Lean Into Your Power, Not Away From It

Cathryn Dylan

Hi, I’m Cathryn. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA by a Mexican mother and American father. I attended Carnegie Mellon University where I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from The School of Drama. I am an actress, writer, producer, and advocate for Human and Animal Rights. 

We are all in individual lanes, and we’re all going in different directions.
I learned early on that looking around to see where everyone else was going wasn’t very helpful. Their path isn’t your path, and your path will never be theirs. Even if you think you’re both going to the same place, our journeys are our own, and the only way we get there is by looking straight ahead.

Lean into your power, not away from it.
I feel we often mistake fear of failure for fear of success. We pull back because we can feel how powerful we are — our intuition, our voice, our intelligence. I know there are many times I have been afraid to truly use my voice in fear that I will make someone else feel less than. There is a beautiful quote by Marianne Williamson that I think everyone should have framed in their house. One of the lines reads “As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others.” So let your light shine, it won’t dim someone else’s, it will inspire someone else to shine theirs.

We all face adversity. Use it to grow.
A really difficult time in my life was in 2016 when my parents filed for divorce. I had just graduated college, moved out, gotten my first three big projects and was running into my future with arms wide open when my family completely broke apart around me. It felt as though I was taken out of my dream life, and thrown into my biggest nightmare in a matter of a few days. I spent the majority of that year trying to pick myself up while also trying to help my parents and my brother up. Though the loss of my family unit was immensely painful, I know the experience ultimately allowed me to feel loss and pain like I never had before and therefore opened up my empathetic imagination for my work.

Failure is not fatal.
Nothing is permanent, keep going, and don’t let the fear of possibly failing stop you from trying.

The journey is long.
Be gentle with yourself. You’re going to get there, and you don’t need to run.

See the best in people.
The quality I probably love most about myself is my ability to truly see someone, feel their feelings as though they are my own, and then choose to believe the absolute best in them — always.

Be whoever you want to be.
I wanted to be a vet, I wanted to be a professional soccer player, I wanted to be an attorney… the list goes on and on, and I figured out when I was 4 years old on the kindergarten stage as a “sad clown,” that I could be all of those things if I called myself “An Actress.”

Yes, it’s scary — but you just need to jump.
After going to Drama school for 4 years I was so ready to just start! Interestingly enough I didn’t get scared until I started becoming too aware of the actual statistics of everything. Nothing about this industry is logical, so I think the best thing to do is throw logic out and just jump.

People will doubt you, but you should never doubt yourself.
I was diagnosed with a processing disorder when I was very young, so in high school it took me longer to complete tests. As you can imagine there were countless people who would say to my parents or me, “if it takes her longer to read, learn, and think how does she expect to memorize 100-page scripts?”  In my junior year of high school, I was cast as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and I did not miss one single verse. That was the moment I proved to MYSELF, despite any clinical diagnosis, I could learn and do anything.

It’s okay to lose confidence in yourself, as long as you don’t lose it forever.
I am not anywhere near as confident as people seem to think I am! But every day I’m working on it. When I feel myself shrinking back I put my hands on my hips, look to the sky and doing the “Super(Wo)man” pose for at least 60 seconds. (I highly suggest it :))

Find your motivation, and then use it push yourself forward.
What gets me up in the morning? The fact that there are so many people suffering in the world today and so many stories that need to be told in order to spread awareness about these people. As an actress and a writer I feel it is my responsibility to share these stories.

Leave a legacy that you’re proud of.
I want to be remembered as someone who reminded people that they were not alone.

Don’t forget who you are.
I think innately we know who we are and as we get older we tend to forget. I think the true work isn’t in trying to find who we are but getting quiet enough (in a very loud world) to remain clear on who we always were.

Find people to look up to. They’ll guide you in the right direction.
Who do I admire? Mariska Hargitay. This business is very, very difficult and Mariska so eloquently balances an astounding career, a beautiful family, and gives back a tremendous amount to the community through her foundation, the Joyful Heart.

Remember the good times.
Allstar tournaments, performing in my Junior Company’s spring dance show, and the one time my family and I got lost driving through Europe but 10 hours later made it to Tuscany — these are the memories that I’ll never forget.

There are no “do-overs”, and that’s absolutely okay.
I could name quite a few things that I have done, and looking back, I would have done them differently. There’s no turning back though. All I can is learn from my mistakes. They helped me get to where I am today and for that, I am very grateful.

Sometimes you’ll have to choose between the two things you love the most.
In high school, my two loves were soccer and performing. After breaking my ankle and leg playing soccer, there came a day where I needed to choose if I was going to be an athlete or a performer. Not everyone knows this, but I was recruited to several colleges for soccer. Although it deeply broke my heart, I knew I wanted to become an actress more than I wanted to become a professional athlete, so I said farewell to one dream to embrace the other. 

cathryn headshot 2018 copy

Cathryn Dylan

Cathryn Dylan is an actress, writer, producer, and advocate for Human and Animal Rights. 

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