Σε αγαπώ Ελλάδα
I love you, Greece.
That’s my truth.
I have felt this truth in my bones my whole life. I knew this truth well before I knew what to say meeting my father for the first time when I was 18 years old. I knew this truth was greater than the pain of divorce, sexual abuse, and domestic violence that came from the man who gave me my Greek blood.
In this quest of pursuing a career in the arts I chose to make acting my main focus for the first 10 years. Carrying my proud Greek last name of Pilafas with me. My grandmother, mother, brother, and I all have different last names. All of us have different colored eyes. Differences within the fragments that are pieces of the whole. I went by Pilafas and not my mom’s name to remember my father.
But how do we remember what we don’t fully understand?
With so many Me Too stories being shared, I ask how do we take the pain of remembering with us? In our memories, bodies, our cells and for me, in my DNA. It’s pieces of the whole that make us - a fact I have to come embrace as I have become older. I was on a SAG-AFTRA panel about Diversity and Women’s issues, and we discussed how to combat the sexual harassment in the industry. We discussed survival, awareness, support, and education. We heard stories of women using their voices to report the abuse, and stop it before it gets worse. It’s vital to see positive examples of how to handle a situation like this. Though, I poised the question to the group how to do we take the person who inflicts pain or victimizes others with us? Take them with us on our collective path to greater consciousness?
Big picture questions like this have consumed me in the current political climate. The whole of our country’s soul feels weighted down by extremes. How do we take the "bully on the playground" with us? How do we get a greater view past political lines and emotions and proceed with peaceful compassion first? Examining who we give our power to? Our behaviors to each other and what have missed or need to pick up again from history’s lessons?
My husband and I were in search of a greater perspective. With this in mind we embarked upon a month-long backpacking trip through Europe. We visited seven countries. We were reminded not just how big but how old the world is. All that the earth has witnessed and endured. We were reminded of all that we are thankful for, all we take for granted. The trip cracked us open and made us yearn for more and appreciate deeply what we have back home.
How do we cope, heal, wake-up and reconnect with each other and find a sustainable future through each other? My work is to answer this call with creativity and art.
The beginning of my 30’s has been full of moments where I feel myself growing up into who I am meant to be. This trip to Europe was a catapult for that mature shift. I worked with healers to understand the changes happening within and around me. It helped me grasp that visiting Greece was completion to a circle of life I knew I needed to experience. To put to rest with compassion all of the past with my father and to completely honor my Grecian roots with deep love. With all of this divine shift I knew it was time to own my married name of Jones as my identity in totality. I knew the day would come, I just didn't know when. Not until I returned “home” to Greece.
Thank you, Greece
Cat is beyond honored to be selected as the official spokesperson for New Mexico-based non-profit Women 2 Be.
Many exciting events are coming to the 505 for Women 2 Be. I will be posting events and sharing opportunities to make a difference in girls and women's lives around the world. We are graciously accepting donations, please visit our website.
Women To Be's mission:
We distribute ‘kits’ of underwear and washable sanitary pads to girls who too often live with nothing.Access to underwear and sanitary pads contribute to girls’ overall health and success.Our ‘kits’ last up to three years! We also provide a sex ed class and a calendar to help avoid unintended pregnancy.
Catch Cat play the cheeky socialite, on season 2 of Graves on Epix, episode 3, "The Opposite of People."
My second directorial project, Seagull, was an official selection at the LA Femme International Film Festival. The festival was fantastic! I watched documentaries I learned from and still thinking about and narrative shorts and features that gave me new insight and pathways for story telling. The filmmakers themselves were friendly and engaging. The panels were best part of the festival. In particular, the How to Pitch Panel, in which audience members had the opportunity to practice pitching to the panelists. I pitched The Vendetta of Felipe Espinosa, the novel about America's first serial killer and foreign terrorist. I received positive feedback and excellent pointers I can take with me in the future. Thank you panelists :)
I also had the immense pleasure of seeing old friends! Treasured the festival experience and look forward to the next one.
Seagull, the WWII film Cat directed and acted in, has been chosen as as official selection for the 2017 LA Femme International Film Festival! LA Femme is one of the premiere film festivals that supports female writer, producers, and directors from around the world. Cat and the team are so honored to get into this festival!
Courtesy of Boothe Global Perspectives: bootheglobalperspectives.com/business
Catharine Pilafas recounts a story when, as a child, whe was on stage with her mother in the audience. In the above video, you will see why the phrase "Hair on fire". Cat describes how her purse somehow caught a spark and was afire, as her mother was almost having a heart attack, watching in the audience Cat continued to speak her lines. Amazingly, she put out the fire, she never lost a beat. She recalled that the thought hit her: "I was on fire, and I managed to finish my lines. I can do this!" She went on to college in Colorado, studied acting and dance, and then was invited to do some off-Broadway productions in New York City. See Video here: https://youtu.be/DzCetAUmDh0
As she puts it, she has always been a climber, always seeking to penetrate the next level, achieve the next goal, overcome the next barrier. So she has been a successful actress with movies under her belt. She has done dance and choreography. She has written books and screenplays. She has produced her own film and then went on to win an international director-producer award. She sings, and she mentors and teaches upcoming actors.
If you have never had the pleasure to meet her or work with her, this interview will give you a sample of this amazing, upbeat personality.
We at BigSkyVoices (You Tube) invite you to take a look.
Cat has already achieved more than many in the movie industry, and we have no doubt that her path is strong and focused, and we can't wait to see what happens next in her career.
As for us, Ben Boothe at www.benboothe.com or www.bootheglobalperspectives.com and Victor Waumett at www.storytellerfilms.com, we will be rooting for you Cat!
Bringing a little more Xanadu into the world.