Cat Del Re

Please Wear Flats

If you’ve read my published articles or any of my IG posts you’d already know since the age of thirteen I have been under the spell of graves an autoimmune disease. An awfully named disease for a lifelong negotiation of checks and balances. Everything during the graves icy period was stunted, including my growth, so once discovery and scientific exploration took hold everything puberty was holding at bay came forward with great urgency. Kind of like what will happen once the world re-opens from the pandemic. It was a year of great emphasis, in my body. BOOBS, PERIOD, HAIR, LEGSSSS, all 5’11.5 inches of them. Yep, I had officially joined my genetic gene pool. I was the tallest in my class and every cute article of clothing I had no longer fit and I found out quickly how cruel and unkind conventional fashion was to anyone who was well..out of the mold. By the time I found a sort of rhythm with my style; a combo of low brow finds at the local Marshalls, Burlington Coat Factory, and Ross, I ran into another vortex. Shoes. Heels to be exact. Oh how I loved them, the tall ones yep the over 3’ ones. I was attracted to all the variations of sorts, being the hybrid fashionista I was. Although I can reference many a story of me wearing heels, the trials, and errors- I have one mirage in particular that stands out. It’s a three-parter oreo cookie of self-discovery. Get ready. 

The bottom cookie began in my post-growth hormonal period, during all of my theatrical pursuits. I was well…the tallest in my lot. I was limited to certain roles because of this, the clothes would be too short, the size of the shoe too little, and the leading boys coming in inches below me. It was an awkward time of adjustment that my drama teacher would ask that I please wear my flats and stand in the back. No cute 1800 bedazzled small heal for me just black flats, it was a disappointment for my feet, and there wanted flattery.

On looking back, I chuckle. It was as if I was truly being prepared for Hollywood. I have on numerous occasions ran into issues with wearing heels and my overall height. Is this how Gena Davis felt?! Jamie Lee Curtis?! I had issues from modeling yes modeling gigs, of yay you’re cast to being on set and the director going why is she in four-inch heels, to preppy Beverly Hill full-grown MEN making fun of my length. Which, if I was an entirely skinny size 0 Kate Moss I’d be acceptable, but to have all the right curves in all the right places and the length, I was the exception, and what was becoming quickly apparent the wrong kind. Yes, this is the cream filling in my three-part oreo delicious story as I am sure you guessed it. I was stuck in the fluff of past experiences and dream, goal-line objectives without much soulful exploration except wanting to well, act.

My first _break_ in Hollywood was my third and top layered cookie. I had just done a film where the director and the cast loved my height, they let me wear my 3’ heels and put my scene partner on an apple box the entire shoot. I applauded them, felt seen and you know what it changed the perception I had of myself. Sure it was the validating, exterior source material however it was the caveat to owning what I thought only others had issues with all along, my height. Only to sidestep and realize the issue was embedded in me.  The entire physical fabric that made me up was only relying on exterior voices to give me my worth. OUCH, that knocked my heel loving ego off her chair and into heart learning acceptance.  So those bits of me that were aching to be understood since 13 oops I she Hulked it up to 5’11.5 in less than a year, self finally came to her senses.  This epiphany, ah-ha got me a lead in a play, landed me my first serious agent, and booked me in the DC pilot Wonderwoman. Which, I flew back from my best friend’s wedding early to film only for it to be shut down the same day. Sometimes you don’t win it all in the career game but that’s inconsequential.  I had received a gift far more valuable and sustainable- self-acceptance and that love affair has gotten me through all the high tides. It’s the sort of love that makes top cookie stories, it is an informative place you can come back to again and again in heels, flats, and all.  

To live authentically, it is from my understanding you have to get through the creamy murk, no pun intended… to the less stomach ache of sweet deliciousness of self-understanding in order to fully enjoy becoming the top tough cookie full of soft empathic vulnerability.  I do wear flats these days, mostly because they are the comfortable choice for my soccer induced ankles - however-  I carry no qualms about pulling out a saucy pair of heels, even now- in 2020, just to let them have a moment to sparkle… and that is a full oreo cookie perspective I confidently stand behind.

Calling Card

I’d read a lot about purpose, giving your life to something. Since I was a child I was told, God has a purpose for your life, your existence. I was raised Lutheran after all, not that I denounce Christianity in its entirety I just believe the man-made idea of God neglects that the details to purpose are far more complex and the tools offered are more than prayer and scripture- not that those weren’t helpful, it just never filled in the space that still remained. I was a curious creature who constantly created. Every Christmas since I was oh four I was responsible for doing a production of the Christmas Story and when I was old enough to understand I Love Lucy, it was my end game, I found my calling card- entertainment. Parents of my neighborhood looked forward to seasonal performances from our household. Now,  I am a tall girl, 5’11 to be exact maybe a bit over if I am fully straight up. This calling card I had newly discovered wasn’t sitting well with my elementary teachers who wanted the conventional beauty to portray Dorthy in The Wizard Of Oz and Cinderella in well Cinderella. I was given the role of Munchkin, oh the irony- and Gus Gus in Cinderella. Where the best part of it all I got to make my ears and find the perfect oversized sweater out of my mom’s closet. I couldn’t understand why I was the “fat” mouse. Yes this was the late 90’s “fat” was still a stigma and my height and weight were still sorting themselves out.  I had also been in a traveling singing group called Sunshine Generation where I was poked fun of for my Macedonian hairiness to my unconventional personality the combo from school and hobby at the time proved lethal. Call it an over-sensitive- creator moment but quitting although I loved singing seemed like the obvious choice. Although I wasn’t aware then, I had shuffled the deck and drawn my card. I was being initiated into what has become a journey of a lifetime. One failure at a time.  

Join me here weekly for little insights into my own creative journey, stories, lessons, failures, and yes successes because they happen in the journey to discovering and harnessing a purpose-driven life. 

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