Andie MacDowell spoke at the State Theatre this week, concluding the SmartTalk series of 2012. Her southern charm wooed the audience, and she kept us laughing with her wit. Her down-to-earth nature drew us all in, waiting to hear more. Someone in the crowd called her adorable at least twice.
Jill Zincgraf, Director of Fund Development for Oasis – A Haven for Women and Children, was the moderator. She introduced Ms. MacDowell who seemed larger than life walking out on the stage, but once she started speaking, made you feel like a guest in her home. This is also partially thanks to Ethan Allen, who provided the cozy furnishings for the season.
MacDowell just moved to Venice Beach, CA from North Carolina. She had never lived in California before, despite having a movie career. Her latest role places her as member of the Jane by Design cast. She was told that people believe you’re smarter if you talk fast, so she sped up her speech, and the audience loved it.
Her mother had what they called back in the 60s a nervous breakdown. Basically, it was depression, and she was given shock treatment to overcome it. Unfortunately her depression led to alcoholism. Andie’s father left when she was six years old, and as the last sibling left at home, she started taking care of her mother.
Ms. MacDowell eventually went to live with her sober father for one and a half years, but she didn’t feel like she belonged in his new family. Her mother wrote how much she missed her, and this saddened her. At one point Andie began describing the cigarette holes in her mother’s sofa, and became emotional. Of course, the audience was touched by this.
It was time to go off to college. While away, MacDowell was told she should model, so she saved up $2,000 and moved to New York City. The other hopefuls were divas, but since she had no experience and was told she didn’t look like a model, Andie worked like crazy, and this changed her life as she knew it.
A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. ~ Colin Powell
Her life has not been all take; she gives back. MacDowell’s two charities are ovarian cancer and Dress for Success. She wants to continue to grow as a person, live in the moment, and use her celebrity for good. This proves that she lives by her motto Make haste to be kind.
What an inspiring evening it was! I always love hearing how people overcome some sort of struggle in life, and with hard work overcome the odds. And in addition, once they have made it to the top, turn back to help others.
Speaking with Ms. Zincgraf, the two chatted as if friends, and MacDowell answered all questions that came her way, including working with leading men Bill Murray and Hugh Grant. They really pulled us into the conversation. After the show, Andie sat on the stage and chatted with her fans! I can’t tell you how much I look forward to next season!
By the way, I met Godfrey Fitzgerald in the Green Room, who also represented Princeton. He was there with his entourage all dressed in black with red accents, and he styled MacDowell’s hair! I also saw a number of Princetonians in the audience. Princeton was definitely in the house!
Photos are courtesy of Neil Anthony of 21st Century Digital Photography