Meet Kathy Lowe, the Kersarge Queen
Dad was a singer and Mom rode elephants in the circus. Her Uncle Tom was a prolific playwright and performer in vaudeville. Add that to growing up in a house full of visiting entertainers, and her destiny was written in greasepaint. Today, Kathy Lowe’s resume includes starring roles as an actor, author, healer, songwriter, filmmaker, singer, musician and comedian. Lowe sweetens each discipline with the regal charm and authority of a 21st-century Renaissance woman (though she’s been cultural royalty to her fans since the latter years of the previous century). So, all hail Kathy Lowe. Long live the Kearsarge Queen.
In Kathy’s own words:
My parents and grandparents moved to Sutton in the late ’40s from New York City. They were all show-biz people: vaudeville and circus. TV was coming into the culture and changing the “live stage,” so they moved to the countryside of New Hampshire and got regular jobs and raised a family. When our parents came off the road from performing, it never actually stopped. We had a trapeze in the backyard, and our mom taught us and the neighbors’ kids how to do some circus tricks. Our home was often filled with other retired show people visiting and sharing stories, songs, humor, acrobatics and slapstick.
Mom had costumes that she made herself by hand while she was traveling with the circus. We would take those out of an old trunk and dress up. And she had a pet tiger that lived with her in the circus trailer. The photos of her were so gorgeous; she was iconic.
In my early years of performing with my family, I got tracked into music. As time went on in my life, I was feeling disconnected from performance and was scared with stage fright at times.
One teacher I had, Molly Scott, turned my world around and exposed me to the “Sound Healing World of Vibrational Energy” that connects us all. Since 1988, I’ve been hosting a “Sound Healing Circle” at my home — a free group experience of drumming, meditation, personal creative ritual, sound healing and sharing. Amidst all this deep resonant work, my songwriting and performance skills were changing dramatically.
I was the family photographer. In the early ’90s when I was in Utah at Lake Powell, I saw (and shot) my first reflection of Earth in water. I called it a “petreflection” — a word I came up with where “petroglyph and reflection” are slammed together. We were in a small boat in the canyon; I bent down to pick up my hat. I happened to turn my head to one side, and where the canyon wall was reflecting in the water I saw what appeared to be an ancient-looking warrior image. It’s still my favorite one. I call it “Tribal Warrior.”
Ever since that time, I can’t go by still water without looking sideways to meet new images. I have several thousand now. I knew had a comedy streak in me somewhere that I had not yet tapped into. During the pandemic, in my lonely isolation, something was stirring in me to try something new.
I’d already taken on the name “Qathy,” swapping the K for Q, and Qathy Quarantina seemed perfect for a video series. I did 11 video skits over the first year of COVID. I wrote the scripts, designed sets and costumes, starred in the videos, directed them and filmed them with my phone and sent them out to friends and associates on Facebook and YouTube. The responses were heartwarming, like, “Thanks for helping me laugh through these hard times. I laughed so hard, I cried.” It felt like another level of resonant energy work for me. Shared laughter is like a healing touch.
Kathy Lowe was always bound for glory. Back in the 1980s, she was a local folk luminary who seemed set on success. Her musical talents and good humor were a winning combination — but they kept combining in interesting ways over a variety of media. She took artistic journeys into children’s book-making and global peace-making and YouTube video-making and life-together making with her husband, renowned woodworker Peter Bloch. Recent creative projects range from her children’s book “Tommer’s Earthly Friends,” to her cerebral encounter with a million-gallon water tank on her CD “Above Water” — all emanating from the Mount Kearsarge region of New Hampshire. Peculiar, perhaps, but never boring, Kathy Lowe appears to be living, breathing and resonating proof that, like love, “glory” is where you find it.
Visit kathylowemusic.com for more. Thanks to Noah Yandow for his assistance securing our location at the Capitol Center for the Arts and Pam Bloch for wardrobe assistance.