The Basement Lounge
The Basement Lounge

Season 1, Episode 11 · 3 years ago

"It's Just You and a Bag" with Catherine Duncan - EP #11

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Up-and-coming actress Catherine Duncan is the lead in a serialized zombie podcast, took a master class with Enver Gjokaj, and has quite a unique hobby that helps keep the haters at bay.


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Hello, which is lady Sarah, and you are listening to the Basement Lounge. Hey, guys, this is Mike Shay and I want to talk to you about anchor. Yes, anchor is the brand new, free way for you to get your podcast career off and running without any cost to you. Simply download the anchor APP or go to Anchor Dot FM to get started. Anchor is the easiest way to make a podcast to give you everything you need in one place for free. You can use it right from your phone or your computer. Their creation tools allow you to record and edit your podcast so it sounds tolay magnifeek, without having to worry about all the costly set up. They'll even distribute your podcast for you so it can be heard everywhere. spotify, apple podcasts, Google podcast, stitcher. All of that, and you can easily make money from your podcast with no minimum listenership. They sent you up with awesome sponsors. All you got to do is record a script kind of like what I'm doing now, throw it onto your show and start making money once again. Download the anchor APP or go to Anchor Dot FM and get your podcast career off and running right now. Just do it. Already. Hey, guys, this is Mike and Before we get the show started, I wanted to let you know that you can now join the basement lounge team by supporting the show on Patreon. Right now we have a one dollar tier that is so full of cool rewards you'd be a fool to pass it up. Just go to Patreoncomlash Basement Lounge pod to sign up right away, and now on with the show. Grab a drink and pull up a chair and settle in, because you're in the basement lounge. Hello, everybody, welcome to a brand new episode of the Basement Lounge. This is the cool, relaxed space where we sit down with rising stars in the entertainment industry, be they actors, musicians, Comedians, what have you, anybody with a story to tell and a dream they're trying to live out. And today we have got a rising star from the Los Angeles area. She is one of the stars of the podcast dead serious, a serialized Zombie podcast we've talked about on this show before. She is an actress out in Los Angeles. Like I said, her name is Catherine Duncan. Catherine, welcome to the show. Hey, my thanks. Glad to be here. Glad to have you here now. We met virtually. Have not met in person, but we were introduced through her mutual friend, Travis Diffenderfer, who's the show runner over a dead serious, and he brought you on to be the role of Naomi on dead serious, and we'll talk about that in a little bit, but first I just want to talk about you and where you came from and how the hell you got to be out in Los Angeles, because you're not originally from Los Angeles, Are you? No, I'm from a small town in Arkansas called dirty. Grew up on a farm with my mom and dad and all of our pets, cats, dogs, chickens, horses, anything you can name. Now out first question. Why is it Arkansas and not...

Arkansas? I just I need to know that answer because I don't get it. I don't know the science behind it, but yeah, everyone out here, as soon as I say Arkansas, they say oh Arkansas. I'm like, HMM, yeah, it's really I'm a former English teacher. That's why. That's why it bugs me. So how how do how the hell do you get from Arkansas to Los Angeles? Well, I wanted to drop out of school and moved to Los Angeles. When I was like in middle school, sensible we was thing, so I always wanted to get out and kind of figure out my life outside of Turkey. My problem for work, so I always got to travel with her, which is wonderful. So whenever I went to college, I went to Charleston, South Carolina, which is where I met our friend Travis, and then I went home for a few months to save up money and bartend and moved out here last January. So you've only been living there for for about a year. Yes, so why? Why? I understand the want to get out to La and and to make your dreams come true. I'm trying to do that myself right now, but why the urge to straight up just drop out of school? Oh, I felt like I could learn so much more from life experiences outside of school. I'm glad now that I didn't do that, because I got to kind of have a childhood and was shielded from a lot of things that now you know, once throughout in the real world, do you figure out. But at the time I didn't really get that. You know, you're talking to a guy who you know, like Travis, was a creative type living in in the south, living in in a not not an artistic part of the country. Did you find that you had a similar kind of experience in Arkansas, where just you felt a little out of place, a bit, not as much as I think others do, just because I was surrounded by so much more art and intellectual conversations through my parents, because they traveled so much for work and I got to accompany them and got to know people from all over the country in the world. So I didn't quite feel out of place. I just more felt like I was ready to get going and ready to get started on my career and I felt like I was wasting time, you know, paying my dues m and then you said, looking back, it was the best thing for me. Oh yeah, absolutely. And you said that your mom traveled for work. What did she do? She worked with a company called special quest. They designed programs to help kids with special needs. As she was a teacher, a first special ed for a long time and...

...then she started working for this company and they would travel the country, they were based out of California, and develop programs for other teachers to use and help the kids and so and so you said you got to go on the road with her. Yeah, ever since I was three months old, she was buying me all over when they were doing their conferences. So, you know, getting to go on all those trips with her and seeing these new places and meeting all these New People. was there any part of that that led to you know, part of being an actor means you're a part of you're always part of telling a story. Were there are people that you met along the way who maybe you know we're inspired you to get into that storytelling kind of lifestyle? For sure. There were so many interesting people that I met from China and Brazil and all these different cultures. But then on the other side of it, I spent a lot of time in hotel rooms watch movies or when I was home, when my mom was away, I would use with my grandmother and we would watch old movies, and so I grew up a lot of my life being through film and through the stories that they told. And then when you get to high school and you fall in love with those silly sew TV shows and love triangles and all that, it felt like it taught me a lot in a safe space and I would love to be a part of that story for someone else. So you mentioned. You mentioned CW series. I was going to bring this up later. We're bringing it up now. I do my fair share of Internet stalking of everybody that I bring on the show. I ask people questions, I scroll through facebook and Instagram. You, like me, are a big fan of CW television. Oh Yeah, I I'm a big CW fan and absolutely and would it be fair to say that one of your great ambitions in life is to be an actress on a CW program yeah, yeah, that's kind of the dream. I know the Offcar is what you should quote for, but I think it would be so much more fun to be on one of those shows that have gone on for no, eight to fifteen seasons. I mean supernatural is on its fifteen right now, and they just got to know everyone on the cast and the crew and just acting do these stories without the restrictions and the pressure of the next job and all that stuff. I don't know if I ever want to get to the level where I'm so concerned about where my career is going that I stopped thinking about the stories that I'm telling. Well, and I think people people not working in television, but that's you know, it's the show takes off. That's crazy. Job Security, that's that's that's yeah, that's work for eight years exactly. And I know I'm an actress living in La Living, the wishywashy live, but I would love security.

What are some of the shows on cw right now that you're a big Fan of? I'm big and Rosville New Mexico. They just did their first season and it was crizingly phenomenal. Supernatural is one of my all time favorites. They're doing their final season right now and it's heartbreaking because I've been with them fills like over half my life. So those are probably my two favorites right now. I I admittedly am am a big fan of all the the DC superhero shows on the CW. I'm I'm a season or two behind on most of them because I work in television, so finding the time to watch television is exhausted nearly. Fuck Yeah, it's not fun. But if you ever have you ever washed any of those and thought to yourself, I could, I could be a superhero, it would be so fun. I definitely I the actorss Catherine macimara, her career kind of as a guideline for where I'd like mine to go. She is on Arrow right now. I haven't seen any of her seasons but it seems like a really Badass, fun character to do, especially because I think when she was introduced she was a boxer. Have you seen a minute? You know mom talking. I'm like two seasons behind. So I haven't seen her in it, but I keep seeing her name popping up everywhere. Yeah, well, I box in my spare time and I have for years, so that was always like, Oh oh, that would be so fun and so cool. Wait, no, no, no, no, you're not going to bury the lead on me here. Okay, wait, so you box? Yes, I started boxing when I was in Charleston. I wanted some selfdefense practices, so I would wake up at six am and go to this little Jim out and lest Ashley and it was a bunch of military guys and the Guy Coaching was actually a boxer, and then like me and one other girl and it was phenomenal and I loved it. And then I moved out here and now I work at a boxing gym called Rumble, just working the front desk, but it's still really fun. I I don't like to get hit. I don't do well. I was never good at playing football or anything because at the other day, if I had to get hit, I didn't like it. How do you did? How do you get around that in boxing? How do you get around the idea of this person across from me is going to punch me in the face? Well, truly fair, I never got in the ring for a match. I told them I was like, I'm here to learn self defense and if I get hit every once in a while, that's fine, but I don't actually want to mess with my face, since that's kind of the whole point of action. But I did get hit a few times in Charleston, especially when you're throwing MIT. You know, if you don't dusk when you're supposed to duck. So I had a few few close calls. But...

...here at the boxing gym it's usually just you and a bag, so there's not really a chance of you getting hit. Yeah, boxes don't bags don't have arms, which is which is helpful. Have you ever gone to like the bowling alley or the arcade where they have that that arcade game where you supposed to punch the bag as hard as you can? And I've seen them, but I've never found one anywhere, but I want to know just how we can comparison. I am now when you when you go training for boxing, you know, you know because I'm a guy who's watch a lot of rocky movies. Are you running up and down the State House steps or you? Are you carry are you carrying logs up snowy mountains? What's training like for you? Oh No, it's so much more wimpy than that. It's usually just a lot of box jump, squat jumps, shadow boxing, that kind of stuff. I'm by no means a professional. It's more just a really fun workout that I feel like if I tried to get, if someone tried to Mug me, I would have a few moves. Yeah, so that's Oh my God, that's I love that I found that out about you today. So let's let's talk about let's talk about we're not going to talk about dead serious just yet, but so you're you're in Arkansas and then you go to Charleston, South Carolina, you meet Travis, you're working on the college thing and the acting thing in the theater thing and you eventually you actually get out to Los Angeles. So, while assuming we've all we've all seen Barry. We all we all know Barry on HBO Acting Classes in Los Angeles. Let's let's let's, let's dish. Are they really that just awkwardly, awesomely hellish. I have not had that experience. You kind of of run the Gambit of which teacher you're going to pick. So it can be really harrowing. More or less about the teachers will be very finds you spirit animal and really just feel what you're going to feel and it doesn't feel very constructive, or you get someone who actually is in the business and knows what they're doing. I did my first class here. Have you ever seen dollhouse by Joff Eden? Yeah, yeah, that's the one that's got Maggie Q in it. Right, yeah, no, I think that's Nikita. That's Nikita. I'm sorry, you're right. I have seen all house, though. Well, one of the guys in it and they're Yo Kai. He was also in agent Carter, the TV show. He played Daniel. Oh. Yeah, anyway, he's been a big idol of mine for a while and...

I got a chance to be in his master class workshops like the first week that I moved here, and it was not what I expected. I showed up and it was a total of ten people, is very intimate, and everyone else there I was like, Oh, I recognize you from this show. So you're on sal mark movies, and they were all friends. And then there was me, and they went around the table introducing themselves and talking about all their accomplishment and they got me and I just said, well, this is my first week in Los Angeles, I've never been on an audition and thought I'd started the big kids table and they were so nice to me. They were just you know, and there was like at the perfect tables, here's some constructive criticism, here's my number, if you like me coaching in the future. It was ridiculously nice and I don't know how I looked into it. So you really just you just jump, you you just jumped into the deep end. You did you didn't take your time, you just you just went for it. Exactly. What's a what's a master class? Light like's what are some of the things they have you do? Well, this is an auditioning master class. So first he had US bring a monolog from a scene that we were going to study and then we basically kind of went through and annotated it, which was great for me because I studied poetry partially in college. So you just kind of go through an annotate and you make larger the words that you want to put more emphasis on and you make a calex the ones you want to have different emotions on. It really helps you read the scene in your head the way that you want it to come out. And then he had to stand up in front of a recorder and just read the seam through and then you would give us kind of an idea of how to change it. So I think for mine he said pretend like you're carrying a boulder at the words that you want to be heaviest and pretend that you are stand on your tiptoes on the words that you don't make matter as much, and it was weird how just changing your body in those light ways made your entire speech come out completely different. So if I were to ask you to do a monolog right now on the show, would you be able to do it? Oh God, the only one I can think of is one from Oh God, I can't believe I actually did this for an audition once. I assume you can firefly. Yeah, Oh yeah, okay, love firefly. So I actually went up on stage once and did the monolog of wash talking about juggling bea. I don't know if you remember that vaguely. Yeah, it's been a while, but yeah, like ten seconds long. It's not a monolog, it's like two lines and I got up on stage in Charleston auditions for something with those like two lines from firefly.

That is fantastic. I love that so much. Perfect. I did it. I did. I did a section from V for Vendetta, for one of my for one of my monolog classes in college. So I was brute at all. Yeah, yeah, it was. It was the one at the beginning where every word starts with the letter V. That was that was hell old joy. Yeah, well, you know, I like to show off. Hey, everybody, I just wanted to take a moment to interrupt the show and give a very special shout out to the people who support this show every month on patreon. I want to shout out Whitney Latin, Jody McDermott and my mother, Melissa Shay, who every single month help support this show. And if you want to be one of those awesome people, all you got to do is go to patreoncom Basement Lounge pod and join the onedollar tier. You'll get shouted out on the air, get your name listed in the description, you get early access to all these shows commercial free through our Patreot ur SS feed and so many other cool rewards. Once again, go to Patreoncom Basement Lounge pod, join the onesollar tier and help support the show. Speaking of the show, let's get back to them. The I happen to find us some some pictures from back in August of you quote, living out my alice in wonderland dreams. Oh, what in the world is happening here? Okay, so I love Alice in Wonderland, my instagram title and possible Catherine. It's because Alice in Wonderland thinks nine impossible things before breakfast. And for my birthday, my wonderful, beautiful best friend of a roommate, Marissa are bought me ticket to this interactive Alice in Wonderland play that is performing in Los Angeles. And you go and it's a tea party and so they have alcoholic tea drinks and then like little orders and it's the characters walk around and talk to you and it's the mad hatter and his whole plan and it was ridiculously fun. That is that is just there's nothing like that around here. So I know that's the thing about Los Angeles is there's so many different opportunities. I mean in the nine months that I've been here I've done enough for five years of fun stuff that I could have done in Arkansas. You know, that is so much fun. That is just fantastic. So I noticed that tree for your birthday back in September you did a fundraiser for or be the match. Yeah, can you tell us a little bit about what...

...be the matches? Yeah, I'd love to. So I actually I don't have any connections to them, except that I found out about them about a year and a half ago. I was watching a video and it was this kid and his best friend talking about he had a disease that was going to kill him and the next year unless he found a donor for bone marrow. But if he found the donor with the bone marrow match, he would live out the rest of his life and be completely happy and healthy. And so be the match is in organizations that take swabs from your cheek and then matches view to other people who need bone marrow transplant and it just seems like such an incredible organization that, you know, you go through a week of discomfort of them taking a bone marrow and then you can literally save a life and that just seems so incredible to me. So I've joined the registry and for my birthday this year I just wanted to donate some money and see what I can help with. The reason I brought that up is I was I was very a was very touched to see that you did that. My my dad passed away a couple of years ago from from leukemia, and so getting to see people working with organizations in small or big ways for something like that is is fantastic. So so Kudos to you for for taking that initiative. Well, sorry to hear that, though I appreciate it. You've got a quote on your facebook page that I actually Sur I really enjoyed seeing it was from St Augustine. It's the measure of love is the love without measure. What it? What is it about that quote that that connected with you? If I'm office with you, I put that on facebook when I was maybe fourteen, so like ten years ago like the rest of us that. Yeah, I think it was in one of my favorite book series, the mortal instruments always has closed at the beginning of each chapter and I think that was for one of the chapters and I just thought that that was a really beautiful thing, because it's really not about the time you spend with someone or how deep your connection looks to other people. It's about you know you can meet someone for five minutes and love them without measure and then that be the greatest love of your lives and I just think that's a really beautiful way to live. Would you say that your would you say that you're a romantic type person? Yes, I am hopelessly ridiculously romantic. It's obnoxious. My parents met when they were in elementary school and then we're high school sweetheart, so it's part of that comes from them. That's freaking adorable. Yeah, it's I'm the...

...only one that broke out of that and my family. But yeah, I you know, life is too short not to believe in silly things like romance. Would you say that you know, in real in relationships past or I don't know if you're in one right now. If you are that, do you know like for you in a relationship, what like? What's that like for you are you? Are you the person who's like constantly wanting to be in contact or be around the other person like you? What is a relationship like for Catherine Duncan? I would say I love being very, very independent, and I the longest relationship I've had is lasted like three months, so I don't have a lot to read off of, but I'd imagine once I get into a longer term relationship that will probably be like how I am with my roommate, which sounds both silly, but I love making sure that the people that I love are happy and no content and like cooking dinner for someone when they've had a bad day or breaking them tea when they're sick. You know that kind of stuff. I think it's two small things that matter more. You are you are just a bottle of adorable sweetness, Catherine. That being said, you're well him. That being said, let's talk about something in your life that is the exact opposite of that. Let's talk about your role of Naomi in the dead serious podcast. So, as as as producer for dead serious, I can attest to something, which is that you came into dead serious with no voice acting experience. This was your first time doing something like this. Yeah, exactly. I was really nervous about it. What was what was kind of the main thing that made you decide that you wanted to give something like this a shot? Well, I loved the character. I feel like it's always easiest to play the characters that are least like yourself, even though you should find bits and pieces of them that you can tie into yourself to really sell it. So I love the opportunity to play, you know, kind of a bitchy witch with like vindictive tendencies and a very, very traumatic past. Plus Travis and ives and friends for a while and everything he writes I just really enjoying. So I'm slightly, you know, trying to ride on his coattails, as I'm on it called it. So you came in, you know, you came in in a little bit of an emergency situation. We had had a we had had a different actress originally lined at the Playaomi, and then scheduling things like that fell through, and so it was it was great that we were able to find somebody to come in because, you know, initially, when Travis came to me and said we I found it. I found a replacement. She's got no voice...

...acting experience. My response at first was Oh shit, and then yeah, he showed me and described to me the copious amounts of research and and character work you take for Naomi going into it. Tell me about some of that. Oh well, I love being underestimated. It's it right, genuinely, because it's so much fun to show up and be more prepared. It was really important to me to do as good job you know. I mean, it doesn't matter if its something that no one ever sees or something you don't get paid for, it's still something that has my name on it and that's carry late. So I wanted to put as much effort into it as I could. So Travis detexted me and asked for me to kind of make up a few things that I imagine about our character, and I mean as an English professor, I'm sure you love character analyzing, so I just kind of did that. I found what songs on my playlist. I thought she listened to, what astrological signs you probably would be a couple of stories from her past that would kind of guide where he wanted her to go in a future, because it's so much easier to embody a character once you've done all that research. And so what we're some of the things about Naomi that that you discovered and developed on your own. Well, she loves slightly PUNK ROCK MUSIC. I think I said she was a trust deep okay, yeah, we'll deep diven in and I feel like she's she's a lot more broken than he kind of scenes and her dialog sits out there with this kind of necessary especially in that kind of world. But she had just kind of been through the ringer with her family and her past and you know, you've read the scripts. You'll see where that goes in the future. I don't want to spoil anything, but I like making a bit more complex than just the killing kind of flouncy which now travis has been hard at work with himself, with other actors, other artists, developing artwork for the show. Oh yeah, we recently posted an image of an artist rendering of what Naomi kind of looks like. My question for you is, can you see yourself cosplaying as Naomi at comic con? Maybe? I mean, I love the combat boots, they're great. Right. Yeah, I thought the bone and honestly like anything to get to a comic con I am dying to go, but the reason I've...

...been holding back from going. It's a little bit silly, but I almost don't want to go until I'm on a panel as a cast member and like save it. I'm not going to judge who among US doesn't want to be on a comic con panel. I mean, come on right, what a dream. What kind of would you want to go to? Be On a panel for a show your honor? Would you want to go to maybe like be on one of the discussion panels about a certain topic? Oh, a show on would be the goal, but any panel. Honestly, I'm just thinking about, you know, the one hundred off the CW show. I'm obstussed with it and they're going into their final season and I would love to see them at comic con. Just the discussions that they'll have about the final season would be amazing. That's that's fantastic. I I've been to here in Dayton. We called Dayton the gem city. I've been the gem city comic con, which is basically, well, it's the basement of the Convention Center and a bunch of local comic bookshops set up vendor tables and that's about it. I'm kidding, it's fun. It's totally fun. Please invite me back. But that's the ements. Seeing, seeing the work you've developed in and put into it, Naomi from my side of the table has been fantastic. I remember when Travis first sent me some of your audio and it really was like like Naomi had just come to life. I mean she felt like a living, breathing character. We've got so much of course we've got a fantastic team of voice actors on the show, myself notwithstanding, and to have but yeah, it's for that, for Naomi to be like the second character they get, insured gets introduced on the show and to have her so fully realized was just fantastic and it may, it made developing things around her that much easier, especially for Travis on the story side of things. Yeah, it's the last before I before I let you go here, Catherine, a couple more things as far as Naomi, and dead serious goes. Do you have any ideas or thoughts on where you'd like the character to go next? Oh, I'm not sure. I know we have a lot more of the story to tell and I honestly think she's probably going to go much darker before we see the end of the show. So I'm really excited to see kind of how it goes. You know, her dive into the darkness and then, hopefully you're dumpkin will be really fun and before and and finally, last question Catherine I asked is of everybody whenever they come on the show, no matter what, that what realm of entertainment it is they're working in. I think we all in shually have some kind of goal up on a pedestal. Maybe it's to win an Oscar, maybe it's to host Saturday night live, but...

...no matter what it is we do, we always have that one thing that we know once we hit that milestone, we've we've freaking made it. For you, Catherine Duncan, what is that milestone? What is the thing you're looking towards at the end of the tracks? It's going to let you know you've made it. Get to second season of a CWTV jhow and then I can close off my acting career and go open a book shop in the booty. That is I love. I love that you had the answer right away. So many people are like and you'd you, you know, you know what it is you want to do and traveling from Arkansas to Chure Arleston, South Carolina, in the wrong direction, finally making it out to Los Angeles, California, doing masterclasses on auditioning with with Real Hollywood actors. And now you're the voice of Naomi Sky in dead dead serious. See really at serialized podcast, which is in its second season right now. Catherine Duncan you, you are very much a rising star and entertainment and you have got a hell of a career ahead of you. Thank you, Mike, of course, Catherine. And and finally, let the people at home know. This is your chance to push whatever you got. Let the folks at home know where they can find you online and if you would like them to, and what they can expect from you next. Okay, you can find me at impossible Catherine on instagram and you can hear me as Naoh me on dead serious. Season two is out now on spotify and elsewhere. The podcast the found fan tastic. Guys. Once again, Catherine Duncan, thank you so much for coming on the show today. I really appreciate it. Yeah, thanks for having me, guys. That is going to do it for us on the show today. As always, you can check me out online, twitter and Instagram at Mike Shay comedy. Follow this show on Instagram on using at Basement Lounge pod. You can always check out my website, Mike Shay comedycom for information on when I'll be on stage, because I'm doing that again, and get more information about this show and everything else going on dead serious. Season Two is available on Apple Podcast, stitcher, spotify, anywhere podcasts are available. And of course, you guys can always support this show on Patreon by going to Patreoncom Basement Lounge pod. This has been a new episode of the Basement Lounge. As always, I'm your host, Mike Shay, and until next time, guys, live well, rock on, take care and Bub by.

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