Beyond Technique with Samantha Rund

Episode 9 : Quality Connections with Cat Alvarado

September 17, 2020 Samantha Rund Episode 9
Beyond Technique with Samantha Rund
Episode 9 : Quality Connections with Cat Alvarado
Chapters
Beyond Technique with Samantha Rund
Episode 9 : Quality Connections with Cat Alvarado
Sep 17, 2020 Episode 9
Samantha Rund

In this episode comedian Cat Alvarado joins Samantha Rund to discuss the importance of prioritizing your time, approaches to networking, and the things that can make or break your career.
Cat shares what it's like to be a comedian with an economics degree, some of the underbelly of the biz, and what to prepare so you don't miss your shot. We briefly geek out over A Midsummer Night's Dream and talk about how to make sure we don't lead miserable lives.

Samantha Rund is a  professional actor, comic, and creator of Beyond Technique Coaching. Recently, she can be seen on 3 Busy Debras on Adult Swim. She's passionate about using performance principles to help enrich and empower people's lives.

www.samantharund.com
www.beyondtechniquecoaching.com

Cat grew up just outside Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley and devoted her teens to performing arts, but took a hard left, got married at 19, and became the single mother of a fully grown man child and earning a BA in Economics.  By the end of college, she realized getting married at 19 was a terrible mistake, and got divorced at 21. She then had to find her own identity while pursuing her MA in Economics from UC Santa Barbara. At UCSB, she took up stand up and the rest is history. She’s been in comedy festivals all over country including the Laughing Skull Comedy Fest in 2017.  Follow her on Instagram @thecatalvarado or on Facebook.com/catalvaradocomedy to find out when she has shows near you. You can also catch her onstage at IO West in Hollywood with Dollop in the Del Close Theatre on Saturdays at 10PM!

https://www.catalvarado.com/

Check out her upcoming event Oct 3rd with over 12 hours of live comedy with comedians including Maria Bamford
https://secure.actblue.com/donate/laughacrossamerica?refcode=rund

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Thank you for your support and stay safe and healthy!

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode comedian Cat Alvarado joins Samantha Rund to discuss the importance of prioritizing your time, approaches to networking, and the things that can make or break your career.
Cat shares what it's like to be a comedian with an economics degree, some of the underbelly of the biz, and what to prepare so you don't miss your shot. We briefly geek out over A Midsummer Night's Dream and talk about how to make sure we don't lead miserable lives.

Samantha Rund is a  professional actor, comic, and creator of Beyond Technique Coaching. Recently, she can be seen on 3 Busy Debras on Adult Swim. She's passionate about using performance principles to help enrich and empower people's lives.

www.samantharund.com
www.beyondtechniquecoaching.com

Cat grew up just outside Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley and devoted her teens to performing arts, but took a hard left, got married at 19, and became the single mother of a fully grown man child and earning a BA in Economics.  By the end of college, she realized getting married at 19 was a terrible mistake, and got divorced at 21. She then had to find her own identity while pursuing her MA in Economics from UC Santa Barbara. At UCSB, she took up stand up and the rest is history. She’s been in comedy festivals all over country including the Laughing Skull Comedy Fest in 2017.  Follow her on Instagram @thecatalvarado or on Facebook.com/catalvaradocomedy to find out when she has shows near you. You can also catch her onstage at IO West in Hollywood with Dollop in the Del Close Theatre on Saturdays at 10PM!

https://www.catalvarado.com/

Check out her upcoming event Oct 3rd with over 12 hours of live comedy with comedians including Maria Bamford
https://secure.actblue.com/donate/laughacrossamerica?refcode=rund

***If you enjoyed this episode please help spread it’s message****

Like - Share - Subscribe

Give a 5 star review on Apple Podcasts

Post a comment 


Become a patron on PATREON *** 

https://www.patreon.com/beyondtechniquewithsamantharund

Thank you for your support and stay safe and healthy!

Samantha Rund :

Hi, I'm Samantha Rund, actor, comic and creator of Beyond Technique Coaching. This podcast focuses on performance and the many ways it can help enhance our lives in voice, body and mind , so we can bring more of our whole selves to our lives and work. Because our whole selves are our best selves. On this podcast, I'll have on some incredible guests we'll be sharing some stories of the ways that performance has helped inform and empower our lives, as well as share tips, techniques and some of our many experiences. I hope you stick around and let's have some fun. I'm super excited for our next guest. You are going to love her. She's a very talented comedian. She has millions of views on YouTube and you may have seen her on the Epix channel on Amazon on BuzzFeed. You're gonna definitely want to check her out on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, all social media @thecatalvarado and be sure to check out her awesome podcast the Villlains of History. So please welcome Cat Alvarado.

Cat Alvarado :

Hello, thank you so much for having me. So excited to do this podcast.

Samantha Rund :

I'm so excited to have you here.

Cat Alvarado :

Yay!

Samantha Rund :

Yeah, so um, you know, and thank you for being game about delving into this whole, you know, how has performance impacted your life either made it, you know, better, or I guess worse, I hope not worse. But you know, just just how has it affected you? So I've been performing probably since I was eight years old actually. I think that's the first time I ever did any kind of theater. It was Midsummer Night's Dream and I think I was whatever, or whichever one of the fairies has the monologue. I wanted to mustard seed. Oh, mustard seed has like a very tiny one.

Cat Alvarado :

Midsummer Night's Dream. It's up at the ...it's like .. Over Hill Over dale through brush through Briar.

Samantha Rund :

Oh!

Cat Alvarado :

Over, Park over

Samantha Rund :

Yeah, yeah, that one. I do wander everywhere.

Cat Alvarado :

Uh huh.

Samantha Rund :

Wow, it. Oh, now I want to because I know right. And I have to play like right over there. I just can't reach it with my arm. Everybody does Midsummer at some point in their life. Midsummer Night's Dream. It's such a good play. I got to play Mustardseed. But I didn't get to do that speech. It was my first...

Cat Alvarado :

Aww

Samantha Rund :

Yeah, right?! I think that was my first Shakespeare play in high school. And um, yeah, I also played mustardseed but that sounds like I didn't get to see the speech but I don't remember who did so you were the you were the other...

Cat Alvarado :

I was that..I was that fairy... What's cool is like for the my theatrical career until it ended at the end of high school. I mean, like, took a pause. And yeah, full circle because my first ever play I was Mustardseed in midsummer. And then when I finished high school, I was Helena.

Samantha Rund :

Ah, oh, that is so cool! And I you know, I love Helena. Like I thought it'd be great to play Helena. I thought Hermia would be fun too. But I'm too tall for Hermia unless I got a super tall Helena. Yeah, and I think I just kind of related to Helena a little bit more. And for the listeners who don't know what Midsummer Night's Dream is Oh right! Oh my goodness, thank you!

Cat Alvarado :

It's a Shakespeare play, it's a Shakespeare play. Mustard Seed is a very small character. She's a very in like a cohort of fairies who would flutter around the queen of the fairies. Right? They live in the forest. Helena is one of the two romantic leads that Helena and Hermia and it's about them and their boyfriends. That's right. Like they're the main character. So I went from being a teeny little tiny person to getting eventually to be the lead. Right? And in that play, which is really cool. To see like how growth happens and how life progresses.

Samantha Rund :

Yeah. So Yeah, so I started out in elementary school, summer camp plays middle schools, theater camp, theater camp, theater camp, high school theater camp, eventually high school plays. I did speech debate. So I was forensics ti i want to state championship ti and I also did performing opera. Classical voice. Oh, that's awesome. I didn't know that. Yeah, yeah several years. So I've got that background. Then I took a pause for a couple years. In college, I got an undergrad and graduate degree in economics.

Cat Alvarado :

Of all things like

Samantha Rund :

That's right. You know those theater kids theater kids are normally very economically minded. No, I'm being... but I think that seems like a great combo, though. Yeah, I think I kind of think the combination of theater which is all about performing and people who enjoy theater and acting also have a curiosity about people and human behavior. Yeah.

Cat Alvarado :

You know, beyond just like, I want to be on stage I want to attention I think to really be good at it, you have to be passionate about like, how does the person think what is going on below the surface to be any good at it.

Samantha Rund :

Yeah, yeah.

Cat Alvarado :

That's just part and parcel with acting. So when you combine that with the very hyper logical social science of economics, forming plus economics, you get a standup comic. Because economics is it is it's just more about people. But instead we're looking at like how a bunch of people work instead of how one person works. And that's essentially kind of what stand up is, is looking at the patterns among people and then making fun of it. Yeah, ultimately, after I left grad school, I started having a full time job as a financial analyst at a big one of those big mucky muck, man, the man companies don't want to work for Hmm, everyone's heard of it. But I don't want to say the name.

Samantha Rund :

Because it's a scary one. It's a defense contractor. It's the biggest defense contractor that there is. And so I worked there, it was miserable. And so I had to start performing again. I just had to and I had been dabbling in improv, like, reached out to a friend whose friend was a friend of a friend ran a show in a pizza shop. And I... stand up show, Delicious,

Cat Alvarado :

And I did it. And it was wonderful. I crushed it the first time and I haven't stopped.

Samantha Rund :

Look at you crushing it the first time. Yeah. And seven years later, I'm still doing it still doing stand up. And your question was, Why? Well, well, yeah, I guess I'm just I'm curious as to do you feel like it's had an impact on your life? Do you feel like you're a different and or slightly better person because of skills you've gained? It's shaped my journey. Like if I'm, if I'm the land, it's the water that makes the river that runs through me. That has shaped it. It's the water that shapes the Grand Canyon, that is my life. Oh, look at that. That's look at that epic. It is. Yeah it is, it is shaped, it really has all my major life decisions have kind of been made around being married to being a performer. In, you know, getting, I got married when I was 19. Because we were I was I have kind of a religious family. And, you know, I was still performer when I was married, but I was part of now more music doing like Christian music stuff at that time. But it wasn't enough for me, along with the other aspects of that experience. One of the reasons I left and wanted to be independent was so that I can more seriously pursue the rest of performing that is acting, stand up everything else, because it was calling me and I felt so restricted in that situation. So even my romantic choices, they all come down to this anchor that is performing arts for me. I've had people who I absolutely love and adore, who wanted serious relationships, but they live elsewhere. A person who I love for like four years, lives in Portland works for Jaguar. He's a big engineer their robotics, like, that's his dream job was like, Come be with me in Portland. And I said, Come be with me in Los Angeles, because this is my dream. Right. You've planted your roots.

Cat Alvarado :

Yeah. And so it's, it's just shaped all my choices. Pretty much ... affected me.

Samantha Rund :

Yeah, I definitely feel there have been times where, depending on whatever I have to prioritize in my life, maybe I've had to go about performing in a different way. But that's definitely been a constant. I always, I always find a way to do it. Whether or not I know that I'm going to at the time, it's just integral to who I am. And what I need to do. I'm interested though, in that you said it was such an anchor, that it anchors you. So and you were talking about feeling restricted before when you were in that previous relationship, and you couldn't really pursue it the way that you want it to. Can you talk a little bit about what it is where you were feeling restricted versus because I noticed you didn't say freedom as much as you were talking about that anchordo you know what I mean?

Cat Alvarado :

And I mean, anchor in a good way.

Samantha Rund :

Oh, absolutely.

Cat Alvarado :

Not Floating away into having a miserable life. Like Yeah, yeah, it's a it's something that always it's a joy, I can always come back to. If that makes sense.

Samantha Rund :

It does.

Cat Alvarado :

And I've always felt like I have a gift to perform. Like I've I've always been good at it. I've always been funny. You know, from the first ever time I set foot on any stage of was funny, every single time never not been funny. And to know that I have a gift. Cause not everybody's funny.

Samantha Rund :

It's true, though.. that no... not everybody.

Cat Alvarado :

This is, this is like the thing I was blessed with. It's my calling, and to not be able to do that, and not perform it and not see like, Where could my life have gone? You know? So I was kind of just stuck.I'm emotional.

Samantha Rund :

Yeah, I feel Yep. It just, I feel ya. I feel like I can't live a life where I'll not know what could have been. And so I just, I was like, I'm sorry, I gotta leave. I can't be with you. I love you. But this is can't can't do it. Oh....yeah...

Cat Alvarado :

Yeah. And it when it's your passion, when it's your calling, it shapes your life.

Samantha Rund :

Yep.

Cat Alvarado :

It does in a really intense way. Because there's like a lot of love, a lot of loss, a lot of sacrifice that goes into it.

Samantha Rund :

1,000% Yes, to what you're saying. But I also know this, if I didn't do it.

Cat Alvarado :

I would be so unhappy. I already know that.

Samantha Rund :

Right.

Cat Alvarado :

Where I get all my joy.

Samantha Rund :

Yeah. Yeah. I like to sit with these moments. But then I realize this is a podcast, so I have to keep talking. But if you're watching on YouTube, you can just see me stare off into the distance as I take this in. Oh, my goodness. Extremely relatable. I think that I'm imagining any other artists listening has has these feelings. And if you're not an artist, you're a mathematician, and you just have to do math, and you're, you know, your parents are trying to get you to be a ballerina instead, I'm sure you still have that same you know, whatever it is that anchors you to who your source of who you are, what your gift is, and that joy. And if you do not pursue it, it is physically painful, emotionally painful. It is. It really is. So another question I have for you is, what are some of the things that you do to help refill your well refill your energy, especially with, you know, you're a busy successful lady, you know, in Los Angeles, and, um, you know, I'm currently not in LA, but I remember, I have workaholic tendencies. And, you know, what, I'm not gonna beat myself up over it. What I've had to learn how to do as I get older is I have to learn to protect some of my free time, which is difficult to do. And when I was in Los Angeles was increasingly difficult to do because there's so much to constantly go after. And I will just, I will just let you and the listeners know that as I started this project with the podcast, I was so excited. I'm so excited about it, and hoping you know, the people that I may reach and help. I did the same thing where I just booked so so many things for this and I forgot to give myself a day off for weeks until I'm like, okay, Samantha don't fall into that old habit of being so excited, working on your passion that you don't give yourself time. So my long winded thing is saying what are some of the things that you do to help refill your well, other than performing because I know that's such a it's it is very life giving when you love it.

Cat Alvarado :

Oh, absolutely. Um, because I have a day job I have a corporate job I'm blessed to have it you know, a lot of performers don't and I'm just like, you know, thank God that my other gift was math you know...

Samantha Rund :

Yes

Cat Alvarado :

And it's a trade...and so I do that but it's also a little bit draining for sure to do that because it's not something I love.

Samantha Rund :

Right.

Cat Alvarado :

So for me the recharging and you said other than peforming...for me the recharging is the performing but between the two of them I still have to find that space.

Samantha Rund :

Right.

Cat Alvarado :

So I kind of try to like supercharge when I... two things two parts to that answer so when I do take a day and it's like time to rest and I'm talking you know in regular times, not quarren times Yes. I will go get a massage I will go to and I will pay for a massage if it's one of those cheap Chinese places and not my too expensive but I agree that is

Samantha Rund :

Treat your self to the level that you can. So what kind of what kind of massage is like a deep tissue or do they do Swedish massage to or like stand on your back? I'm not sure.

Cat Alvarado :

It's just like a it's like a generic massage like this. Do a combo it's my it's like place, it's right down the block for me. They'll do my feet. And then they do my back. And it's more I want to say like Swedish massage. reflexology on the feet. It's, it's great. It's great. Yeah, do a combo. It's a great deal. It doesn't break the bank. I'll take it.

Samantha Rund :

Right.

Cat Alvarado :

Um, but yeah, I try to like kind of supercharged my downtime, or I have like a select couple of shows that I love. And I'll binge watch them. But I only binge watch those shows. Because it, it keeps it so that you know, when I have my free time, it's stuff that makes me really, really happy. And I don't waste my free time on stuff that's like, medium happy. Like, I don't binge watch shows that I don't absolutely love. Because

Samantha Rund :

Yes.

Cat Alvarado :

That is sacrificing time I could be working on things. Because I also have that workaholic tendency. The other thing that I try to limit is all kind of limit my projects in a way. So Villains of History. I have seasons. So it's not just an ongoing weekly podcast, because that is overwhelming. I edit every episode and every episode is researched. So I spent hours. Poring through Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia, other resources that are reliable. Documentaries. And to get that information and so I can't keep that up. So I'll do you know, a 20 episode season. And then I stop and I don't know when I'll start the next season. It's when I'm recharged.

Samantha Rund :

Right.

Cat Alvarado :

So having those limits is super, super helpful. Likewise, limits with social media, I try to be selective about what I'm doing Tick Tock just came out. That's a new one. It'll suck your life away. If you start. Then Then there's I just got they had IG, just IG stories, then it's IGTV. Now it's IG reels because they're doing Tick Tock. There's also Snapchat there's also Twitter. I'm just, I, I do not keep up with all of them. I know that I won't. I'll do them in fits and starts it's probably not the best thing for my career. But honestly, when I think about what's really valuable and when my time is best spent, it's not on Tick Tock because I know a crap ton of comedians who have tons of tik tok followers and like, if everybody's got tons of tik tok followers, not all of y'all are going to get famous. So if everybody's got 40,000, then I don't care if I have 40,000 because everybody's got 40,000 you know what I mean? What matters is am I funny? Am I getting in front of the right industry people? And when I do get in front of those industry people, am I ready? Because that happened. And that actually has happened to me. As a stand up comic, I was three years in I got into this huge Comedy Festival. It's called the laughing skull. Laughing skull is chock full of industry. I mean, the industry you always dreamed of being in front of their their the Booker for Fallon. People from Comedy Central from Tru TV, there is the VP of casting for NBC. What? Wow, the Head of casting for NBC was there. And the guy who books for Montreal Just for Laughs New Faces and New Faces is where people get seen by the biggest agencies like Levity. And the network's like my buddy, Dusty Slay, he did skull. He then did Fallon off of Skull. Then off of that he got to do new faces at New Faces Levity saw him. Levity signed him. Then they paraded him around to all the networks and he sold the show. And it was in a matter of months, like six months after.

Samantha Rund :

Wow.

Cat Alvarado :

This is how quick it goes. So here's what happened to me. I did Skull VP of casting at NBC, fuckin' loved me. He loved me. Here is the kicker. So I go to the general meeting with him. And this is like, Oh, my God, and I had ideas. I was full of pilot ideas. I had already been learning to write pilots, and taking classes and had great ideas. And I pitched my idea. He's like, I love it. We've been looking to go into that space. Sure. Send it to me, or you send it to us. I'll do that. And I had also applied to NBC diversity's TV writer program. And he's like, yeah, let's see where that goes to. Let's see if you get in. I'll talk to her. And I think you'd be great to be staffed on a show like Brooklyn nine nine if you can send us a script. And also send me your reel and your headshots. Well guess what? I didn't have a reel and I wanted to do another rewrite on my show script. So I was really nervous about it. And the one that I had pitched him actually. It was just an outline. I had a beat sheet done. I wasn't done writing the pilot itself, but he wants to read the pilot itself. So I had my shot. And it was a swing of miss, because it took me like six months to get all my shit together. And I sent it but by then the heat had fallen. And, and since then I've kind of plateaued a little bit like I, I did go back to Laughing Skull the following year, not everybody gets in two years in a row, this girl did.

Samantha Rund :

Hey girl. Yeah.

Cat Alvarado :

Hey, hey. And I improved, which is great. Um, you know, the Booker for Fallon last year the previous year ignored me that year, he shook my hand and I'm like, okay, yeah. You shook my hand. And it was like, here's, you know, here's my information and call me I will bump you to the head of the line for NBC diversity stuff and like,

Samantha Rund :

amazing.

Cat Alvarado :

So I earned that at least and, but guess who wasn't there? at NBC casting guy? Why? Cuz he left, he got a better job at Facebook. And so now I don't have an NBC in anymore. This shit goes by quick. I tell you this whole story to say, if you are in stand up comedy, or acting, what have you.. be prepared. Don't waste your time making tic tocs no one gives a shit no one. If you have strong characters, if you want to do SNL, I think it's a great idea to be writing sketches. Sketches are great if you're actually putting stuff that is like your portfolio of real writing. Yeah, do that shoot that if you're like a filmmaker, because that's portfolio that's different. That's the stuff you want. But be wise in how you choose to spend your time. And you should be working on that pilot to have it ready for when that time comes. You should have that pilot written. Because Oh my god, that happened again, another time I had three quarters. I had two acts written there. When I pitched it to a studio. They love the idea. They're like, send it to us. And I was like, Fuck, I didn't finish it. And I said, I'll send it when I finish it. Two years have passed. I just never finished it because I'm too freaking busy. So learn from my mistakes. Finish your projects, have them have them complete, have them in your arsenal. Because if you're good if you're talented, those doors open for you. And I'm so blessed to have these doors opening. And the thing is it's not about that it's opportunity meets preparation.

Samantha Rund :

Right. And luck. I heard it that way. The trifecta. Right? Yeah, I suppose the luck could be being in the right place at the right time. But not saying that you needed the luck. You earned your way there. Right.

Cat Alvarado :

Absolutely. I also think, you know, in this industry if you're talented. I see this about stand up. I can't say this about acting because I know too many amazingly talented actors who are not getting opportunities.

Samantha Rund :

Yep.

Cat Alvarado :

Sucks. But I think stand up as its own animal and because it's more writing heavy.

Samantha Rund :

Yeah.

Cat Alvarado :

Like, there's it's a fewer it's far.... It's just less competition it..

Samantha Rund :

Yes. I I agree. I think um, yes, that that's one thing that kept me excited about stand up. Like, initially, when I started doing stand up, it wasn't to be a stand up comic I was looking for it was actually part of refilling my, well, when I was in LA, it was like just a thing that I could do on my time. wouldn't cost me any money. Maybe I could meet some other people, you know, socialize a little bit more, and just have some other artistic outlet outlet that I didn't expect anything from. Because my attitude towards acting was like, Listen, I got two degrees. And you I did this many plays, I've traveled around the country, I have this, this and this and this, I've earned it. Give me my stuff. And so you put so much on the line so much time and effort. And then like you're saying it's there's so much into getting picked as an actor. That's not only your talent, not only your work ethic, and obviously there's things that I could have could have done in that I still do because you could keep on improving no matter how good you are. Just keep on getting better. So, you know, I'm not trying to say I was you know, you know what I'm trying to say? Yeah, I mean, I'm trying to say it's like I'm not trying to sound bitter. I'm not trying to sound bitter. I'm not trying to say that I didn't need to keep working. I'm trying to say that in most professions and also in other artistic pursuits when you see people who put in the effort and have that to back it up...normally doors open for them quicker. And with acting it definitely at least in LA it definitely did seem like that luck factor was bigger.

Cat Alvarado :

And then and then you've got other things in enacting listeners. conspiracy theories are true kind of ...when it comes to the background, the some of the Shit that goes on that I've learned. Because so I went to grad school in UC Santa Barbara, which the cool thing about living in Santa Barbara is you get to hobnob with some successful folks. If you play your cards right, you'll meet people like live in Montecito and have sold companies and you know, and I knew a guy who was he'd sold a tech startup. So he had some cash, right?

Samantha Rund :

Yeah.

Cat Alvarado :

He bought his way into two feature films.

Samantha Rund :

Oh, right.

Cat Alvarado :

Yeah, paid $250,000. That's the price, you pay that you get a speaking role. You get like a mid middle of it. Yeah, we're your get lines, and you're part of it, you won't be the lead, but you'll be close. You know how much it costs.

Samantha Rund :

In a certain situation like that, I have to say the other part of me couldn't be mad at it. Because if it's an independent film that needs money, his money made the film happen, everybody else gets to work now. So you know, I, I definitely can wear different hats while while seeing it. But LA was an amazing learning opportunity. I did get to do some pretty cool things when I was there. But it definitely helps, um, that it's just an eye opening experience. Like, and, and and for stand up. Not to not to cut you off. But for stand up. That was one thing that I found really enticing about it, that I still find enticing about it. You know, if you're you have to work at being funny, and people will not everybody's going to have the same idea of what is funny, but people's work shows. And if you if you don't do like, if you haven't, like an offset, you can come back and win people's respect. When you're just like when you you worked harder, you get your material better. And people notice Oh, you you learned you got better. Cool. Okay. Absolutely. The proof is in the pudding are people laughing? They're laughing. So there you go. Yeah.

Cat Alvarado :

It's there. Yeah, but I but I like to think about those conspiracies, like people buying their way into parts, or people sleeping with a producer. That's real. There's casting directors who you have to they, they they'll hold auditions, but they're only a cast people who take their classes, right. So there's, there's those games that are going on, there's all sorts of games happening behind the scenes. And so, you know, if you're out there, and you really worked your ass off at acting or theater, and you went to LA, and I didn't work out, it's not on you.

Samantha Rund :

It's true. And I am there's part of there's part of that learning curve with getting there too, in terms of like you're saying... when as an actor, do you stop taking it personally and see the other forces are at work and hold yourself accountable to the things that you can? You know, I'm there are certain things that I learned when I was already in a couple years that I'm like, Oh, well, if I started doing this on year one, I'd be further ahead now just for the way things in LA work. And I don't mean with sleeping with producers. No, that did not happen. Obviously, or if it did, that'd be terrible, because I'm not talking to you from my mega mansion. I don't know if you can tell this is not a mega mansion. Um, you know, but but certain. Just certain things in terms of certain workshops or classes or just, you know, the, just the different way in the city.

Cat Alvarado :

The right class with the right. teacher who knows the casting directors, like some people are just really connected. And, you know, you find that person and, and, boom, you, you network your way into now having a major agent. And then there's that there's a networking skill, and some people aren't networkers, some people are like, Oh, that's so phony. I could never network. Well, here's news, this is a business, we've got a network. And that's part of how you get those agents and managers and stuff is shaking hands and shaking hands with the right people who know the right people who know the right people know the right people.

Samantha Rund :

Yeah, and I think doing it in a way that feels good to you too, though. I mean, because there there is part of it, where it is that skill set of just you you grow that skill set, excuse me, um, and then sometimes also just changing your mind frame, too. And for for me again, like that was one of my favorite things about comedy is I met so many more people once I started doing stand up, but I never felt like I was networking. Like, I want to talk to that person. They're funny or you get to be on a lot of shows. And you know, even like how I met you, I met you because of stand up I wouldn't have I wouldn't have known you otherwise. And now you're on the podcast. So I really like that organic way of doing it. And it's a it definitely is a skill set. Yeah, I'm I'm still learning how to network. I think I'm naturally more of an introvert. And so it's it's always weird. I was dating someone who was a total extrovert and he'll like, he'll constantly just be talking to all the different people, and knows so many people. And meanwhile, I'll make a few meaningful connections. But I choose them wisely. I think that's the thing about my personality and like, less is more. Yes. Yeah. Where I'll, okay. I'll be like, Okay, this is the person who I want to build a relationship with and network with. I'm going to focus a little bit more on that person and learning more about them and making sure that okay, I am going to like all their statuses, I am going to share stuff that's funny of them. Yes, it's kissing their ass. But it's different from other people who would, hey, here's my card, here's your card, you've got your number, never hear from them, and then hit them up on email a year later, right? Yeah, it's, it's those little things like and yeah, yeah, we know, we know that there's an ulterior motive. But it's nice to see that effort. And also, it is kind of good vibes. It's like, Oh, you did read my status? Yeah. Nice. Oh, thank you for commenting. That's nice. Right? Well, I think if you're a genuine fan of somebody to, like, I, for I mean, I, I noticed that I was doing that I, I'm not gonna say who this person's name is. But you know, it's a person that has a show out on on HBO right now. And I'm a genuine fan of their, their show and their work, I want them to keep getting renewed. And I just, you know, I liked something. And I commented on one of their things on Instagram, and I noticed that they, like, responded. And so I was like, Oh, this is great. You know, I'm going to keep on posting I'm gonna keep on like, giving them shout outs. And it was it definitely was started from that really genuine place. But then I realized I'm like, Oh, this probably looks bad. So then I like backed off for a minute. But I was just so excited to see them starting to get work and wanted to, you know, boost the word out.

Cat Alvarado :

That's awesome. Yeah. So got network, man.

Samantha Rund :

Yeah.

Cat Alvarado :

I always feel phony doing it. But I always have to try.

Samantha Rund :

I think what, what would probably help me is I, if I pretended that it was my job, I think that would be my workaround. Because, you know, I waited tables for several years, and I'm normally... I'm a bit shy, I guess, when I, you know, if, if I don't know somebody, like we're in a class together, then maybe after a few classes, you start talking or something, not immediately saying, Let's be friends. Um, but when I was serving, obviously, that's part of your job. And so I could strike a conversation with anybody. And it felt so natural. But you know, take me out of that situation. It's like, how what, how do I? I can't talk to you. I don't know you. Yeah. So...

Cat Alvarado :

Yeah, definitely. Although I got to say, you know, standup has pushed me to, because I have to network for standup. But you know, whenever I'm doing these festivals, they have a lot of industry. And I've got to push my way through and be like, Hey, you know, position myself where I'm standing. I mean, there's all kinds of psychological tricks to it. So that way you can like, get yourself in there and have that conversation with the guy from NBC or whatever.

Samantha Rund :

Oh, yeah.

Cat Alvarado :

Yeah, it's like a whole... I feel like a sociopath for having broken it down to the degree that I have. Oh, and it works.

Samantha Rund :

And I want to hear about this. I don't know if this has to be off the record. Because I mean, it's just definitely can improve my, when I know that I'm networking, I can improve that. If I don't know that I'm networking. I can be super friendly. But it is that mental shift I'm still working on.

Cat Alvarado :

Yeah, I mean, it's kind of, um, how do I, you kind of have to just always be monitoring that person. It feels very stalkery. But I'm talking about the context of you know Comedy Festival context, is it...It's a crowd of people, there's like 100 comics, everybody wants to talk to that person.

Samantha Rund :

Yeah.

Cat Alvarado :

How do you break through those five or six people that have been hounding them all night?

Samantha Rund :

Mmmm. Okay.

Cat Alvarado :

And every single... every one is a little bit different. But definitely helps to position yourself in their line of view, a lot. So that they, like, they need to see you physically a lot. Because then they're more likely to talk to you because they're like, Oh, yeah, that's Cat. Yeah, I saw her Oh, that's Cat that's ..I got that's Cat versus standing behind them somewhere being like, oh, When am I going to talk to them? What am I going to talk to them? If you've just visually in their eyeline, it's just always giving them that like visual cue of you so that they're not forgetting you. Yeah, and that and then kind of just standing near standing near standing near waiting for that that person to end their conversation. And then kind of casually bumping them into them while eating pizza and your mouth is full. I don't know.

Samantha Rund :

Yeah. Was that from... your pizza from your first stand up show. Right? Classic.

Cat Alvarado :

Yeah.

Samantha Rund :

Slice. You got it, it's your good luck pizza.

Cat Alvarado :

Get a...get a slice...Yeah, no, like, God. It's like, it's so it's so fake. But you got to make it organic. It's its own kind of acting. Oh, how do you start the conversation? I don't like to start it being like, Did you see my set? What did you...that's too too... to the point? I go, how was your flight? How's your flight in? Oh, you hear about this whole thing, Bernie, like whatever it is, and you start conversation about anything, not about the set. And eventually it'll get to the set. But you got to have that organic chit chat at the forefront. You win them over. Now they like you. Instead of just being like, Here's my card. What was my set? Hire me for something be my manager?

Samantha Rund :

Right.

Cat Alvarado :

Nobody wants

Samantha Rund :

Yeah, right. You have to have you have to have that human connection for like, this is who I am. Yeah, I see you. You see me. And you have that that moment.

Cat Alvarado :

Yes. So in this is where I'm like my my whole philosophy of less is more...like you focus on the selected people is big. Because... and having those genuine moments, that human connection. That's how you develop a relationship that's different from Hi, Here's my card, whatever, they're going to forget about you, eventually they'll forget about you. But if you have a really good conversation with somebody, even if that year, they don't rep you if you bump into each other at another festival, they know your name. I think I can confidentally say Jeff Singer who books just for laughs He knows my name. When he sees me. He says hello. Yeah, um, and it's really cool to be able to say that I know that I'm on his radar. And he knows me as a comic that I'm talented. But also, when he sees me, he goes, Hey, Cat, how's it going? And it's because of that human connection not being intimidated and feeling like has to be business, the booker for South by Southwest. We're total pals. We've smoked together, we've we've had so many great conversations. Is he ever gonna book me for South by Southwest? I don't know. I actually didn't even know how what his casting process was until the third year of knowing him.

Samantha Rund :

Oh, wow.

Cat Alvarado :

It means I had two years of I probably had three festivals of hanging out with him and just chillin before I actually got to the point. Because this is the long game. This is the long game. Let's think about the game right now.

Samantha Rund :

Well, yes, that's true. It's a it's a marathon. It's not a sprint. Right. Yeah. And and like you were saying, when things happen fast, it's like they sure happen slow until they happen fast for probably 99% of people.

Cat Alvarado :

Yeah. So, there's you lose out a little bit. Because you know, sure at those festivals, I connected with Jeff, I connected with

Samantha Rund :

the South by Southwest guy, Charlie.

Cat Alvarado :

But I missed out on Oh, and I connected with the NBC guy. I kind of missed out on the Comedy Central people. But hey, you can't hit them all. Because...If you hit them all, you're probably not making quality connections. So better to make the quality connections, because they'll actually remember you then to spread yourself too thin. And then it's garbage.

Samantha Rund :

Oh I like that. You had ... let me write down some of these things. Yeah. Quality connections. And then you also were talking about was it guarding? Not guarding your time, but being protective of your time?

Cat Alvarado :

Yeah.

Samantha Rund :

So so I like that. I mean, you're you're really busy. And you do have to have like, a bit of a laser focus, and choose your projects wisely of what you're going to give your time to.

Cat Alvarado :

Hmm, I also do that with dating. And it's because I love what I do outside of work.

Samantha Rund :

Yes.

Cat Alvarado :

That someone's got to really impress me, because dating just anybody means I have to take time away from my goals and my dreams.

Samantha Rund :

Mm hmm.

Cat Alvarado :

So are you worth the sacrifice? of that extra show that I'm not going to do? Because I'm going to hang out with you, buddy. Yeah, not just anybody's worth that sacrifice. My mom's like, settle, go for a guy who you're not attracted to, but it's really nice. I'm like, no. No, because I have to spend my time and energy on a relationship. I'm not gonna spend my time and energy on a relationship that I'm halfway about. I'd rather have none.

Samantha Rund :

Well, right, if you're happy, you're happy with who you are and what you're doing. Why would you want to spend some of your time being less happy?

Cat Alvarado :

Exactly.

Samantha Rund :

You want to be half happy with somebody else who's there all happy when you're by yourself? Doing what you want to do?

Cat Alvarado :

100%

Samantha Rund :

The boundaries conversation is obviously huge conversation because there's a sort of interdependence that we can develop with people who, who come into our sphere, right? And how, like your balance, it is a little bit different when there's another person there. You know, and and then when does it shift too far?

Cat Alvarado :

Yeah, I'm, I'm really learning about that. Just taking my time to make do my projects than our projects, then my time off. Like... What? That's a lot.

Samantha Rund :

Right. The life of an artist is never boring. A lot of us we have full time jobs. And then on top of that, our passion is really our full time job. And then you mix relationships and everything else into it. And it's a lot of juggling,

Cat Alvarado :

You know, and then kids one day, well, that's the one decision I'm dreading to make. I mean, I know that I inside my heart, I know that I want them. But on the practical level, I think I've just been avoiding thinking about it.

Samantha Rund :

So I went back to your website to just, you know, look up a few things. Make sure I intro you well, all of that. give you your props. You guys remember, at the Cat Alvarado? Yes. Okay. And I came across one of your jokes. I haven't heard in a while. Your tattoo joke. Yeah. Can you can you say it so I don't mess it up?

Cat Alvarado :

Yes. I want a baby. Like I want a tattoo. If I wake up with one, I'll keep it.

Samantha Rund :

So good.

Cat Alvarado :

And yeah. You know how I wrote that. I was texting a guy I text... It was a text that I sent. We were talking about that exact thing and I sent it and I was like, Oh, that is concise.

Samantha Rund :

Yes.

Cat Alvarado :

I'm like..I'm gonna try that.

Samantha Rund :

It's great. It's great. And, you know, oh, the kids topic. Yeah, I don't I don't know. I don't know what I'm gonna do. Like, I, I think I want to be in a place where my career is where I want it to be. And my relationship is to where I want it to be. But I'm, and then there's, you know, the state of the world and but there's so many different things in place where I'm like, I want one, but am I going to physically have one? or are things going to be the way that they are when, I've passed that time and I adopt one, just like, I don't know,

Cat Alvarado :

It's gonna be a while. It's gonna be a long time from now. Like, we're gonna be we're gonna be fine for like, a good amount of time. And then we'll ruin our life with kids. Like,we got time to have fun first. Or maybe never. Because if I don't have the right circumstances, maybe I won't. And I'm like, well, maybe I won't. You don't know.

Samantha Rund :

I'm thinking of a stand up comedian that I know. We both know who has a kid. And she's amazing. I don't know what her thought her thoughts are.

Cat Alvarado :

Laurie Kilmartin?

Samantha Rund :

Yes, I was trying to be vague. But sorry. I love her. She's so hilarious. You guys check her out if you haven't yet.

Cat Alvarado :

She is a late night writing job. So she's got that. She's got that stability. Yeah. writes for Conan. And so yeah, that makes it so that she can have a kid and I think I want to, like get staffed on the show. I want to be a staff writer on a TV show then I'll have my baby.

Samantha Rund :

I love it. Yeah, you guys. Let's just take a moment. I'm going there. We're gonna take a moment we're gonna send Cat some good energy. I'm assuming at least a couple of you guys listening to this are into energy. We're gonna send her some good energy. And we're gonna say Cat, We're wishing this for you. And it's on its way. And we're excited to see that beautiful baby. Yes.

Cat Alvarado :

Send it TV writers staff job vibes.

Samantha Rund :

That's right. Yeah, yeah. So okay, there's one and I totally lost track of time. I try to keep these not too long. So you guys can listen to the whole thing and get on with your day. So I think I will ask you one more question. Okay. Um, is there a life lesson you would like to impart to our listeners that you've learned from your time either doing stand up, or I know you did a lot of theater growing up.. Is there a life lesson that you can share? Aside from the other stuff? Yes, exactly. I know there was so much packed into it. But

Cat Alvarado :

yeah, I would say enjoy the journey and let go

Samantha Rund :

of the outcome at the end. Because I think some of us put a lot of pressure on ourselves because we've invested so much time We've made life choices. We told everybody in our hometown, we were going to win an Oscar and come back and we're going to show them. And then we didn't. We're not even close. Or we do that, but at least in our heads, we did it not out loud. You know, we put our pin we put our hopes on, on accomplishing some pretty big things. in showbiz sometimes, and it can be scary, it can be really disappointing when things aren't going, you know, and we see people who are like less talented or undeserving, and we're like,

Cat Alvarado :

how did they book a series regular on a Netflix show with the Fuck? Just enjoy the ride, and let go of the outcome, do your best, but be present in the moment. And and do your best because you're proud of yourself and you have pride in who you are. Right? But tomorrow's not guaranteed. So why are you gonna, like hurt yourself or put yourself down? Because you're comparing yourself to others?

Samantha Rund :

Right.

Cat Alvarado :

Just be on your journey, and enjoy that journey. That's my life lesson.

Samantha Rund :

Thank you, thank you for sharing your life lesson. When you're saying, you know all of this about enjoying the journey and not comparing yourself to others, which, of course is I think hard regularly. But especially, I think it's in the face for us as performers all the time. I mean, if you're working a day job, and somebody else gets hired for the position that you wanted, well, you're probably not going to see their pictures all over social media and being interviewed on talk shows and on People Magazine, or, you know, and then on top of it, it's probably not happening every day, you know, the quantity of it, it can be, yeah, it can feel very deflating if you're not in a good sort of emotional, mental, spiritual mindset. And so having, having like a deep love for yourself, a deep love and acceptance and belief in yourself and knowing that, just like you said, you have this gift, you are talented, and you're you are sharing it. And when the time is that it comes that you're going to get the thing that is yours and yours alone. We don't have any control of it's just being prepared, showing up doing the work and remembering to completely love ourselves. And not let any of that comparison crap weigh us down.

Cat Alvarado :

self compassion.

Samantha Rund :

Yeah.

Cat Alvarado :

You never know that thing that you thought you were working toward as your goal. That may not be the thing that's your destiny. It might be something completely different. But awesome.

Samantha Rund :

Yes. Definitely.

Cat Alvarado :

You never know where your path is going.

Samantha Rund :

I had this aha moment the other day. And it just, it just struck me. Do you ever get the sort of big knowledge that just it comes down like a wave of feel.. like oh,

Cat Alvarado :

Yeah, just like sudden enlightenment?

Samantha Rund :

Yes, like out of nowhere...

Cat Alvarado :

Like am I having a psychotic episode?

Samantha Rund :

Well, I wasn't gonna say a psychotic episode. But you know... to each his own...

Cat Alvarado :

One time was like meditating. And I felt like I tapped into the greater Jungian subbconscious right. I just had, I was like, Oh, this is amazing. I was like, Oh, I just had that thought. And I was like, wait, myself aware side was like, oh, logic isn't a thing. Cat. Yeah, are you having an episode? Is this a psychology thing? So just take a step back. I was like, Okay, I'll just take this for what it is. And let's tone it down with the grandiosity in your brain girl your imagination.

Samantha Rund :

Well, I cannot speak to that specifically. But I, I know that some people, you know, there are these times of this greater awareness of tapping into bigger than you, right?

Cat Alvarado :

Yeah.

Samantha Rund :

And um I had this moment where it hit me because I've definitely done a lot of the sort of like, I don't believe I'm a loser. I know. I'm not a loser. But sometimes I felt like one because I didn't get to where I said I would get to by now or bla bla bla, and Oh, if only I'd gotten this or not. And it just struck me what it just came to me one day and I wasn't thinking about that at all. Well, if I got what I said I wanted, my life probably would have been a nightmare. You know, I think I actually was saved from what I wanted. And just like you said, saved for what my real, my real work is, but my real work and what actually is going to bring me the most joy and how I might actually be able to make a difference in the most people's lives. It may not be that thing that that I initially wanted and that thing I initially wanted to be what took me on this direction.

Cat Alvarado :

I have a great story to share about that. It's not about me, it's about the Mickey Mouse Club. And some of our favorite pop stars who, okay, my my best friend told me the story, and it was really good. So apparently, it was around a time where Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, they were all auditioning for the Mouseketeers and Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears got it. And Jessica Simpson didn't because they already had two blondes, and they were better than her. Right. And so she didn't get this thing that I'm sure at the time she really wanted. And it was heartbreaking that she didn't get it. But fast forward to today, and everybody's lives and who's the happiest? For what I hear Christina Aguilera may or may not have a drinking problem. But she's full of... she's full of filler and her life has been rocky, Britney Spears. She's, we all know she had her breakdown her life has been rocky. And Jessica Simpson has her own line of shoes is married, happily married with two kids. Like she didn't get the biggest pop star career like they did. But she has kind of the best life of the three. But she lost that first opportunity.

Samantha Rund :

Right.

Cat Alvarado :

So there you go. But she was still Jessica Simpson. But

Samantha Rund :

Yeah, I get what you're saying. Yeah, I get what you're saying is we can still have something great. Even if it's not the thing that we thought was the greatest thing. And not getting that greatest thing can be what saves us. Yeah.

Cat Alvarado :

At the end at the end of the thing looking back.

Samantha Rund :

That's right. And yes, I was I was looking for a callback, but I just the mind just blanked out. I'm like I'm listening to this. I'm taking it in. That's right. Okay, well, I could talk to you I feel like for hours, but I you know, I just want to thank you for your time. I don't want to keep you on the episode too too long. And so, yes, just to remind you guys, please check out The Cat Alvarado. Listen to her amazing podcast that's very well researched at the Villians of History and learn something new. And then talking about learning something new. If you're looking for a coach to help you use performance skills to help improve and empower your life in voice body and mind. You can always reach me at beyond technique [email protected] check out the website share the podcast please if you enjoyed it, please like and subscribe and share. Thank you so much for your time and stay safe and healthy.