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I Thought It Was Just Me

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Publications
  • Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home
    Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home
    by Leigh Newman

    Can't wait! 

  • Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit
    Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit
    by Krista Tippett
  • The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves
    The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves
    by Dan Ariely
  • Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up
    Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up
    by Harriet Lerner
Publications
  • Rhythm And Repose
    Rhythm And Repose
    Anti/Epitaph

    Tender and beautiful. 

  • Boys & Girls
    Boys & Girls
    by Alabama Shakes

    Love this album! So happy when I saw BrainPicker post this on her site! 

  • City of Refuge
    City of Refuge
    by Abigail Washburn

    Pure magic!

  • Some Nights
    Some Nights
    by Fun.
  • She Ain't Me
    She Ain't Me
    by Carrie Rodriguez

    I'm such a fan. 

  • I'm Your Man
    I'm Your Man
    by Leonard Cohen

    Take this Waltz is on my top ten list of all songs!

  • Babel
    Babel
    by Mumford & Sons
Publications
  • Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (Original UK Unedited Edition)
    Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (Original UK Unedited Edition)
    PBS

    So totally addicted to this series! Absolutely amazing!

  • Zen: Vendetta / Cabal / Ratking [Blu-ray]
    Zen: Vendetta / Cabal / Ratking [Blu-ray]
    starring Rufus Sewell

    Based on your recommendations from a recent blog post! It's another wonderful BBC mystery series! 

  • The Good Wife: The First Season
    The Good Wife: The First Season
    starring Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Josh Charles, Matt Czuchry, Archie Panjabi

    One of the best shows on TV. Juiliana Marguiles is incredible. 

  • Doc Martin: Collection - Series 1-4
    Doc Martin: Collection - Series 1-4
    starring Martin Clunes, Caroline Catz, Lia Williams, Stephanie Cole, Ian McNeice
gifting
Saturday
Jan262008

Sunny Day, Sweeping the Clouds Away

 

I've fell in love with PBS 36 years ago, when I started watching Sesame Street. The love endures. My favorite shows are now Frontline, Austin City Limits and Bill Moyers, but it’s still PBS and I still feel better for having watched. Of course, my kids are totally into PBS Kids. Charlie seems to have a serious thing for Elmo and Rosita and I get into deep trouble when I forget to record CyberChase and Arthur for Ellen.  Oh yea, just so you know, if Lawerence Welk happens to be on, I'll watch. Justin Timberlake has nothing on Bobby and Sissy.

Over the past few months, I had the opportunity to see, first hand, what makes PBS so different. It’s been a great lesson for me – one that almost didn’t happen.

About four months ago, Patricia Gras, called me to see if I’d be interested in doing a show on my work. She’s the producer and host of Living Smart, a popular Houston PBS show. I took a deep breath, thanked her for calling, and said, “I don’t think so.”

Here’s why . . .

I love research and teaching, but writing I Thought It Was Just Me was tough. I survived the dark, lonely hours at the computer by fantasizing about lunch with Katie Couric, dinner with Diane Sawyer and of course, bra-shopping at Nordstrom with Oprah. When the book launched, it also launched a big, honkin’ reality check that knocked the wind right out of me. I was actually shocked to learn that a little chitchat on shame, empathy and vulnerability is a hard sell. We kept hearing:

"These are scary topics. Do you have to use the word shame? We'd love to have you for a segment on Women's Most Embarrassing Moments."

or

"Ooooh. Shame. Sounds juicy. We'll invite people to talk about all of the drama in their lives. We'll get some wives whose husbands are sleeping with their best friends and then we’ll find some men and tell them that their mothers are really their brothers.  Then we'll have you weigh in as Dr. Brené - Shame expert." (Just a side note - I'd rather be called Dr. Shithead than Dr. Brené. Dr. Brown is fine. Brené is even better. But Dr. Brené is just not an option).

It took me six months to go from dumbfounded to pissed off to understanding. Producers have difficult jobs. I get that there are thousands of shows, websites, magazines and books vying for the public's attention. They need something easy and interesting. A friend of mine who has worked on both sides helped me understand that the core conflict is education vs. entertainment. I personally like the edu/entertainment combo package. Who doesn't need some warmth and humor mixed in with their learning - c'mon. Unfortunately, most people believe the two are mutually exclusive.

After talking to Patti on the phone for 15 minutes, I decided to do the show. She was so honest and real. And, as it turned out, she wasn’t even looking for me. She stumbled across me when she was googling “shame researcher.” She hadn’t even seen the book. She wanted shame and, to her surprise, my office was one building down from her office on the University of Houston campus. 

The experience was great and I can say with total certainty that PBS is an edutainment rock star! Of course, this shouldn't come as a surprise - these are the Sesame Street people. They have turned the combination of education and entertainment into an art form.

After we taped the studio interview last week, I got to watch the actual edited piece. I started crying. I couldn't believe what an amazing job they did weaving it together. They filmed me teaching and working in my office and they even interviewed a few of the grad students from my class. Patti and her crew also filmed a group of women from Brigid's Hope participating in my group curriculum (Brigid's Hope is a wonderful program that provides support and mentoring to homeless women coming out of Texas prisons and jails).

I'm so grateful that we both tooks risks and did the show together. Thank you Patti!

I’ll let everyone know the premiere date! 

 

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Reader Comments (3)

I am so excited about the PBS special with you and Patti Grass and the women of Brigid's Hope. I plan on taping the special for our Wednesday night Community Meetings since we will have five new clients soon. Your influence on these women, the program and me has helped change our lives. I am no longer afraid or shameful to talk about shame! We have seven women that have successfully completed the program and will be graduating on Feburary 6th at the Dunne Center. I'm emailing you an invite. Keep up the good work.

I too am glad that you took the risk to continue on talking about SHAME. I can't stop talking about your book every chance I get. For the record, last month I was getting my new hairdo at the shop - and Lord and behold, my hairdresser (who is going through some life changes in her life now) began telling me about a great book she discovered by accident - "I though it was just me" - your book. We had a great conversation about the book and you. What a small world we live in. This hairdresser has been doing my hair for one year now, and she was surprised that her grad student client took classes with the author of the book. She can't stop talking about the book either! I will be sure to tell her about the PBS show and I am personally looking forward to seeing it.

It has been a life changing experience for me to have had the opportunity to not only take your classes, but the chance to have met you and get a glimse of part of your world. Keep on rocking the SHAME world!!

01.29.2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoAnn Coronado
thanks for the insight into producers ...you are much more gracious than I am in my attempts.... experience speaks

happy and have caught a few moments...teasers???
04.12.2009 | Unregistered CommenterzMeg

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