by Erica Derrickson
In her recent acceptance speech for Best Actress at the 2014 Academy Awards, Cate Blanchett staked the claim that films lead by women are in demand and that strong women can captivate an audience and hold a story. When it comes to such powerful and captivating women in the New England industry, Cate Carson is on the mark.
While she’s gorgeous she’s not just another pretty face; Cate is the kind of woman who changes the molecules of a room when she walks in. She’s an example of an actress who has the strength of character to hold and captivate an audience with her boldness, yet she’s diverse enough in her range to pluck your heart strings and bring you to tears.
“I’m going blind” Cate’s character utters in the first moment of her demo reel as a tear falls from her eye. An instant later we are tossed from this soft and vulnerable moment into a different world, a harsh place where we meet another side of this woman, a warrior, an enforcer of justice who knows how to kill. There is truth in both and the shift is palpable. How did she get such a dynamic character range? A life lived rich with human experience.
“Human experience” is exactly the on-the-job training Cate received through a fourteen year career in law enforcement. Her career spanned from positions as a patrolman, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victim Response Advocate, Police training officer, investigations officer, and even once as a snake wrangler. Yes, you read that correctly. And today? When she’s not balancing a busy production schedule she works as a detective for a private company.
Life experience like this will make anyone tough, yet also inevitably diverse. The work forced Cate to engage people with mental health issues, people with relationship issues, medical issues, people that just wanted something resolved, violent people, threatening people, people that appreciated her and people that hated her. Cate has seen how people work at their best and worst, and that wisdom shines through in her work.
It’s a good thing she has the work ethic of an Olympian because Cate is one of the busiest and most proactive movers-n-shakers in the New England independent film industry. She is currently involved in numerous projects including IN THE BEDROOM webseries (produced by Angelwood Pictures; her episode “War and Loyalty” was directed by Andrew Adler), DEAD BOUNTY (directed by Jordan Pacheco, produced by Dave Langill), BLOOD MARTINI (directed by Bill Jacques), JIM JONES JUICE (produced by Christopher Walters) and others.
However Cate’s powerful presence in the New England industry is not only limited to the beauty and honesty she exudes in front of the camera glass, rather Cate has also fallen in love with the production side of filmmaking. She and her partners, Justin Plasse and Alexander Gauthier, recently founded Sensorium Pictures as a way of staking claim to their own right to create. Since their inception in April of 2013 the group has produced MY PRETTY MAURA, MOON FLOWER and WATCHER, the latter being Cate’s proudest work to date, a post apocalyptic period piece that she wrote produced and starred in. The film is an original sci-fi short with heavy set design, original costuming, impressive stunts, fights, fire, and not to mention a fascinating futuristic storyline that begs for a full feature film.
Speaking of feature films, Cate is looking forward to directing one of Sensorium’s two upcoming features CHARLOTTE HAPPENING, currently in pre-production. The other is KINKY GRACE to be produced by Cate and Justin to be directed by Alexander Gauthier.
Our industry is full of women on the rise. In today’s rapidly developing digital and mobile environment it is ambitious content creators like Cate Carson who are leading the charge and helping shape the future standards of this industry.
Erica Derrickson is an award winning actress, professional headshot photographer and founder of Hollywood East Actors Group. See her work at www.ericaseye.com and connect with Erica on Twitter at @ericadactress or via email at ericaderricka@gmail. com.