Katherine Dickson is not only a mom, she also plays one in the movies. The native New Yorker and Madison resident will star as 'Marisella,' in "The Last Intervention," a movie that is having its world premiere August 30 in Hartford at the Wadsworth Atheneum. You are invited. See the details below.
In the movie, Dickson plays a mother of a Dominican family in crisis. The family allows a film crew to follow them as they perform an intervention on their daughter, after she gets kicked out of the house due to her friends and hobbies. The comedy, which also features Hemky Madera (Weeds) as the father, was filmed in and around Hartford.
Happily, the details of Dickson's real family life are not quite that dramatic. Like many other Madison moms, she's seeing her son Cory off to college in New York City, where he has family living nearby. Dickson, who loves going back into the city any chance she can get, plans to visit often as well.
Shopping for a new dress then celebrating over breakfast
The other day, Dickson went shopping for a fabulous new dress for the premiere with her friend Asiye Kay, a Madison mom and business woman who owns Asiye's Boutique in Madison. After shopping for the dress, which will be altered to perfection here in Madison by Lena from Angie Lu Tailors, Dickson celebrated with a late breakfast at Flavor For Madison, across the street from Asiye's Boutique in the center of Madison's restaurant and retail district.
I ran into them there, where Dickson caught me up on her son's college plans and her movie work.
She is very excited about the dress and showed me a cell phone snapshot of her modeling it. The gown looks vintage 1920s. The sweet, flirty, pearl white dress has a corset top with delicate fringe, fashioned from lace with embroidery, set off by pearl and ribbon detailing.
From working in insurance to starring in the movies
And she mentioned that she once worked in insurance. While a good, honorable profession, it sounded like it wasn't a perfect fit. Acting in movies and producing her own films is just right for this woman, who started in television at the age of three when she became the face of ‘La Flor’ products and filmed commercials for the newly formed Telemundo Networks.
I later wondered how Dickson made the change from working in insurance back to being an actress in the movies, and producing them herself.
So I wrote her a quick email, asking: ".. question ... when we were talking you said that at one point (if I'm remembering our conversation correctly) that you were working in insurance? At what point was that and at what point did you get back into film work? ... I'm wondering if your story about you following your dream might help inspire others to do so as well."
"So willing to share"
This is what she said:
So willing to share...
I was working in insurance about 10 years ago. [Then, following an accident] I had a traumatic brain injury. (Hence the theme of all my screen plays). I lost a lot of memory and cognitive skills. While at Gaylord Hospital the therapist there recommended that I look into things in my past that I remembered doing, that could help me regain confidence and strength.
I had lost my vision in my right eye. I suffer from constant head and neck pain plus severe vertigo. I was at a huge disability and at a disadvantage. Many places did not want to work with me.
But, Jackie Hubbard from the Ivoryton Playhouse was putting on a show. I went and auditioned for her. I was so scared and nervous. I sang, since singing is my first skill and passion.
She hired me on the spot. Not only did she hire me, she gave me the lead role. Her generosity and patience were outstanding. The show was a success, she booked me on other shows at the Playhouse and that established me as a regional actress in New England.
From there, I never went back to insurance.
I knew that a 'new normal' had begun. In a way the life I left behind was returned after the accident. I've been working on my craft ever since.
It's not easy.
There are challenges everyday. And it is work. Not your regular 9 to 5. More like 24/7. I do not have the luxury to turn off/down opportunities. Most of my work is free/volunteer/low pay for networking purposes in the hopes to land one good job.
But, I love what I do. And gratification is a wonderful payment! You balance where you can, helping others with their projects, bartering time and compensation.
My disabilities, the trauma, the obstacles NOTHING can stop you from where you are supposed to be.
I know that now.
I had to almost lose my life to find that out.
"This will be the party of the summer! Join us!"
Dickson, along with her family and friends, including Asiye, will celebrate that new life at the world premiere of "The Last Intervention," in Hartford, CT, "the city that helped us make it," according to the movie website.
"The date is set for Thursday August 30th at 7pm at the historic Wadsworth Atheneum, 600 Main St. Hartford, CT. Doors open at 6pm, so get there early because the seating is limited! We’ll be joined by cast and crew members and we’ll have a Q and A after the screening. More news to come but set the date. This will be the party of the summer. Join us!"
Here are the details:
THE LAST INTERVENTION Red Carpet World Premiere
Thursday August 30th 7:00PM
Doors open at 6:00PM
@ WADSWORTH ATHENEUM
600 Main St. Hartford, CT.
FREE Admission – Suggested $5 Donation
Cash Bar and Food
Cast and Crew present
Q&A after the movie
Showing the struggles of millions of families
After the premiere is over? Dickson, the owner of Guapa Films, LLC, a film production company based in Madison, is working on a project called "Those Who Serve."
Here is Dickson's artistic statement:
This project was born out of the desire to show the struggles of millions of families who find themselves through war, economic or personal tragedy, experiencing traumatic trauma. They step into a new realm of reality.
Families are bogged down with medical bills, fixed incomes, or just the increase of the cost of living left in financial and emotional despair.
Alma’s story is unique only in that she refuses to allow herself to be a victim of her circumstances. Her drive and determination exceeds her pride. She implements her survival skills and maternal instincts to protect and provide.
Alex’s return from war catapults Alma into a role of caregiver she never anticipated. She gladly and willingly accepts with all it’s daunting challenges and unpredictable expectations.
The project is slated for festival submission and distribution.
For more information please contact Guapa Films, LLC at 1 866-546-4785.