Did you do a lot of writing in High School?
Surprisingly no. I loved to write as a kid – we’re talking 4/5th grade, but I never really found enjoyment in it in high school. It was more, just writing papers with the pressure of getting an A. So, other than the normal school-related writing, I didn’t pursue it. Too busy with sports/acting, and eventually an eating disorder…
Was that when you also got into acting? If so, was there a particular play that stands out?
I started acting when I was five. I did professional theater, television and a couple movies/films. I acted my entire childhood, minus a few years in high school when I was a) pursing athletics, and then ultimately had to stop when I became too sick with my anorexia to continue. Gosh, my favorite play. That’s tough, because you pour so much of your soul into each and every role. And with each project, the cast is always different, so you really form a family with the people you’re working with, so that also plays into it. But, I think my favorite role that I ever played was either Annie, for obvious reasons, or Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden, simply because the storyline is so beautiful.
I ask all my writing interviewees this. They say writers, no matter what genre or field, were readers first. What was a favorite novel or book you enjoyed? Oh my gosh I actually hated reading. I know that’s horrible. And I actually don’t really like reading today either. I just don’t have time! I do like to listen to podcasts, which I do a lot. I love Serial/Undisclosed/Truth & Justice. I love The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. And I love listening to homilies by Fr. Mike Schmidt and sermons from Cross Point Church. But gosh, I can’t even remember the last book I read, or a favorite book growing up. Well, I take that back. I did enjoy reading about Anne Frank as a child. But I think probably Captivating by John Eldridge was my favorite book. I loved that one.
When did you get started blogging?
I started BBB back in February of 2015. So I just celebrated my one year “blogiversary” the other month. I wrote a post about it here: State of the Union . But yeah, that’s when BBB got started. It started as a blog geared towards parents and loved ones of kids suffering with eating disorders. Kinda like, all the things I wish I could have told my parents when I was in the thick of my disease. All the things I wish they would have known. Things that could have possibly helped. And then it morphed into being geared towards the girls themselves, and then finally into just a broad, all-encompassing message of God’s love for us, and how we all can grow to love ourselves. It’s a place of hope. A place where it’s okay to be vulnerable. And it’s been really healing for me as well. I’ve gotten to “unpack” a lot of different things that I thought I had dealt with. And it’s been really healing for my family as well. My mom says that she’s learned so much about me that she never knew. She’s my biggest fan. She reads my blog every night.
Was Beauty Beyond Bones your first blog? If not, what was your first blog like?
It actually wasn’t! I started my first blog when I was recovering from an autoimmune disease back around 2011/2012. It was a food blog that was actually pretty successful. I self-published a cookbook and everything! It’s still around to this day, but I don’t keep it up. But yeah, that was my blog baby:) And always will be.
Why that title? What does Beauty Beyond Bones mean or represent?
Oh, BBB. So, along the vein of telling worried parents what their daughter was going through, it started out being called “AnorexiaRevealed.” But I decided to change to BBB because “AnorexiaRevealed” sounds kinda dark. My story is one of hope, and I wanted the name to reflect that. I wrote a whole post on the significance of the name: Beauty Beyond Bones . But basically, there’s a story in the bible of God breathing life into these old, dried-up, dusty bones, and they came to life. And that was really my story. So I felt it just fit. And plus, my initials in “real life” are a triple letter, so it works. (wink wink)
When did you move to New York City?
I moved to NYC, gosh, probably around 2010. I moved to pursue acting. Best decision of my life.
Was it a culture shock living in the Big Apple?
You know, it was and it wasn’t. I was at a point in my life where I really needed to carve my own path and so it was really a time for me to grow up and find out who I really am.
Do you have a favorite spot in NYC where you go to just sit and relax?
Oh gosh YES. I love where I live. I don’t leave “The Village” if I don’t have to. In fact, I hardly go above 14th street unless absolutely necessary!
You are an actress, what is your acting style? Shakespearian? Method? Classical?
Method. Method. Method.
Hypothetically, is there a particular film director you would like to work with?
Oh gosh, what a question. I would love to work with Harold Cronk, who directed “God’s Not Dead.” I absolutely loved the film, “Bella” and would love to work with Alejandro Monteverde. Oh oh oh, and Fireproof’s Alex Kendrick. That was a fun exercise 🙂
You talk pretty openly about struggling with anorexia on your blog. Is it hard opening up to tell your story?
I do. You know, it was and it wasn’t. As you know, my blog is anonymous. Which has really been helpful when opening up. Because it is scary. But I’m not attaching my name to it, so I almost feel like it’s cheating. Because to be honest, I don’t bring that part of my history into my present life or present relationships. I’ve only told a handful of my friends in NYC about my past, and even they don’t know the blog title. They know I have a blog, but not what it is. And that’s also true for my friends that went through this period of my life with me. My family are the only people who know the blog title. And it took a longggg time for me to share the address with them. At the end of the day, I want to help people. Yes, I went through this horrible disease. But I am not my past. And I’m willing to share because God can use it to help even one person. So I am willing to open up, even if it’s painful, in order to bring Him glory. I’m just not sure I’m ready – yet – to bring that into my present life. And also, coming “out” with who I am does not just involve me, but my family, too. And I want to protect their privacy as well. My father and sibling are both in the medical field, and so it could implement their careers. There’s just a lot to consider.
Something else you speak pretty openly about your faith in Jesus. What part did your faith play in your recovery?
Oh yes, yes, yes. My faith WAS my recovery. I mean, it’s that simple. Without Jesus, recovery wouldn’t have been possible. I did not want recovery. And I was so depleted, I was not capable of sound thinking. At 78 pounds, your brain’s fat pads deteriorate, so you’re literally in a brain fog all. the. time. So I couldn’t recognize the danger of my physical condition. And even if I did, I didn’t care. I didn’t want to get well. It took Jesus, breaking through that iron fortress I had built around myself to come and comfort me and whisper to me my worth, and that I’m forgiven, and loved and worthy of recovery. I’ve written a lot about it, but this one is one of my favorites: Don’t Tell Me I’m Beautiful
What part does your faith play in your life today?