Kate Mulgrew: Commanding The Free Library of Philadelphia

Kate Mulgrew: Commanding The Free Library of Philadelphia

A few weeks back I posted my reaction/review to Kate Mulgrew’s NY Times best selling memoir ‘Born With Teeth.’ Last night, the Free Library of Philadelphia hosted a book signing and talk back with Kate to promote the book and give us all a bit of inflection to go along with her words. She read three selected passages from her book before making us all roar with laughter for another 35 minutes of questions.

After some opening remarks from Joel Nickles, Kate took the stage and stood for her 30 seconds of flash photography (the library’s rules). The three passages she chose to read from her memoir were two excerpts from the chapter she titled Derby Grange and one excerpt from the chapter she title Actresses. Sitting in a room full of people who, half have read the book and the other half have just purchased it was a fun twist. The story she read about her mother returning home from having her eighth baby with her ovaries pickled in a jar labeled ‘From Whence You Sprang’ got an amazing laugh that was telltale of those in the room who had not read it and laughed until they were in tears (like me). Listening to Kate tell these stories that I had read a few weeks ago, listening to her voice and inflections that go along with them, was a stunning experience.

After reading to us, once even asking if reading another was alright (like we would say no), Kate happily took as many questions as she could about anything anyone wanted to ask. She spoke of her love for Captain Janeway and while she was the role of a lifetime, she was, by far, the hardest role she has ever taken. When she asked for someone to retrieve her glasses for her, a glass of water was placed next to her on the podium which resulted in a roar of laughter from the audience at the look on her face. The poor man who gave her that water didn’t live it down for the rest of the Q&A.

From the woman I met ten years ago, Kate has become a woman open to answering the hard questions, the ones that we all have, but never had the guts to ask. One woman asked about her stepping back on the set of Ryan’s Hope just three days after giving birth to her daughter to be handed a stunk baby and deliver a monologue about loyalty and love with the paring words of ‘I’ll never leave you, Ryan.’ Kate asked if she could read that excerpt from the book because there was no other way for her to describe how she felt on that day.

For a podcast version of this lovely, hilarious Q&A, please visit FLP for a listen. You won’t be sorry.

Her favorite whiskey is Jameson, FYI. Happy 60th, Kate!

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