Actor Heather Matarazzo has only published a few posts on her new blog, but each one has stirred up an incredible response from inside and outside the WordPress.com community.
Her first essay in February, “What the F— Is F—able,” took direct aim at what it’s like to be a woman in Hollywood — an industry she’s worked in since childhood, and as a teen starring in 1995’s Welcome to the Dollhouse, which earned her critical acclaim. In her essay, Matarazzo reveals an industry ruled by sexism, and she talks about what it was like to be a teenager working in it while growing into her own self-confidence:
For me, I had to stop sitting shiva, remove the blanket from my mirror and look. I had to look at my gorgeous face, with my piercing blue eyes, my pouty lips, small chin, slightly crooked nose, full teeth and smile. I had to really look at myself and see my beauty, and once I could accept the harsh reality that I was indeed, not only f—able, but f—ing beautiful, everything started to change.
Following the community’s reaction to the post, Matarazzo confessed:
“Originally this piece was a lot angrier. I called people out, and it felt good, but then I realized that this is not the kind of person I desire to be. I’ve spent quite a bit of time recently being angry. Theres a lot to be angry about, but sometimes it can cause one’s soul to atrophy into a dark mass of negativity, and that’s not what I want for myself. It’s hard to stay positive in this business — hell, its hard staying positive as a human being, with the state of the world right now — but I see that even after writing this, I feel more more hopeful, and I hope it brings the same to you.”
Matarazzo’s latest piece is a very personal childhood story about her quest to discover who her biological parents were, and how her mother reacted:
Back at home, my mother is leaning against the counter, arms crossed, staring at me. The ice out has begun. I stare back at her, my eyes inadvertently causing her head to look shrunken. I’m waiting for her to say something, anything, but she just continues to stare. Her eyes begin to well with tears as her head shakes in disappointment. When she finally does speak, she asks what she’s done wrong that would make me do something like that. She proceeds to tell me that I have everything, and keeps asking, “What did I do? Tell me.”
She also begins with an admission that will resonate with many writers and bloggers: the desire to be so personal in expressing herself, and the fear of doing so in public: “I have been hesitant to write anything about my life that is deeply personal, because that requires an incredible willingness on behalf of the writer to be vulnerable and honest.”
I spoke with Matarazzo via email about what led her to decide to start sharing these stories. “There wasn’t a specific moment where I decided to start a blog. I had been toying with the idea for awhile, and had no idea how to do it, or where to begin. I talked to a friend of mine (Lexi Alexander) who told me to just go for it. I also have to credit her for giving me the title and suggestion to write ‘What the F— is F—able?’
“I have been writing since I was a child. I make it a point to write every day. It’s not always personal, sometimes it’s a script or a play.”
As for the response to her stories, “I was overwhelmed.”
“In any kind of storytelling, whether it’s film, blog, or fictional narrative, what speaks most to me as an artist and human being is the relatedness of feelings,” she said. “For example, I’ve never been alone on a planet battling aliens, but I do relate with the characters feeling of aloneness, fear, etc. That’s what storytelling is all about. We are continually looking for ourselves in others (subconsciously or not), whether it’s on the screen, in a book or on a blog. And I firmly believe that we all have stories to tell along with experiences to share. That’s one of the ways that we create change. One story at a time.”
Follow her blog here.