This week our industry lost a best friend. Kate Chase was someone who championed your story and held your hand while doing it. She guided and mentored and listened and enlightened.
Kate always wanted to be behind the scenes, never taking credit or wanting the spot light. Instead she wanted others to shine. Today I want to shine that light on Kate and share the letter I wrote and had planned for Ray to read to her. I love and miss you Kate.
I wish I could remember the exact moment we met. Guessing it was over the phone first. I know we have Hunter to thank for it but however it happened, we hit it off immediately and twenty five years later we never stopped talking. I will always have fond memories of our travels together, endless hours at Le Book, our Community Table road trips and that one crazy night in Minneapolis waiting for Brittany Spears to walk into the hotel.
But mostly I will remember and cherish the gift you gave me by choosing me as a friend and a partner. I learned so much from you Kate, professionally and personally and would not be the person I am today without you.
You and I talk a lot about how life’s experiences shape who you are. And how those experiences in turn shape your values and define you as a person and an artist. We spent countless hours exploring what this means and in the process you gave me the gift of seeing the world through a different lens. With compassion and care and dedication you listened to everyone else’s story and gave your total self to the process. You are part of my life experiences and for that I am a better friend and agent and I will always be grateful for that.
On a recent phone call, you told me about a friend who had a hunch you weren’t doing as well as you were hoping or sharing. Rather than wishing you well and hoping for the best, he took a second to tell you what you meant to him. He said he had experienced loss before and didn’t want to miss an opportunity to tell you how much he appreciated you.
That stuck with me Kate. Not just for how insightful it was, but because you bring out the best in people. Because you truly listen and ask questions, people like you. Because you are thoughtful about their stories, people trust you. And because you truly care, people love you.
Kate, as that book of ours taught us and that sweater tells everyone else, you Give A Damn. And because of that everyone else around you does too.
As I sit here thinking about what I want Ray to read to you or what I want him to remember years from now about our friendship, I am first struck by the loss. The deep and profound loss of you Kate. You have always taken such care in finding the exact right words but there is no word to describe a world without you in it.
But then I think about all of our meaningful conversations and those you have had with others and I know they will live on inside the many people whose lives you have touched. You left our world too soon but your legacy will be far reaching. The people you enlightened will pay it forward in your honor.
Kate, I can’t imagine a life without you in it but I know that even though you won’t be by my side, you still will bring out the best in me. Because of you I will always give a damn.
If you’re wondering how you can support Kate’s family during this time, I encourage you to write a note on the CaringBridge site. Her husband, Ray, is receiving letters and would love to read your memories of Kate.