Louisville native Cat Gallagher, FCRH ’17, has a confession to make: “Even though I’m from Kentucky and the Derby is such a big deal, I’m allergic to horses.” Luckily, Cat does not let this unfortunate allergy hold her back.
An undergraduate at Rose Hill, Cat is pursuing a double major in computer science and French studies, is in the Honors Program and is additionally involved in a number of on-campus activities. She is part of the undergraduate research program in the WISDM lab for the computer science department, which, as she describes, “uses sensors in smart phones to figure out what activity you’re doing, like if you’re sitting, standing, running or walking.” Cat is an outreach ambassador for the Rose Hill Society, a position for which she writes blog posts in order to connect with prospective students about life at Fordham. She has also been part of a number of performances for Fordham Experimental Theater (FET), Mimes and Mummers and Theatrical Outreach Program (TOP).
One of Cat’s most rewarding Fordham experiences was being part of TOP’s production of The Laramie Project this past March. “I had never been part of a show with that much cultural significance before. I’m biased obviously, but I think it was an extremely well done piece of theater and I’m proud to have been a part of it.”
Next fall, Cat is taking on a new theatrical endeavor with Laramie director Jane Skapek, FCRH ’16 — together they will co-direct a production of the beloved French book The Little Prince with FET.
The soon-to-be first time director said, “I’m excited to try a new experience after acting in so many shows. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m less nervous because Jane will be co-directing and she has so much experience and was amazing as my director in The Laramie Project. We’re hoping to get a lot of people involved in the production.”
Deciding to pitch The Little Prince was personal for Cat. “I’ve always had an interest in French culture and read the book back in high school and have loved it ever since. Not too long ago I woke up from a nap and had the realization that it would be a fantastic show to put on in the Blackbox, and have been thinking about it ever since.”
Aside from theater, Cat has a number of other passions that range from college sports to “Degrassi” to celebrity sighting in the city. She is a die-hard University of Louisville fan and has been attending home football games with her dad since she was three years old. When it comes from her love of the Canadian teen drama, Cat says “I have a way too extensive knowledge of the ‘Degrassi’ universe and I’m not ashamed of it.” She has seen every season of the show available online and can answer nearly any question one could ever have about it.
As for run-ins with famous people, Cat has a few up her sleeve. During spring break of her senior year in high school, she met James Franco. Even though it was not the corn-rowed, tattooed, grill-wearing Franco, she still appreciates that she can still say she met him while on spring break.
In reality, Cat was in the city and met him at a performance piece he was doing at the MoMA. Last February, she is “98 percent sure” she saw Kanye West while out to brunch at the Mercer Kitchen in SoHo. This past September, Cat was pulled up onstage at an OK Go concert, but wished she had gotten more time to talk to the lead singer of her favorite band, Damian Kulash.
When asked what advice Cat would give to herself as a freshman, she thought back to first semester last year when she auditioned for show after show but was not cast in anything. “I would tell myself not to give up, even when things get difficult. Things turned around for me, and second semester I fortunately got cast in two shows at once. You never know what’s right around the corner, you just have to keep going after what you want.”