She’s a Woman on Fire! Meet Catherine Law

Welcome back to our ongoing series to introduce you to each other. She’s a Woman on Fire! member and we want you to know her. Please say hello to…

Catherine Law- Woman On Fire

Catherine Law

Los Angeles, California

Women on Fire member: #00045

Tell us about YOU, your family, your work, what you are “on fire” about.

I’m a Chicago-bred girl who lives in Los Angeles!  Right now, I’m on fire about performing improv comedy, building relationships with the funny, brilliant ladies around me in this city.  I’m also on fire about finding out what the next incarnation of my next career is. I’m on the hunt for my next calling!  Currently, I run an internet marketing company with my husband, Brandon.

How did you originally connect to Women on Fire?  

I went for a Vision Day with Rob Berkley, and he introduced me to the magnetic and wonderful Debbie Phillips! The rest is history.

Your favorite part of the day?

When I get to experiment in the kitchen and cook dinner!

The last book you read that you would recommend to other Women on Fire? 

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.  Shockingly, it’s a page-turner! I’m not a vegetarian, but I’m able to make much wiser choices about the food I bring into my home because of this book.

It’s an unbiased, un-sensationalized play-by-play of what it means to eat meat in America – just the facts. It is a must-read.

What is your proudest accomplishment in the past 12 months? 

I moved to California and have become an improviser!  Not only has the move completely changed my frame of mind (it doesn’t hurt that it’s sunny every… single… day…), but I’ve been fortunate to meet a glut of amazing people out here.

I studied improv 8 years ago in Chicago, and was always sad that I hadn’t kept with it.  Well, I jumped back in feet first the moment I got to California, and now I’m performing and practicing several times a week, all over the city!

It’s terrifying, it’s an absolute joy, and it’s one of the most mentally stimulating things I’ve ever done.  I’m excited to be really, really good at it in about 10 years.

All of that was a direct result of Women on Fire!  My husband and I had talked about moving to Los Angeles for years, but it wasn’t until the Women on Fire Retreat in Columbus, Ohio in September 2011 when I timidly said to a few ladies that “I… I think I’m on fire about maybe moving to California.”

Then, during the day, women I hadn’t even met kept shocking me by coming up to me and saying, “Oh, you’re the woman who’s moving to California!”  After hearing my dream reflected back by other women, everything just flowed easily from that point on.

If you had an unexpected free day, how would you spend it?    

Oooh!  I would sleep in a little, but not too late.  I’d go for a hike up the mountain near my house to the Griffith Observatory and take a picture of the Hollywood sign and the ocean.

On my way back, I’d stop at the veggie truck that parks in front of my house and pick up ingredients for gazpacho for lunch.

I’d read in the afternoon, then whip up a tasty, long-cooked ragu with apples and pork over pappardelle noodles for supper.  I’d finish the evening by hitting the movies or going for a martini!

Your favorite city in the world?

London.  I spent four days there when I was 13, and just about every moment of that is burned into my memory.

Name another Woman on Fire who has inspired you, and why?

Susan Kruger of Lake Orion, Michigan.  She’s an amazing woman and I have so much respect for her business sensibilities, her kindness and patience with others, her persistence, and her willingness to be vulnerable.

If you had the chance to teach a child one strategy to help guide her life, what would that be? 

Ignore every single negative word your brain tells you during your teen years.  Your hormones will tell you a lot of lies!  You are wonderful and amazing, and you’re exactly who you were always meant to be.

Getting older just helps you find more ways to use who you already are in new and different ways, and discover more about who you’ve always been.

What is something that we might be surprised to learn about you? 

I speak fluent Spanish!  Everyone in my family does, but we all learned later in life, and in different countries – which means we all have different accents!  We’re Mennonites, so we’re very interested in other cultures and we particularly love Latin America.

Name three women who have influenced your life, and what you’ve learned from each.

Debbie Phillips.  I’ve learned from her that telling people wonderful things about themselves adds wattage to your own soul, and brings gallons of love back on you.

My “Grandma” Dorothy.  She wasn’t really my grandma, just a neighbor who lived around the corner.  But she taught me that love can be just as thick as blood.

My piano teacher, Luise May.  She taught me not to be too hard on myself or others when shifting your energy away from a project. The less judgment you have about yourself, the easier it is to shift back to it later.

Who cheers you on?

My mom!  She is my absolute, number one cheerleader.  The hardest part of moving across the country was knowing I wouldn’t see her as much.  But now, we sit and have tea via Skype, and we visit each other a lot!

What is your favorite “pig-out” food?

Popcorn!  I love popcorn – from the movies or homemade!  I’ll pop it in my Stir-Crazy popper and either dress it up with truffle oil, parmesan and black pepper or just have it simple with a warm drizzle of butter and Yoder’s popcorn salt.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced and how did you overcome it?

The first few years of my marriage.  Lots and lots and lots and lots of therapy.  Plus time and patience.

What is your favorite self-care strategy?

Time alone!  I am an extrovert, but I need my restorative alone time, as well. Living with another person in a one-bedroom apartment means that I either need to go out for a hike or let my husband know I’m going for some quiet time in the other room, and to please not disturb me for an hour.  I love to be around friends, but when I have time alone, it feels decadent and indulgent!

When you reflect on your life so far, what is the first word or two that comes to your mind?

“Getting better.”  I recently realized that I don’t need to be discouraged about where I am in relation to all the things I want to improve in my life – whether they have to do with my health, my income, my dress size, my spiritual journey or my self-care.

I was shocked to realize how far I’ve come in the last couple of years.  I’m the type of person who’s always working to better some aspect of my life (usually too many of them at once!), and in the past, I’ve gotten discouraged about how far I am from my idea of “perfect.”

But a couple of months ago, it dawned on me that I’m a work in progress, and I always will be.  When I look at the long term – where I’ll be in a year or two or ten, I’ll have succeeded in a lot of my endeavors… just like I have succeeded in the past few years at things I used to get frustrated about.

More about Catherine Law…

Catherine Law is a writer, comic, and marketing specialist in Los Angeles. Raised on a hobby farm in Oswego, Illinois, she spent time traveling around South America, including Oaxaca, Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, and Uruguay.

Catherine moved to Chicago in 2004 to pursue a degree in playwriting from Columbia College, as well as to study and work at the Second City Theatre.

After graduation, she married musician Brandon Dickert, her college sweetheart, in a rain-drenched ceremony on her parents’ farm. Catherine and Brandon moved to the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles in 2012 to pursue careers in entertainment.

Compiled by Women on Fire Senior Writer Becky Adams