We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathryn Gould and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kathryn, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Being a risk-taker has always been a huge part of my guiding philosophy in life. When I gave the valedictorian speech at my high school graduation (out of a class of 20, not really bragging here), I talked about the concept of courage, and how courage was not the absence of fear, but the overcoming of fear. At the time, I was thinking of my decision to go 3000 miles away to college at Stanford rather than stay with my friends at the state school just a few hours from home. But the concept of taking risks would continue to be a theme in my life. At Stanford I studied child psychology, and then went on to get a Master’s degree in Family and Child Studies, and I learned about the concept of a fixed vs. a growth mindset, and how very intelligent and gifted people are often held back by their fear of failure. At the same time, those with a growth mindset have the courage to seek out risk and new experiences, because they know that they can always grow and get better. This attitude would serve me well both as an artist and as a parent. When I decided to pursue a career as a writer and actor, I knew that I would be facing a lifetime of difficulty and rejection, but I also knew that with time, patience, persistence and an appetite for knowledge, I could make headway. In a career in the arts, one constantly risks failure. But one of my favorite sayings is that the only difference between a person who is successful and one who is considered a failure is that the successful person has failed more times. Right now I constantly have to have the attitude that I am failing forward. And there is always the risk that I will never have a big commercial success. But to me, following my passion, creating art, is its own success.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Mainly I’m a screenwriter, and what I love most is creating worlds. I grew up with a steady diet of Star Wars, Star Trek and various fantasy adventure books, and those are things things I love to write. But since I also have a background in child development and psychology, the stories I write are always very relatable and grounded in real emotions and relationships. I really love the the opportunity that the scifi and fantasy genres present in being able to use metaphor to explore timely and important topics that affect the world. Someone once said that the shortest distance between truth and a human being is a story, and I 100% believe that. In a time when there are forces tearing us all apart for their own nefarious purposes, stories still have the power to bring us together and remind us that we’re all human. Even if those stories are about aliens. What I’ve been moving into most recently is animation. Thanks to my manager, I’m now partnered with an animation director who has worked at Pixar and Warner Bros. on an animated feature that we will be pitching to studios next year. And we have enjoyed working together so much, we’re also pitching together for another animated film based on a well-known public domain property. I have found that my world-building skills are quite useful in the world of animated family films. This life has been full of rejection and disappointment. When I’m most frustrated I’ll sometimes complain that I ask for a mile and the Universe gives me an inch. But then I take a few breaths, remember how far I’ve come, and remind myself that I’ve learned and grown and developed my skills so much in the last ten years, that if success had come any earlier, I probably wouldn’t have been ready for it. Plus I got to stay home with my boys and watch them grow into incredible, talented, kind and caring young men, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. What I want the world to know about me is that I’m a badass, superhero artist mom world-builder. That’s about it, I guess.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, I’m really kind of a homebody these days, but of course we’d hit all the fun spots like LoDo, RiNo, LoHi… anything with a fancy abbreviated name. Some of my favorite restaurants around there are Root Down, Avanti and Linger. The step with the mile marker is always a hit, and then 16th St. Mall, of course, But some lesser known favorites of mine are the Molly Brown House, the Byers-Evans House and the Colorado History Museum. I’m a huge history buff, if you couldn’t tell. A day for the Botanic Gardens and Cheesman Park would have to be in there. Maybe ice cream at Bonnie Brae and a walk around Wash Park. DMNS and City Park are favorites too. Another restaurant I love is Sassafras–either location–because it reminds me of my Southern roots. And then we’d have to head up to the hills around Golden for some hiking and incredible views, because that’s why I live here!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without my writing partner and mentor, Haylar Garcia. I learned so much about screenwriting from him; he introduced me to my manager, co-wrote and directed my first produced feature, and has generally helped me stay sane in this crazy, crazy business. Right now he’s developing a social media platform for fans and cosplayers, and everyone should definitely check it out–www.mycosmos.world.