Kat Brooks called me from her cell phone while driving from San Francisco to Oakland. She was on the last leg of a very long journey and she was feeling it today. Her voice was open and friendly – inviting me to keep her company as her GPS guided her to another Face to Face encounter.
When it comes to this woman I am not sure where to start. There is so much to tell. Her story – her journey to this point and time is an amazing one. We had never met or spoken before, yet our conversation was easy and calm and knowing. It twisted and turned through realizations and enlightenments and similarities that at times had me at a loss for words (yeah me – a loss for words). I could feel her energy through the miles between us and the focus in her voice regarding her latest endeavor. Make no mistake about it – this is the summer that Kat Brooks is taking back her life.
Once upon a time a 15 year old girl from New Orleans ran away from home. She ran away from physical and sexual abuse. She ran away from feelings of insecurity and worthlessness. Kat took what she had and ran to Hollywood to prove to everyone she had ever known and everyone she had never known that she was going to be a success. Turn the page – she was 18 and alone, living in a not so safe place when her apartment was broken into and she was raped. She was angry at God and everything in this world and carried that “fuck you” attitude with her as she fought to get to the next place. She survived, she persevered and she went on to become a respected, successful movie maker and director for television. But inside all of the accolades, and possessions, and notoriety there was an angry, uncertain, unfulfilled person who was growing more and more disillusioned with life and all it’s false promises. In her words,” I had the car, the house, the awards and they all meant nothing to me. I was 35 years old and I hadn’t gotten anything right. I was in this metaphysical purgatory – that in between place. I was not doing what I was put here to do and was saying ‘I give up’”.
What happened next is as traumatic and dramatic as it can get. She felt a complete surrender and decided to end her life. Kat filmed herself trying to commit suicide – she took more pills than her body should have tolerated and in her desperate state of depression prepared to die. But as it always will, fate intervened and Kat did not die that day. Fast forward to Kat recovering – alone in her mother’s bed with her computer on her lap. She turned it on and went to her Face Book page. She told me,” how in the world could I have 5,000 friends? Who were these people? How could I have 5,000 friends when I am sitting here alone in my mother’s bed and haven’t been hugged in over a month?” And in that one moment, that precious moment of enlightenment, Katherine Brooks decided to fight for her life. That innate voice, that unique spirit within her awoke and began to push some light into her darkest hour. She posted to her page that the first 50 people to respond would be a part of her next project – a documentary to be called “Face to Face”. 50 random people, fifty strangers were about to help Kat heal and ultimately find the answers she had been searching for.
Kat has been on the road and back again. What started in New York earlier this summer will be concluding in Chicago with a wrap party to celebrate more than a film – but rather to share hope and a small bit of the utopia which suddenly and oh so unexpectedly has become the very essence of who Kat Brooks has become. “My life is so different than it was 3 months ago. 20 years to the day that I left New Orleans at the age of 15 – I left New Orleans again. I got rid of the house and the fancy cars – I live in a small one bedroom apartment – so conservative. I take what I need for self preservation from the money I make and the rest goes to global preservation. 100% honesty here – the people I have met on this journey – the giving without expecting in return – their unique and moving stories – the lessons I have learned – they literally saved my life. When I am on my deathbed – I don’t want things surrounding me – I want to be grounded by and giving love.”
You cannot define Kat Brooks. She is a woman, director, lesbian, humanitarian, friend, inventor (her next GPS will speak to her in a low raspy voice saying “take a left turn you sexy bitch” “I love how you handle that wheel” and on and on). She is a survivor of abuse, an activist and gentle spirit. She is a child asking why, an artist painting truth and kindness on a canvas uniquely her own. She is all these things and so much more. She is a soul connecting with other souls simply trying to let the current take her to the place she is supposed to be.
6pm-9pm / $25 / SPYNERS Pub (back room) / 4623 N. Western Avenue
Join us in Chicago for one incredible night! Producer/Director of ‘Loving Annabelle’ and the recently released ‘Waking Madison’, Katherine Brooks will be in the house! Watch clips of her movies, meet and greet, silent auction including autographed copies of Kat’s movies, posters, Face 2 Face Dog Tags and more! Appetizers included in ticket price. Cash Bar. TICKETS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. www.spyners.com
Order tickets via Eventbrite
Arrive early and take the wrap up pool challenge!
Pay $25 to play Kat in pool. If Kat wins, $25 goes to the SARA Sanctuary.
If you win, $50 goes to the SARA Sanctuary.
Limited spots available. Contact: 708.436.0031 to enter!
About K. Guzman
Kathy grew up all over the US - lots of east coast time. She is a surfer girl with an unabridged curiosity. A woman whose mid life awakening continues to bring her to the place she was meant to be. Her degree in Journalism/Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida is being yanked from the archives and put to good use. Her two kids are grown and rock stars in this wild world – her Harley is ready for some serious summer miles – and her heart remains open to life, women and the possibilities each day brings.