Autumn Withers
 
 
 

flashback to…

the 80’s

 
I wrote a book, when I was six, about a girl who gets lost from her family and is taken in by a circle of giraffes. Clearly, a dark comedy. I drew illustrations and used cardboard and wrapping paper for my book art and cover. I subjected by entire collection of cabbage patch dolls and family dog, Tasia, to my first staged reading. I played all the roles.  In second grade, we had to select pen-pals from a list of cities velcroed to a felt board. I picked someone in Hollywood and wrote that I would be there one day to act in and write important stories. Perhaps we could meet? My pen-pal wrote back explaining he was actually in Hollywood, Florida, and he hoped that didn’t make me sad. And he hoped to watch me in good movies and that he wanted to be an eye doctor. (Very sensible choice.) All this time later, here I am, in the other Hollywood, glad to be doing the work of a storyteller. And I hope my pen-pal is out there somewhere, happy and keeping eye balls healthy.  Thank you for stopping by my virtual abode! Stay awhile.

I wrote a book, when I was six, about a girl who gets lost from her family and is taken in by a circle of giraffes. Clearly, a dark comedy. I drew illustrations and used cardboard and wrapping paper for my book art and cover. I subjected by entire collection of cabbage patch dolls and family dog, Tasia, to my first staged reading. I played all the roles.

In second grade, we had to select pen-pals from a list of cities velcroed to a felt board. I picked someone in Hollywood and wrote that I would be there one day to act in and write important stories. Perhaps we could meet? My pen-pal wrote back explaining he was actually in Hollywood, Florida, and he hoped that didn’t make me sad. And he hoped to watch me in good movies and that he wanted to be an eye doctor. (Very sensible choice.) All this time later, here I am, in the other Hollywood, glad to be doing the work of a storyteller. And I hope my pen-pal is out there somewhere, happy and keeping eye balls healthy.

Thank you for stopping by my virtual abode! Stay awhile.


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ABOUT ME

My life has had many acts! I grew up in Myrtle Beach, SC, and studied contemporary dance at the North Carolina School of the Arts. At 18 years old, my dance career was on fire. I performed with modern dance companies, on Broadway, toured with the Radio City Rockettes, set original works of choreography, instructed young dancers across the country, and served as artistic director for a theatre camp of 125 students. In between gigs, I managed to cull together semesters of study to graduate summa cum laude with a degree in Writing from the University of Georgia.

In my late twenties, a dance injury redirected my creative path towards acting and writing. I studied with renowned teachers and schools and did stage plays and readings. My dance background supported my connection to characters and story. The body is a phenomenal acting tool, it never lies. I began to work in commercials, then TV roles, more plays, and indie films. It was a life transition and creative rebirth.

After working on a female-centric short film, inspired by true events, helmed by a filmmaker through the AFI Women’s Directing Program, I understood the value of writing my own work. Through kismet, I met my writing partner and we instantly got to work with a shared goal to bring untapped female stories centerstage. Within three months, we were sitting at HBO pitching our first TV pilot. Talk about an odd path from the ballet barre, but that is exactly how the creative path flows.

My passion for empowering women and female-forward projects extends to founding the Hollywood Women's Collective, a membership-based women's goal group dedicated to supporting women creatives and engendering a spirit of support, collaboration, and giving back. I am also an all-access member of The Wing, a women’s community and co-working space.

I feel lucky to get to do this work, playing and writing make-believe, and to collaborate with other artists. My greatest role to date is being mom to my daughter and raising her with my artist husband. She keeps this zany profession in simple perspective and makes me a better creator.

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Onwards!