This week's Daring Spirit, actress Sarah Stiles, is full of surprises (for example, her unexpected answer to one of our questions!). She's a star in her professional life. Among other credits, she was nominated for a Tony award for her role in Hand to God (currently in its final weeks on Broadway) and is putting the finishing touches on her first NYC solo cabaret, Sarah Stiles: Squirrel Heart.
Where she's at in her career is impressive; however, it's in "real life" that Sarah's star truly shines. She's succeeding in an industry that is notorious for being harsh (that's an understatement - acting is demanding physically and emotionally, and it requires daring to thrive in a competitive field where the rules are constantly changing). Part of the strong foundation of that success is Sarah's grace, authenticity, and firm grounding in her connections to her truth and to the people she loves.
Enough about why I think Sarah's a Daring Spirit - read on to see for yourself!
Daring Spirits: Tell us about a decision that felt really bold.
Sarah: Ok I'm getting real with y'all. A very bold decision I made recently was to get some Botox and filler in my face. I am told I should not admit these things. It's annoying, because so many of us women do it but feel shamed about talking about it. I wish women more open to talking about it. I mean who are we kidding? Who knows the real age of anyone of TV anymore??
Now listen, I don't think you should HAVE to get work done but I also don't think there's anything wrong with it. I think you should do whatever makes you feel beautiful. That starts within. Do the work so you feel smart and sexy and happy and beautiful without ever looking in a mirror. Once you do that, go ahead...fill and freeze if you want!
I waited until I was single, happy and strong emotionally and then I had some very minimal procedures that take minutes and last months and months. It is not cheap. I will say that. And I am not in the habit of spending large chunks of money on myself. So I will say a couple needles to the forehead and the credit card plopped down seconds after felt incredibly bold. I was investing in something exclusively for myself that made me feel awesome. I am proud of that bold move.
Daring Spirits: Describe a time when things went "wrong" and then the Universe delivered.
Sarah: My business is full of ups and downs. I am rejected everyday in my world. This is my normal. I am used to it but it never feels good. My art is to put my heart in your hands and see if you like it.
Things go "wrong" all the time. I don't get roles that I was so sure should've been mine. I choke in auditions and let my anxiety take over. I wake up with puffy eyes from eating too much Thai food the night before and I can't go to my on-camera audition 'cause I look like a Quasimodo.... The list goes on. But I've been working for 15 years professionally in NY as an actress and I can look back and honestly say that everything was exactly as it was suppose to be. If I had booked this one job, I wouldn't have booked the other which turned out to be critically acclaimed and quite literally changed the way casting directors saw me.
If I hadn't had my heart broken into smithereens I wouldn't have the endless poetry I wrote and inspiration for a nightclub act I'm currently creating for myself. If I hadn't been so crazy poor before Hand To God started I wouldn't have started babysitting and met a family that has become a huge part of my heart and emotional life. The "wrongs" are truly gifts. There are lessons in all the "wrongs."
Daring Spirits: Beach or Mountains? Sweet or spicy? Window or aisle?
Sarah: I could never choose one to be more pleasurable then the other.
Beach for water and sun, mountains for earth and adventures.
Sweet for cookies and kittens and smiles, spicy in curries and sex and style.
Windows to see the world and sleep against and aisles so you're that much quicker to get off the plane and to a change of scenery.
Daring Spirits: "My art is to put my heart in your hands and see if you like it." Yes, that's art, and also a powerfully healing gift to the world. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your magic with us!
You can find Sarah on Twitter and Instagram @lulubellestiles. Go follow her - right now. She's hilarious and will bring you much joy!
photo: Sarah Stiles