Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hears to the beginning of a new chapter! (Lame pun intended)

Hello! It’s been a while since I last posted on here. One year to be exact, when I shared the great news that I was starting a new job. Here I am one year later with some updates. I love working at TDF. I am so honored to work for an organization whose mission I am so passionate about, making theatre accessible to all. I could go on and on about all the wonderful opportunities I have had over the past year from raising money for TDF’s various programs which I’m so passionate about (including education programs, one of which was started by Wendy Wasserstein) or throwing off a successful gala honoring Kinky Boots. The real reason for this update, however, is to share news with you about my personal life. Seven months ago, I was diagnosed with hearing loss, and two weeks ago I got my first pair of hearing aids.

Let me go back for a second. Since I can remember, whenever I was listening to music using headphones, people around me would tell me to turn it down (since they could hear it, even from across the room). When I did turn it down I couldn’t understand/ hear the lyrics and it was frustrating. I didn’t think much of this, until I started missing words in social settings and at work. At first it was a word here or there and again nothing that would bother me. Around nine months ago I noticed it was affecting my work and social life. It wasn’t until my boss point blank asked me “do you not hear what we’re saying?” that I realized it was time to get this checked out. I went and got a hearing test done and was told I had mild hearing loss, but only in my left ear. They told me because it was mild, there was nothing they could do. They advised that I look people in the eyes when speaking, avoid noisy situations where it was hard to hear individuals speaking and come back in six months for another hearing test. I was open with my coworkers, but I was still left frustrated when the suggestions they had given me were not helping.

In addition to work and social settings, I discovered this mild hearing loss was affecting me at the theatre. I was missing dialogue and sometimes missing key moments of the show. Then one day I decided I would take action, I picked up an assistive listening device. It was the best decision I could have made. Finally, I could hear clearly at the theatre. Halleluiah. Fast forward six months later when I had my follow up hearing test. Surprise, my hearing had decreased and now was noticeable in both ears. Their suggestion—keep looking people in the eyes when they speak and come back in another six months for another hearing test. Are you serious? I felt lost and confused. I decided to get another opinion. I made an appointment with an audiologist. I went in and had another hearing test, however unlike the previous hearing tests, this one had a section where a noisy like office scenario was played with someone speaking and having to repeat back what they were saying. It was impossible! The audiologist went over my results with me and said while the hearing loss was mild, where I was suffering was in the processing people speaking in noisy scenarios and could only understand things in louder dBs. Since this was affecting my everyday life, action needed to be taken…. Hearing aids…. And A HUGE PRICETAG (even after insurance)! Holy moly! Then divided into monthly payments it was still enormous. But there was finally a solution! Despite being extremely nervous about making those payments I felt for the first time I was being heard (no pun intended). I shared the information with my parents and asked if there was a way to divide the payments to make them more affordable. I wish I could say they were on board, but they weren’t. “You need another opinion” …. WHAT?! I was furious. But I knew the only way to get their support was to do what they wanted. So, I went to another doctor and had my THIRD hearing test within a week. Surprise! Mild hearing loss, but where it was most noticeable was in processing. Solution—hearing aids. The doctor told me that while it is mild she has seen huge success in other patients with mild hearing loss and it decreases the pace of losing your hearing. They gave me their prices which were the exact same as the audiologist, but the audiologist’s package came with a longer trial period and warranty.

All that said I ended back at the audiologist’s office and got fitted for hearing aids. I can’t compare it to anything, but I have moments where I hear things that I haven’t heard in years. For example, did you know fridges make noise? I also compare how I heard people speak before I had hearing aids to Charlie Brown’s teacher going “blah blah blah”.  I’m only two weeks in and still adjusting them to figure out how to use them best, but already I have noticed a huge change and I am forever grateful.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


I have some exciting but sad news. Today I gave in my two week notice at what has been one hell of a job and an adventure. I am so grateful to everyone at TADA! who I have worked with and am incredibly grateful that they took me on their team one year ago. I have learned so much and have grown professionally and personally. And threw a Gala honoring Chita Rivera and Sheldon Harnick... I mean how cool? I'm so lucky to be able to do what I love in life, and TADA! has given me a home to do just that.

My passion has always been working in the theatre and giving back. I am so happy to announce that I was offered a development position at a non-profit organization that fights to make theatre accessible to everyone. I could go on and on about the mission that they serve, because it's one I so passionately believe in. While saying goodbye is going to be hard and change has never been easy for me, I'm so looking forward to the next to this new chapter in my life. I am forever grateful for my time here at TADA! and everyone I have worked with. TADA! was my first official job and I really learned so much about the biz but also about myself.

Throwing it back to my First Day

Last night when reflecting on the great news I came across a journal entry I wrote over a year ago and am sharing it here as a reminder to write down your dreams and goals, because one day they might come true.

"Recently many people have been coming up to me and saying, “Why are you so obsessed with ‘The Heidi Chronicles’”? My answer is very simple. Wendy Wasserstein. Sociologist’s describe ‘Subgroups’ as a way for people to connect to one another. For example, if you run marathons you instantly feel a connection with someone else who runs marathons. Or if you and another person went to the same college, even if you never overlapped or are 20 years older or younger, you can still connect simply by your alma mater. Like Wendy Wasserstein, I went to Mount Holyoke College. She was the class of 1971, I was the class of 2014. Although she graduated 43 years before me, I feel a connection to her. A sense of sisterhood. Before Mount Holyoke, I didn’t know anything about who she was. When I was a little girl my dad, a drama teacher and director, brought me to Broadway shows and the shows he directed, we would dance around our living room to show tunes. Theatre has always been a part of my life. When I was a little girl my dad bought me a book “Pamela’s First Musical”, this was my favorite book as a child and he would read it to me every night before I went to sleep. This book was written by none other than Wendy Wasserstein.

Going to an all Women’s School, you are surrounded by incredible women who have made a great difference in the world. Many students would choose one or two people who inspired them. Even though I didn’t do any theater at Mount Holyoke once I graduated I found myself falling in love with theatre all over again and wanting to do something in theatre. Wendy was the person I turned to look up to. She was passionate about theatre and ahead of her time writing plays that broke boundaries, in my view the definition of a strong Mount Holyoke broad. She was the first woman to win a Tony for a play. “The Heidi Chronicles” was the first show of hers that I ever saw. It inspired me to go onto read more of her plays including “Isn’t it Romantic” and “Uncommon Women”. I could relate to how she wrote. I related to her characters even if they were written about women before my time. In addition to reading her plays, I read her memoir “Wendy and the lost boys” by Julie Salamon. After reading more about Wendy, I found myself connecting to her more and more. She made a difference in theatre, it was then that it clicked, so did I. I too wanted to make a difference in theatre.

During my first year in New York, I tried to find my way in this big daunting city. I finally figured out my dream job, working or starting a non-profit that gives children, who otherwise wouldn’t, the chance to see live theatre. Tonight while watching a speech Wendy was giving, I was surprised that she started a very similar campaign “Open Doors”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4NfclSNbiw

Over and over again people have often asked me “so what do you want to do in your life”. I have never been able to answer that question. But as of today I know what I want to do. I want to be part of an organization or non profit that gets children and teens to see live theatre.

Wendy put it quite simply, “Theatre is a very personal experience that grows in meaning and depth when shared with others.” and I want everyone to experience the same."


Friday, September 4, 2015

My Little Running Secret

In the last three years I have run a full marathon, 9 half marathons and countless 10Ks and 5Ks. Want to hear the best part? I have never once had an injury that has prevented me from running. My secret? Here it is: My name is Catie and I'm a run-walker. Yes I said it. I use Jeff Galloway's "Run-Walk Program". Run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute repeat until distance is completed. You might be thinking "well she never actually RAN those distances mentioned before". What did I do, fly them? Once after completing 9 miles I told my friend about this secret and she accused me of not actually running those miles. That it didn't count. I was in shock. Who was she to say that? When was the last time she was ran, nonetheless run-walked 9 miles? Never! 

My running history is the same as many people. In high school I started running to lose weight and constantly found myself having to stop because of an injury. Three years ago I decided to run my first half marathon. I came upon Jeff Galloway's "run-walk method" and as I said before I have been injury free ever since (knock on wood).  Oh and I continue to lose weight (when eating better, duh).

Another question I'm constantly asked, if you walk aren't you slow? HELL YEAH! In fact I once came in second to last at a half marathon. Fun anecdote, during that race I was wearing a shirt that said "if you can read this then at least I'm not last" on the back. For the whole race I thought I was last, so I was kind of happy at the end to know there was at least one person behind me to read that shirt.

I'm not running a 7 minute miles by any means. This kind of bothered me at first, but I slowly realized that I can continue to run and run healthy this way. Sometimes I find I run faster using the run-walk method than I do running straight through. Oh and I ENJOY running and go farther than I ever thought possible. I even have a t-shirt design in mind for my next race "I'm slow, get used to it. I have!"

So why did I write this blog post? I'm sick of hearing people say "I can't run a half marathon or (insert distance amount here)." If I can, you can! Seriously. If you hate running or don't think you can, give this a try. Hey, you might surprise yourself!

Ps. Please don't refer to this as "the way" I run, because if you ever mention going for a run "the real way" I will smack you silly. No really. But all "kinds" (ew I hate that word)  of running are made EQUAL! 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

23 going on 40

Hey! It's been a while. I need to get into blogging more regularly, but life kind of takes over. Something I  will always try to blog about is my birthday, which is today. It's great to go back a read entries from the last few years. Birthdays are hard for me. Too much attention or not enough. Read previous blog posts to understand why they are so hard for me. To make things even more exciting (sarcasm) this year, I am in a new city. Oh and I'm supposed to work tonight. The last few days I have been trying to treat myself to shows and seeing friends. I'm not putting hopes on one big birthday bash where all my friends from everywhere come and party because that's not possible. I also am trying to let go of thinking about all of those who don't recognize me today (especially if I recognized them on their birthdays) and focus on all the love that is being brought my way through phone calls, text messages, emails, fb posts, etc.. Focusing on what I have not what I don't. Hmmmmm easier said than done. 

Yesterday at lunch, a new friend turned to me and asked how old I was turning, when I told her she said "wow I can't believe you just graduated from college in May you have achieved so much and have your life together." I laughed.  But at a matinee earlier that day someone who I spoke with for 2 minutes said the same thing. Me, my life together?!? I started thinking about everything that has happened this past year as a 22 year old (cue Taylor Swift): Graduated from college, got a job, moved to Boston, became Kathie Lee and Hoda's fan of the week, lost my job, moved to NYC, got a job (well four), lost some friends, made new friends, and ran a marathon. Geeze. What a year? Those highs were high, but those lows were LOW! Some days I couldn't get out of bed. I still struggle with keeping it all together. But looking back, I am grateful for this last year because I really notice a growth in myself, one that I haven't seen in past years. 

Still whenever someone says "You have your life together", I can't help but laugh. I'm still figuring things out. Maybe I have my life together in some people's eyes, but what I see is someone who has grown. And since today is the one day I can brag about myself (look it up in the book of life) I'm proud of myself for my personal growth this past year.

Now what the heck does being 23 have in store for it? I have no idea! In the meantime I plan to live each day to its fullest and know that the lows that happen in life only make me stronger (oy, I sound like Oprah). In the more immediate future, I see cake and some shows, because today I'm celebrating me--- the good, the bad and ugly.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014--- oh what a year.

Yesterday while sitting in bed sick, I did a lot of reflecting on the past year. The ups, and the downs. I tried to put myself back in the footsteps of the person I was one year ago today. What were my dreams? What did I wish for the new year? When I look back on this past year, it was not anywhere close to what I thought it would be. Is it ever? A few days ago while grabbing coffee with someone they said how happy they were to have 2014 be over, I nodded my head in agreement. I agreed with her about all the shitty things that happened in 2014 to be over, but I couldn't help but think about all the incredible things that have happened this past year. However, many of these things occurred as a result of those shitty things. 

Like everyone I'm excited for 2015, a new year and a new start. But I'm also kind of scared. So much has changed in the last year, and frankly I'm kind of terrified to experience more change. I don't like change. Change has come into my life in some very hard ways. For example, parents getting divorced, which completely changed my view of family and our family dynamic. We have had much progress, and even took a family selfie at our last family holiday supper, but things will never be the same. 

This morning while going through every post I wrote in 2014 I was in awe of everything that happened. I decided to write this post of 10 highlights/ things I am grateful for that happened in 2014. 

1. Running- I honestly think this keeps me semi sane. The day to day runs, the good and the bad I continue to be extremely grateful for. Also I got a major PR this year sub 2:30 half marathon. And that felt kind of amazing.

2. Friends; the new, the old and everything in between: 

New friendships - Please don't hate me if I forgot your photo. There are so many that I am so grateful for and my head cold is affecting my ability to find photos. 
But here are some photos of the new friendships I have made. Funny how some of these people have been there for me more than friends I have had for years. I believe friends come in and out of your life. I am grateful to add these people to that list. 

Old friendships- these are the friends who have remerged in 2014, whose friendships have grown stronger. I am so grateful for these friends, and look forward to many more fun times in 2015.

Alex- I have known Pink monster my whole life. Since I moved to NYC we have grown very close. She is one of the many people who have taken me under their wing and I am extremely grateful for her.

Janelle- the thing about old friends is sometimes you grow distant for some time. I'm not sure if this ever happened with Janelle, but I can honestly say our friendship has grown and has become stronger this past year. She gets me. I can be the most myself around her, and I'm not judged for that. 

And while all of these friendships are incredible and I feel like the luckiest person on the world, there are some friendships that were lost this past year. And that kind of sucks. Like I said I believe friendships come in and out of your life, so hopefully some of those are just on a break for now. Still they are hard to see go. And no, I will not be listing them. That would be cruel and I don't want to reflect on those individual friendships that have hurt me so much to see them go away. 

3. Graduating from college. This is a major life moment. I can only explain this day as one filled with excitement and absolute fear. Although I felt sooooo ready to leave, I don't think you can ever really be ready to leave.

4. Kathie Lee and Hoda's fan of the week. Read all about it in the recap :)

5. First real life job...... And then getting laid off. I'm still processing this all, it hurt. While I am so mad at this job, especially after getting laid off in a way I will always find to be cruel, it gave me the push to finally move to NYC. I was in love with this job the previous summer, and then this past summer, it was not the same place and I wasn't the same person. My heart wasn't in it. And as a result it taught me to do something you are passionate about. 

6. Theatre. This was a year of theatre. I am so happy it has come back into my life, and I know I want to be apart of it. 

7.Falling in love...... with NYC. When people ask me how long I have lived in the city, it's hard to not say a full year. Ever since last January I have come to the city at least once a month.. During the last year I have fallen in love with this city and am happy to now say I live here. 

8. Moving to NYC. 

9. Running a marathon. This is separate from running. They say running a marathon changes your life. Everyday I believe this a little bit more. 

10. Family. The real one and the ones you create for yourself. 

Resolutions for 2015? Yes, I am doing them this year. 

1. Learning to say no to others and yes to yourself. I put others first, way before myself. I have no idea how to measure this, but I guess I will try to be more conscious of it.
2. A quote I heard recently: "What would you do today if you knew you couldn't fail"

And now for a quote Hoda shared this AM and I believe to be so true. So let's move on with 2015! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

That Time I Ran a Marathon: recap part two!!

Marathon morning I woke up. My first thought was god I hope my clock set itself forward. Luckily it did. I got up and started piling layers on. I was surprised how quickly I got ready. I headed out the door earlier. It was cold, but not too bad. Good thing I left early, because getting downtown took forever!!!! I tweeted Hoda that I was running the marathon hoping to get a shout out, and I did!! My phone started exploding!!!!!! Wow! I felt like a celebrity!! 

We made it to the ferry. And it was already packed with runners.

While I was waiting for the ferry I got a throbbing headache. I didn't feel like myself. I realized then, I forgot my meds. Crap! These meds are pretty important and I have taken everyday for the last 10 years. 

I decided there was nothing I could do. I got on the ferry and enjoyed the ride over. Once we got off the ferry it got cold. I mean freezing. And the wind! Holy cow!!! Brrr...

I headed over to my start village and bundled up. I found sitting on the ground contained more body heat than walking around. 

After waiting for what seemed like forever and nibbling on some more skittles. It was finally our turn to approach the starting line. I started talking to the people around me, we all were questioning our sanity. Why did we sign up for this? 

As we approached the starting line Frank Sinatra's "New York" started to play. That was pretty cool! Then we were heading over the Verrazano bridge. I originally wanted to be on the top but with horrible winds I was completely content with being below. I did hear stories of men peeing over the bridge, but my biggest fear was not being blown away. It was windy! From the start my knees and legs felt tight. Between the tightness and feeling off (not having taken my meds) I knew it was going to be a long day! I noticed my watch was also completely off. Oy! On the bridge a woman and I were pretty much frog hopping. She came up to me and we started chatting. We ended up running the first 3 miles together. It was fun chatting but she seemed to only want to talk about zombies.... Not my cup of tea. We went our separate ways. 



The crowds were crazy! Seriously. Besides the bridges there were people cheering us the whole way through. I loved seeing the kids putting their hands out for high fives. I made sure to run over to the side and give them some high fives and a smile. I remember watching the Boston marathon as a kid and hoping runners would give me a high five.


My knee and now hip were still bugging me, I tried to remember Julia's advice "whatever hurts or whatever your thinking just realize it'll go away in 5 minutes and you'll be on to something else!" Well she was right. It was my knee, then my hip, then my other knee.

The next few miles were a blur. All I kept thinking was how many miles left. At the 10K I laughed that there were only 20 miles left. Ha! 

At mile 9 I Facetimed with Janelle. It was great to see a familiar face! She kept saying, your running a marathon. I told her this was painful!!! My phone died and then she was gone! I turned my charger on and focused on getting to the half way point. At mile 11, I decided to stop at the med tent to get motrin. They told me to take a seat but like a stubborn runner I said "if I sit I won't get up". I took the Tylenol and went on my way. 

I wasn't sure which borough we were going through. Stupid me, obviously when we went over a bridge it was a new borough. At the half way point I checked my predicted finish time- 6:18!!!! Crap I was planning on sub 6. I know I'm not supposed to have a time goal for my first marathon, but to be honest I just wanted to finish under 6. I didn't want to run for 6 hours!!! I quickly changed my mindset and focused on finishing. Who gives a crap how long it takes. I also let myself take longer walk breaks. I texted Evelyn to let her know that I was going much slower then expected. 

At 13.1 miles something changed. It was a new race. I could see Manhattan and was getting excited to see my dad at mile 16. Some good music came on and the miles started flying by. Before I knew it I was on the Queensborough bridge. I could see my apartment!!! Oy I wanted to hop off and go in. I came off the bridge and looked for my dad. There he was!!! I was soooo happy! He has never been there for my race, so seeing him was so exciting. He gave me a hug and some orange slices. He gave me such a boost of energy. I started flying down first avenue!! I felt great. We entered the Bronx which I knew meant we were much closer to running down 5th avenue and turning into Central Park and ultimately closer to the finish. I also knew at this point I was going to finish. I knew I was going to be a marathoner!  I was loving it at this point. When I saw the 20 mile marker I got even more excited!!! Uncharted territory. I was feeling strong and great. I was expecting to feel like shit the last 6 miles. I loved them! No wall hit. I looked at my expected time. It now read sub 6!!! What 20 minutes cut off?!? Nice!! 


On 5th avenue I was expecting to see Evelyn, however I ended up missing her because of speeding up. I just kept running. 

Once we entered Central Park, I knew the rest of the course. I have run it so many times before. I knew those hills. I knew we were close to the end :) 

On Central Park south I was looking for Amanda, Timur and the little ones. I didn't see them. My dad later told me he saw me running at this point and while everyone else looked like they were dying I looked like I could run another 20 miles. He said I was flying. 

As we approached the finish line, the tears started. Did I really just run 26.2 miles. And just like that I crossed the finish line and was a marathoner. All that time and effort was worth it for that feeling. After any race you feel like you are on top of the world.... But a marathon I am on top of the universe! Ps. I didn't even look at my watch or stop it. 


They placed my medal over my head and congratulated me. The volunteers along this race were remarkable. Also that medal wasn't going to be coming off my neck for a long time.

I started walking to get my poncho. I was freezing! Just keep walking and walking and walking. Holy crap! I did over 63,000 steps that day. Finally we came out of the park and they swaddled us in ponchos. That poncho was warm!!! 

Amanda, Timur and little ones called apologizing they hadn't seen me, but wanted to meet up. We ended up meeting up and exchanging some big hugs. They brought me to my dad and Alex (another old student of my fathers who used to babysit me). My dad was standing there with flowers and a big hug. I told him ages ago (when I ran my first half marathon) that all I want is someone to greet me at the finish line with flowers. And there he was!!! I started crying some more. We made our way to dinner which was exactly what I wanted! This dinner was something I really wanted to happen but never got around to planning. A meal to celebrate a belated graduation party, welcome to NYC and holy crap I ran a marathon. It was the cherry to top of that incredible day. 

I am so grateful and blessed for all the people who reached out to me via Facebook, Twitter, email and text message. Because of them I found the strength in myself to finish the marathon.

One thing they say about running a marathon that I strongly believe is that after running a marathon you feel like you can do anything! So true! 

..........they are also exhausting for everyone involved!