What I remember the most about William Shatner’s fascinating, yet also dreadful, The Captains documentary where he interviews the actors who played Star Trek captains over the course of the franchise’s history, is Kate Mulgrew talking about trying to balance working on an extremely popular show television series and raising two small boys as a single mother. She said things didn’t go so well and to this day her kids won’t even look at Star Trek: Voyager, the show that robbed them of their mother. That kind of honesty about not being able to have it all always stayed with me.
* CONTAINS SPOILERS
Actress Kate Mulgrew, best known for her television roles on Ryan’s Hope, Star Trek: Voyager and Orange is the New Black, chronicles a life that began as the eldest daughter of a big Irish family, growing up in the Midwest and then moving to New York City to pursue her dreams of acting. Kate was discovered not too soon after she began college and her career sky-rocketed as she juggled working in both television and the theatre. But her glamourous life was not without bad choices, sad endings and a heartbreak that would continue to haunt her no matter successful she became.
As a fan who admires Kate Mulgrew’s work, I eagerly got my hands on this audio book. Wow! I love Mindy Khaling and Lena Dunham, etc., but here’s the memoir of an actress with real substance and who has many stellar accomplishments. Kate is a fantastic storyteller, keeping her story light in tone, down-to-earth and humourous. She doesn’t feel the need to dish out advice or life lessons. Instead, she emphasizes how she is human and this is her messy, complicated, yet fully lived life.
As a huge Star Trek: Voyager fan, I was a little disappointed that Kate merely touches on her Star Trek career. However, I suspect this is because she has future plans to write a book solely dedicated to this subject.
I highly recommend Kate’s memoir to anyone who is a fan of her work and wants to get a better sense of what makes her tick. She’s an impressive storyteller and I can’t wait for her to share more chapters from her life with us.