Rising Star Kate Orlando On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Entertainment Industry

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Photo Credit: Kelly Ridgeway

Right out of the gate, I wish someone had told me that starting out, everything doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to start putting yourself and your art out there. I used to have imposter syndrome, and I believed I was inadequate despite evidence that I was successful. Once I dropped all my self-doubt and lack of confidence, I stepped into the life I wanted.

As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Kate Orlando.

Kate Orlando is redefining travel vlogging for true explorers everywhere. Creator of K8’s Best Day Ever which supports sustainable travel through the eyes of locals and their favorite ways to experience their city. By stepping outside of oneself to connect with the world around them, viewers will feel connected to what makes travel introspective and transformative. Kate reminds us that travel is a real, living thing, and she hopes to inspire everyone to open new doors in a Post-Covid travel landscape.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I’d love to! I was born in Burbank, CA and raised in the heart of Van Nuys. After my brother was born, my parents wanted a slower pace of life and packed everything up and moved us to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. When we moved into our rental house, everyone from the neighborhood was there to help. All the dads brought their tool boxes, and the moms, a week’s worth of meals. While South Dakota is exceedingly different from California, I am glad I spent my formative years there. I made some lovely friends and had fantastic experiences growing up there.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

The first big city trip I remember taking was to San Francisco. I’ve never felt so small. From the smell of Fisherman’s Wharf to the delicious Sourdough Bread Turtles from Boudin’s. Turning the corner into Chinatown, my first sight was of the chicken feet hanging in the window, the smell of rose soaps for twenty five cents, the beautiful silk kimonos snapped me out of the Midwest and transported me back into the present moment, where I realized that the world was so much larger than my own backyard. From that point on, I knew I wanted to travel any and everywhere I could.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Recently, while I was visiting Merida, Mexico, I stumbled upon this beautiful blue museum that enables local artists to work on their passions. It was breathtaking! Roman, one of the artists there gave me the most wondrous tour! Once we got to the top floor of the museum, I was led through artifacts from ancient Mayan culture. I was given the opportunity to learn about the importance of Amber and the 13 sacred points on our body that allow the amber to heal us spiritually. And of course, found a piece that I felt a connection to take home with me.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Just last year I was traveling around Mexico City, and had spent all year in preparation learning Spanish. What I hadn’t practiced was the local vernacular. So when I arrived at Contramar, a fabulous seafood restaurant in the heart of Roma, I enjoyed an Al Pastor Fish taco that made my brain melt into the back of my spine. When the waiter asked if I was enjoying the meal, I said “Si, es fantastico! Yo tengo un bebe de comida!”, which translates to “Yes, it’s fantastic! I have a food baby!” This is not something that is a local idiom, so there was much confusion as to when my baby was due. The lesson learned was that I need to hire a private tutor. If you’re looking to learn, I cannot recommend my tutor, Edwin Portillo enough: www.learninglanguageswithus.com,

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

So much going on right now. I’ve got my main project, Kate’s Best Day Ever, where I go out and explore with a friend some of their favorite places to visit! During Covid I realized that I tended to stay in my own little bubble of Los Angeles, and that I needed to get out and explore. So carefully, various friends and I would go and experience their perfect day in LA. Broadening my horizons to the gorgeous city I live in! Then I’ve got a few short form projects, Kate Takes a Break, where I explore all the fun things I can find in LA on a weekly basis. Finally, Kate’s Best Date’s which is unique date ideas that you can do with your friends, romantic interests, or even yourself. I’m a gal who loves a good solo date.

You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

Look, you fall down seven times, you stand up eight. I’ve failed at many things in my life, but you need to keep going. When you keep trying, you continue to build your self esteem and confidence. My first few blogs or videos aren’t perfect, they don’t have to be, but I completed them, I just keep moving forward. There’s no fun in perfection in my line of work. I’m here to enjoy the ride and share my experiences with others so they will continue to grow in their own adventures and relish life.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

Diversity is vital in the entertainment industry because people want to see themselves represented. For so long we’ve had mostly male led travel shows, where the diversity pertains to the location of the travel. I’d love to see more women, POC, and LGBTQ+ travel experiences on television!

Second, diversity provides both entertainment and education. Audiences are able to see things from another point of view and be enlightened. You realize there is more than one way to live life so your perspective changes and grows. You see new possibilities, and develop a wider view of the world.

Lastly, people like to see themselves as the hero, especially children and marginalized individuals, who can watch and say, “Hey! If they can do it, so can I.” This enhances our culture by enriching our emotional life , helps us to recognize and respect others so we can understand and interact to build trusting relationships with other cultures. When we do this, we all win.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

Right out of the gate, I wish someone had told me that starting out, everything doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to start putting yourself and your art out there. I used to have imposter syndrome, and I believed I was inadequate despite evidence that I was successful. Once I dropped all my self-doubt and lack of confidence, I stepped into the life I wanted.

Second, you must honor and value your time. I’ve been living in survival mode for so long and taking odd jobs that overtook my schedule. When I let go of what was no longer serving me, such as underpaid gigs, unsupportive friends, I started to see things starting to align in my favor and everything moved forward day by day.

Third, I took the time to work on myself. Getting back into therapy ensured that I am performing at my highest level with my feet on the ground. I’ve learned how to let things go, speak kindly yet sternly, and really live in the present moment.

Vacation Mindset is a very real thing. Sometimes we get in the zone of “when I have this or that”, I’ll be happy. We have to remember that our purpose in life is not who we are, what we own, or even what we do. It’s staying present in this one moment and deciding to be the best, most unique version of ourselves that we possibly can.

Lastly, I’d say that you have to remember that there is room for everyone to succeed and live their dream life. To quote one of the wisest films ever made, Ten Things I Hate About You, “Don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want.” Go out and be awesome!

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

It’s important to occasionally take a few days rest for my own space and then be surrounded by my core friends. The ones I don’t have to “be on” for, I can just be myself. Your real friends will remind you that hustle culture is poison. As an extreme extrovert, lots of people want to be around my positive energy. Just do what you can, when you can, and be gentle on yourself.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

One of the things I’ve always dreamed of is having a show that helps elevate other travel platforms. As a white woman of privilege, I listen to the struggles that my POC and LGBTQ+ friends have when traveling. As my visibility grows, I feel it’s important to make sure all are given an opportunity to be seen. Travel is fundamentally meant to help us understand each other better and for that to happen, all need to have a seat at the table. Being able to showcase how others live and travel is a massive life goal of mine.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Honestly, I wouldn’t be who I am without EVERYONE in my life. Both my Mom and Dad, if I told them I was moving to Italy or Japan or Brazil, they would be so supportive. They’re my foundation whether I’m happy, stressed, or anything in between and I am grateful for them everyday.

Los Angeles gets a bad rap when it comes to making friends, and I find that as long as you keep a positive attitude, the right people will stick around. My friend, Jacob Seidman, who is a fantastic actor/writer always pushes me to be the best version of myself. Along with countless others who have been along this journey by volunteering to take promo photos of me (the gorgeous Kelly Ridgeway), watch my content and giving feedback (Chelsea Greer), or just go out for a drink and remind me to stay grounded (Sarah Saiz)…and let me film them for content!

Over the last year the amount of support that I’ve gotten from everyone has given me big It’s a Wonderful Life moments, where no man is a failure who has friends. I’m truly grateful for being so lucky.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Being positive doesn’t mean that everything is going to be okay, it means that despite everything, YOU are going to be okay. You can’t prepare for everything in life. I remember the fear of stepping on the plane for my first solo trip. Wondering if I was going to get lost or get food poisoning or leave things behind. And then I remembered; it’s gonna be okay. No matter what, I will be okay.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I love Samantha Brown and Ernest White II, they do an incredible job of getting out into the world and really experiencing the location to which they are traveling. Connecting with locals, finding the best ways to experience history, they inspire me by showing that travel is a living thing. Not just finding a beach or restaurant in a magazine. By finding the most authentic way of stepping outside of themselves and genuine ways to connect with the world around them.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can follow me on instagram or tiktok by searching for @k8sbestdayever, and my new online blog k8sbestdayever.com starting late May!

Thank you so much for the time you spent doing this interview. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success.

Rising Star Kate Orlando On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Entertainment Industry was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.