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Carrie Fisher At The Sarasota Opera House April 22, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Health & Wellness, Humor, Joke.

On Saturday, BFF and I attended An Afternoon with Carrie Fisher at the Sarasota Opera House.

Some of you will remember Carrie from her iconic role as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars Trilogy.  If so, you may be happy to hear that she plans to play Princess Leia again in Star Wars VII, to be released by Disney in 2015.

Others may have read her books, including Postcards From the Edge, Wishful Drinking, The Best Awful, and Delusions of Grandma.

Although Saturday’s interview touched upon her writing and acting, its central focus was Bi Polar Disorder and her role as a mental health advocate.

Since the age of fourteen, Carrie has undergone therapy for mood swings.  For most of her life, she has struggled to find a balance between bouts of mania and depression.  She has experimented with drugs, both over the counter and under the counter.

And, through it all, she has maintained a sense of humor about life.

When describing her short-term memory loss, a significant side effect of EST (Electro-Shock Therapy), she quipped ~ “Of course, it might not be the EST.  I might be losing my memory because I’m getting older.  Or because of the drugs.  Or a combination of all three . . . E~S~T, L~S~D, and A~G~E.”

Pluto-HappyShe laughed about her dog and his perpetually wagging tongue that never fully retracts back into his mouth.

“It’s always hanging out like a perpetual pink waterfall.”

And about her mother’s Walk Through Closet ~ “It was like a car wash.”

“My mother would enter at one end as my mother . . . and emerge from the other end as Debbie Reynolds.”

She joked about her gold bikini, death as a “side effect” of prescription drugs (“how is death a SIDE effect?  wouldn’t it be more of an END result?”), the impact of her mental illness on others (“my daughter’s gained important life skills . . . she takes bizarre behavior in stride”), her marriages (“my second marriage might have ended because of my bi polar disorder, but it could also have been because he was gay”), her mother’s reaction to her diagnosis (“oh, that’s just the Jewish in you”), and Hollywood’s acceptance of mental illness as  eccentricity (“but Elizabeth Taylor did lock her medicine cabinet whenever I visited”).

Any regrets in life?  “No . . . but next time, I’m coming back as a blonde.”

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. SidevieW - April 22, 2013

a brave woman, able to talk openly about issues that so many try to hide away

nrhatch - April 22, 2013

There is a general reluctance to share mental health issues with others due to the stigma attached to it. Carrie Fisher has played a great game with the cards she was dealt.

SidevieW - April 22, 2013

And she has helped others to open up. She paid for her fame with almost having to be honest about it all.

nrhatch - April 22, 2013

When asked why people with bipolar disorder don’t always take their meds, she laughed, “Because being manic feels SO GOOD. Everything is a good idea. Sex, drugs, shopping, everything! And you have enough energy to DO IT ALL!”

2. Pix Under the Oaks - April 22, 2013

I like her!

nrhatch - April 22, 2013

We enjoyed her interview. While we waited, they played clips from Star Wars IV- VI ~ what a flashback! Chewy, R2D2, C3PO, and the Millenium Falcon! 😀

3. katecrimmins - April 22, 2013

Sometimes it seems like it would be cool to be a celebrity’s offspring. On the whole, they have a harder life. Of course, in “the business” it’s more likely accepted to be “eccentric” than outside. Sounds like she is coping well.

nrhatch - April 22, 2013

It’s hard to live life in the spotlight ~ which is why so many celebs seem rather maladjusted. Oops, I meant to say “eccentric.” 😉

Carrie uses humor as a coping mechanism to deflect inquiries that are getting “too personal” . . . but she does it effectively. We enjoyed the chat.

And now I’m anxious to see what Disney does with Star Wars VII.

4. Andra Watkins - April 22, 2013

Thank you so much for sharing this experience, Nancy. I’d love to see her in person myself. She is so, so funny about things that really aren’t funny, and I admire that quality.

nrhatch - April 22, 2013

We enjoyed her presentation style . . . humor always in the foreground of every answer. And she brought her tongue wagging dog up on stage with her! 😀

5. spilledinkguy - April 22, 2013

Gold bikini? There was a gold bikini in Star Wars?

nrhatch - April 22, 2013

That’s what BFF said! 😛

6. diannegray - April 22, 2013

What a brilliant evening you must have had, Nancy. She’s an amazing, funny and very talented woman 😀

nrhatch - April 22, 2013

Wonderful time, Dianne . . . and we scored FREE tickets! :mrgreen:

diannegray - April 22, 2013

WOW! Lucky you!! I’m very envious 😉

nrhatch - April 23, 2013

Yeah . . . but you’ve got a chocolate pudding tree. 😛

7. Judith - April 23, 2013

What a treat and what a brave woman to talk so openly about her life. Thanks for sharing Makes me wonder why I live on the other side of the world and so don’t get to see people such as Carrie. And by the way I love her comment on the car wash/walk through closet. 🙂

nrhatch - April 23, 2013

That’s one of the downsides of blogging, Judith . . . we are more aware of what’s out there in the four corners of the globe but it’s still a great big world to traverse if we aren’t traveling in cyber space and time.

Reading your blog, Dianne’s, Robyn’s, Barb’s, BB’s . . . all have brought “down under” up over for me. 😀

8. adeeyoyo - April 23, 2013

What a super person she is, not to lose her sense of humour, and how nice to be able to discuss her problems openly. I really admire her! Thanks for this post, Nancy.

nrhatch - April 23, 2013

She seemed to have just the right mix of humor, sarcasm, and wit! :mrgreen:

9. Three Well Beings - April 23, 2013

Maybe it’s the honesty in her, I’m not sure, but I have always enjoyed any interview I’ve heard and her performances, too. I’ve read a couple of her books, but I’m thinking I might like to read the others! What a very interesting conversation with Carrie! I know I would have enjoyed this, Nancy. I think she makes a great mental health advocate!

nrhatch - April 23, 2013

She speaks with candid enthusiasm for life. I’m sure you would have loved it, Debra.

10. kateshrewsday - April 23, 2013

Do you know, I’ve never really known much about her, Nancy. Thanks!

nrhatch - April 23, 2013

Definitely a colorful character . . . celebrity aside.

11. jannatwrites - April 24, 2013

It sounds like she has a great sense of humor! I love the one about death being a side effect of prescription drugs…I crack up at some of the commercials where they say the side effects really fast, like they are no big deal. (Side effects are headache, dizziness, nausea, fainting, constipation, abdominal cramping, etc….but it gets rid of allergy symptoms!)

nrhatch - April 24, 2013

With some of those meds, the “cure” sounds worse than the disease. 😀

12. Booksphotographsandartwork - April 24, 2013

Life for the other people in the life of a person with Bi-Polar Disorder is a not so fun rollor coaster ride. I think someone very close to me has this disorder but would never, ever consider being treated for it or even acknowledge it. I have never wanted to go on a rollor coaster but yet I find my life is now in fact just that.

nrhatch - April 24, 2013

That’s a sticky issue, Linda. A few questions during the Q&A addressed this problem. Carrie’s advice . . . don’t handle the intervention yourself. Instead, have someone who has bipolar disorder talk to them about the benefits of treatment.

13. Perfecting Motherhood - April 26, 2013

Good to see a celebrity putting that mental health disease in the spotlight. Manic depressive are the worst people to be around (speaking 1st hand experience) because they only take the meds when they feel down, really down, and even then you have to push them. The love to feel high and don’t take anything then, a recipe for disaster. I honestly couldn’t live with someone like that again. It’s draining, physically, mentally and emotionally.

Now, I love death as a side effect! I always find that ridiculous and refuse to take any med that has that one!

nrhatch - April 26, 2013

An attorney I worked with had a spouse who was a manic-depressant. It took a toll on him . . . in all the ways you describe.

Perfecting Motherhood - April 27, 2013

I remember Sally Field played one on ER over the years. She nailed it. It was exhausting just watching her.

nrhatch - April 27, 2013

Sally Field has played some challenging parts since her days as Gidget and the Flying Nun.

I watched ER for a time, but never saw Sally. Now I want to.

14. lindabrits - April 30, 2013

Very interesting.
I have just met one Bi Polar person that I know of in my life and she was on medication at the time, so if I had not known, I would not even have noticed.
I love Debbie Reynolds 😉

nrhatch - April 30, 2013

The right meds make ALL the difference with some disorders.

I watched / enjoyed more than a few Debbie Reynolds’ movies while growing up. Didn’t realize that Carrie Fisher was her daughter until long after Star Wars.

15. L. Marie - January 7, 2017

Thanks for sharing the link to this post, Nancy. She will be missed!

nrhatch - January 7, 2017

Yes . . . she was a candid character with a killer sense of humor.

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