Kate Lavut is the playwright of A Little Bit Pregnant.  It has been performed in Montreal, and Toronto, and will soon be produced off-Broadway in New York City. She is also the author and illustrator of the graphic novel ‘Chico’ which was shortlisted for the Quebec Writers Federation Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature. In 2015, she founded Paper Dog Press, a small publishing house that specializes in illustrated children’s books and graphic novels that are all printed locally in Montreal. She published ‘Crowned in Curls’, by 14-year-old author Aisha Boubacar which gained national attention and is currently in talks to become a television series. In her spare time, Kate  teaches creative writing and crochets custom-made dolls.

YES: When did you start your artistic journey and what were some of your goals when you started?

Kate: I grew up in a house filled with art. My father was a filmmaker, and my mother was a writer. I was not going to grow up to be an accountant. I had my first break when my graphic novel ‘Chico’ was published. ‘Chico’ is the true tale of the time I dressed as a boy, jumped on a bus, and went to Mexico. It was shortlisted for the Quebec Writer’s Federation Award and featured at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. My goals weren’t outrageous, I just wanted people to read my work and hear my story. Just as things were heating up for me, everything came to a crashing halt when I was suddenly diagnosed with aggressive stage three breast cancer. I had to put my career on hold and just concentrate on surviving.

YES: What stage are you at now? What have been your greatest achievements?

Kate: After I finished my treatments and had a chance for some hair to grow back, I decided to return to University to get my degree. I applied with social work as my first choice but somehow ended up in creative writing. I was told to present a portfolio and could submit either poetry or a play. I knew nothing about poetry but figured maybe I could try a play. I wrote some dialogue, created a world for the characters to live in, and was accepted into the creative writing department at Concordia University. Thus began my love affair with playwriting. My greatest achievement has been having the play I wrote ‘A Little Bit Pregnant’ performed in Montreal, Toronto, and soon off-Broadway in New York City.

YES: What were/are your biggest struggles?

Kate: I think it’s only natural to have struggles. If we didn’t, then life would be boring! My biggest struggle is following through. I am the queen of starting a project only to move on to the next before the initial one is completed. Then the unfinished projects haunt me when I’m lying awake at night. But not every piece of writing has legs, and sometimes they need to sit in the drawer for a while before they are ready to face the world. So maybe it’s okay that I don’t always follow through. Or maybe I’m just saying that to make myself feel better!

YES: What was the problem you were experiencing before you came into YES?

Kate: Before coming to YES, I had challenges keeping organized and planning. I had a million ideas, but I needed help executing them. The workshops I took, and the Artist Business Coach I work with helped me put my plans into action and my actions into achievements.

YES: What did you find as a result of using our services? What was the best thing about it?

Kate: I know this sounds extreme, but YES has changed my life. I have become more organized and more confident in my decisions. There are amazing workshops that are offered regularly that I really appreciate, but the best thing for me is my Artist Business Coach Stacey Lavender. I can’t believe how generous she is with her time and knowledge. She consistently goes above and beyond to help me achieve my goals. Knowing that she has my back gives me the courage to dream bigger and not be afraid to put myself out there and take chances on myself.

YES: How do you feel about the service you have received from YES?

Kate: The service I have received from YES has always been wonderful. From the friendly face of the receptionist in the lobby to the amazing workshops at affordable rates, to my Artist Business Coach who is helping me get a grant to start on my next graphic novel about my experience having breast cancer.

YES: Do you have any other thoughts you would like to share?

Kate: I would like to use this opportunity to thank YES for giving me the honor of being Client of the Month and for all they do to help artists in Montreal. I also want to invite you all to see my play ‘A Little Bit Pregnant’. ‘A Little Bit Pregnant’ which is directed by the incredible Rana Liu, will be in Montreal at the MainLine Theatre on April 7th at 3 pm. We will also be performing Off-Broadway as part of the New York City Fringe, in case you want to take a road trip! If you can’t make it down to the States, the performances are available to be live-streamed here. 

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