Kate Doherty
Where Are They Now?

Kate Doherty

BOC '73-'75, Featured on Starting Over January 10, 2004

Watching Kate on National Television From My Living Room

by liza moon

Kate on TV

Beyond Our Control alumni routinely move across the cultural stage of our nation in many guises, but Kate Doherty showed up bright and clear in her real life on "reality" television. The show is called "Starting Over" on NBC . It is a "reality" soap opera, the twists and turns in the lives of 6 women sharing a house in Chicago which is wired for 24 hour sound and picture. The women are in the house to have their lives transformed by the photogenic "life counselors" and the dramatic career choices the power of television brings their way.

Kate is a theatrical costume designer/builder now. "Starting Over" had a client, Karen, who wanted to upgrade her career from designing and sewing costumes for the adult entertainment industry - costumes designed to be taken off. The life counselors thought our Kate could inspire this woman to create costumes which would stay on. It was a tough row to hoe.

Kate and Karen

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Kate was featured on three occasions, part of one you can watch here. The first segment showed Karen and Kate meeting in Kate's workroom, surrounded by Kate's designs and racks of fabulous costumes she had built. This part was reality, and the reality of Kate's talent shone, skipped, and pranced across the screen as Kate and Karen played with the costumes.

The rest of what I saw was not so real. Trying to follow the story, I asked Kate for details, which she couldn't give out til the show aired. Since Karen did not succeed at producing any costume work at Kate's level of expertise, the show presented a segment from another theater where Karen had stitched patches on the T-shirts of dancers.

Thanks to the message board where Kate posted notice of her show dates, I got to enjoy seeing my friend be herself on national broadcast television. What fun. I highly recommend it.

Editor's note:

Kate studied theater at Indiana University from 1977 - 1981, and had intended to pursue a career in acting. After school, she took various jobs in tech theater and tried temporarily to "go straight" with office work, but when her first child was born in 1987, she began working from home as a designer and seamstress. Over the past 14 years she has built a strong reputation and client base in Chicago.

Some of her more widely seen work includes dinosaur and other creature costumes for The Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago's Museum of Science & Industry, Hades Haunted Houses, and Navy Pier. She has worked for a number of private clients in a spectrum ranging from Morris the Cat to the Pritzger Family and has ongoing relationships with several local children's theaters, including Special Gifts Theatre, a theater company composed of children with special needs and their mentors.

When asked to describe her work, Kate responded: "What I do, specifically, is 'Theatrical Costume Design and Construction' (that's what it says on my business cards). I specialize in one-of-a-kind costumes for live theatrical use. The bulk of my work is in children's theater and live corporate events. I have a regular, part-time job at The Northbrook Park District, where I am responsible for costuming children's theater workshops, and the balance of my work is free-lance. I love my work. My job is fun; it's like getting paid to play. I made some of my first costumes for Beyond Our Control (anyone remember Ming the Merciless's collar?) and I'm still pretty proud of them."

Kate can be contacted at: costumerkate@yahoo.com [Click to E-mail]