Known for her multiple roles as an empowered woman, one might argue that 23-year-old Kate Petersen, acclaimed stuntwoman and performing artist, is not an unlikely candidate as a role model for young women everywhere.
In an age where youth are chronicled as struggling to focus on a singular task at hand and technology rewards our brains for precisely the opposite, Kate has turned her passion for several activities into a successful career, advantageous in this field expressly for its rare diversity.
With a childhood start in gymnastics, figure skating and circus aerials and groundwork, Kate began her career with the “Trix Circus,” touring Australia at the age of 12. Not long after, she began landing lead roles in some of the world’s largest live stunt shows such as, “Super Performance Centre,” Seaworlds’ “Pirates Unleashed,” Movie Worlds “Fright Nights,” Dream World’s “Kevil Hill and Daydream Circus” and Chimelong Paradise’s “Countdown till Destruction” and “Cyber Evolution.”
One of Kate’s first recurring live performance jobs was with Super Performance Centre, which is regarded as one of the best gymnastics and circus clubs on the Australian Gold Coast. There she was cast in a number of productions and events taking on many different (but always leading) characters, with each production allowing a different side of her diverse experience in gymnastics and circus performing to shine. As one of Super Performance Centre’s star performers, Kate made her mark in the minds of massive crowds through many memorable solo acts including the “Spanish Web.”
Not only did Kate’s work with Super Performance Centre give her the perfect venue to showcase her on-stage skills early on in her career, but it also tested her skills as choreographer and production coordinator, strengths she would go on to use in many future productions.
Kate’s diverse skill-set including fire burns, high falls, precision driving and acting, has made her a sought after performer for both live and scripted productions, with one of her first major film roles being that of the strong and sexy “Rescue Ops” secret agent trained to infiltrate the world’s most dangerous organizations. Kate not only starred in the action-packed hit, but also performed all of her own fight scenes and stunts.
“I love performing the skills that I’ve worked so hard on and doing something that I absolutely love as a career. This is something I’ve trained towards my entire life and I can’t imagine doing anything else, this is my absolute passion and it drives me everyday to do these amazing things that I dream about,” explained Kate when asked what she loves about being a performing artist.
It’s difficult to not feel inspired by Kate’s striking combination of the formidable and confident persona that she brings to the stage and screen, and her equally impressive passion and drive in her personal life. Kate aims to motivate young people to pursue a career because, “it makes you stronger, more confident and it’s a lot of fun.”
Kate is an embodied example of precisely why this attitude towards our career choices is so necessary. She attributes her passion for performing and the joy that it brings her for the ability to overcome the unavoidable challenges that accompany a diverse and highly athletic job description. In 2010 Kate underwent back surgery, putting her out of training for six months, one of her biggest challenges in her career. Within a few months back, she had regained all of her stunt skills, feeling stronger than ever.
A woman who can do it all, we can all stand to learn a lesson from Kate and her valuing of both physical and emotional strength, focus and passion for life and work alike. Continue to follow her exciting and action-packed career with her upcoming leading role in the live show, “Tidal,” a dramatic mix of circus and street entertainment, touring the US in September 2016.