren't allow to park here" parking lots. Someday, I'm going to beat down those signs just like Kevin Costner in HIDDEN FIGURES.
Most Rewarding: Creating from instinct, when a character just comes out of you organically. Creating a piece that really affects people. The art of bringing people together, whether it's to make a film or to watch it and share that experience with others, or to share amazing and empowering products with other women. I love when my LipSense ladies say they feel so beautiful, and also helping my LipSense team ladies grow and thrive in creating a business of their own. Such a blessing to watch us all grow.
IDM: Any memorable moments working on set that you would like to share?
KB: When I first moved to LA, I got booked on THE OFFICE and got to work with Steve Carrell and the whole gang for the entire week. I was just in the youth group during The Christening episode, and I'll always cherish that time of watching Steve improv every scene while I'm trying not to laugh, chatting with them, eating together, trying to approach the dessert table the same time Rainn Wilson did, sneaking an autograph from him while he didn't break character... "FACT: This is illegal." So great. Working with Robin Williams on THE CRAZY ONES was such a blessing. He was the kindest soul that walked around to every position on the baseball field, outfield included, to tell a joke, make them laugh, then find the next person. It's the episode where the agency teams are playing Chicago ball. Then also, a short film called ADAM & MIRIAM which was accepted in the Cannes Film Festival last year. It's a true story of a Russian Jewish woman who survived the Nazi concentration camps. I played her mother. The heaviness on set and electricity between actors were so real. Every actor elevated the others' performance. We had a duty to do the story justice, and you never forget that kind of trust and intensity on set once you've gone through it. Trust excluding my 3-year-old "son," who didn't want to "play" anymore after one take of Nazi brutality. We let him sit out of the "buried alive" scene. God bless Miriam and all who actually suffered through such a nightmare.
IDM: What does female empowerment mean to you?
KB: To me personally, it's each woman already knowing her worth and value, and not needing to be empowered by other people to feel like she has earned it. We're all already empowered by having been given the opportunity to grace this earth, and I think the most empowered females seize that opportunity with extreme grace daily. Men will never be able to contribute such beauty and grace as a woman. Women can do SO MANY THINGS, right there alongside men, but female empowerment, to me, is the gift of doing it with a nurturing love and spiritual elegance and peacefulness that the world NEEDS from a woman. And yet, female empowerment is also empowering men, in the right ways of virtue, to be men. As women, we need to remain noble and encourage men to rise to that nobility. If we don't, then, as I'm sure many of you have witnessed, boys will be boys forever. Then also, empowered men should be devoted to also empowering women. We're a team. Let's not live out of fear, and make this world more beautiful. That's my thoughts.
IDM: Tell us more about your business LipSense and why the products are your latest obsession.
KB: This is so fun talking about it. As mentioned before, the products actually work. The founder, Joni, was extremely dedicated to developing top quality products that undeniably work. I'm even more obsessed with the company than the products though. Joni is the definition of female empowerment. She wants every distributor in her company to succeed and have their own successful business, and women are doing it, earning 6 figure incomes after only selling a year. Then once you've hit a certain rank in the company, Joni sends you a card with a bouquet of flowers. She personally calls you, asking "How did it feel once you saw your commission check?" She also sends you a birthday card with credit to buy free product. It's a dream, and everything a company should be. She's a beautiful soul dedicated to changing women's lives for the better. These women are retiring their husbands. They're building their dream houses. It's incredible, the opportunity she's giving to so many women. I've only been in it since November and have already witnessed the rewards, in terms of finances and life value. I'm extremely grateful to have joined, while the company is blowing up.
IDM: What are the top three things in your life right now that you can't live without and why?
KB: 1. God / Church - He's everything. I've been successful and unhappy. I'd rather choose Him and love and be happy. 2. Family - they ground me, they inspire me, I admire them all so much. 3. Digiorno Pizza - undercooked. Isn't it obvious?
IDM: If you could play any role in any movie, what would it be and why?
KB: Uggghhhh, how did Sophie choose?! So many....because again, that no favorites thing...can I like take a stab at every role in existence? Ummm, Sandra Bullock in anything, Emma Stone in anything, Kristen Wiig in anything (Bridesmaids to Skeleton Twins <3), Audrey Hepburn in anything, Geena Davis in A League of Their Own, Natalie Portman in Garden State, Amelie in Amelie if I knew French, Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber for sure, Deb - Napoleon Dynamite, Jennifer Lawerence in Silver Linings Playbook, the gal in Coyote Ugly if I could sing, Angelina Jolie in Girl Interrupted, Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago, Mimi in Rent...etc etcWhy? Or why not? :)