Today, my daughter Katherine celebrates her birthday and, though I’ve written about her before, I believe the beautiful butterfly that is emerging from her COVID-mandated cocoon deserves a special post.
Katherine lives in LA, which has been locked down for almost exactly a year. Everything that drew Katherine and her friends to that city – the opportunity to perform, produce and immerse oneself in a creative culture – disappeared in a pandemic poof.
The LA lockdown meant no live shows, and very limited collaborations.
Not one to sit around her tiny apartment and feel sorry for herself, Katherine sought new challenges.
She learned to camp in isolated places with scary names like Death Valley. She and her pod met in parks and under parachutes to check in with each other, try new material and offer whatever support they could.
Unable to perform live shows, she and her comedy partner Leah stretched themselves in other ways. Katherine wrote poetry that Leah illustrated, and the results have been magical. Prevented from volunteering in person at the Midnight Mission, the shelter they have been supporting since they arrived in LA, the duo organized, wrote and produced a virtual Christmas Show/fundraiser with the children living there.
She and her friend and fellow creative soul Hillary Reynolds wrote a children’s book. She developed a screenplay with her friend Blake; contracted with a company to write and produced humorous corporate videos with Leah; joined a spoken word poetry group; took a series of Master Classes with her boyfriend Ed; submitted show proposals to various production companies; and, with Leah, worked hard to find humor in a historically trying time.
She also calls her mother every day (except from Death Valley because there is no cell service in the middle of the Mojave Desert, which was a maternal challenge for sure and I may or may not have called Leah a time or two to say, “Have you heard from her? Are they OK?!”).
They were, in fact, in excellent shape, and excited for the next challenge.
This past year has not been easy on anyone, but I admire those who took every test as a new opportunity to grow.
Happy birthday Katherine! We love you.