This Week's Guest: Emerson Collins
When it's hard to find the words you know you need to say, can you use someone else's? This week's guest is actor and producer Emerson Collins, whose new film A Very Sordid Wedding is a sequel to the classic Sordid Lives. Growing up around the big hair and church bells of Texas, Emerson struggled to speak openly about who he really was. Until he got up on stage.
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This Week's Recommendation: Better Get to Livin'
Big thanks to Emerson for joining me, and for giving me a reason to recommend some Dolly Parton this week. Look up her music video for the song Better Get to Livin' -- and yes, that is Amy Sedaris playing various roles throughout the video, including a carnival barker, a fortune teller, and a sideshow attraction.
The song itself is sweet, and positive, an upbeat encouragement to keep your chin up and ignore the self-sabotage within.
Dolly's advice in the song is to stop whining, to not sweat the small stuff, and to hang tough, whatever that means. And to be fair it's not harmful advice, it's just that it's easy to say all that from the outside. It takes very little effort to note when someone else is caught up in their head, and to encourage them to just buck up. It's a lot harder to diagnose yourself.
As much as I like this video and love Amy's weird cameos, I think there's one piece of advice missing from the song -- and that's to ask for help sometimes. Taking a long hard look at your life is scary and hard, but butting in to someone else's is fun.
So when you're feeling stressed or down, just telling yourself "keep your chin up" may not be terribly effective. But when you're telling someone else, and they're telling you, and you've got a bunch of folks all supporting each other, suddenly it's a lot more helpful. It's not the words of the encouragement that've changed, it's just that they work a lot better as a chorus than a solo.