The morning after my second panic attack — during which I could not mindfully breathe through the emotions, but needed to step out as the wave took me over and resulted in me crying in front of the course leader — I was lighter than air.

I woke up early. I wrote “You Are Enough” on post-its and I put them under the bathroom mirror. I did a full 20 minutes of yoga. I put my AirPods in my ears and I cranked up Sammy Rae & The Friends’ cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”:

“…welcome to your life…

…there’s no turning back…”

I masked up and I beamed my smile rays at everyone as I practically skipped on to the Tube.

Nothing left to be afraid of.

One of my worst fears had come true: I cried in front of the teacher.

The mask was off.

No one left to be except me.



I am from two months of intense destabilization.

I am from trying to fit in and failing.

I am from spinning and spinning and spinning in the pre-school play yard in my white slip.

I am from overwhelming emotion and hours-long conversations about thoughts.

I am from careful calculations of how to please people.

I am from Straight A’s and Honors and nothing less than exceptional is acceptable.

I am from tea-not-coffee and no-Lipton-doesn’t-count.

I am from white fragility and slow resilience.

I am from crumpled confidence and a snails-pace rebuild.

I am from fierce self-motivation and from dream-it-and-do-it.

I am from Christmas letter-writing and seeing the best in people.

I am from starting a theater company at 23.

I am from 13 proud years of relationship growth and transformation.

I am from countless blanket forts and vivid imagination.

I am from Castro Valley, California.

I am from Sunnybrae and the Redwoods.

I am from Portland, Oregon.

I am here.


I’m holding a funeral today.


Here lies Caitlin-The-Perfect-Graduate-Student.

From the moment she graced the famed steps of The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, she was graceful in every conceivable way and never had any issues opening or closing any doors.

Everyone immediately fell in love with her charm and her wit. She was funny, she was serious. She could do it all.

Oh, how we’ll remember and mourn the loss of her perfect ability to be vulnerable without making it all about her, to openly and maturely admit her mistakes, to instantly learn from them, and to always be in a perfect state of mindful awareness.

She died so young, just three weeks into her graduate studies.

Ah, Perfect Caitlin, we will miss you.

Rest in Peace,

and rev the engines,

because it’s Caitlin-The-Overeager-Graduate-Student’s time to shine.


Here is something school-related that I have been thinking about:

perfectionism & the actor


people-pleasing & the actor

Is perfectionism (always) a barrier to an actor’s growth?

What if you could turn it into an asset?

What if you could learn how to turn the skills you already have as an Expert People-Pleaser and employ them to become a better actor?

What role does (or could) Anxiety play for the contemporary actor?

Why do so many actors I know struggle with Perfectionism and People-Pleasing? (and Anxiety, hey-o)

What is it about our industry that perpetuates its own barriers to actor growth?

What does an actor training program look like that builds skills in actors to develop a more compassionate, mindful relationship to their Anxiety?

The other values of developing a healthier relationship to Anxiety notwithstanding, what else might happen when actors with these skills are working in the industry? What industry changes might occur as a result of a bunch of wonderfully mentally healthy actors entering the field?

No answers yet. Just getting curious about these questions.

Love you all.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

I hope the day or evening ahead of you is filled with ease and a cuppa something.



P.S. Here’s evidence that every once in a while I actually rest. Hot damn.