October 28th, 2008 18:21 EST
Chase Von Interviews The Lovely Kitania (Kitty) Kavey!!!
Chase Von: Hi Kitty and on behalf of myself and The Student Operated Press, I really thank you for doing this interview! We`ve been getting to know one another through email and the more I learn, the more you fascinate me! So again thanks for sharing yourself here with our readers! You`ve led and continue to lead a very interesting life by anyone`s standards! To look at you one wouldn`t guess but before we get into that...
I know you were adopted. Before going out on your own, what to the best of your recollection were your younger years like with your adopted mother?
Kitty: I was close to two years old when I was adopted, and there were few adoptions by single parents back in those days. I came to my adopted mother with memories and history that preceded her, and I was a difficult, troubled child. I was able to retreat into the world of books, and was well-known as the quiet, shy loner.
I felt abandoned, unloved and unlovable " again not by my adopted mother, but by my birth parents/family, and the foster parents I had before I was adopted. I felt as if I was the loneliest person in the world, and had no idea where I came from, or what my genetic background was (I was a lovely light tan color, not quite Caucasian-looking.)
As a younger child, I wasn`t yet able to articulate or clearly identify the empty hole in my heart. I just simply believed that I was a bad, unwanted, unlovable person.
Chase Von: You were admittedly a very rebellious child. You got kicked out of school while still a teenager and then just ran away. Through communicating with you, it`s easy to tell that you are more than bright, but you bounced around all over America and were literally homeless for five years! As beautiful as you are one might assume how you may have clothed and fed yourself, but I get the feeling you were a part of some of the more notorious Biker Gangs.
You don`t have to say which ones or if that is even correct, we can all I guess wait until you release your biography Homeless to Hollywood, With Stops In Between, but what I really wanted to ask is if you, during all that time ever contacted your adopted mother? And are you in contact with her now? And what kind of relationship do you two now share?
Kitty: Before I give my answer, let me preface it by saying that none of my childhood troubles were because of or related to my adopted mother. She was and is a wonderful person who has always tried her best.
Well, I would love to say that I was part of a biker gang " but unfortunately I was so very homeless, that my kind " lived outside of all society, including recognized motorcycle clubs.
Generally speaking, and without naming names, the larger motorcycle clubs are well-organized, and do have both money and investments. Many of the members are able to ride bikes which cost more to own than I care to think about. More than likely, many of those who are members in motorcycle groups also have a place to live, a job or at least job skills, and probably a bike that isn`t held together by dreams and duct tape.
And just to add my personal observation, I have noticed that women are less likely to be thought of as equal, or in some cases, are not allowed to be full members of a few of the groups. Perhaps that is changing a bit with modern times, but certainly back in the day women were more likely to be riding on the back of a motorcycle, more of an accessory rather than a club (or gang, if you prefer) member.
Chase Von: Your wild, care free days all came to an end in one horrible incident. A devastating motorcycle accident, and if I understand you correctly you actually died and definitely had a near death experience. You suffered a brain injury, broken bones in your face and a loss of vision. You also went into cardiac arrest and had a stroke which, considering you were a mere twenty years old, also speaks of the severity of the crash.
And then sadly because you were without health insurance they released you prematurely from the hospital still with the serious injuries. So here you were, permanently disabled, and you yourself didn`t even know to what degree, and once again homeless with no where to go or any one to turn to!
If I understand again correctly you weren`t in the crash alone and that individual didn`t make it. So seriously injured, grieving, and once again all by yourself in the world! Painful as I know this must be, could you share what some of your thoughts were then? And did you ever entertain any thoughts of suicide?
Kitty: The other guy did make it, with a lot of broken bones, but no permanent injuries such as I had. The accident itself was a blessing in disguise. It of course changed my life, and the direction of my life. I`m really not sure where I`d be right now if that hadn`t happened.
The being dead part (or the Near Death Experience) was incredible. I spoke to my grandmother and another person I had known as a child. I did not see the tunnel of light, perhaps because death was so sudden, or the physical trauma so great. I was just in a place that looked very much like earth, but felt vastly different.
I had no past memory of anything at all before being there, in that place. At the end of our conversation, my grandmother told me I had to go back; there were still things I had to do. I had no idea what she meant, as there was no past to me. I felt very strongly, however, that going back, to wherever or whatever she meant, was most certainly NOT something I wanted to do. She kept repeating herself, you have to go back " " and everything began to fade away and grow distant.
The next memory I have was waking up in intensive care. I later had a talk with a guy in the bed next to mine. He was brain-dead or in a coma, hooked up to life support. He was unable to communicate with the outside world, but gave me a message for the doctors and his family.
I`ve seen research done on the brain and NDE, what it really means if we die, if there is a soul. I can`t say I have any answers for anyone else but I do know what happened to me, and where I will go when I die. It was and is a great comfort to know that no matter what kind of person I was, or whether I followed a particular religion, it is a great place that is waiting for me with family and friends who have passed on.
The flip side of that is that when I came back, what I was returning to was the hardships of life, along with new disabilities. It was very difficult. When I was twenty, I thought I was invincible. Things like the accident that happened maybe to other people, but not to me. I have never been physically perfect or athletic, but I felt like I was suddenly a hundred-year-old woman.
My vision was fuzzy, distorted, off color. The stroke affected the right side, so that in order to move my leg or arm I needed focused concentration and effort to do so. My broken and fractured bones ached, and my brain felt similar to when one has the flu, and takes too much cold medicine.
Suicidal thoughts have been part of my life both before and after the accident. Prior to the accident, I was always uncertain if I killed myself what would happen. Maybe the pain would continue in another life, or afterlife, and it would all be for nothing. And, like with physical disability, my emotional state also has its ups and downs. There are good days, and not-so-good days.
Chase Von: But you didn`t give up! I read where you were rejected by two brain injury rehabilitation clinics because you were unable to take care of yourself. They also wanted to put you in a state-run facility but you were determined to get better! So you actually taught yourself to how to speak again, walk again, and learned skills to compensate for your brain damage and vision impairment all on your own!
I once worked in a Mental Facility in New Jersey called New Lisbon. Things there were divided up in cottages and each cottage held a different ability level. The ones I worked with were ambulatory, but still needed help with the most basic of things, like bathing, eating and a few were pica, which for those reading unfamiliar with the word means, if it wasn`t nailed down, they would put it in their mouths, to include feces.
Do you think now, living a relatively normal life granted, with some areas of obvious difficulty and lingering affects, but as a fully functioning lady, that you would have ever have reached that if you had of been placed in a state-run facility?
Kitty: It is so easy, once you have lived your life as a victim, to be hit with a disability and then to continue down that same path. In my case I was cognizant enough to make choices. There are others who cannot. I completed two brain injury rehabilitation programs, and was not judged capable enough to be able to live on my own, or hold gainful employment.
I did not even graduate high school, and had no job skills to begin with. So when numerous neurologists, psychologists, rehab specialists and other occupations that end with an "ist are telling you that you`re not capable, it`s pretty easy to agree.
It was suggested that I live in a state run facility, in Florida, similar most likely to the one you worked in. It would have been paid for, and instead of having to work for a living, I would be able to do arts and crafts, be fed three meals and snacks each day, and my days of struggle would be over. I would be cared for. They even had a swimming pool.
It would be so easy to have given in to the safe choice, the sure thing. But the same stubbornness and will to live that had gotten me to those two brain injury rehab programs, compelled me to try for more. I didn`t care what the odd were of success. Don`t tell me what I can`t do I already know that bit. I wanted more from life, and from my life in particular.
Chase Von: When I was listening to one of the radio interviews you did, I couldn`t help but be reminded of the extremely famous actor Gary Busey. He too also had a horrible motorcycle accident and nearly died.
We know of him from the many roles he`s played from The Buddy Holly Story to enormously popular Lethal Weapon along with mega star Mel Gibson. He wasn`t wearing a helmet. He`s also now a strong advocate for wearing protective equipment but he also had a spiritual experience as well that has dramatically affected his out look on life.
Did you yourself go through a spiritual experience? And were you wearing the correct protective gear when this horrible thing happened to you?
Kitty: Yes, and I mentioned briefly the spiritual part. I try not to talk about what happened to me while I was dead too much, other than to say that it greatly impacted me, and that I don`t know what will happen to everyone else when they die.
There are a great many religions in the world, or different ways that people view god, the universe, and spirituality. The nice thing is when someone has a positive faith or belief and follows that, and it brings them a sense of comfort or peace. I have my own unique perspective on what god is, and it works for me. The accident just gave me the proof I needed.
And not completely, is my answer to the second question. I was wearing a helmet, but not protective clothing. Most of the damage occurred to my face and head. The padding on the inside of the helmet disintegrated upon impact, and the helmet came off, leaving the chin strap still on around my neck. Two good things, as someone was there to get the strap off of my neck, and your head tends to swell to quite large proportions following such an injury. So it`s a good thing it didn`t do that inside the helmet.
Chase Von: Roughly ten years after making your remarkable recovery, you found yourself homeless yet again. Only this time you were at least receiving a disability check. So you found a place where you could live on that amount and this time, because you weren`t able to work a normal job, you did some serious soul searching on concentrating on what you felt you knew you could do.
Now you`re an actress, a model, and an award winning screen writer! You also started your own modeling agency and have also gained back a great deal of the vision they said would be permanently lost! I do know you can no longer drive or ride a motorcycle by yourself but you do any way, meaning you ride passenger! (Smile).
From standing homeless yet again and still seriously injured after a premature release for not having insurance, to riding all over Europe and living in Amsterdam! How grateful are you for where you are now, considering the many rough places and trials you have had to overcome?
Kitty: Like I mentioned, there are both good days and bad days and periods in my life where I have to remind myself of everything I have already done, and relax for a bit. Fundamentally, I am deeply grateful for having a second chance at life.
A way I like to look at it is that because I have known hunger, I can absolutely relish food. Because I know what it`s like to live without electricity, running water, toilets, heat/AC, a bed, etc., most of the time I am consciously aware of and being thankful to have such things. I try to see the best side of whatever situation I am in, and most of the time manage to have an unending supply of hope for the future.
What`s true for me, although may not apply to everyone, is that to know true joy, you must also have true sorrow. Through the greatest of suffering, can come the greatest positive change. For me, death was not the end, but the beginning. And still life is not all bliss and rejoicing, but it continues to be ups and downs, challenges to face, things to overcome.
There`s usually a moment of surprise when I wake up every day, followed by a moment of happiness that I did, and then a moment of thanks if I am in a comfortable spot, safe from the elements of nature. Then the day continues as it does for many of us, physical/mental limitations, situations to deal with, finances to assess, chores, all the more normal distractions that help one forget all the things we do have, and have survived, and will continue to get through.
Chase Von: You`ve been on The Real Radio Show, 98.5 FM in New York or www.TheRealRadioShow.com. You have an interview published in the February issue of Womanly Insights magazine. The online version: True Story: Lonely & Broken No More , Which also has my friend Kim Kline on the cover, small world. (Smile).
You`re a member of MENSA and you have your own production company in Los Angeles, called Secret Visions Pictures. You`re also in Lifted Magazine, LA`s The Place Magazine, Poker Pro Magazine, Brand India Magazine, Valley Scene Magazine for Minorities in Hollywood and been recognized for Smashing Stereo Types, Shades of Sin, The Man With The Package, East Meets Western, Sunny Springs, and Script Pitch! I`m going to have to ask you later in this to list your various web sites so our readers can see all the many awards you have won or been the runner up for because you`re also nominated for a few unknown scripts as well!
Your acting credits are numerous as with appearances in Star Trek New Voyages as Lt. Turkel, Smashing Stereotypes, Cruel world, Scorched, What if! And on top of all that you have also done voice over work for Revlon, Wizard Air Fresheners, Payless Shoes and Jello just to name a few! And you sound lovely and what is more amazing is you had to teach yourself how to speak again!
What can our readers expect next from you or a few things because you are apparently capable of anything you set your mind too!
Kitty: Are you sure about all those credits? Goodness, I`ve been at it for a long time now. I have had help along the way, of course. My first agent saw my website (Florida-Models.com) and although I lived four hours outside his market, he was not only willing to give me a chance, but made special arrangements so that I could work as both a model and an actress.
I needed to be booked with someone who could help me get around the sets (my vision) or who knew of my medical conditions. Since I don`t drive, it has always been a bit tricky getting picked up and dropped off from sets, and the rest is just making sure I don`t do too much, or overtax myself. I`m really good at doing simple work (like background work) but tend to try and push myself too hard to do what regular people do, (like learning lines/extensive dialogue.)
Modeling was easiest to begin with, and the working days are shorter. Acting was something that was more difficult, but I never had a problem calling my agent and telling him that I wasn`t available for the next week, as I needed a rest. He understood completely if I said no to a job because it was outdoors in the Florida sun for 12 hours in the summer, and never held against me that I wasn`t looking for lead roles that involved dialogue. I was doing what I loved to do, on time, professional, and the brain injury makes it easy to do a take over and over and over again. A simple mind likes simple instructions, and I did well.
Voiceover is even easier, as you are chosen by the voice that you have, not hired and then told to create a brand new one. I`m not great at public speaking, and still have some problems with speech, but can and have done radio and voiceover work without noticeable difficulty. At least, I think it wasn`t noticeable.
Now that I`m living in Europe, it`s been harder to find the same kind of representation that I had before. I am still a member of the Screen Actor`s Guild, but have only recently made clear to my agent that I think I`d be better suited for commercials or roles that require little dialogue. Luckily, they also have a voiceover department, so I`ll be doing a new demo tape for them soon. Modeling I still want to do, of course. I`ve always found it ironic that I look good in photos, while under my skin I feel like I have half of a bionic face. I have been recreated with metal, plastic and bone cement " and I love to see a photo where I look like a regular person. Oh vanity, thy name is woman!
I`m still writing, and doing script coverage. I`ve had some setbacks with my health since October `07, but the scripts that I`ve already done, and the ones I am working on now, have been able to progress despite that.
I`m working with the US Embassy to get my disability status back. Again, I`m really lucky that I became so ill after I moved outside America. They don`t count pre-existing conditions here for health insurance, and it`s much more affordable than the US. I had surgery in February, and have been trying to manage additional conditions that have manifested (other than things related to my existing disabilities), so my priority has been more focused on my health than work.
Again, there have been people along the way that are willing to hire me, work with me, represent me or be helpful and supportive. I believe that I can still be a part of the entertainment industry, and find other creative ways to use my media/marketing skills for business both here and for the US market.
Chase Von: How is life in Amsterdam? And do you have any intentions of coming back to the states or is this your actual home now?
Also what are some of your favorite meals? And I saw on one of your web sites where you are about four feet it looks in the air, diving for a volley ball on a beach! Are you still able to do strenuous exercises and how do you keep you lovely shape?
Kitty: I`m about an hour outside of Amsterdam " but the city itself reminds me very much of New York City, my birthplace. NY is always my first home, in my heart. There are so many things to love about Holland too. I lived for years in Florida and Los Angeles, so it`s been really cool to see the seasons. I love the rain and snow " especially if I am looking at it through a window with a nice hot cup of coffee. Such a cozy feeling.
The people are very different here than what I`m used to from America. They have traditions, a culture and architecture that pre-dates the existence of the United States by centuries. In my area, it is usual for a child to have both a mother and a father. Divorce is not as common as some parts of the US. Extended families live and stay close together. Crime is less here, the economy is better, and there isn`t constant mention of the price of gas. It`s always been expensive, that`s how it is. In many ways, it`s a simpler life. Farmland everywhere, beauty and you`re never that far from Germany, Belgium/Luxembourg, or even the ocean that you can`t make a day trip of it.
So no, no plans to return to US just yet. I`m really happy on this side of the world.
Oh, and the food! No, it`s not American. Funny thing " many of the things they think are American here aren`t at all. And there are no Cool Ranch flavor chips. Apparently the Dutch don`t know what a ranch is, so they call them Cool American. I like that.
My favorite addiction here is patat. (French fries.) If you`ve seen the movie Pulp Fiction, you know they eat them here with mayonnaise, not ketchup. But, it`s not exactly like American mayonnaise, so don`t knock it, til you`ve tried it. It`s the best!
Chase Von: Recently I saw the movie 50 First Dates with Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, and I remember telling you about it (Smile). The movie itself for a comedy has some really touching parts in it and one of them was where Dan Akroyd who plays a doctor, says I have someone I want you to meet, and they call the guy ten second Larry or something like that. He meets them, sounds perfectly fine, is totally with them in response and ten seconds or so later he has already completely forgotten them. I`m sure you know more about the brain than most physicians but can you expound a bit on what you suffered and how that affected you? And how difficult it was for you to reach where you are today? I say that because I know different parts of the brain control different things.
I remember when I was working with some of them how shocked I was that an individual who I believe was also a Traumatic Brain Injury victim could read. And as good as any one else it appeared. But of course he was lacking in many other areas or he wouldn`t have been there. My wife`s sister also sadly suffered a stroke a few years ago. She simply can`t really say more than a few words now but when it comes to Karaoke, she can sing along with songs! Which still amazes people. (Smile).
So I was hoping you could give a little brief class of sorts to our readers on how we have a left side of the brain and a right side and a thing in our brain called the pineal gland or more commonly known as the third eye and just some general information that most wouldn`t know.
Kitty: Brain injury is interesting because the exact same type of injury can have very different effects in different people. Quite a few people who sustain such an injury cannot be easily diagnosed and categorized by statistics and previous medical documentation on other brain injury patients. We don`t always fit what`s been written about in a medical book, and each case has to be assessed and treated individually.
In my case, if you don`t bring the visual deficits into it, the brain injury extent and consequences were difficult for me to discover. There are many little things in my case that seem unimportant, but when added to the total picture can be frustrating to live with.
Memory is the easiest to explain. I remember longer term memories of my life, or vivid bits or moments, while other pieces of my past are just not there to be recollected. You can describe a missing bit; show me a photo, and nothing, nada. Zip.
Short-term memory is much more frightening to deal with. I have just enough awareness to know that I should know something, and yet I don`t. And not all the time. And not in all situations. There are episodes, (or just a bad day.)
The skills that I learned before the accident often stay in my memory, while skills I learned after the accident do not. I have run my own websites since 1996, hand coding HTML nearly every day, but if I take a break for a few days, I have to go back to the Internet or books to relearn it.
I am an award-winning screenwriter, using the strict formatting that film scripts have and if too many days pass when I am not using that skill, I start at the beginning all over again, relearning format.
I can`t reverse things in my head any more. Remember aerobics tapes or classes? The instructor in front of the class, facing you, and you are supposed to do the opposite. Impossible.
Mathematics, gone. You can put coins in my hand and ask me to add them up. I know three quarters, two dimes and one nickel equal one dollar. See? I can write it. But it just looks like a pile of shiny things in my hand, and it doesn`t make sense.
Sometimes, I am in my home neighborhood. I know it is my home, I know that I`ve been living there for a long time, years perhaps. I know that I have seen the buildings and landscape a zillion times, and it all looks absolutely unfamiliar, as if I have never been there before. Thank goodness that usually passes after a little bit " but I have panicked more than once over that.
Same thing with people. I know I know them. I live with them; have lived with them for some time. And for a few minutes, they are a complete stranger, whose name I do not know.
I have a lot of other disabling conditions besides the brain injury, and what makes it most difficult to deal with is that it`s not a constant thing, where I can expect the exact condition I`ll be in tomorrow or next week. I wake up, see how I feel, and do what I can, when I am able to do so. And when I can`t, I try not to be so hard on myself.
Chase Von: Who are some of the people you truly enjoyed working with? And who are some you would like to work with in the future? I also know you are a strong advocate of supporting those who like yourself are disabled in the film industry, but what are some of the other causes you feel truly strong about?
Kitty: I already mentioned my agent, and there`s not room enough to list everyone by name who has been kind, supportive, comforting, or offered me work, opportunities, or took a chance to help me in some way. People in general are incredible, brilliant and inspirational in what they do, and have done in their lives. The only people I have not enjoyed working with are those who just refuse to be anything but a victim, or as we used to say back in the old days a Negative Nancy. It reminds me too much of the old me, and I need to surround myself with those who are willing to do more, be more and live the dream along the way. It`s so worth it.
Besides being a supporter of other disabled folks in all aspects of media/entertainment, I am quite passionate about working to fight negative stereotypes and discrimination. I have been discriminated against because I am disabled. I have been more often discriminated against because I am a woman. The woman who adopted me is white, her natural son, (my brother) is black, and I am in between that. To this day, (and without a DNA test) I`m not quite sure who my birth father is/was.
Anyhow, I grew up in a color-blind family. America loves to divide people into groups. There are issues with race, gender, sexual preference, age, origins, and religions. I think you should judge people by what they do, help those who need help, or are able to be helped, and find a way to do it that doesn`t take away the rights of identity and self-expression. It`s a challenge, but discussion brings awareness, awareness can lead to action, and action can bring about change.
Chase Von: As you know I have PTSD, and there are so many service members coming back with that as well. One thing that I think needs improvement all the way around is how we do health care here. I`m not talking about the various professionals per say in the health fields, but the availability of health care to those that really need it. Your case is a perfect example. You were discharged prematurely after incurring a life threatening injury that nearly killed you and has left you with, despite all the amazing things you have accomplished, some lasting aliments you have to endure for life.
I also remember hearing some where else that an alarming number of people on our streets are veterans both from previous wars as well as this one. I believe it was in a speech Presidential hopeful Cynthia McKinney gave.
What do you think would be best way for everyone in the US to receive the proper health care that they need? You may have seen the movie called John Q which starred Denzel Washington who as a laid off auto assembly worker, had a son who desperately needed a heart transplant. In order to make that happen he also has to take some drastic measures to save his son. Granted, it is a movie, but...
The sad truth is that people are indeed dying or not receiving proper care because they can`t afford it. And morally I don`t see how one life is more valuable than another life because one might have money and the other doesn`t.
Kitty: That`s one issue the US can look to other countries to help find an answer. Canada, England, The Netherlands and many other countries do have medical coverage for citizens. There are problems, of course; waiting lists for operations, substandard care, etc., but to have something is better than nothing, and I know that the US can do something better than it has done.
Also, what we know about medicine and treatments is constantly changing. According to Wikipedia, the existence of PTSD has been around since at least the 6th century B.C. The term post-traumatic stress disorder was not coined until the 1970`s, and effective means of treatment is currently being studied - there are ongoing debates as to what works, and what does not work so well.
Living life is a learning process not just for the individual, but also for the government and society as a whole. If there was an easy way to fix the problems, it would be done, and it`s just not as simple as that.
Homelessness, in and of itself, is not just a matter of giving someone a place to live, and the problem is solved. And your point about one life not being more valuable than another based on how much money they have (or don`t) is dead on.
I don`t have the solution for the US healthcare woes. I`ll bet there are people who do, who may work in the healthcare industry, or have a better understanding of government and finances. I have to trust that those people who choose to run for political office listen and take into consideration possible solutions to the problems, not just with medical care, but with the other major issues facing us all today.
Chase Von: You have done so many things in your life Kitty it`s amazing! I`ve even seen you flying, literally in an air chamber! (Smile). You`ve also been touring Europe and taking if I might say, some fantastic pictures so you might have to add photography to your already vast resume here soon. (Smile).
Having by all rights, been given a second chance on life, are you one of those people who is truly living each day as if it is your last?
Kitty: Since I`m not always sure how much longer I have anyway, and have been quite ill for over a year now (plus the disabilities) I do try to live each day to the fullest that I feel up to. I do tend to do things with my life quickly and seemingly spontaneously at times, and I usually don`t take long making decisions.
There`s a whole list of sayings I try to use in my life. It is better to try and fail, than to never try at all. There`s many people who have tried things and failed, and people who have succeeded at those same things. You can choose to look at the ones who have succeeded as inspiration, but maybe more importantly are the lessons you yourself learn from what you have failed at.
Another one that`s important to me, is not to judge all people by the actions of one. Or a few. Or even if everyone you know is a complete blithering idiot that does not mean that the next person you meet will be. To put an example to it: Rape. It is something many women and men too have been subjected to. Some as a one-time thing, some multiple times or ongoing. You cannot change what has happened. The only thing you do have control over, is your reaction to future relationships. I have been violated in that way myself in the past, but will not allow the actions of a few to change me into a distrustful, suspicious, frightened person who is emotionally distant with future relationships. It is my choice as to who I want to be, and I seek out help with those memories when I need to.
Which leads me into the thought of fear. I think that is something that stops many from living their dreams. It`s easy to tell someone who doesn`t like some part of their life (their job, their relationship, or whatever) to change it. It`s difficult to do that, because there is fear involved. Usually it can be transferred into another issue, finances is a big one, but in the end, we are afraid.
For many people, our lives are filled with what we can`t do. Usually, the excuses are quite legitimate. I can`t begin to tell you the number of times I have been told by well-educated, well-informed people that whatever it was I wanted to do just wasn`t feasible.
I also however know people who travel the world because that is their passion. They aren`t rich; they don`t stay in hotels or eat in fancy restaurants, or have a trust fund or an ongoing job. But they are happy, because they think outside the box, and find a creative way to make things possible. They may take a flight as a courier (for free or very low cost) take a crew job on a boat going to the Caribbean, or work as an au pair for a family sent over to Europe.
There are people who move to Los Angeles to pursue their entertainment dreams, find apartments for $350/month (yes, currently, not twenty years ago.) Maybe they aren`t taking meetings at big-name studios, or playing the lead in the next blockbuster film, but they are happy, because they are living the way they want to, right now.
They come from varied backgrounds and upbringings, and you`ll probably never have heard their names, and maybe never will. Each of us gets to decide what we can do, what our dreams are, and that can be something that changes as our lives change. What`s important, is what we do now, not necessarily what we might accomplish ten years from now.
Chase Von: I personally want to thank your reconstruction doctors, though I don`t know who they are. I do know you joke some times about being the bionic woman, with all the pins and screws but I have to say, that considering how severe your injuries were, they did a beautiful job and you are still a truly physically beautiful woman! (Smile).
Kitty: I figured out a long time ago that I was never going to be like one of those girls in a men`s magazine, the glamorous sexy ones that seem to be so beautiful to me. Nor was I ever going to have the figure of a high-fashion model.
But as I grew older, I began to appreciate in myself other qualities that I do have, and can continue with. I need the support of others to reach my goals, and I can also be helpful to the people around me in achieving theirs.
If the lights are out, and no one can see you, are you still the most beautiful person in the world to someone? Or if you suddenly find yourself to be ninety years old, with all the ravages that time plays on the physical body, are you not still capable of loving and being loved?
Youth maybe does not give you that advantage, particularly if you are admired for the way that you appear. But if today is my last, or tomorrow, I can say that I have lived the way I wanted to live, I do the things I want to do, and I have done the best that I could.
That being said, I have never lost weight, worn makeup or done my hair for anyone else but me. I am responsible for my own self-image, and when it needs to be addressed, I do what I can to fix the problems that bother me. You may see the photographs, or what I look like when I go out of the house. I don`t have the energy to dress up every day, so at home I just look like me.
I did lose a lot of weight changing from an American diet to a Dutch one, but a lot of physical activity had to be curtailed in the past year since I became sick. I will never be stick-thin, twenty years old with symmetrical features again. I do try to improve upon what I look like when I wake up. And I will continue to dress up " to go to the supermarket (there are people in Holland too who show up at the grocery in pajamas or sweats and slippers) because it makes me feel better.
Chase Von: What would you say, if you were standing in front of a microphone that could be heard by every child on the planet and regardless of what language it was they spoke, they would understand you? What positive advice would you give the children, if that were possible?
Kitty: I think I would try to get the message across that they can live their dreams, dreams can be altered to fit the individual`s situation or capabilities, and that knowledge is power. Everything is possible.
Chase Von: Can you share where our readers can find your various web sites?
Kitty: I can, but I haven`t been able to update them recently. Just emailing me directly is great for work offered, support needed, or that sort of thing. I will update my various sites when I get a chance.
www.KittyStar.com is my personal site, with my demo tapes, resume, photos, etc. www.StarTime.com is my media consulting business here in Holland. www.SecretVisions.com is the production company back in Los Angeles. www.Florida-Models.com and www.Florida-Actors.com are both advice/info and jobs available to talent in Florida.
I`m an expert on the modeling/acting industry on AllExpert.com for the US market.
I`m on most of the other .com social and business networking sites; MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ecademy, ModelMayhem, OneModelPlace, et al. and my scripts are out on WithoutaBox, WinningScripts and of course available through me.
Chase Von: Kitty, On behalf of The Operated Student Press and myself, I truly want to thank you again for finding the time to share yourself with our readers. Your story is remarkable and I am certain would inspire so many people! I also befriended a young lady on another site that is a rising and talented actress named Brittany Risner, http://www.myspace.com/Brittanyrisner24 who I think would be the perfect choice to play the younger version of you should your story, which it should, make it to the big screen! I know from reading what I have of the Screen Writers Bible by David Trottier that you shouldn`t pick people for certain roles, just do the screen writing, and you know far more about that than I mind you, but I think she`s a dead ringer for you!
I also hope the offer still stands if I make my way back to Amsterdam for having a place to stay! And when you all pull off on another massive motorcycle trip around Europe, I promise to stand there and wave. (Heh, heh:) I`m a four wheel kind of spirit. (Smile).
So love and light and thanks again for sharing you and your remarkable story with our readers!
Kitty: My home is always open to you, wherever I am. The pleasure of doing this interview has been all mine. And I have written roles specifically for actors I have known... Now all I need is a literary agent, and we`re all good to go! (Smile).