CHELAN - Katie Lindert was born and raised in the Chelan Valley, graduating in 2005 from Chelan High School. Born to creatives, and daughter of Manson-born Charles Lindert—orchardist, luthier, and designer of Lindert Guitars—her interest in the arts was fostered in a household that honored creative exploration and expression.
The story of L. Frank Baum would inspire Katie at an early age to pursue a myriad of creative occupations, Baum’s career as varied as traveling theater company member, playwright, short story writer, newspaper reporter, editor and columnist, magazine founder and editor, and eventually author of Mother Goose in Prose and The Wonderful Wizard of O.Z. (what remains Katie’s favorite story). As a child, she enjoyed many artistic pursuits, writing short stories and poems, drawing, painting, singing, and acting in plays. Upon becoming a student at Portland State University, her passion for storytelling would lead her to the university’s theatre hall, and into the seats of professional writing workshops. Pursuing training in stage acting and writing allowed her a new license to experience and depict universal joys and tragedies—it was through those characters, whose lives expressed desire and plight in its most raw of forms, she found both refuge and purpose. At 24, she was accepted to attend the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College in Vermont, a 10-day writing intensive, as a general contributor in fiction, a pivotal experience in solidifying her desire to pursue professional writing.
With graduation came new challenges, a desire to stay in the Pacific Northwest pitted against a longing to experience the America she’d read of in the romantic works of Jack Kerouc, Ken Kesey, and John Steinbeck. Post-graduation, she adventured with friends to Raleigh, North Carolina. There, she took a job teaching preschool, and soon found a home at a small improv theater offering entertainment in the style of Drew Carey’s comedic television sensation, Whose Line Is It Anyway. Short-form improv challenged her, allowing her to explore spontaneous storytelling with no script on which to lean. This experience would eventually lead her to Chicago, Illinois where she was accepted to a musical improv conservatory program at the city’s revered sketch comedy theater and training center, The Second City. From Chicago she set out for sunny L.A., where she took on work as an extra in television and gained invaluable experience in auditioning and the art of highway driving.
After the sudden loss of her father in summer of 2018, she moved home to Chelan to be closer to family, and once again surrounded by the peace and beauty of the valley. Since returning, she’s explored varied career opportunities, but something in her has never quite let her preoccupation with writing fall away. She’s found that it’s not the setting that defines character, and perhaps writing was always her intended path. She is very excited for a new opportunity to write with the Lake Chelan Mirror, for the privilege to continue to tell the story of the valley. After all, she’s found, there truly is no place like home.
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