When I participated earlier this year in the Denver’s Next Improv Star competition, I got to perform with incredibly talented improvisers, including my fellow competitors and special guests from all over the country. One of those special guests (perhaps the most special, in my opinion) was Kat Bond, who had improvised in Denver and since moved to Chicago. She returned to Denver to bring her musical improv expertise (and judgment) as a judge for the competition – which means, yes, I got to sing an improvised song with her. She. Was. Amazing. And intimidating. I had to interview her. Not only because she’s so awesome and fun, but because I needed to even things out by intimidating her about vegetables. Small victories matter, folks.
Meet Kat Bond!
How long have you been a non-vegan?
About 24-25 years.
Why have you decided not to be vegan? Describe your journey to veganism and where you got stalled.
As a small child I was an accidental vegan due to an allergy to all dairy and being too young and toothless to eat meat. Once my teeth grew in I was given meat through no fault of my own and that is when my non-veganism truly began. For several more years I still avoided dairy products because they threatened to swell my throat shut, but animal products of other sorts had crept into my diet and I found them to be enjoyable. By late elementary school I had become reckless enough to try my luck with the previously deadly eggs and cheese and found that I had outgrown my allergy. From there I incorporated dairy into my diet – though I still had a phobia of cheese that prevented me from eating too much of that stuff.
In all seriousness, I have dealt with a lot of food phobias throughout my life, and most of them actually have kept me very healthy (physically, at least, haha). They have changed over time, but have always revolved around more controversial food items (fried foods, red meat, poultry, cheese, milk, canned meat, pizza, food coloring – which I also have a legitimate allergy to – and more.) In past years I have attempted to overcome my fears and try food despite my reservations but I wonder if my fears are actually worth acknowledging; I was much healthier before I stopped being so “picky.”
Where do you get your protein?
I absolutely love beans of all types, but particularly black beans made into burgers or burritos. I eat a lot of organic eggs and Greek yogurt for breakfast. I eat salmon frequently and am obsessed with cashews.
What vegan food do you fear you’re missing out on as a non-vegan?
I am definitely missing out on tofu because I have no idea how to cook it, coming from a non-vegan household that never prepared it. I eat tofu frequently at restaurants but feel like a dummy buying it, because I know I’ll just mess it up the first few times, and I don’t have the money to risk it.
Do you eat fish? You eat fish, right?
I do! I wish I could be more adventurous, but I am allergic to at least 2 different types of white fish and don’t know which they are. I had a preliminary test, but honestly can’t afford to keep going to the allergist to figure out which ones I can safely eat. Therefore, I eat tuna and salmon. I’m also good with shellfish. Crab is pretty magical, despite the fact that it is a sea-spider.
Are there any animals in your life, such as pets or funny neighborhood squirrels? Tell us a story about them.
My lovely pet cat, Dr. Watson, is the love of my life. My boyfriend, Josh, and I have had Watson for a year and it’s been the cutest year of our lives. He loves playing fetch, hunting bugs and cuddling. I brush his teeth daily, and believe that it’s the most impressive thing that I do in any given day.
What do you do for fun besides eating meat and dairy?
I am currently living in Chicago to study and perform improv. I perform weekly with my Harold Team, Devil’s Daughter, at iO Chicago as well as with multiple musical improv groups around town. I am a member/co-director of The Improvised Theatre Company, which is an improv group that makes up plays on the spot that seem like they could have been written. I own my own fashion boutique called Katya’s Collection as well as an Etsy store called RackFocus where I sell handmade goods. I enjoy swimming, listening to music (particularly rock, jazz and bluegrass), singing and making improvised dance videos.
Make up a question of your own and answer it.
If you could go on a dream vacation and money was no object, where would you go?
I would build a time-travel device and go around the world following an extensive itinerary beginning at the Renaissance.
NOTE: This interview was conducted earlier in 2014 and some information may be out of date. For example, in one of her answers, Kat refers to her “boyfriend.” Well, Joshua Robinson is not her boyfriend anymore. He’s her fiance. Congratulations, lovelies!