EX­PRESS. Katie Cot­ter on the road with Sask. Ex­press

Moose Jaw Express.com - - Front Page - By Joyce Wal­ter For Moose Jaw Ex­press

Katie Cot­ter of Moose Jaw has at least two pas­sions: the de­sire to en­gage in nurs­ing as a ca­reer; and the sec­ond, the love of per­form­ing, whether in choir, mu­si­cal the­atre pro­duc­tions or drama.

This sum­mer she is ful­fill­ing one of those pas­sions as a cast mem­ber of Saskatchewan Ex­press, the tour­ing mu­si­cal va­ri­ety show that has been en­ter­tain­ing provin­cial and na­tional au­di­ences for more than 30 years.

Cot­ter says her pas­sions are sep­a­rate from each other, with nurs­ing be­ing her ca­reer choice, and per­for­mance be­ing more of a hobby — one that has kept her on stages since her kinder­garten years, el­e­men­tary school and through high school grad­u­a­tion.

Cot­ter’s friend, Lau­ren Olm­stead, a Saskatchewan Ex­press cast mem­ber last year, en­cour­aged her to au­di­tion for the sum­mer tour and be­cause she wasn’t at­tend­ing univer­sity for the spring se­mes­ter, she de­cided to see if she would be ac­cepted.

All po­ten­tial cast mem­bers are re­quired to pre­pare two songs and a mono­logue for the se­lec­tion panel. Her songs were And So It Goes and Part of Your World. She also had to learn Isn’t It Ro­man­tic as pro­vided by the panel.

Cot­ter was suc­cess­ful in her au­di­tion and since the end of March has spent her week­ends in re­hearsal for the sum­mer tour, spend­ing many “12 hour days” learn­ing the songs and the chore­og­ra­phy for the shows.

While she isn’t a dancer, she is learn­ing about dance through what is called “singerog­ra­phy”. They had a chore­og­ra­pher come in and work with us just to see how we moved . . . I wouldn’t say that I’m great now (as a dancer) but I’ve def­i­nitely learned a lot as to the ter­mi­nol­ogy. I came in com­pletely new dance wise.”

As a cast mem­ber she au­di­tioned for the solo num­bers she pre­ferred and will sing I Will Al­ways Love You and be part of a duet for Sounds of Si­lence. She will also have solo parts in other se­lec­tions.

She said the cast is di­ver­si­fied with “dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties” who are fun to be with. She is happy to see some cast mem­bers com­ing from out­side Regina — from such other places as Wyn­yard, Saskatchewan Beach, LaRonge, El­rose, Melfort and Earl Grey.

What is her favourite part of Saskatchewan Ex­press so far? “The cos­tumes,” she said, not­ing each cast mem­ber has three dif­fer­ent cos­tumes to wear in the three dif­fer­ent shows be­ing pre­sented.

She cred­its two of her choir di­rec­tors for her vo­cal and per­for­mance suc­cesses. She joined the Moose Jaw Chil­dren’s Choir in kinder­garten and was a mem­ber for nine years, most of those years be­ing di­rected by Regina Sa­gal Hendry. “I credit her so much for teach­ing me the ba­sics and fun­da­men­tals to make me a bet­ter per­former. Look­ing back, I am thank­ful for her be­ing a tough direc­tor.”

Cot­ter was also di­rected by Val McWil­liams in the Vanier choirs through high school and said “she is an amaz­ing woman. I learned a lot from her.”

She was also ac­tive in Vanier’s drama pro­gram and co-wrote a play that was per­formed at the Saskatchewan Drama Fes­ti­val. Her tro­phy case in­cludes awards for best ac­tor in both 2010 and 2011.

And she has a Hall­mark Hall of Fame movie to her credit, ap­pear­ing in A Dog Named Christ­mas in 2009. “That was the best ex­pe­ri­ence of my life. It was awe­some to be in front of the cam­era and on the set. That’s where I re­al­ized how much I love act­ing. She played Teenaged Girl No. 1 and had “a cou­ple of lines”.

Cot­ter is look­ing for­ward to per­form­ing for her home­town crowd when Saskatchewan Ex­press per­forms July 5 dur­ing a Side­walk Days con­cert. “I’ve told my friends so I hope they show up.”

No doubt, two of the au­di­ence mem­bers will in­clude her par­ents, Al and Deb Cot­ter, who she said have men­tored her and been sup­port­ive all through her child­hood, tak­ing in all of her school and choir per­for­mances. Her brother, Jon, might at­tend too if he isn’t play­ing base­ball.

Saskatchewan Ex­press is also sched­uled to ap­pear July 17 at 7 p.m. at Buf­falo Pound Provin­cial Park.

Come fall, Cot­ter has been ac­cepted into the four-year nurs­ing pro­gram through the Univer­sity of Regina and SIAST and will at­tend school in Saska­toon through Kelsey In­sti­tute. Joyce Wal­ter can be reached at ron­joy@ sask­tel.net

Katie Cot­ter cho­sen for Saskatchewan Ex­press

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