about cathy mccullough

If you are like others I have worked with, you are at a place in your life where you are successful in your career and your relationships and, in general, are proud of where you are and what you have accomplished. However, there is something else that you have been longing to do something that you have had a dream of doing or achieving. And you are unsure how to begin this part of your journey, whether you want to integrate this passion into your current life or whether you want to go in a whole new direction.

I, too, have been in a place in my life where things were going quite well, but felt that there was something more that I wanted to do. For me, it was leaving a full-time job as a professional photographer to become a puppeteer.

It was when I was examining my life and what I wanted from it that a friend asked me the simple question, “What do you really want to do?” I answered that I wanted to be a puppeteer. His reply was simple and life changing: “Why don’t you just do that then?” I was stunned; no one had ever asked me that question. I didn’t have a good answer for why I couldn’t. The next day, I began to research the field of puppetry and how I might begin.

That was more than 12 years ago, and I have never regretted the choice to pursue my passion.

My background:

Originally from St. Louis, I moved to Chicago to study at the Art Institute of Chicago and ultimately graduated from Columbia College in Chicago with a BA in Photography. I worked at a  giftware corporation as a photographer and photo director, until I decided to leave to freelance so that I would have more time to devote to my pursuit of puppetry. During this time, I worked with Redmoon Theater and Lifeline Theater as a performer and designer, as well as developed my own work. I was accepted to the Institut International de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mezieres, France for one of their summer workshops, where I studied voice, movement and scenography with acclaimed designer Josef Svoboda. I left Chicago for the University of Connecticut so that I could pursue an MFA in Puppetry. While in school, I traveled into New York City to work on various television shows that were in production at the time. I moved to New York following my time in Connecticut and continued to work as a performer and puppet builder, most notably as a lead member of the team that designed and constructed the puppets for the Broadway and touring productions of Little Shop of Horrors.

I returned to my roots in photography for a brief period as director of photography for a national floral company, and it was during this time that coaching entered my radar. I was looking for career that would integrate my life and art experience, and would also fulfill my desire to feel like I was making a difference in the world. So I sought the help of a coach and during our time together, set upon the goal of becoming a coach myself.

I began the training program at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, which is one of the few programs fully accredited by the International Coach Federation and graduated as a certified professional coach. My clients come to me from a wide variety of backgrounds from dance to finance.