We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaitlyn Croteau and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kaitlyn, how do you think about risk?
Risk and I have been pals for a long time. I’m always anxious to take a leap of faith in my life. I was actually just thinking about this today. I never want to take the steps necessary for growth, because it is unknown and I am often paralyzed by fear. However, I’ve always had this thing within me where whenever a situation no longer serves me my body and mind go into autopilot and take over. I start to move forward whether I like it or not. As a spiritual person I might say that this is my soul or a higher power guiding me. Call it intuition or whatever you want. All I know is whenever I need to take a big risk I just do it, but all the while I’m terrified and feel unprepared and unready or undeserving. There’s a great parable called The Parable of The Trapeze. I just read this to a friend recently because I am currently going through much risk taking and growth and change. I’ve read this passage dozens of times. When I grabbed the book to read it to her I opened to the exact page. The abridged version of the parable is this: Life is a like a trapeze. Here we are swinging along on one bar, and then all of a sudden the next bar presents itself. Do you hang on for dear life to that same old bar? Or do you take a literally leap of faith and totally release one bar before you can grab onto the next. The parable further discusses the extreme importance of the time spent free falling between the two bars. The speaker argues this moment is what makes a life. Not the beginnings and endings of things, but rather those precious moments in between. So yes I am a big fan of risk, and yes it terrifies me every time. But I know that whenever the universe signals to me that it is time to let go and move forwards I always do. Because there is always something greater than I ever could have imagined on the other side. I apply this risk theory to all areas of my life: career, relationships, and anything and everything else that you can imagine.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started off as a dancer, and have been and forever will be. Movement is my life force. I have always been engaged in theater and acting. I did chorus as well while I was younger. Modeling I got into during college and continue to do so now, and I have dabbled in learning the guitar. I don’t consider myself a writer, but I’ve always been told that I write well. I don’t really know how I got where I am today honestly. Through a series of happy accidents and invitations I suppose. For example my mom heard about a high school for the arts, and the next thing I know I’m attending it. I’m searching for summer dance programs, and then suddenly I’m applying for their university program instead and transferring to a new arts conservatory. I research graduate school programs and then I’m attending a school for my masters in social and later working as a children’s psychotherapist. I take a trip with friends out to LA, then I go back home from my trip, quit my therapist job and move out here permanently with no plan in place, just an apartment to live in. I don’t know that I would call it easy, but it always felt organic all of those changes and shifts. They all were meant to happen at those exact moments. I have overcome the challenges because I always trust my gut, and know I am transitioning to a better path for me. Even though I often feel terrified I know my gut is always right. What are things I have learned along the way? I feel that I’ve heard this said so many times, but it remains painfully true, “If it won’t matter to you in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes being upset about it.” Historically I’ve loved to throw myself pity parties. To really indulge in my hurt feelings, and play the victim when it comes to those I’ve felt have wronged me. But the truth is nothing in life is personal, because no one is worried about anyone or anything else but themselves. This might be oversimplifying things, but I think you get my meaning. Learning and understanding this has really set me free, and allowed me to live my life and make my art for myself without fear of what anyone else thinks about it. Because inevitably someone is not going to like it. And that’s okay. You will never be for everyone. What I want people to know about my art and story is to keep tuning in. I feel big things coming on the horizon. The pandemic has given me space and time to indulge myself in all the areas that interest me, and they all have made an impact on my art. I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This question makes me giggle, because my best friend Lisa came to stay with me for a week a few years ago, and I actually made a google calendar with our schedule of events for the week and shared it with her. Lisa is a Taurus and loves a good schedule, but even she thought it was a bit much. However, she was pleased we checked off of all of her LA must sees. Another time my parents were visiting and wanted to do a bus tour of celebrity houses. It’s not my thing, but we went. It ended up being almost three hours, because they picked up more people half way through and basically started the tour over. It was my worst nightmare. But I digress. If it was just me planning I’d say you have to go for a classic LA hike. Any of the trails will do. Disneyland of course. Maybe Universal? How could you not visit Harry Potter at Hogwarts? A trendy LA restaurant. Whatever is hip (and vegan for me!) at the moment. Something very LA like getting a vitamin drip or juice cleanse. Running to the flea and farmer’s market. There’s so many good finds. The beach of course. I would go with Malibu. Paradise Cove perhaps? Maybe catch a movie at Arclight Cinema? I love the dome theater there. I’ve toured the Paramount Studios with my parents, and that was really fun. It really gives you the film history of Hollywood.There’s always cool events going on in LA. Art shows, and live events. The possibilities are endless really. We are so spoiled out here with the amount of entertainment. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Gosh I don’t even know where to begin. I should start with my parents. They always found a way to engage me in whatever creative pursuit I was interested in even when money was tight. They always found a way to get me to my dance classes, school play rehearsals, softball practice, girl scouts, and anything and everything my little artistic heart desired. They’re the best. They’ve always supported my dreams, and always made me feel whatever crazy goal I had that I could achieve it. I should also thank my big brother Danny and little brother Patrick for being the best dramatic play mates. They taught me the art of storytelling along with our Irish grandfather Okie Dokie. A pet name we gave because that’s what he always said. He told the best ghost stories. I remember playing school with my big brother often (spoiler alert he’s now an amazing teacher) with me and my My Sized Barbie. Naturally Barbie and I were always the students while Dan always was the studious teacher. The dance studio I attended in high school, Connecticut Dance Conservatory, also had a profound effect on me. I had previously attended a dance school that was emotionally abusive, and by today’s standards considered physically abusive as well. It would be improper to hit children with wooden canes and publicly shame them in front of their peers repeatedly today. I remember feeling very safe when I started at Connecticut Dance Conservatory. They treated me like a real artist, like family, and worked with all of not just as a community of dancers but as individuals as well. I was a dance teacher for them during graduate school for their children’s division. I have so many fond memories from there, and continue to have a connection with them today. A book I recently read, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, has really inspired me as an artist. The book is her personal philosophy of the artist’s life. She speaks very candidly of its highs and lows, and doesn’t try to make it seem glamorous when it’s not. Because let’s face it as a freelance artist the time in between jobs can sometimes get a little dicey. Her book talks about what to do during those lulls. The message I took away is this: if your art is something you truly love you would make it all the time regardless of what it can give you (money, fame, accolades). The art itself is the reward. Otherwise what’s the point? I was grateful to be reminded of this.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaitxelizabeth/

Image Credits
Emma Bassill Anouk Morgan Allegra Messina Naomi Yura Billie Black Isabella Almeida

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