Inspiro-a-gogo girls rule.They butt kick us into action, provide us with insider secrets to our dream jobs and prove that anything is possible – which is why, inspiro-a-gogo girl of Love Yourself Upmonth is the self-proclaimed Queen of the Oddballs, Hilary Carlip.
How much do I heart Hilary? Let me count the ways.
She’s a killer multi-tasker, she’s author of the very cool ‘Queen of the Oddballs’, she’s the ultimate pink thinkin’ go-for-it girl…she rocks my pink knee high socks – she’ll rock yours too. Fact.
HC, you rule. There’s really nothing you can’t do is there? Author, screenwriter, web designer, visual artist, entrepreneur – where did you get this go-for-it girl ‘tude from and more importantly, how do we get it?
WOW… THANKS for the kind words! I can’t really pinpoint where it came from – just early on, when I was young, I saw there were so many limitless possibilities, so much I wanted to do, and I just decided to go for as many things as I could. How do others get it? By taking chances, letting go of limiting beliefs, making left turns and, like the subtitle of my book, Queen of the Oddballs, doing things “Unaccording to Plan”!
What was being a teen girl in the world like for you?
I was a teen who felt gawky, geeky, chubby, unimportant, and invisible. So I did everything I could to build my confidence and be seen and heard. Growing up in Hollywood, I had an awesome playground to do that in. What rocked? All the circumstances I inserted myself in – from meeting and befriending (alright, STALKING! =)) stars whose work I was inspired by, to performing comedy as a juggler and fire-eater. What sucked? No matter what I accomplished, I still felt gawky, geeky, chubby, unimportant, and invisible. It wasn’t until later on in life that I saw it was not only OK to be an oddball, but it KICKED ASS. So I encourage every teen to realize that NOW—not to wait ‘til later.
You certainly ripped up the rulebook and wrote your own – what inspired you to take the road less traveled and embark on a killer adventure? Were you not scared? Were you not fearful of what living a hazy, creative girl life might be like?
Yes, I was scared. But I was even more fearful of living a boring, dull, straight and narrow life.
Amongst the million billion things you’ve done, you’ve just written a book, Queen of the Oddballs – it’s hil-arious and poignant and celebratory – what made you write this book and what would you like the reader to get from it?
Writing (especially in my journals) has always been a lifeline. It’s what has given me strength, made me feel like I had something to say, even if no one read anything I wrote. So I’ve spent years supporting others in that – with my first two books, GIRL POWER, where I included writings from teen girls from all different backgrounds and perspectives, and my second book, ZINE SCENE, which included kick-ass zine excerpts, and also was a How To guide to creating your own zine, again, all about self-expression and telling your stories. I also have a literary website called FRESH YARN (www.freshyarn.com) that features personal essays by incredible writers. SO… after years of encouraging other people to tell their stories, and providing places for them to do that, I figured it was about time I tell my own!
What I’d like readers to get from Queen of the Oddballs? To go for life fully and creatively. If you feel different, or like an outsider, rather than isolate yourself, or feel like crap about yourself, start digging what’s unique about you. Celebrate your inner oddball!!
You’re in a band – Angel and the Reruns – we heart your tunes miss Hills, in fact we’re especially diggin’ on ‘Buffy Come Back’ and ‘He’s a sneak’ right now – who and what inspires your tunes?
I started my band years ago as a parody. The premise was that I was ANGEL, who landed in jail for a “minor offense,” and while in the slammer, I saw the light. Not through religion, but through TV reruns. I picked three other inmates to be my backup singers, and the jailbirds turned songbirds forming Angel and the Reruns, the All Girl, all Ex-Con band.
“Buffy Come Back,” my controversial anti-drug ode to Buffy from the ’60s TV show Family Affair whose portrayer sadly overdosed at the age of 15, became an instant cult hit, getting national and international airplay. We were on TV a lot, and also appeared with Tom Hanks in the ’80s classic film Bachelor Party, with two songs on the soundtrack album. We got tons of press, and EVERYONE believed we were really ex-cons. We recently released a CD that’s available at www.cdbaby.com/angelreruns and on iTunes.
What’s a typical day in the life of Hilary Carlip – care to share?
It really depends what I’m working on. Sometimes it’s a creative day with writing and making art; sometimes it’s more business with emails and interviews and promoting; sometimes it’s traveling all over the country on a book tour, etc. It seems like the only consistent thing is that there’s always so much to do, and I get up waaaay too early. Sometimes 4:30 am! Sleeping in for me is making it to 6:00 am!
Of all the things you do, writer-girl, business girl, muso-girl, film-girl – what do you dig doing most and how do you manage to juggle them all, miss Jill-of-all trades?
Well, luckily I’ve been juggling – literally – for years now! So maybe that helps me figuratively juggle everything else! I decided long ago to only do what I love to do, so I don’t even have one thing I dig most. I totally dig it all! I could certainly use some more hours in the day, days in the week, though…
You also wrote a book called Girl Power way before the Spice Girls made it their ‘catchphrase du jour’, what made you write that book and what impact do you think it had at the time?
I had been volunteering teaching creative writing at a Residential Treatment Center for abused and at risk teenage girls. My class was made up of eight girls who represented four races, five gangs, and nine felonies. Uncommunicative at best, they were guarded, hostile, defensive and defiant. But once they felt like they would be safe expressing themselves on paper, and started to write, I was totally blown away by everything they wrote. I realized that teen girls did not have an outlet back then. There was no place to express themselves. This was back in the day before the internet where now there’s a million places to speak out.
So the impact it’s had was it brought teen girls’ voices out into the world when there weren’t any. Also it showed that no matter what your life is like (from a girl in a gang, to a jock or a rapper or a pageant girl), everyone really has so many of the same issues – especially trying to find a place to belong. Even though I wrote it several years ago, it’s still relevant today.
If they made a film of QOTO – who would play you?
Actually, I’m in the process of developing a TV show based on Queen of the Oddballs! My number one choice for who would play at least the childhood version of me is Abigail Breslin – the BRILLIANT actress who just starred in Little Miss Sunshine. RIGHT?!
Who and what makes you jump-in-the-air happy?
ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING artistic and creative; clever and edgy, insightful and quirky, cock-eyed and optimistic.
Quick hits – what’s your favourite…
Film: The World of Henry Orient (a BRILL ‘60s, must see film about two teenage girls “ADVENTURING” through New York City.)
Band: Can I say Angel and the Reruns? =)
Actress: Too many women, too little time.
Actor: Too many men, too little time! Both TOO HARD to narrow down!
Book: Actually, one of my all-time fave books is by one of your peeps! A British dude/artist named Graham Rawle created a book called Diary of an Amateur Photographer. Unbelievable design!
Food: Potatoes in almost like any form imaginable.
So, what’s next in the world of HC?
I’m working on two new TOP SECRET books, a TV series based on Queen of the Oddballs, mo’ FRESH YARN, and anything else that comes along. I’ve always made a point of going where I’m guided and that ALWAYS leads to something surprising and fabulous!
I was a total outsider, the weird, chubby writer girl, until I began to Think Pink, that is! Queen of the Oddballs, what advice would you give to readers who feel like no one gets them and that life is a bit sucky right now?
GO FOR IT! Be who you are – FULLY! Be an eccentric, a trail-blazer, somewhat mistrustful of the tasteful and the restrained. Act 45 when you’re 13, and 13 when you’re 45. Travel off the beaten-path. Do things unaccording to plan, and not only embrace your oddballness, but CELEBRATE IT! As long as YOU get yourself, and decide that who you are is freakin’ AWESOME no matter what, then others will think you’re awesome, too.
Finally, the colour pink. Discuss.
It’s so delectable, edible, sexy and sweet. One of the most amazing Technicolor moments is from the ‘50s film, Funny Face, where the mod and sassy Audrey Hepburn sings, “Think Pink.” She says: “Banish the black, burn the blue, bury the beige… I want this whole country PINK!”
You know from Queen of the Oddballs that Audrey Hepburn made a big impression on me when I was eight years old and got suspended from third grade for smoking on the playground – because I was being her character Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s!
Find out more about Hilary at: www.queenoftheoddballs.com