Monday, October 29, 2012

Allison Pearlman, Interview #188

Name: Allison Pearlman

Where you live: Los Angeles, CA

What you do as a vocation or avocation? Actress and Preschool Teacher

Your two favorite books: 
That's such a hard decision because I'm an avid reader.  I'd say The curious incident of the dog in the night-time by: Mark Haddon as I've always had a particular interest in children with autism.  My second would be The Giver By: Lois Lowry.  It's a children's book but it fostered my love for dystopia novels and sparked my interest to continue to read dystopia novels through middle school, high school, college, and now.

Your two favorite songs: 
Anything by Phil Collins or Genesis (when he was the lead singer). I got to see him perform when I was 20 and cried when he came on stage. :) My two favorite songs by him would be "In the air tonight" and "That's All."

Why you are interested in spirituality? 
Because I've always felt there was something bigger than me and the life I'm living.  I would hate to think that there was no point to being on this earth. So far, there has been a point to everything I've done and learned and deductive reasoning leads me to believe that there must be a point to life even if I don't know what it is yet.

Your favorite quote: "To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance" -Oscar Wilde 

Your hero?  Walt Disney.  He has always been one of my biggest inspirations.  He never had a problem with change, especially if it was going to make things better.  He also loved to create and recreate to make things better.  I wish that more people were like him.

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn?  I would say it's more that I'm in the process of learning.  I'm learning that Jesus isn't bad.  He was used as a weapon towards me and my immediate family from a very young age and that was engrained as a very negative experience.  I'm lucky I have such an amazing fiance who was willing to work with me on this because we are both spiritually different (I'm Jewish, she's Christian) and on different paths.  But even if we were both Jewish, we would still be on different spiritual paths.  I'm learning that too!

A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?"  When I'm helping others.  Whether it be protesting for equal rights, inspiring through my videos, helping at a soup kitchen, or giving someone directions when they're lost, I feel connected when I am put positive energy into the universe.  I like coming home thinking to myself "G-d would be proud of me today."

Editor's Note: You can learn more about Allison and her work here too:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Danielle Lauren, Interview #187

          Danielle Lauren

Where you live: Sydney Australia

What you do as a vocation or avocation?
I’m a filmmaker and social activist

Your two favorite books:
Steve Jobs autobiography by Walter Isaacson and Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Your two favorite songs:
I know this is so tacky to admit but one of my favourites is Whitney Houston's “Greatest Love of All” and as an Australian the song “Land Down Under” by Men At Work makes me smile...

Why you are interested in spirituality?
I don’t know if being interested in spirituality is a choice but more of a calling,  a magnetism –it draws you in – something resonates with you on a higher plane that you can’t ignore. I find spirituality helps me to connect with the humanity of being human.

Your favorite quote: “Be brave or at least pretend to be, no one can tell the difference

Your favorite web

Your hero?
Nelson Mandela. Growing up  in South Africa, he used to live around the corner from me and walked past my house on regular occasions. He is the epitome of humility and peace – a true hero a true inspiration.

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn? 
Patience for myself and others.

A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?"
Everywhere – but I have a close relationship with Israel and India. 
Editor's Note: Danielle is Creative Director of a very cool project. See Danielle's cool work at: and find out if there's a showing in a place near YOU! Wa

Friday, October 19, 2012

MaryAnn McKibben Dana, Interview #186

Name: MaryAnn McKibben Dana

Where you live:
Springfield, VA -- Washington DC metro area

What you do as a vocation or avocation?
writer, pastor,
mother of 3.
I'm the author of Sabbath in the Suburbs: A Family's Experiment with Holy Time, published by Chalice Press.

Your two favorite books:
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Your two favorite songs: "The Yes of Yes" by Carrie Newcomer, "Magnificent" by U2

Why you are interested in spirituality? 
I am actually not interested in spirituality in the sense that the word is often used. Spiritual is sometimes juxtaposed with physical, as if what's in our minds and hearts can be separated from these bodies that we live in. Spirituality can also be superficial escapism rather than a groundedness in the world and its deep needs. 

I think we need a new word. Unfortunately, I don't have any suggestions!

As Howard Thurman put it:

I am simply interested in becoming more fully and vibrantly human.

Your favorite quote:
I snuck an extra quote into the answer above! But here is my real favorite:
 “If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” -E.B. White
Your favorite web sites: 
Colossal (, an amazing collection of visual art, videos, photography, etc. I never cease to be inspired by it.

The Dish ( -- Culture, politics, books, ideas. 

99U ( -- Excellent ideas about creativity. 

And my own Blue Room, simply because of the graciousness of my readers and the opportunity to write whatever's on my heart (

Your hero? I've thought for a long time about this question and cannot come up with a hero. I have creative mentors and people who inspire me, but no heroes!

A spiritual lesson you hope to learn?
I wrote a book about Sabbath because I'm exploring how to treat time as a friend rather than as something to control or subdue, something I never have enough of. I feel like I made progress on this goal but also have a long way to go.

A place in the world where you feel spiritually "connected?" Iona, Scotland. Mo-Ranch Retreat Center in the Texas Hill Country. The desert.  

Editor's Note: 
You can order MaryAnn's book here. Follow her blog * Catch her on  and/or on  twitter: revmamd