Many move to Los Angeles to live the dream, and that’s what Kate Ferguson is currently doing. Ferguson is a jill of all trades: actress, screenwriter, journalist, publicist, and so much more.
“I decided that I wanted to move to L.A..... and be in the film industry when I was eight or nine, so that was always in my mind,” said Ferguson. “As soon as I graduated college, I made the move and have been here ever since.”
While she was acting, Ferguson was waiting tables at restaurants, which she eventually got tired of. She always had a knack for Creative Writing and wanted to explore other flexible job options that would encourage and support her artistic goals, while also being productive in their own right.
“I already had a blog at that point, which I used as writing samples to get work,” she said. “I started in entertainment Journalism and L.A. event-based stuff for the most part.”
Ferguson balanced writing and acting at the same time by having a flexible schedule that allowed her the freedom to audition and study. At the beginning of all these creative ventures, she struggled financially, however, that struggle had more to do with her priorities than how possible it was to do both at once.
“I didn't really like the ‘starving artist’ thing, so I decided I wanted to become a businesswoman and artist,” she said. “I'm working on it. It's always a balance.”
Even though she was passionate about acting, Ferguson found the emotional vulnerability challenging, which is also why she’s very drawn to it. She said that there is really no hiding in acting even when you're pretending to be someone else.
“The thoughts that get to you to a character's emotions are often your own thoughts, and when you're doing a good job, those emotions are real,” said Ferguson. “It's jarring and thrilling.”
She mentioned there is a huge commitment involved in being able to tap into that all the time, and if you don't ever feel like going all the way in and embracing the process, it just doesn't work. Ferguson has fought against herself a lot when she first began acting because she was getting to know herself in a new way throughout that process, which was very frightening.
“I've bombed a lot of auditions and had some face burning moments where you want to melt into the floor,” she expressed. I've also had some experiences where I felt like I tapped into a greater consciousness or something, like a peak moment.”
Her relationship with acting is always evolving. To Ferguson, the filmmaking process is mysterious and magical, which is why she enjoys being on set and being around the experience as a whole.
As for her career in Journalism, Ferguson states that it’s been a pretty seamless experience.
“Being a full-time freelance writer was very up and down dynamic, however, I was hustling my butt off to pay the bills for quite a while,” she said. “It was a mixture of journalism, content writing, copywriting and it was at the point that I started screenwriting by night that I thought it might be good to explore some other options.”
Ferguson said she was extremely drained out since she was just using her brain to write and not mixing anything up at all. Around that same time, she was approached by people who mentioned she should do social media and marketing work based on what she did on her own Instagram account.
“I took a part-time position with a startup that gave me the opportunity to really explore other ideas and expand my skill set,” said Ferguson. “Things really dramatically changed from there. My opportunities increased, and the more stuff I tried, the more ready I felt to dive deeper into more of my own projects.”
Currently, Ferguson’s projects include: running the editorial content and social media for a tech startup called Tribalist, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Strapped, her digital publication called Divvy Magazine, her blog thekateferg.com, and working on her own clothing line.
“I've always balanced multiple jobs at once and I've never had a traditional nine to five or worked in a traditional office setting, so this is my normal,” she said. “I usually get up very early!”
She mentioned she landed the role at Strapped due to knowing the Founder, Jordan Wisely, for a few years.
“When I started doing some freelance PR with an agency here in L.A., I brought Strapped in as one of my clients,” said Ferguson. “After a few months, we realized we'd do well working together directly, so Strapped brought me in-house to cover the more expansive of the role of marketing and socials in addition to the PR.”
Everyone on the team has a variety of projects going on at once so every day is a bit different, mentioned Ferguson.
While working at Strapped, Ferguson launched Divvy Magazine this past year.
“I think I always had it in my head that I'd like to start my own publication,” she stated. “I learned a lot writing for other people over the years, and I learned that I had strong opinions about how I'd like things to go.”
Ferguson likes to make decisions on every aspect of what magazine publishing entails, all the way from the interviews, the art curation, the marketing ideas, and creative direction.
“It was just a natural progression and really overdue in some ways,” she mentioned. “I just had to.”
After sitting on the domain for a year or so, Ferguson published the site while she was still building it, thinking she could just be leisurely about the process. The site, however, had some organic traffic arrive from her social media accounts, which really lit a fire under her to move rather quickly.
“I was like, ‘oh! I guess I'm really doing this’, and kept moving from there,” she said. “I named it Divvy after ‘divvy up ’ because I wanted a name that had something to do with sharing.”
She also said, “I think what's been most exciting about the experience so far is how many people have reached out to me wanting to work for the magazine. That's just wild to me on two levels: one, that people are seeing something I made and resonating with it, and two, that I'll be able to give people those opportunities.”
This was the birth of Divvy Magazine. She believes a magazine can be such a collaborative process and is interested to see where it goes as more people get involved. Eventually, Ferguson plans on implementing a print aspect as well but is not sure what form that will take yet.
At times, Ferguson is not entirely sure how she is juggling so many priorities at once, however, it's all about time management and motivation.
“I'm really motivated by growth in all aspects of life and when I have an idea, I like to see it through as far as I can take it,” she said. “I've been lucky to find a lot of projects, jobs, and people that fit together and support one another rather than hindering anything, it all feeds into each other in certain ways.”
Logistically, Ferguson said she wakes up early, avoids unnecessary drama in life, meditates, and chooses projects that excite her enough that she’ll be ready to bounce out of bed and get to work.
“I might be a tiny bit of a workaholic but life always ebbs and flows,” she expressed. “I wasn't always that way, so I'm just going with it and building as much as I can while there's freedom and flow to do so.”
Her latest project is her personal blog, thekateferg.com. When she first started working on Divvy, Ferguson had some personal blog material on there, however, it became obvious from the get-go that these were two completely different things. The blog is a mixture of Ferguson’s endless personal thoughts, photoshoots she’s modeled in, photos she’s taken herself, and will also be a hub that will explain all of the different projects she’s working on.
“When people are like, ‘wait, what do you do’, I'm thinking that will provide some answers,” said Ferguson about her personal blog.
Ferguson is in the process of conceptualizing her own clothing line and have a business partner in that department, which she is really excited about. She is also working on partnering with creating content between Divvy and the Samantha Sessions, an artist interview and performance platform created by filmmaker Jake Williams, which she’s actually taped interviews for already.
“I have a few completed scripts with tentative plans of what to do with those but nothing concrete,” she said. “I'll keep writing until something hits, and beyond of course. Watching other actors read my writing or being able to direct them doing so...dreams.”
She was also recently approached about working with a comedy team on some YouTube content, which means there is a possibility Ferguson will be acting in the near future. Lastly, she has one more plan for the year.
“My uncle and I have had plans to team up on some songwriting for an entire year now, so we'll see if we get to it in 2019,” said Ferguson with excitement. “I hope so!”
by Aida Toro