Kat is an internationally recognized voiceover artist. Her list of credits reads like a Who’s Who and includes Disney Studios Animation, Dee Dee on Dexter’s Laboratory, Marvel’s Electra, the Star Trek On Line video game, the Avatar video game as well as being the only female voice of ESPN. She took her first voiceover class at the behest of legendary Michael York. Who after a week of working together, he suggested she try it. She took her first class, found acting “with only your voice” to be so challenging, that this opened up a whole new perspective on acting for her. In 2000, she shifted from in front of the camera, to behind the microphone. She can now be heard as the only female voice on CNN, in the gaming world as the voice of Marvel’s Electra, and on the Cartoon Network as the voice of Dee Dee on Dexter’s Laboratory.
Kat first started on the stage, doing Shakespeare, at age four. She continued to do Shakespeare until she was eighteen, when she got a scholarship for acting at UC Berkley. Once at Berkley, her course of study was how to make Shakespeare relevant, for the modern age.
After graduating from Berkeley, instead of acting, she became an Agent at William Morris. By all metrics, she was great at being an agent, but she gradually got bored. After all the years on stage, it gradually started caller her again. And at the height of her success as an agent, she decided to go into acting.
Once she decided to go into acting, after a relatively small window of struggling, she began to land roles. Murder She Wrote with Angela Lansbury, Diagnosis Murder with Dick Van Dyke, Babylon Five with Bruce Boxleitner, and a few others. Including The Naked Truth, with Tia Leoni and Michael York.
In The Naked Truth, Kat played Michael York’s much younger love interest, and they spent the week filming together. Kat was a huge fan of Franco Ziffirelli’s Romeo & Juliet, and especially Michael York’s Tybalt. Between takes, they hung out on the set reading Shakespeare. And that’s when Michael suggested Kat take a voiceover class.
As a child growing up in Southern California, aside from performing Shakespeare, Kat was a huge Walt Disney fan. Being close to Disneyland, where Kat’s father worked as a graphic designer for Disney, she would often go to the park with her father. Where her father helped cultivate her love and appreciation for creativity, vision, storytelling, and the subtle genius of engaging the senses with an emotional experience.
She also grew up listening to musicals. She would mimic the voice, the notes, the cadence, and the nuance of each performer. This skillset would later translate into the art of Voice Matching, where actors are hired to mimic the voice of another actor. Kat became one of the leading voice matching actors, most notably for Disney attractions and videos.
After a few years of acting in front of the camera, and feeling a little burnt out, Kat transitioned to full time behind the microphone. Providing voice acting and voice matching for animation, anime, video games, television, video, and of course, Disney. Kat became one of the hardest working voice over and voice matching actors in Los Angeles.
In 2012, after a seemingly routine doctor’s visit, that’s when everything stopped. Kat was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. This type of tumor was very rare and new for this country, and it was behind her jaw. Because the type of tumor was new to this country, it was difficult to find a surgeon that was confident enough to operate. With the original diagnosis, she was given less than a year. This is when the new journey began.
After several surgeons and renowned medical teams turned her down, she finally found a surgeon confident and competent enough to perform the delicate surgery. This type of surgery was so rare in the United States, that the equipment needed to be shipped from Germany. Because of the possible outcomes of the surgery, Kat faced the very real possibility that she could experience loss of facial nerves and her voice may never be the same after the operation. So the operation might save her life, but destroy her career.
The surgery was a success, but for Kat it was emotionally and physically devastating. She needed to re-master her voice and was left with a face that she described as being right out of a horror movie. Thick stitches ran up her neck, her face was swollen beyond recognition, and a gaping hole remained in the middle of her jaw.
Then the complications began…
Infections, setbacks, depression, a cruel betrayal of her closest caretaker, and a follow up diagnosis indicated that the surgeons were not able to remove all of the all cancer. Amid all of this turmoil, there were the constant battles with doctors and insurance companies and trying to restore her face to something she remembered from before the surgery. Since the follow up surgeries were considered elective, she drained most of her personal resources for all of the reconstructive procedures.
Almost two years after the initial surgery, she returned to voiceover work. Every winter break in December, since the initial surgery that saved her life, while most productions stop for the holidays, Kat has follow up surgeries. Taking the break to heal from procedures, away from industry eyes. It has been a long series of incremental steps to gradually restoring her facial features and the psychological traumas that accompany seeing a different reflection in the mirror.
She has since regained her role as a top voiceover artist. Continuing to do voice work and voice matching in animation, television, video games, and film. And most recently, you can hear her narrate WatchMojo.
Today, looking at Kat, you would never know that she has had numerous facial reconstruction surgeries and her experiences with the medical and insurance industry have not always been pleasant. Her new journey leads her to become a vocal advocate for patient’s rights and to help others navigate the medical bullying by the insurance industry. Her topics of conversation while on the speaking circuit also include: Women’s Health Issues, Depression, The Invisible Disability.
To read more about Kat, click here www.katcressidaspeaks.com
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Photographer, media creator, painter, and father. Bringing people’s dream projects to fruition. With a deep love for film, music, coffee, and the arts.