At the stroke of 8 a.m., Cate Allen jumps out of her car and grabs two bottles of water and a Whole Foods bag holding her laptop. She locks her car, then unlocks the door to the K-TALK's strip-mall office in South Jordan. In an hour, she'll go on the air with the latest episode of Celebrating Women: The Women's Show. Afterward, she'll head home to learn lines for a commercial audition happening tomorrow.
How did you get your start in radio?
In 2011, I had auditioned to host a local television show [Main Street Deals] and, after a month, they asked if I could host radio. I said, sure, but I'd never done radio. I went in as a co-host for a political program. At one point, I did five shows a week. Now I have my own weekly show, covering entertainment, business, women's interests and social issues.
You're also involved with the Utah chapter of the Sexual Abuse Response Team.
There's a lot of sexual violence here, and I don't like that. My show covers the legislative session, particularly bills that impact women. Two years ago, we had five bills regarding sexual abuse and assault, so I became very aware. We have higher-than-national-average statistics on everything: 1 in 3 women, 1 in 4 girls, 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 10 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime—and only 10 percent of them report it. I started getting disclosures and I wanted to know where to send people for help. When victims don't get help, that's when we see problems like addiction and suicide.
How do you find time to act?
I used to not sleep. Now there's only two things that I do every week: the radio show, and then I teach a project management class locally. That leaves a lot of flexibility for acting gigs, whether they're here or in Los Angeles. Often I'll find out I've booked a job and then I'll be on a flight at 6 the next morning. If I get out early enough, I'll fly back that night.
Why do you still help on student film projects at Salt Lake Community College?
I've always liked working with [program heads] Channing [Lowe] and Mark [Davis, who passed away in March]. There's only so much free work I can do, and they're one of my priorities, because with SLCC, it's always a professional set, and the footage is awesome.
You're a former competitive swing dancer, and recently used those talents in a feature film.
I was down in L.A. and a friend talked me into going on this open call. A couple of months later, I got called to come to L.A. for a fitting. I asked what it was for and they said Hail, Caesar!, a Coen Brothers film. So I rearranged my schedule and flew down the next day. Both days were crazy. Our call time was 5 a.m. because it's a period piece and we had to go through hair and makeup. But they had the best food. We're talking prime rib, salmon—you don't normally get that, even on feature films with budgets. And every two hours they had more food, like a taco cart. I heard that's what the Coen Brothers do: They will feed you well!