Partial Transcript of a Chat with Katherine Fugate.
Apologies for this being only a PART of the chat with Katherine Fugate on XENAVILLE on Saturday June 16th. Unfortunately, the chat software only saved a certain amount of text, and I didn’t realise this until I tried to copy the entire chat at the end of the evening. Anyway, most of the chat IS here…
<Katherine> - Katherine Fugate
<cog> - Cathy (me) moderating the chat
This first reply was about the clothes in Katherine’s episode When Fates Collide and that she wanted everyone to look very opulently dressed.
<Katherine> and that was loved by everyone - cast and costumers and crew.
<cog> they got to dress up in nice clothes!
<Katherine> (until of course the rainy crucifixion)
<Katherine> which was really nice for alti. she progressed in strength this
<cog> <AuntyGab> What theme in the story you wrote moves you most
<Katherine> two I guess: that you need to forgive yourself to live your
life. and that we all have free will - it really is our choice how we live
<cog> The idea of forgive yourself is a pretty huge one for Xena...
<cog> almost the main one of the show
<Katherine> hating yourself serves no one really - it keeps you stuck in
<cog> <Callistic> Did Katherine have any input into X's yummy leather
<Katherine> :-) I did somewhat. I put her in an equestrian outfit with
<cog> that outfit was quite a hit
<Katherine>I indicated long royal robes, gave costumer direction. they
followed almost every one. it was eerie how much they improved on the
<Katherine> like the Loom of Life. I wanted this to be an impressive Loom,
not just a spinning wheel from Sleeping Beauty, but my god...that thing was
huge and as big as a room.
<cog> is that usual for writers to specify how the actors should look?
<Katherine> it was a shame to see them burn it down. I would've moved it
<Katherine>I don't know actually. in everything I write, I try to be
descriptive because it makes the piece alive to me as I write it.
<cog> <m2h_fisch> How's your current movie progressing?
<Katherine>I really can't speak about Carolina because of legal reasons.
When I can, I will.
<cog> <littlemissdrunk> ok question (and tell me if this actually makes
sense lol) –I absolutely adored the heartfelt discussions that took
place between Xena and Gabrielle. Was this simply an example of how
different they were in this life, or something that you felt needed and
should be said?
<Katherine>I have felt x/g are soulmates - different as much as alike, and
i wanted to see that recognition, that melding between them in their
<Katherine>I think it would be a great gift to me to see how much of me
would remain intact in any lifetime - after I've lived different paths.
<cog> <Callistic> is it hard work to write Caesar as slime, or does he write
himself that way?
<Katherine> it was hard for me because the real caesar is not the XWP
caesar. karl and rob both are caesar buffs and we chatted about this.
<Katherine> that's why I added the grain mention - caesar gave grain to all
<cog> but as a Xena fan, you know the XENA Caesar!
<Katherine> yes –I was true to the xena caesar and to caesar's life. the
irony that he gets to kill brutus - sort of an "I owed you one."
<cog> <Frances> was there a kiss in the cell? and was one filmed?
<Katherine> I'm sorry but I can't answer that ?. I can only answer ?'s on
the final aired version and the studios USA script since it was published.
<cog> <squrl> what kinds of questions are asked by the actors when they
are filming and how much do these conversations change what is being
<Katherine> the actors have been doing these roles for so long they know
them. this being an alternative timeline, we did discuss the themes of they
are their characters only different. it's a fine line.
<cog> did they NEED to discuss it, to see your vision?
<Katherine> renee is a real writer's actor in that the material is very
important to her so she analyzes it and likes to discuss the nuances.
<cog> <rcflora> can you give examples on how you melded the characters into
<Katherine> not all. they understood it. we talked more in theory - on
life in general because of it.
<Katherine> a hello to mercuric and rohan!
<cog>I think a lot of us really enjoyed seeing Lucy and Renee play a their
characters and to look at how subtly different they were
<cog> <littlemissdrunk> Is there any specific parts of WFC that you really
love or are most proud of?
<Katherine> well I wanted each character to show marked differences - to
show they lived another life. alti - not going the amazon route, but coming
to the then powerful roman empire. lao ma being the known ruler. gabrielle
being more literate in her speech befititing a working play
<Katherine> wright. xena not as hard but evolving into a respected ruler.
<Katherine> is that MISSY???????
<Katherine> missy good?
<cog> but this Xena was more gullible!
Missy now has STRICT MODERATION VOICE in Lobby (issued by cog)
<Katherine> not gullible. I thought she was regal - an empress. she was
loved by the people and known throughout the land...just as XWP was.
<cog> <littlemissdrunk> Is there any specific parts of WFC that you really
love or are most proud of?
<Katherine> missy!!!! someone bid $1000 to go on a date w/me at dragon con.
get out your charity auction gavel.
Missy Quit (Web Browser left the chat web page)
<Katherine> well we scared missy off.
<cog> <Petunia> Did you indicate that Xena and Gab act so differently in
their crucifixions from Ides of march -- or was that LL and ROC (or the
<Katherine> you know what I love most - the emotion, the drive, it never
lets down. my sister said "that wasn't a normal xena." that made me cry.
<Katherine>I specified that gabrielle struggle/be afraid in the crucifixion
and that xena be heroic and accepting.
<cog> We were talking about that before Katherine..the emotional episodes
and WFC was that!
<Katherine> which is true to who they were/where they were in the story.
<cog> <rohan asks> during the climax of WFC, it seemed as if time was
speeding up with chaos all around... was that intentional?
<Katherine>I thought the music the colors it was all very moody. I loved
that I was hooked and I wrote it. so that to me says a lot about all the
other parties involved taking it to such great heights.
<Katherine> yes - chaos. the loom the world was in disarray after X/G met.
something was going to happen. it was the turning point for the world.
<cog> <Guilda>How did she feel about having Gabrielle destroy the Loom of
<Katherine> it was the scene I most wanted to see filmed. I wanted to see
gabrielle be a hero on her own.
<cog> How did she know what to do?
<cog> Or was she just pissed at missing a chance to be with Xena?
<Katherine> gabrielle ran on instinct. she went to the Loom to fix it/right
it...only to see she could not.
<cog> <Guilda> Thank you. She was walking with such determination
towards the loom...was that in the script, or Renee breathing a new
dimension to gabrielle?
<Katherine> and that infuriated her. as it would me in that situation.
<Katherine> it was in the script - but renee - even watching her during the
shooting, she is so committed. I was like "uh-oh."
<cog> <littlemissdrunk> Was it your idea to get the "I have many skills"
line into the ep?? :)
<Katherine> actually I think RJ said to work it in somewhere.
<Katherine> it's hard to remember.
<cog> <DevenK> Why did you pick the storyline that you did? was there any
influence by TPTB? (sorry if these questions have already been asked and
<Katherine> no problem devenK –I wanted to do an alternative storyline.
there was concern it might be too close to remember nothing, but I persuaded
them it would be different.
<cog> <laniangela> Katherine- your work embodies a searing honesty I
rarely encounter- Why has honesty become so critical to your work?
<Katherine>I was looking for names I recognized and we have a lot of
guests. is balderdash here?
<Katherine> thank you laniangela (blush). I think only when we speak the
truth can we help our fellow man. truth begets truth. we have to share
what we believe/know.
<Katherine> plus in writing I can feel when someone is being manipulative or
<cog> <DevenK> did the producers like the subtext (maintext) of the whole
<Katherine> they liked the soulmates arc - it's consistent with what the
show has been about.
<cog> <Rohan> May I have you tell Katherine that I am proud to have been one
of her first autographs?
<Katherine> ha ha. you and my bill collectors rohan.
<cog> <Callistic> What is Katherine's fondest memory of the whole
experience? (BTW this is a real buzz!)
<Katherine>thank you –I am afeared I'm mighty boring here.
<Katherine> my fondest memory is hmmm...
<Katherine> seeing WELCOME TO NEW ZEALAND. touching the props, feeling like my work was valuable, respected.
<cog> <amneris> Did the actors have any suggestions of their own to add
to the script...anything they wanted to change or add?
<Katherine> they had a few line changes to make the words suit their speech
patterns. things like that.
<cog><littlemissdrunk> Do you feel that the fans of ths show have taken from
the ep what you were trying to portray?
<Katherine> the director had read all the drafts and brought in some old
lines he really liked.
<cog> <littlemissdrunk> and also - how do you feel/cope with the
feedback you've had from them?
<Katherine> my greatest hope is to touch someone when I write –I feel very
touched myself to know that I have. And I am stunned when folks like blade
and bridget at upbeat, jeff at sci fi, LMD, maryd - these folks get the
themes, and write about them.
<cog> <steph> this is more of a comment than question. *Being a host of
a fanfic website, *I noticed that *WFC has inspired more fanfiction than
any other one episode since probably *One against an army. *How does
that make you feel*?
<Katherine> that anyone was moved to make a montage, write a poem...that is
almost surreal and too hard to really understand. it feels like love.
<Katherine>I HAD NO IDEA!
<Katherine> WOW! my mind is truly blown once again.
<cog> <rcflora> question: what is the one ritual you do when faced with
writers block. (besides krispy cremes that is ;-)) <rcflora> Rohan and
I want to add to the question... and how many hours in the gym did you
have to spend because of them (the Krispy Kremes)
<Katherine> hee hee. I try to drive and leave the computer - that helps. I
read my website, read my guestbook to remind myself I have had success, I
can do so again.
<Katherine> the website gives me a lot of lift really. I go to a trainer 3
times a week. And I do yoga.
<cog> <Sammy> Katherine, I talked to you briefly in Pasadena, how was the
whole convention experience for you?
<Katherine>I was in heaven at the pasadena convention. I think onscreen
stars are used to meeting the public. writers are not. and they rarely get
feedback so I was absolutely on a high.
<Katherine> writers are not celebrities.
<cog> <Biker> Katherine, would you describe your life philosophy as
<cog> <Mercuric> How did working on the show affect you spiritually?
<Katherine> it is closer to buddhist than any other religion. I go to a
science of mind church in los angeles. it's all encompassing and stressed
focusing on the positive. I enjoy it - but no one religion/way is the right
one for me.
<Katherine>I am more spiritual in my quest/nature than a traditional
religion. I think a grand overhaul is coming in the future.
<Katherine>I actually spoke with my minister (marlene morris plug plug -
burbank) about the fate theories. it was fascinating to hear the various
takes on fate/pre-destiny/free will.
<cog> <Rohan> Did you first watch WFC by yourself or with friends?
<Katherine>I watched WFC alone for the first time. it was a gift to me -I
had my reactions quietly and freely alone.
<cog> <littlemissdrunk> and what were your reactions?
<Katherine>I was amazed at how good it was - the music, editing choices,
what was left out versus in and still maintained continuity.
<cog> <luvxg> KF- Thanks for your time at the Con--do you have a fav
scene where everything was absolutely "nailed"?
<cog> ..the crucifixion scene maybe :)
<Katherine>I think all of them. everyone is so committed. they want to
feel the emotions and they don't shy away from feeling.
<cog> <DevenK> have you gotten any other offers to write something for
<Katherine> not thatIam aware of. Ihave two movies back to back right
now. writers are really disconnected - we don't know what's going on in the
outside world. that's why getting any reaction to WFC is amazing.
<cog> <bug> katherine would you ever consider writing a different medium
such as a boo
<Katherine>I just got word that several people cant get into the chat so we
should all feel blessed and cozy in front of the fireplace.
<cog> <AuntyGab> Are you a fan of any other television shows?
<Katherine>I have my tv set programmed to tape several shows - xfiles, ally,
er, xena...and I like the weakest link because that dominatrix cracks me up.
<Katherine> bug- what is a boo? is that a scary halloween tale?
<cog> <Rohan> Are you going to do a Submarine movie soon?
<Katherine> actually though my agents asked me to consider writing carolina
as a book.
<cog> sorry, a BOOK
<Katherine> the submarine movie went on hold.
<Katherine> thanks though. I suspect it will come back alive.
<cog> <Guest126> Katherine well done for breaking a Xena tradition, Xena
told Gabby she loved her first and said it twice in an episode, I am
<Katherine> well I live to impress you my guest.
<cog> <squrl> it was very nice to meet you backstage at the
convention--you mentioned that you would have liked to have watched this
episode with a room full of conventioners---I think you would have found
overwhelming approval and lots of noise *(applause question*: what part
does music play in how and what you write*?
merwolf has entered the room
<Katherine> egad, I would've been sobbing and bawling and crying.
<Katherine> music is very important when I write. there is also music. I
make a mix cd when I start each project to set a mood.
<Katherine> also is always
<cog> what sort of music do you listen to?
<Katherine> now missy is that you or not? SHOW YOURSELF.
merwolf now has STRICT MODERATION VOICE in Lobby (issued by cog)
<Katherine>I am in LOVE WITH MISSY and I don't care who knows about it.
(that'll send her running)
<merwolf> what about the whole threesome in Pasadena with you, me and Steve?
<merwolf>I signed on just to hear that.
<Katherine> merwolf has now exited the building and the pups are posting on
<cog> <Guest16> Can Katherine say what other writers or tv shows from the
past have inspired her? writers--books
<Katherine> but back to the questions: I like moodier music, moby, dido,
morcheeba, enigma, olive. a lot of brit stuff. brits are good.
<cog> no argument here....
<Katherine> writers that made me want to write were tom robbins, paolo
coehlo, richard matheson, anne rice
<Katherine>I wrote my only fan letter to richard matheson (the path, what
dreams may come). he wrote me back.
<Katherine> I'm a cajun so anne rice comes with the gumbo.
<Katherine> david e kelley is superb. (ally).
<cog> <Petunia> Katherine -- You said you had read no fanfiction online --
does that include Missy's fanfiction?
<Katherine> missy writes me love stories (oops – was I meant to say that?)
<merwolf> Oh, so that's why I'm hearing now I’m supposed to be getting
<merwolf>I was wondering where that came from.
<Katherine> actually I have not read missy's fan fiction. When I do sit
down and read it, it will be hers first.
<cog> <Rohan> Has being famous to fans of Xena changed your life in anyway?
<Katherine>I have read maryd's book - mary rocks and is a great writer in
her own right.
maryd now has STRICT MODERATION VOICE in Lobby (issued by cog)
<maryd> Awww shucks :)
<merwolf> Mary - it turns out I’m supposed to be marrying Katherine.
<Katherine> to be serious: missy and I are not having an affair. I don't
want to take away any of missy's dance card entries. and you know how these
<maryd> Yeah? Cool - I'll do the invites :-)
<maryd> and the montages and all that stuff
<cog> <Rohan> Has being famous to fans of Xena changed your life in anyway?
<Katherine> first I am not famous to anyone other than the 38 here. it has
only made me smile more – when I read my guestbook entries.
<cog> how many autographs have you signed??
<Katherine> you kind folks really are an unusual bunch to care about
writers. it's truly atypical and very literate and obviously speaks highly
of you all.
<cog> <littlemissdrunk> we wouldn't be anywhere without the writers -
without the storytellers, what would we watch?
<Katherine> gosh the autographs I signed were all at the pasadena
convention. When I told my sister she laughed hysterically and told me to go
make her dinner.
<cog> <Guest126> Yeah but you wrote a great episode, probably the best, if
you had written Married With Fishsticks it would be a different story
<Katherine>I see. Didn't missy write that one?
<merwolf> wrong season.
<merwolf> (G) Lucky me.
<cog> here's another question....<rcflora> question: how do you reconcile
your social personality with the writer's necessity for solitude in order to
<Katherine> chris - it is hard. I went to a retreat and realized I have to
cure the moments of loneliness by having a fixed schedule of fun
<Katherine>I have classes, I am joining a writers group and I volunteered
to be a "grandma" at my church to young people.
<Katherine> but it's a tough balance.
<cog> Katherine, you're a XENA fan like us, so which are your favourite
<Katherine>I listed those on an interview at mary's site...but they do
change when I need to cry, honestly, the end of deja vu that coda about
there is no ending, no beginning...only the loving friends we meet along the
way...that makes me think of a fellini quote,
<Katherine> which was there is no beginning, no ending, only the endless
passion for life...
<Katherine>I am a really sappy girl....I admit it, I embrace it...
<cog> <amneris>I am an aspiring writer (dual journalism/English major in
college, on hold due to recent disability), but I have trouble with
finding inspiration. Have you ever suffered from this problem, and is
there any particular way that you deal with it?
<Katherine> absolutely. I have a minor in journalism by the way.
<Katherine>I had to learn that I couldn't coast on inspiration - a breakup,
new love, a death - to be a writer I had to have discipline, so I read -
turn on the computer every day and start...so I do...
<Katherine> unfortunately though, with email and my website that's been a
bit less helpful.
<cog> <Callistic> Do you have a theory on what it is about the show that
inspires it's particular type of fandom? cos I have never encountered
anything like it.
<Katherine>I think we as a race of humans have always looked for
inspiration in heroic behavior. in people who have conquered fears and
stand up for what they believe in.
<cog> Mary or Missy...a good question there..??
<Katherine> who display gifts we think we don't have only to find we do.
<merwolf> It provides two characters we can all see pieces of ourselves in,
and features a type of love anyone would want.
<merwolf> And it has lots of good looking, mostly naked women. What more
could you ask for?
<cog> is a flawed hero a part of it? Hercules never seemed as enthralling
<Katherine>I think we all like to see flaws that are overcome. I am over
the idea of perfection in anything or anyone.
<cog> <littlemissdrunk> didn't some one say that hercules was the hero we
wish was out there and xena was the hero that we wished was inside of
<Katherine> so someone who is flawed but still a hero is far more embracing.
<maryd> naked women..no I don't think thats it.
<Katherine> very good LMD. I think that is the key for me, too.
<maryd> Strong women without men :)
<Katherine> mary and missy keep speaking about naked things. what is up
<cog> yes Mary, undeniably a part of it...!
<maryd> and semi naked women ;-)
<merwolf> We're planning the wedding.
<maryd> Can I be best man or woman or whatever?
<Katherine> mary and missy now are getting married! pup update list!
<cog> <spirit> This was a very "emotionally satisfying" ep for me. Do
you think WFC could have worked as the series finale ep?
<maryd> LOL! Oh wow I've jumped ship and someone forgot to send me a memo
<merwolf> You can borrow Denise's handbook.
<Katherine> spirit (love that name)>I haven't seen the finale. but your
compliment is truly astounding.
<maryd> Okay :)
<cog>I think spirit is talking about emotionally...
<Katherine> spirit> I am still reeling, sorry. I do think emotionally the
episode satisfied a theme for me I wanted addressed, I hope that provided
some sense of closure.
<cog> Gave them peace that they WERE on the right path
<Katherine>I think so yes - it was actually a feature idea I was working on
i sort of augmented it into WFC with those characters.
<cog> <Rohan> what character in WFC are you? Or that you feel you are
<Katherine>Idefinitely identify with gabrielle. many of her lines were
lines from my journal.
<Katherine> the truth of being a writer is often you are working through
your own demons, your confusion, trying to shine light on your path.
<Katherine> and through art we all do that. be it a painter, a mother, a
doctor, a gardener.
<maryd> So you find that a little bit of you is in everything you write?
<cog> <littlemissdrunk> is that the 'real' gabrielle, or the alternate one,
<Katherine> the alternate one - the playwright.
<Katherine> but in the real world, I find parts of me are xena and parts
gabrielle, I think the two together represent a beautiful whole.
<cog> Well, we were due to chat for an hour, its been nearly 2, so get your
final questions to me if you have any please!
<cog> <Rohan> Many of us identify with Gabrielle, the 'normal' person
who is in extraordinary circumstances..Would you like to be Xena's
companion? Do you feel that the person you are now would benefit both
<Katherine> yes mary –I have to find my way into everything or I am too
<Katherine>I don't think of either are more normal actually - how
<Katherine> just different aspects of a personality we can all have.
<cog> <rcflora> what was the transitional moment or event between the
little girl putting on stories and the woman who chose writing as a
<Katherine>I was dating a man last year and that ended...and I have been
single for a while now and I do want to choose more wisely... if that
answers the question.
<cog> <littlemissdrunk> Do you think as a writer, you maybe are more
questioning of the world and its motives? (to all three writers :))
<Katherine> very interesting question> the earthquake (northridge) really
forced me to say I am a Writer not I work at a florist and I want to write.
<Katherine> but to say what I am and only that.
<Katherine>I think creative people have a hard time with it - to sayIam a
writer, actress, poet, painter and only that with pride.
<Katherine>I worked at bob's big boy ( a diner ) for many years as a
waitress while I was trying to write.
<cog> typical struggling artist hey!
<Katherine>then I stopped "trying" and just quit and said I am doing this. right here, right now.
<Katherine>lmd>I think as a writer I am looking at everything too deeply all the time, analyzing, questioning, what does that mean?
<Katherine>so I've learned to remember that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but my mind does want to make it much more.
<Katherine>i have been smart to surround myself with people who say "deep end deep end" come back to us shallow folks.
<cog>and it has all worked out ok? Do you have other writing jobs lined up?
<Katherine>I writing a movie for MTV and for Paramount.
<cog> <DevenK> when I write, I have to be in a 'zone'. do you find yourself in any zone's, or moods in order to write?
<Katherine> yes. I wear red slips when I write love scenes, light candles, I played rap when I wrote a teen drama...I really work the mood to find the zone...
<Katherine>my friend bug is a big rap fan.
<Katherine>okay –I wanted to meet biker, mercuric and balderdash to thank them for their kind words on wfc...sending that out now.
<Katherine> and to all the others who signed on my website, which seems to be the rest of you and I recognize all those names...!
<Katherine>except the mysterious guests.
<cog>Katherine, how much did it mean to you getting to write for XENA?
<Katherine>writing for xena was the first time I deliberately set out for something so specific and really didn't have a hope in hell to get.
<cog> So how did you get it??
<Katherine>i was a feature writer not tv, I knew no one at renpics, they didn't know me, they only had 3 assignments for freelancers...all the odds were AGAINST me writing it ever.
<merwolf> they're into risk taking. (wg)
<Katherine>I was turned down several times...they only wanted TV writers...then I begged my manager to find someone who knew someone there so they would at least read my work and someone knew Patrick Moran at Renpics...and he agreed to read a
feature...and he loved it and met me...and I jumped up and down on his sofa and said,
please...this is so important to me.
<cog>And it worked!
<Katherine>and he gave my script to RJ who did read it...and really the odds were probably a million to one.
<Katherine>so it really goes to show you that you should ask for your dream - not settle, ask for the number 1 thing on your list at time, because that too will change.
<Katherine>just keep picking the number 1's.
<cog>And both you and Missy got to see your episodes being filmed too...
<Katherine>yes well I had to bop missy over the head...she kept running into the scene screaming like a banshee. it was most embarrassing.
<merwolf>I could tell a story about a collapsing reflector here, but I won't.
<cog> LOL...she was there?
<Katherine> missy never left new zealand. she's still there now.
<Katherine>she served coffee, she swept stalls, polished armour.
<Katherine> what? what story are you withholding?
<cog>Well it's been over 2 hours that you’ve chatted with us Katherine, can I say thank you so much. I am going to open this up to let people say thanks and goodbye...
<cog>so brace yourselves!
<Katherine>okay let everyone chat. I have nowhere to go nothing to do...i am thrilled to be here.