Art and Advocacy: When Worlds Intertwine

Like so many people I know, I have no short answer when people ask me, “So what do you do?”. If given just a few words, I guess I can say “I talk and write for a living”, or “I communicate professionally.” But, really? I am a serious dabbler – and insatiably curious information-seeker and sharer.

Author, speaker, stage actress, singer, voice talent, audiobook narrator, advocate, TV/film/improvisation performer, drama teacher, Voiceover coach, NAMI educator, ADL diversity trainer, presentations coach,blogger, radio broadcaster, MC –and that’s just my work life. You know what I mean – how many roles do you play in one day?  My professional website home page even has four portals to explore. Still, it adds up somehow – like when the bills get paid – and even occasionally makes sense.

When I get the chance to speak to audiences about Ben Behind His Voices, it’s a wonderful opportunity to marry a lot of these worlds. Here, in this clip from a recent library appearance in Trumbull, CT, you can hear an excerpt from the book as well as some thoughts on Ben’s progress and why understanding and respect are so vital.

Many of these roles layered beautifully when I got the chance as voice talent to narrate the audiobook of Ben Behind His Voices. Strange to step out of  the writer’s shoes and slip on those of the narrator…oh, the urge to rewrite as I narrated! But I am thrilled that the end result was so beautifully produced by Spoken Word Inc, received starred reviews, and that we were nominated as “among the best of the best” for Publishers Weekly’s 2011 Listen Up Awards! In the “read by author” category, we were in great company: John Lithgow, Jane Lynch, Penn Jillette and Amy Chua (Tiger Mom lady).

OK, so Lithgow won – but still. Can’t think of anyone better to lose to. I get the “it’s an honor just to nominated” thing now – really. Thanks!

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