Many television viewers recently watched the show "High School Reunion" on TV Land. The show was a ratings boon for the network. It featured a cast of 15 real high school classmates from JJ Pierce High School (Dallas, Texas) Class of 1987 reuniting in a house in Hawaii for 2 weeks. It followed each of them through seeing each other for the first time in years, revealing crushes on each other, resolving old conflicts and in the case of hot-ass lesbian Kat Feller, experimenting to see if she might enjoy dating men.
Kathryn “Kat” Feller is an animation voice actress born in Rochester, New York and raised in Texas. Although a “proud” Texan at heart, she currently resides in Santa Monica, CA.
Kat Feller’s brilliant voices can be heard in such places as the yet to be released DreamWorks animated feature Madagascar 2 as the voice of the ostrich as well as numerous video games such as Final Fantasy VII, Crash of the Titans, Dead or Alive Extreme 2, and South Park to name a few. Additionally, Kat has voiced several children’s educational DVD’s such as The Adventures of Andy Applebutter as the voice of Andy, Bear Bear and Messer, and the Wowzies. Her Anime credits include Metal Angel Marie and Variable Geo. You can also find Kat "The Lesbian," as a cast member on the hit reality T.V. show High School Reunion that began airing March 5th on the TV Land network.
Since being a cast member on High School Reunion, Kat has delighted fans with numerous press interviews in forums such as The Advocate, After Ellen, Curve Magazine and a live radio interview with Frank DeCaro and Doria Biddle on their Sirius Satellite Radio show “The Frank DeCaro Show.”
Kat was asked to make her first public appearance at the Dinah Shore event in Palm Springs California in April of 2008. She announced various acts and spoke about her appearance on High School Reunion at the fabulous Splish Splash Wyndam hotel pool parties.
SHANNON: Kat, How did you get involved with, and can you describe your experience with, the show High School Reunion?
KAT: I got involved with it through my page on MySpace. They (TV Land) reached out to me because I had JJ Pierce as my high school graduating class on my profile. They were reaching out to a bunch of different schools and then narrowed us down from our stories. They liked mine and that's how I got picked.
It was fun, it was exciting. It was the best time of my life. I would love to be back there doing it again. Two weeks was definitely not enough for me. It was very bonding of all of us. We've all become like a little family. We stay in touch through e-mails and when I go to Dallas, I visit everybody. Whenever they're all together, they call me and make me jealous that I was still in Dallas. (Laughs) Not really, but jealous to be with them. We just had a blast. We became this awesome community.
SHANNON: I happened to actually watch the whole series – it caught my interest from beginning to end. Initially, I was interested because I was also class of 1987 and because there was a cute lesbian on the show. I saw that you were labeled "the lesbian" but I was kind of concerned that you were there to see if men were going to work for you – the whole "Bi-Curious" thing. It made me worry that it would feed into that misconception that some people have where they think that being gay is really a choice. However, when you went out on your date with your hunky classmate, Robbie, you made the statement that you were there to see if you were attracted to the person, not the gender. That made me see how I was judging you. Have you had any other people give you a hard time for batting for the other team on that one date?
KAT: Not so much because of the outcome. (Kat decided than she was, in fact, a full-on lesbian after the date – GO KAT!) I think people need to understand that just because you're a lesbian, it doesn't mean you're not open-minded. I have so many lesbian friends that are still sleeping with guys from time to time. It's not like just because you're a lesbian, you can't be attracted to a guy, too.
(Shannon is thinking here: Uh, yeah! Has anyone seen Jon Bon Jovi lately??? Sweet Jebediah, that man sets me aflame!)
There are bisexual tendencies all over the place. For me, being a lesbian was not a choice. I knew that in 6th grade. As I've gotten older, I do appreciate people for who they are and not their genders. I just thought, "Why not give it a try? Open my options a little bit. I'm single now. I'll see what it's like." It just wasn't for me. It was no big deal at least trying. It was just to see – I was just curious.
SHANNON: I think all of those gay women who were watching gave a collective sigh of relief when you realized you were still gay. It was like, "Phew! Thank God she's still a lesbian."
KAT: It's so funny the community that lesbians have with each other. Its like, "Don't go over to the other side! Don't do it!" I understand that but it's really not that big of a deal. Let the person be who they want to be and everything should be fine. It's not like I'm trying to dis' the lesbian community. I'm just trying to open my options up and just be myself.
SHANNON: Yeah, we do sometimes have this mentality where we say people should be tolerant but then we're not always very tolerant with each other.
KAT: I know!
SHANNON: That was a good lesson, I think. You did a good job of handling that.
KAT: Thanks. I appreciate that.
SHANNON: On the show, you confessed a crush that you had on a classmate, Heather, to her. She seemed cool about it. Have you heard from anybody from high school since the show aired – any classmates that wanted to confess a crush that they had on you?
KAT: Not so much people that had crushes on me. I have had a lot of people that I haven't spoken with in many years that found me on MySpace or the internet and contacted me somehow. Being on the show has brought so many long lost friends back into my world which has been amazing.
SHANNON: You mentioned that after high school was over, you came out of the closet. We do get a lot of readers at www.Lesbiatopia.com that are not out yet. They can sometimes draw some strength from hearing how other lesbians dealt with coming out. Do you have anything that you want to share with them about your coming out experience?
KAT: Sure. It was terrifying for me because I wasn't exactly sure who was going to accept me, including my family. I hadn't ever even met a gay or lesbian until after high school. The way that it happened for me was I was working in a restaurant. There were 2 gay guys who worked there. I befriended them. We were all out one night partying together and I confessed to them that I liked women. They were thinking that I was just drunk and telling me that I didn't really like women. I said, "No, I'm serious. I really do." And then I started crying. As soon as I started crying, they really listened to me and said, "All right, let's talk about this tomorrow when we're all sober." Then I stuck to my word the next day and so they said, "Why don't we take you out to the lesbian bar for your first time?"
I was so beyond scared. Seriously, I didn't know if I could handle it. They took me to the lesbian bar and everything was great. I just felt – well, I was very, very nervous… don't get me wrong. But it just made sense. Then, my family found out and then all my friends started finding out. I came to realize that I didn't need to be so scared because as soon as I told my family – my sister and everybody – as soon as I got their approval, I really didn't care what the rest of the world thought, to be honest with you. But I know that a lot of families don't accept it, so it's different for everybody.
My advice to people who want to come out is to be as strong as you can be. Be true to yourself. People will love you if they're true to you. Just try to be strong even though it's difficult and scary.
SHANNON: Tila Tequila had a show, A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila, where she was looking for love as a bi-sexual woman and trying to decide on men or women. Would you be open to doing a show like that from a total lesbian angle or would something like that just be too over-the-top for you?
KAT: Uh, I've thought about that, actually. I had someone approach me to ask me if I wanted to do a show like that. Tila Tequila is a totally different demographic than I am. She draws a much, much younger "girls gone wild" party crowd. That's what people expect from her.
One of the reasons why I don't think I would want to do something like that is because I'm older. I feel like I've got a career I'm trying to pursue. I want to be respected. I don't want people to judge me because I'm being a fool on TV. I don't want to feel like a scam artist. I want to be a bit more grounded in who I am in life and I just feel like I want to be respected in my industry and I don't really think that I want to sell myself out like that.
If there was a way to do it where it wouldn't be so cheesy and so over the top and so dramatic, maybe I'd consider it. If it could be something more genuine, I would consider it. You know, The Bachelor is kind of classy – something like that I might be willing to do. I'd like to go on real dates and not do the "show me your boobs and let's get the tape measure out" kind of thing.
Something classy and more mature – it would be great on the Logo Channel. I don't think that a network television station would broadcast something like that, but I think cable would pick it up.
SHANNON: Would your reality show have all Sarah Shahi-types or would you put a few people like Dani (from A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila) just to see if you really are open to the person and not just a type.
KAT: (Laughs) You must have read some of my interviews from my past, haven't you?
SHANNON: Hey, I had to do my research!
KAT: Ahhhh, Sarah Shahi is the epitome of my type. I would definitely be open to throw in some butch-femmes in there. I think Dani is frickin' adorable and I can see her charm. I'm not that closed-minded.
SHANNON: Shane (Kate Moennig's character on The L Word) is hot. You gotta give Shane some kudos, too.
KAT: Shane is very sexy. I would love the whole gamut. I would have the Sarah Shahi types, the Shane types and then the Dani types – it would be great to have all 3 of those kinds of women on there. I am attracted to all of that.
SHANNON: Well, I think you should pursue that. You need to get somebody on the phone at a network and you need to pitch that idea.
KAT: Easier said than done but I'll try to do my research, for sure.
SHANNON: What's in your iPod?
KAT: You know what's funny? I hardly ever use my iPod. However, when I do listen to my iPod, I have stuff like Air, Radiohead, Uncle… just real kind of industry house stuff. Beastie Boys, Cocteau Twins, Jeff Buckley, David Grey. Old school stuff, 80's stuff… Howard Jones, Duran Duran… just all different things.
SHANNON: I saw that you went to the Dinah Shore weekend in Palm Springs for the GirlBar event. You got any crazy stories for us?
KAT: Well, I had a CRAPLOAD of women come up to me screaming. There was this one girl, I swear, I've never lived though anything like that. She was like, "OH!" and her poor friend didn't know who I was but she was just screaming, "Oh my God! It's Kat from High School Reunion!" and just freaking out. That's flattering, it's insane! So many women wanted to take my picture. It felt so good. It was just like… how amazing to be recognized like that! It wasn't, I'm sure, as much as Dani would have been recognized walking around but I definitely did get recognized. I had tons of people take my picture. It felt really good to have my close friends there to witness it. I even had one of the girls who took a picture of us together and that picture is now her MySpace avatar. That's really cute! It was very flattering and it was very well received.
I don't know if my making an appearance had anything to do with it but after I did it and was put on the GirlBar website and the e-mails went out, the ratings (for High School Reunion) went up, up, up after that. Now, I would like to think that I had a little bit of something to do with it because the community supports it when they know a lesbian's going to be on TV and they'll watch. I don't want to take all of the credit because the show was great regardless.
The finale just boomed. The finale was over a million people, the highest ratings ever. It was great.
The people who walk up to me (like at Dinah) or reach out to me on MySpace or my personal website, I just want to embrace it with love. I try to answer all of my e-mails. I've had 2 fan clubs now that have been started for me. I have links to them under my links category on my website. The comments people are leaving – there is so much love out there. They're awesome!
SHANNON: It has to be because of the way that you came across on the show. A lot of times, people go on those reality type shows and they just become train wrecks. They might seem really cool at first, but soon enough, this other dark person comes out. On High School Reunion, your personality was easily the best one as far as you being the most positive, upbeat, fun-loving and well-adjusted. I think people were just naturally drawn to that. I would think that would open some doors for you. I noticed on your website, www.KatFeller.com, that you were doing voiceover work for the animated film Madagascar2. What other projects have come up or will you be working on?
KAT: Just because I was on that show doesn't mean my voiceover career is having any change of pace at all. Voiceover is a totally different industry. I do have my agency. I've been with William Morris for 5 years and they are helping me put together a hosting reel. That's something I would love to do. I would love to host a reality show.
SHANNON: Dani, when she did the Tila Tequila show, she now hosts all kind of events at clubs. If you were offered work like that, would you be open to it?
KAT: I would definitely be open to it. It's almost frustrating in a way because I still keep hearing about how Dani is traveling all over and getting paid for all of these appearances and I wonder, "why can't I be doing that? I have a good heart. I might be older but…" The answer to my own question is that it's because (Tila's) show had such a massive audience because it was on MTV and because of the age group that watch those kinds of shows. The age range that watched High School Reunion was people that were more in my age bracket.
A lot of those people don't have MySpace pages. None of the cast members on the show except for me and Justin had a MySpace page until the show aired. Then they all got them to help them keep in touch with the fan base.
It's not as easy to be recognized and appreciated when you've reached my age.
SHANNON: I don't really think that you wouldn't be able to cross over to a younger crowd because younger people would still be attracted to your fun and laid back personality.
KAT: I'm open to all of it so if I start getting phone calls for stuff like that, count me in!