We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathleen Graff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kathleen, what principle do you value most?
Integrity. If there’s no congruence between your speech and actions, you lose respect for yourself and others lose trust in you. We like people we can trust. We want to work with people we can trust. If you uphold your integrity, people know you are reliable. I never want to be in a position where I have to regret not having done what’s right.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think subconsciously, I’ve always wanted to get into acting. Since I was little, playing pretend was my favorite thing to do and I would get lost in it for hours. It took a very long time however, to allow myself to see it as an actual and achievable career choice. And that was definitely not an easy process. After getting my Bachelor’s degree in Translation Science and working a 9-5 corporate job, I felt like I had reached a dead end. I felt completely disillusioned and uninspired. I couldn’t believe this was how the rest of my life was going to look like. So I went back to basics and asked myself what I’ve always enjoyed doing, which brought me back to “playing pretend”. A career as an actor has everything I need to stay on my toes and keep growing: an ever changing landscape and environment, constantly meeting new people, overcoming new challenges, constantly learning, being creative, seeing new places, being able to reach and inspire people with a performance, being surrounded by other creatives and so much more. I quit my job and dabbled into a few acting schools in Germany before taking classes in London and eventually moving there for just under a year. My professional life up until that point had always felt like a struggle and an uphill battle. Once I started following this path that I knew in my heart was right for me, everything seemed to fall into place. I started meeting the most wonderful people, had incredible opportunities seemingly out of nowhere and was eventually able to move to Los Angeles which had been a dream of mine for years. I felt truly fulfilled with what I was doing for the first time in my life. Everything seemed so easy and felt so right. Of course getting started here wasn’t a breeze, but being in a place that made me feel so alive and being surrounded by the supporting and inspiring friends that I made along the way made a huge difference. If you’re reading this in a place of your life where you’re not truly happy with how you’re spending your precious life time, consider following the guidance of that little voice deep inside you, and I can promise you it’ll lead the way to the life you always imagined you could have.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I like to show friends and family who visit me here little bit of everything. Of course some of the touristy locations that everyone normally avoids like the plague in their day to day lives: Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood Blvd, Venice Beach, Griffith Observatory. But I also like to take them some quieter places with gorgeous surroundings, like the Greystone Mansion, Malibu Canyons (great for a motorcycle tour too), the Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine just off PCH as well as Palos Verdes, especially the Wayfarer’s Chapel. We’d definitely have to go to In N Out right at the airport (who doesn’t love a good burger) and also take in some of those skyline views at the Highlight Room, Harriet’s in WeHo and really any rooftop bar in DTLA. When my mom was here last time I also drove with her up Olympic in Century City and showed her where they filmed the beginning of Die Hard – she loved it! A week isn’t nearly enough time though to get a true sense of everything LA has to offer!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The person that deserves the most credit for where I am now is my mom. She was the one who believed in my dream of becoming an actress and moving to LA more than I did believe in myself back when I first set out on this journey. Her endless love, support and encouragement enabled me to become the woman that I am today and I will be forever grateful for her faith in me. I also want to thank Theo Francocci who recommended me for this interview!