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Daughter of the the Dead! Q&A with artist and actor Kate Rogal

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Actress and artist Kate Rogal makes unique works that primarily consist of threaded beads pushed into wax by toothpicks—time consuming pieces that she sells off her website www.Katesfreakart.com. Subjects for her bead art and her pen and ink illustrations range from friendly dogs and birds to skulls, abstract design and erotic nudes. All are works of finery, all are outstanding.

Oh, and Kate Rogal is the daughter of DAY OF THE DEAD legend Lori Cardille. Her grandfather is Pittsburgh horror host and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD alumni Chilly Bill Cardille. True story.

When conversing with the ever-lovely Lori recently about her impending appearance at FANGORIA’s Falls Horror Fest, the subject came up about her daughter Kate, who as an actress appeared in such fare as the Jason Statham vehicle SAFE, the TV show PSYCH and the upcoming Sarah Silverman comedy GRAVY. And then she showed us Kate’s work. We were impressed. Wanna meet Kate?

Here she is…

FANGORIA: Your lineage is horror royalty. How old were you when you realized your mum and grandpa were legends?

KATE ROGAL: You know, it’s something I’ve never really thought about growing up.  That’s just kinda the way it was.  I was super proud of them both though, that’s for sure.  I knew my grandfather was relatively well known, but it wasn’t until a group of fans showed up at our house one day that I really understood the extent of my mom’s popularity.  She’s normally so sweet, I guess I just never realized what a bad-ass she was, and i!

FANG: Were you always free to express yourself in your household?

ROGAL: I was very lucky to have had a family who encouraged me to be exactly who I was as a kid, which happened to be pretty weird.  I remember one time, in middle school, I dyed my hair some strange color and the teachers thought it was “too much of a distraction to the learning environment,” so they promptly sent me home.  When my folks found out, they went into my school and fought, on not only my behalf, but the on the behalves of all children expressing their individuality.  It was pretty cool.  I had a new found respect for my parents after that day… I still had to dye my hair back to a “normal” color though.  As Kenny Roger’s once said “You gotta know when to hold em, and know when to fold em.”

FANG: You act, you create. Do you ever wonder why some artists choose only one outlet for their creativity?

ROGAL: I think creating, and art of any kind, is an attempt to get your insides out in a healthy way, and I think every artist is very different.  I guess what I’m trying to say, is that I don’t wonder or judge.  I think people are brave to put anything that they create out there, whether it be a character or a movie or a photo or a painting or whatever, because ultimately what you put out will be judged.  Different strokes for different folks, I always just do what I like and what makes me happy, and I encourage everyone to do the same.  Assuming it doesn’t hurt anybody else, of course.

FANG: When you close your eyes, where do you see yourself in say, a decade? What are your end goals for the art?

ROGAL: Wow, well I don’t want to assume anything, so first off I hope to be alive in a decade.  But, I gotta say, I’m a pretty simple chick, I don’t plan too far ahead.  As long as I can pay my bills doing what I love to do, I’m content.  It sounds shitty to say that I don’t have goals, and that’s not the truth.  I guess I’ve just found that expectations tend to breed disappointments; I just try and roll with the punches and hope people continue like and buy my art, and hire me to act in their stuff.

FANG: Did mom protect you from DAY OF THE DEAD or was it always a bit of fun in the house?

ROGAL: We were always watching my grandfather and mom on TV, I actually learned to walk on the set of DAY OF THE DEAD.  And when I got old enough to see it, my parents made me aware that very talented people made the gore, and the monsters, and zombies and I should look at it more like an art than something to be afraid of.  My family and I were always more disturbed by what was happening in the world than what was happening on the screen.

FANG: Are you a horror film fan at all?

ROGAL: Holy hell, yes.  I like everything.  Although I can appreciate gore porn like HUMAN CENITPEDE, ICHI THE KILLER [and] HOSTEL, I tend to prefer movies that transcend the genre, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, OLDBOY. And there’s always a time and a place for a classic 70s or 80s slasher flick.  Whenever I see a horror film I like, I’m always comforted by the fact that there are people out there with sick minds, like me.  I think it’s really hard to make a great horror film, but that form of escape can be very healthy for a lot of people.

FANG: What projects do you have on the boil?

ROGAL: I currently working on a new play that’ll premiere in June, and I’m in a movie called CONCUSSION, which will be out in August (I think).  As far as art, just more of the same!  I have a few fun commissions coming up, but at the risk of sounding kinda douchey, I probably shouldn’t talk about them.  Some of my commissions are gifts for others, so I’d hate to ruin any surprises.

FANG: Can you isolate a favorite of your works and break down why it is closer to your heart?

ROGAL: As far as art pieces, it’s gotta be the skull with flowers and the quote by Jean Giraudoux “I am not afraid of death.  It’s the stake one puts up in order to play the game of life.”  It was my first big piece, and I really love that quote.  I’m pretty inarticulate… I like quotes.  I also like skulls and flowers.  A skull is a constant reminder to not take yourself so seriously.  No matter how much money we have or what position we hold, we’re all ultimately just bones underneath.  Flowers, because their beauty is often taken for granted.  They’re alive and pretty and resilient and awesome, but it’s rare we take the time to really enjoy them, and who knows when you won’t be able to anymore.  But, now that I think of it, everything I’ve ever made for a family member or close friend has been as close to my heart as you get.  I love really hard, and when I make a piece for someone I care for, that love becomes transformed into a tangible object.

RogalSkull

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About the author
Chris Alexander
Author, film critic, teacher, musician and filmmaker (not to mention failed boxer) Chris Alexander is the editor-in-chief of FANGORIA Magazine. He got his first professional break as the “Schizoid Cinephile” in the pages of Canadian horror film magazine RUE MORGUE before making the move to FANGO in 2007. His words have appeared in The Toronto Star, Metro News, Wired, Montage, The Dark Side, Tenebre and many other notable publications and he appears regularly on international television and radio.
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