Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau is a mom, wife and former drug pusher (legally) turned filmmaker. At 35, with no prior filmmaking experience, she wrote, directed, and co-produced the independent feature film Side Effects(starring Katherine Heigl) as well as the documentary Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety. These two independent feature films have received international acclaim.
From drugs, to film, to radio, to yoga…Kathleen’s career has been anything but a straight path.
Here is her story…
Kathleen grew up in the small town of Ladysmith, Wisconsin. A collegiate racquetball player, she graduated with a Political Science degree from the University of Wisconsin. After college, Kathleen spent a decade working for the pharmaceutical industry as a drug sales representative. During this time, she documented both amusing and frightening incidents about the marketing tactics of Big Pharma. In an effort to raise public awareness, Kathleen wrote a screenplay based on these experiences and walked away from her pill-pushing career.
When her LA agent wanted her to dumb down the script into a generic Hollywood story to make it more appealing to the studios, Kathleen decided to take a leap of faith and make the film herself. She raised the funding within a month, cast Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy, Knocked Up) as the lead, and filmed in less than 16 days in and around Madison, Wisconsin. The independent feature film Side Effects, which was Kathleen’s debut as a director, opened theatrically to unprecedented international press attention and has now been widely released on DVD by Warner Bros.
Kathleen then took a more comprehensive, academic approach to the topic of pharmaceutical marketing for her second film, Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety. Deemed by the American Library Association as one of the most important films of 2008, Money Talks is an award-winning documentary that delves deeper into the issue and features interviews with investigative journalists and medical professionals from Harvard, Columbia and UCLA.
Recognizing a hunger for good information delivered in an entertaining way and the need for some estrogen on the airwaves, in the summer of 2006 Kathleen launched her weekly radio show, The Kathleen Show. The program focuses on issues surrounding life, health, and entertainment and features the country’s most sought after guests including Maya Angelou, Andrew Weil, and authors Marianne Williamson and Michael Pollan. The show has been heralded as fun, informative, and inspiring– a welcome breath of fresh air in an arena dominated by negative political talk shows. In 2009, The Kathleen Show was named to the prestigious Frontier Fifty list by Talkers Magazine—deeming the show one of the top 50 radio programs in the country.
Kathleen’s work and interviews have been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, The Economist, Atlantic Monthly, Oprah Radio, British Medical Journal, The Lancet and Financial Times, as well as in The Associated Press, NPR and many other media outlets worldwide. She has also written for O, The Oprah Magazine and was a featured blogger for The Huffington Post. Known for her warmth, humor and down-to-earth style, she has been invited to speak across the country about her inspirational journey and on various health, wellness, business and women’s topics.
In 2011 Kathleen launched her favorite project/concept yet: The Studio — a unique yoga, meditation and discussion-based studio in Madison, WI. After years of promoting bold, healthy and mindful living in the virtual/media world, she designed and opened the space to offer a physical place for people to come together, get healthy, and live their lives wide open. The Studio has been called “the most breathtaking yoga studio in the country.” As part of The Studio venture, Kathleen launched the online video series Yoga For Beginners in February 2018 as a way to get more people nationwide involved in this life-changing practice.
When not running around The Studio, you’ll find Kathleen literally running (ok, maybe only jogging) around the streets of Madison where she lives with her husband, two children, and various furry friends.