Marlo Thomas Interview! Yes, THAT Marlo Thomas! THAT GIRL!
Introducing Marlo — Reinventing herself again!
For those of you who do know who Marlo Thomas is, I know you will be excited to know that she has written a new book called “It Ain’t Over“. It Ain’t Over…Till It’s Over: Reinventing Your Life–and Realizing Your Dreams–Anytime, at Any Age, which features 60 stories of extraordinary women who have all dared to dream again. It’s an anthology and road map of how to start over. I don’t know about you but she was/is a STYLE inspiration for me!
For those of you who don’t know who Marlo Thomas is…let me just catch you up! Marlo Thomas is a 76 year old dynamo who currently runs MarloThomas.com (via AOL/Huffington Post) where she and her staff create 80 pieces of content month. She serves as National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which was founded by her father, Danny Thomas, in 1962. Marlo has received 4 Emmy’s, a Golden Globe, the George Foster Peabody Award and is member of the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. Marlo burst on the scene in the late ’60s in the TV sitcom That Girl (1966–1971), she also is well known for her award-winning feminist children’s franchise, Free to Be… You and Me. And now she’s here with me to tell us, it ain’t over!
It Ain’t Over, Marlo Thomas Interview Excerpts
One of the things that I’ve learned is the first thing you have to do is never face the facts or you won’t get out of bed in the morning. That’s my mantra, anyway. I have that hanging over my computer. People are always telling you that you can’t do it. You don’t have enough money, or you’re too young, or you’re too old, or you’re too tall, or you’re too short, or whatever. Don’t listen to any of those facts. Make up your own facts. That’s the first thing.
~ Marlo Thomas
Just start working small. Make a call every day. Try to do something every day for six months, just a step every single day. As I say, get a new skill set, intern somewhere.
~ Marlo Thomas
Just keep trying every single day to do one thing to get you closer to your dream. So those are some of things that I’ve learned by being on the road and talking to women. I get very excited when I see women say, I could do that. Alright, I’ll try that.
~ Marlo Thomas
The Chief Blonde asks: I’m interested in the fact that you interviewed women of different ages and of different generations such as Boomers, the Greatest Generation, Generation X, and Generation Y. During the course of interviewing each of those generations,did you notice differences or similarities among the women?
Marlo answers: Yes. I felt that they were mostly stuck. They were stuck in a place that they didn’t know how to get out of. They had to work really hard to reinvent themselves from feeling like they were in a hole. Whether they had been laid off at a job, or whether they were stuck in a job they didn’t like and they felt they couldn’t get anywhere in it, or they didn’t like their boss, or they didn’t like the whole atmosphere of their job. They had a dream in the back of their mind, but they never really could get to that dream because they had to make a living to raise their kids or be a part of supplementing the family income. Now was the time that they wanted to at last go back and pick up that dream. I think that there were all different situations that they were in, but mostly they felt stuck.
The Chief Blonde asks: You found it to be a commonality across the generations?
Marlo answers: I did. Feeling stuck was a common theme. Now they felt that maybe they could go after it because they had saved a little money. A lot of it was, how do you start? How do I start? I don’t know how to start. That’s why, when I was saying the thing about one step a day. Just do something every single day. If you want to get somewhere in six months, if you do something every single day, and I really mean every single day, you will be way further along in six months. One of those can be meeting a person who thinks like you that wants to do it, too. That could be one day. The next day could be learning a new skill set, taking a class, signing up for a class. Just keep doing something every single day.
My acting teacher, Lee Strasberg, used to say, acting is not in the mind. It’s in the doing. That’s the same with life. You can’t sit home and wish for it and talk to your friends about it. You have to do something. Do something every single day to get to where you want to go.
The Chief Blonde asks: I was at a blogger convention and Katie Couric was asked about women over a certain age being marginalized and ignored. In relation to your book, how do you encourage women not to buy into that? Katie responded to it by saying, “To hell with that. I don’t think that’s true.” How do you help women in your book, or how do the women in your book, get over that “I’m being marginalized” mindset?
Marlo answers: I think by the things that we’ve talked about today – A) Don’t face those facts. They’re not your facts. It doesn’t matter what the polls say, and what statistics say, and what people say – you’re too old for this job. You’re not the right age for this job. Don’t listen to that. Go to the places where you can find other people who think like you, who are open to women your age, or get together with other women your age and create something that belongs to you.
I certainly would not spend my life worrying about what somebody else says about me. When I turned 50, the parts that I could play in television and movies dried up. There were not as many parts that I could play because they wanted younger women. That’s not going to be the defining moment of my life. So I started doing more theater. I started finding other ways where I could perform as an actor. I may not be able to be That Girl, but I can be in a lot of plays and enjoy it and love it.
I’m also now working on doing another television show. I keep continuing to go after what I want my way, but it certainly does exist in the world. I met a woman who was in her 40s who wanted to a hostess at a restaurant and they only wanted 28 year olds. They wanted women under 30. Well, you can’t fight that. So move on to something else, either another restaurant, or become a manager of a restaurant. Take a course in that, but just keep figuring out what you need to do to get what you want. Forget what the world wants you to do or any other person wants you to do. This marginalization does exist. Of course it exists, but that doesn’t mean that you have to buy into it. Don’t buy into it.