I’m thrilled to be giving a talk tonight in Charlottesville, Virginia. The event is called Embrace Your Weird: from Anxiety to Authenticity and it’s based on the new book that I am writing. There is even a whole fancy Power Point thingy.
Many of us are afraid to talk about anxiety, depression and panic attacks – it’s about time we change that. This talk is a deeply personal exploration of mental health, told with compassion and humor. It’s a hopeful, entertaining and enlightening look at the root causes of anxiety, the results of the latest research and ideas for how to manage stress in your own life.
The event is free and open to the public, as part of Retreat Week at Ix Art Park. For more information and to RSVP, please click here.
And in case you were wondering, yes, I’m feeling very anxious about giving an anxiety talk. But I’m gonna to do it anyway.
Gracie, preparing her teaching assistant duties for class
I’m teaching another session of my online memoir writing class though Writing Pad!
The class is for writers of all levels. If you have never written more than a grocery list, that’s cool. If you have a couple books under your belt, that’s cool, too. I’ve got you covered. We’ll do interesting exercises, read wonderful writers, and talk a whole lot about books, process and structure. You will also have the chance to share your writing and get feedback and help.
No grades. No red pens. You’ll just learn how to get your story down on paper and we always have a whole lot of fun along the way.
The class is online, so log on from anywhere and use your webcam – it looks like The Brady Bunch – everyone gets a square. We can all see each other and it creates a great feeling of community and connection. (And yes, we all hate the webcam for the first four and a half minutes. Then we get over it. Because no one actually cares if your hair looks good or if you are wearing a bra. Who wears a bra on a Sunday afternoon, anyway?) Continue reading
Thank you so much to all of you who have bought my book. It is currently in Amazon’s Top Ten Actor Memoirs! (And, oddly enough, it’s #1 in Dancer Memoirs, which is random but I’ll take it.) Continue reading
I am so old.
I’ve been working at the same job for eighteen years. What else can I do?
I am definitely too old.
This was my constant inner monologue.
When I was twenty-two.
I was an actor, living in the epicenter of our youth-obsessed culture: Los Angeles. Other people might have defined me as “successful” but success was a mirage that inevitably dissolved every time it seemed like I could grasp it. I signed autographs while out at restaurants or late for my root canal. But I got to a point where the joy was drained out of me. I was barely old enough to order a cocktail, but I felt ancient and hollow.
I assumed that my existence would always revolve around movies. Since I was four, my life had been wardrobe calls, accent coaching, and craft services – acting became my identity. It was the only thing I knew how to do. Continue reading
I tend to be a pensive person anyway, but the fact that Christmas, my birthday and New Years all cram into one week – I go into major reflective mode.
It was a complicated year in many ways. But isn’t that how it always goes? Ups and downs, success and challenges, joy and suffering. But I learned some important things this year:
Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable can have some serious rewards
I think you can find criticism for pretty much anything. I recently had someone say he was never going to read anything else from me because I wished for peace for everyone in the world.
Eating healthy? That’s the wrong kind of healthy.
Helping people? Don’t help them too much.
Cute cats? Hey, why are you discriminating against dogs?
So, it shouldn’t be surprising that there is some push-back about this idea of living a life based in passion. Continue reading
I met someone recently and attempted to do that small talk thing, which, as an introvert, I generally find as pleasant as a paper cut to the eyeball. But just when I was expecting that boring old “So, what to you do?” question – she shocked me by asking me how I “spent my time.”
I loved that. That had such a sense of depth to it. Because none of us need to be defined by our jobs.
Since bailing on my acting career and starting over, I’ve done a lot of things. I’ve been an animal shelter volunteer, voracious reader, homemaker, student, yogi, wife, blogger, dog mom, bills manager and a quilter of quilts for all my friend’s babies. Continue reading