May 2015 - The 5: Catharine Pilafas
Truly one of the nicest actors you’ll ever meet, Catharine Pilafas is also one of the most dedicated in her field. This Arizona native has made New Mexico her home. She currently plays Nurse Heather Bardocz on NBC’s The Night Shift and is enjoying this new journey. She took a moment to take part in The 5 this month:
You were born in Arizona, what lead you to New Mexico?
My journey from Arizona to New Mexico roots back to going to college in Colorado. I went to the University of Northern Colorado and graduated with a BA in Acting minoring Dance. After I graduated college I landed and audition in Denver - that would take me to New York to do my first off-Broadway play, "Conviction." After the run of the show, I married my husband, the author, Adam James Jones, and we decided to try New Mexico because I had heard it was a mini Los Angeles and I was ready to start a career in Film and TV.
Where did your drive of acting come from?
My drive for acting, probably started as a young girl watching TCM, Turner Classic Movies. I grew up in Phoenix and in the summertime, your choices are swimming or watching movies. My mom claims she named me after Katharine Hepburn. So, I watched Woman of the Year, Adam's Rib, The African Queen, Philadelphia Story, etc. all growing up.
You have done all genres of acting including drama and comedy. What project has been your most fulfilling?
I have really enjoyed getting to do so many genres, but I am looking forward to doing more comedies. A lot of the work I've done the last couple years has been heavy dramas, which definitely works muscles, so I'm looking forward to working the comedy muscles a lot more. I think I need to write something on my own. Instead of waiting for the phone to ring, I've been producing a lot of projects lately and just recently, within the last year, I have finally started directing. Looking forward to directing a lot more.
You've become a recurring character on NBC's The Night Shift. How has the experience been for you?
Working on Night Shift has been a gift. It's actually the first time I was cast in a pilot, and it has been fascinating to see, each step of the way, if the show remains on the air - if I stay on air. It has all been very insightful. The best lessons I've learned on set thus far. It feels really affirming to be working regularly. My favorite part of the show is the people I work with. Very good people, very welcoming.
Not only are you passionate about acting, but also yoga. What is it about yoga that connects you?
Yoga is essential in my life and by that I mean yoga can be pausing and taking a breath - becoming present; it's not just the physical poses or meditation. I love to teach movement for actors, because I think it's vital for artists and people in general to release tension so that they can open their heart to the abundance of their true desires. I can't think of a better discipline for actors to study than yoga. It's so complementary to every aspect of the craft. It's my personal form of spiritual practice. Best day job I will ever have.