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Alumnae Blog

Posted On: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 08:00 AM, by Lauren Lewis
Kate Voegele
Gamma Upsilon/
Miami
Kate Voegele, Gamma Upsilon/Miami, is a singer, songwriter, and actress who made her musical debut in 2003 with her first album, The Other Side. She gained notoriety with appearances on One Tree Hill in 2007, which helped promote her music. She is releasing her fourth album, Wild Card, this spring, and is currently touring the U.S. and England. As a gift to Thetas everywhere for their support over the years, Kate is offering free songs you can download. Learn more about Kate on her official website.

In this post, Kate shares with Thetas how she launched her career, why she chose Theta, and how her membership has impacted her life and career.

Please start by telling us a little about yourself.
I'm currently living and working in Nashville, Tenn., and loving it! Right now, I'm working on writing and recording a new record and gearing up to go on tour overseas in a few months. When I'm not making or playing music, I love hanging with friends, my husband, trying new foodie restaurants in town, painting, doing ballet barre classes, and traveling to new places.

When and why did you decide that being a musician and actress is what you wanted to do?
I always knew that I wanted to be in a creative field. Growing up, all I ever wanted to do was draw and paint and make things, and once I was old enough to pick up a guitar, I couldn't put it down. I started writing songs my freshman year of high school, and it organically grew from there. I'd play local coffee houses and open for local bands, and soon I started garnering attention from labels online and on MySpace. One day, in my dorm room in Morris Hall, the founder of MySpace wrote me telling me he wanted to sign me to his new label. I flew out to Santa Monica a week later and signed the deal. Although I was really enjoying being an art major at Miami, I knew immediately that if I didn't allow myself to find out where this record deal would take me, I'd always regret it.

After releasing my first album, I went to an audition for One Tree Hill on a whim. It was for a character that was only supposed to last two episodes, but she ended up staying for four seasons! It was almost an accident that I got into acting, but I'm so glad I did because it was a huge loudspeaker for my songs.

What is your favorite song that you've ever sung and why?
It's hard to say because I think all of them have different meanings for me at different times in my life. One of my favorites is a song called "Sweet Silver Lining." I've had a lot of people write to me and tell me that it helped them through a difficult time, and that's a pretty awesome feeling

What drew you to go through the recruitment process at Miami of Ohio?
My parents are "Miami Mergers," and I grew up hearing story after story of the way they met through Greek life. My mom is a Theta and my dad is a Phi Psi, and they actually met while singing together onstage at a Theta/Phi Psi function. I always loved going to visit Miami with them, and I wanted to experience all of the things that they loved so much about their Greek-life college years. When I got to Miami my freshman year, my older friends from high school who had already gone through the process introduced me to a bunch of their friends, and many of them happened to be Thetas. We just clicked. I knew right away that it was where I wanted to be.

What advice would you give collegians today who are considering joining a Panhellenic organization?
I would say absolutely go for it. It was definitely overwhelming to meet so many people and have so many conversations at first, but I think it's totally worth it. You'll meet some amazing people and have experiences you'll remember for the rest of your life.

What is your favorite Theta memory?
My favorite Theta memory is probably when I played Brick Street, opening for Billy Currington, and the entire chapter was there in the front row with homemade T-shirts and huge signs cheering me on. I was nervous because the show was sold out, and Billy Currington is kind of a big deal in the country world. Having the girls there all dressed up and cheering me on was so huge and helped me have an absolute blast onstage that night!

What does Kappa Alpha Theta mean to you now that you are an alumna?
Theta, to me, is all about community and the importance of great friendship. Everything from our funny theme parties to our Cakes for CASA fundraising events taught me how important it is to have a network of awesome women in your life. I think it's easy to forget how important having great girlfriends is, but when you have that and experience the support of other women around you every day you realize how crucial it is. I'm so grateful for the amazing friends I made and the awesome memories I have because of Theta at Miami!

The thing that has really stuck with me from my time in Theta is the sense of support that was so present in our chapter. No matter what was going on, or what difficult class you had stressing you out, everybody was just there for each other—whether you needed to talk or just someone to laugh with. Knowing how to put things in perspective when life throws you curveballs is something that's extremely important in an industry like music, because it's ever-changing and unpredictable. Being around a community of girls that supported each other and backed each other up during crazy times has definitely helped me to continue to keep that perspective in everything I do.

What advice would you share with Thetas who are reaching for their own dreams and aspirations?
My advice is simply that you have to keep going, no matter what gets in your way. I recently heard a friend quote something like, "You had a purpose before anyone had an opinion," and it was exactly what I needed to hear. In life and in whatever career field you choose, there are always going to be people who don't believe in you and try to drag you down. It sounds cheesy, but you truly have to know how to have thick skin and continue believing in yourself and your dreams despite the noise. I'm still working on it, because it isn't easy, but I do know that if you keep going and keep pushing, you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish.

Anything else you'd like to share with Thetas?
I just want to say a HUGE thank-you to all of the adorable and lovely Thetas who have come out to my shows and have brought their Theta love to our tour! It is so cool for me to meet fellow sisters after the show, and it will always remind me of the girls at Miami cheering me on at Brick Street. Just know that it means the world to have your support!

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