Finding ‘The Why’

I had one of those experiences last night where I could literally feel my heart swell inside of my chest.

And not because I ran into my former scene partner from acting school who literally is the doppelgänger of Enrique Eglasias.


Hubba hubba.

Yeah no.

Sorry, completely inappropriate for the topic of tonight’s post. Although…is it though? Because the woman this post is about, my late acting teacher, put us together as scene partners, because she “saw us lookers together.”

I don’t know what she saw in me, but I’ll take it…

Ah, here come the waterworks.

My acting teacher recently passed away. She was the epitome of old New York Broadway glamour. She was in her nineties. A broadway starlet in her heyday. Had a legendary affair with an elite Hollywood movie star – to the point that he wrote a book about her. But more than any of those accolades, she was a great teacher. And she believed in me.

Last night, at my acting school in NYC, they held a celebration in her honor. It was standing room only in the auditorium where people had literally flown in from all over the country – and even around the world – to gather to pay their respects and say something kind about the woman who changed their lives.

Like I said: this woman was incredible — and personally taught Alec Baldwin, Adam Sandler…I could go on.

Listening to everyone share their favorite memories, and the impact she had on their lives, it made me realize the breadth of this woman’s heart. She gave. She personally invested in each and every one of those people there, and made them feel empowered. She instilled in them the power to believe in themselves. And that is a beautiful thing.

I went home that night, and thumbed through all of my old acting journals from my time in her class. And I had some good chuckles at some of her idioms that were “so her.” She’d always utter in her raspy, heavily New York accented voice: “You’ve got ta find the why!” And of course, “Where’s the humor?”

But I’ll never forget a moment that we had after class one day. I had done a particularly emotional scene….with doppelgänger Enrique…but she asked me to stay after.

And I wrote down our interaction, because I was just taken aback at how perceptive she was. She got me. That was the thing about Hope, is that the very first day of class, you walk on stage by yourself, and she instantly is able to tell you your weakness as an actor. Which sounds incredibly harsh and just…yikes! But it’s not at all like that. It’s a growing exercise. And frankly, free therapy.

But that night, she said, “There’s more going on inside of you than you’re letting out. And that’s what we want to see. That’s the emotion.”

She nailed it, didn’t she?

This was pre-BBB. Pre-book. Pre-even remembering or allowing a thought about that time during my eating disorder to cross my mind. I had it all bottled up. Those memories and feelings were suppressed in the deepest recesses of my spirit. And Hope knew. She could sense that there was more behind my eyes.

What she said to me that evening, it stuck with me. In fact, I’d like to think that it was the seed that grew to move me to start writing about my past and start this blog.

I know that the most recent posts on this blog are all motivational, positive, faith-centric. But that is the result of a dramatic evolution.

When I started this blog, it was to get my story out. Not for an audience. Or for recognition. But for me. To dig up those broken, shattered pieces of my past that I had buried away. The emotion that Hope knew I had somewhere deep down, hidden away.

This blog was my unearthing process. Shared with the possible hopes that it could bring insight or perspective to a sufferer or loved one.

My teacher, Hope, taught me that my story was worth telling.

She cared. And she made me believe I was capable of sharing it.

Back in that musty black box theater in the East Village of Manhattan, seeing everyone come together to honer that 4’11” bundle of dynamite, I was fighting back tears.

She was a courage fosterer. A confidence builder. A soul searcher and pull-er-out-er.

I can’t believe I was so blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from such a giving, empowering, and perceptive woman.

I’m realizing now, that the true measure of our lives is the collection of what we give, rather than what we do or achieve.

And even though Hope had lived out both of those things, quite impressively, every person in that room was celebrating how she had given them something intangible that changed their lives for the better.

I guess after all, she lived out her own philosophy: Find the why. 

Why do we live? She answered it through example: we live to love.  

***Thanks to everyone who has ordered my book, Bloom: A Journal by BeautyBeyondBones!***

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199 responses to “Finding ‘The Why’”

  1. Sorry for your loss lovely 💜 hope you are feeling OK about it. It’s very obvious to pair a beautiful girl with a beautiful guy, but I’m sure he has nothing on the man God has planned for you. What have you got planned this weekend? 💜

  2. What a beautiful memory of her you paint for someone like me who does not know of her. She must have been pretty magnificent. May her love continue to strengthen you.
    God is kind to give us such loving people! <3

  3. Pastor, another wonderful and heart touching post! What a blessing she was for so many and how many lives she touched over the years! Proud of you! Praying for you and your family!

  4. To think about caring enough to examine people and identify a blockage or what have you. This is will make an impact on me…see how this goes? Thank you Caralyn.

  5. So Sorry for your loss. I recently created a LinkedIn account for no real reason. I received a message friend from HS told me that our mutual best friend had died less than a month ago from heart failure, he was only 35.

    She told me she was trying to tell as many of our old friends as possible but had long lost my contact info. I asked if there was an obituary I could read, just to see what he had been up to – there was an actual message board.

    If I had never made the account I would have never known, would never have had the chance to say my goodbyes. God works in mysterious ways.

  6. Great post. Interestingly, I have been working on a post I’m calling What Is Your Why? 😃 It’s taking awhile because it’s a hard question to answer. Thanks for being you, hugs & love xoxo

  7. Wow! She sounds like an amazing person. It’s always soamazing when you meet someone like that. The pastor at a church we are trying out talked about something like that this past Sunday. He was speaking about Mr. Rogers

    That line about having special people who have “loved us into being”. Pretty powerful

  8. Awww lovely and emotional post! I really enjoyed reading as per usual! God bless you and may he give you constant strength and comfort during your loss!🙏 Oh and btw you are very beautiful 😊

  9. Your book made a beautiful gift for someone close to me. I’m a man, but I could see how great your book would be for the right person whose life it would touch. You have a lovely blog, as well. All the best! I’ll be wanting to keep reading you.

    • Wow, friend, thank you so much. I am so moved that you would give my book to your friend. I will definitely be praying for your friend as she makes her way through the book 🙂 sending big hugs xox

  10. This reminded me of my own theatre teacher, Jim Austin at Heidelberg who died some years ago. Great memories of him. And could he and his wife Marty through a cast party!!

    I have a few, hopefully sage, comments over at Patreon. In the meantime, I hope your book sales go well. Maybe if you sell enough you can get a new pair of jeans… Oops, sorry. Old man comment. You probably paid extra for those, right? Boy, is my face red!

      • Me too. After finding that picture of Peter Brandon and me w/ Pam’s note that I sent you, I’ve been thinking more and more of those days and how I was blessed to have been with so many very fine actors. I got into those circles, admittedly as an apprentice, but I got there in auditions. Looking back, I think I was closer to being able to “make it” than I realized. Regrets? Maybe just tad, being honest, but I have Julie and Hillary, and Olivia and so many people I doubt I would have met – and helped – otherwise. Including you and the blessing of BBB. God got me where He knows I should be. The memories? A gift. Something that says, “I know your desires, and I respect them, so enjoy these; something personal from Me to you. Just don’t forget to enjoy the life I gave you more.”

        Thanks for listening. Have a blessed weekend!

      • The theater world is so special, isn’t it?! Yeah looking Back and playing the “what if” game is always bittersweet. But you’re so right – the beautiful life you’ve created is exactly where God wants you to be. 🙂 the memories are just that: a gift. That’s a powerful way to look at it. Thanks for sharing that Jeff 🙂 hugs xox

  11. Hope sounds like an amazing woman. What a blessing to treasure – her legacy & influence on your life (& on so many others.) Would that all teachers could be ‘courage fosterers!’ Blessings & congrats on your book. ✨💜📖💜✨

  12. The beauty of passing on encouragement and lessons to others is that it gives those the individuals the ability to pass on their experiences and hope as well. 🙂 Peace be with you.

  13. Nice post. A good teacher is so hard to find. One who can look at a student, understand there is more, and help express unsaid and untold. That is why teacher is a Guru. Teacher shows the path. Not everyone can be a teacher.

  14. Sorry to hear about the loss of such a great woman. I’m glad to have met her in the brief description of her impact on your life. What she did for you created the catalyst, your book and blog, that have helped a lot of people battling with eating disorders and self image issues. Keep going!
    Be blessed!

  15. I love your posts.You are really a beautiful genius .I thank God for making you an inspiring personality.Congrats on your Book titled “Bloom”

  16. Our Lord poured Himself out, completely. As believers, followers and maybe disciples we pour ourselves out for others. New love within compels us. We live to honor the One who made us, redeemed us. Your teacher lived out the pattern. By the Spirit of our Lord you are now doing your unique part in a higher way. Best to you.

  17. Wow. What an incredible woman. And her name fit her perfectly- it sounds to me like she gave hope to so many people. I’m sorry for your loss, but I have no doubt she is watching over you with a smile on her face, proud of everything you’re doing. ❤

  18. So writing and acting have that same kind of, headspace? I just stubbed my toe. Imagery.

    Find the why. Excellent. I don’t know much about acting but, like Obama said once, “I do a pretty good, me.”

  19. Hey Caralyn, you obviously learned well from your Fav. Teacher, as you encourage and bless every person you connect with.
    Love your little expressions also, as…
    “We Rise By Lifting Others.”
    And you certainly do lift others, and help many to smile.

    Well, I finally put my order in for your book today, expecting it to arrive yesterday.😀
    I learned recently of a person who is anorexic. Her Mom-in-law, and Sis-in-law are good friends of ours.
    The lady with the ED has a trusting relationship with the Sis-in-law, and discusses all things with her, that is how a couple of us found out. We have also known her
    husband for many years, but had not seen for a number of years until three weeks ago, they are our son’s age.
    Anyhow, I spoke to the MIL and SIL and they both thought your book would be a benefit. (I know it will be). I also gave MIL your blog to read. No one should miss your thoughts, encouragement, sharing of Loving Christ and people. This could go on and on.
    If the others read as well, they can encourage, along with your words of wisdom.
    That is how social media etc really benefits because SIL is a dean of girls at a Bible College in Saskatchewan, and others all are in this area of Ontario.
    I always think this will be short……oh well. You are such a pleasure to “talk” to.

    God’s Blessings Caralyn,
    Luv 😀🌹❤️


    • Hey George! Oh gosh, thank you so much for ordering my book!! I hope you love it. Oh goodness, I’m sorry to hear that you know someone in your life with anorexia. I will definitely keep her in my prayers. That’s so tough. Thank you for passing along my info to her. I pray it will resonate with her and bring potentially some hope or help. Always love hearing from you friend. You have a great heart. 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  20. Your teacher Hope sounds like an amazing soul, who lived an amazing life, and gave her all to all that she came across. What a blessing to know such a beautiful soul. And what a blessing God put you two together, or all the rest of us might never have gotten to know you, your story, and the inspiration you are. God Bless you 🙂

  21. Lovely tribute. It’s clear that this woman played a pivotal role in your life, and you recognize that the Lord is the one who sent her to you at just the right time. 💛

  22. I am so excited about your book launch. Congratulations, Caralyn! I read the excerpt, and it looks wonderful. Lord, bless this book and get it into the hands of those you’ve planned from before time to find healing through its pages. God bless Caralyn and strengthen her. Fill her and continue to lead and guide. Protect her. In Jesus’s name, amen. God bless dear one. Congrats also on over 30,000!

  23. Hope. A perfect name for someone who has given so much of herself. So much hope. I am sorry for your loss. May Hope continue to shine bright in your heart!

  24. Find your “why” is very important to me. So much so that I wrote this blog post about it – and also produced a podcast about it – Both inspired by Simon Sinek’s book “Start With Why.” He obviously wasn’t the first to come up with this concept – perhaps your acting teacher was? No matter. It’s took good a concept to keep to ourselves. Thank you for sharing!

  25. Blessed is the Teacher! Feeling humbled to read about your teacher. God by His Own Grace gifted me with tremendously fabulous teachers in my life. Especially at my 18 I came across a Teacher through whom my whole life and view points got new perspectives and new meaning. Things which were right before our eyes yet blurred by fine veils became clearer. Lifted up our souls or shall i say introduced me to my soul. My words are too poor to describe what my Teacher gave. OH! how much more poverty our words face when they attempt to describe the Grace of God,our First and Ultimate Teacher! <3

  26. A great post. You write from the heart- I love that. We could all take a leaf out of Hope’s life. Give, give, give- the only way to leave your mark in this world. Congrats on the book—–well done!!!!

  27. Hi BBB,

    Great post as always. Honoring those who planted seeds on our heart is always good to do. The Lord has a great way of reminding us that He uses people to do His purposes in our lives. You honor your teacher by applying what she taught.



    On Thu, Sep 21, 2017 at 3:59 PM BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “I had one of those experiences last night where > I could literally feel my heart swell inside of my chest. And not because I > ran into my former scene partner from acting school who literally is the > doppelgänger of Enrique Eglasias. Hubba hubba. Yeah n” >

    • Hey Gary! Thanks so much. You’re so right – He is always working for our good – whether through people, situations, song lyrics – He will use it all!! 🙂 have a great rest of your weekend! Hugs and love xox

  28. Glad you had a teacher like that!! She may or may not have seen your works recently, but now from Heaven, I am sure she is looking down proud. Its interesting how teachers can make us do things in one way or another. You had a teacher that inspired what you try to do and be. Recently a teacher of my HS, who was there when I was in MS passed. He ran our HS Band Program and was a big influence on many. BUT he was a fav player and while some got all his highs, others got all his lows. I knew much of him from my sister and overall, wasn’t pleased from what I saw of him. He left just before I entered HS and it was a mess for a few years with the “fallout” from his “devotees”. I vowed to not be the best “like” him, but be my best “unlike” him. to educate and inspire ALL my students, not just the high achievers. Much love and all my hugs every day!! xoxoxoxoxo

  29. God bless little old ladies like her! That person who just sees you and accepts you and cares about you and urges you on all at once – that’s the kind of person whose input means the most and whose actions we are most inclined to imitate. The Hopes of the world are, in a way our hope for the future. Of course that role ultimately belongs to God, but people like that are usually His greatest instruments. You were blessed to know her. Continue on and bless others, as I know you try to do. <3

  30. I love the “what is done in love is done well” picture quote, mind if I use it on my blog?
    also great post. Sometimes we just need someone to speak some truth to us in an understanding way.

  31. Well well well well well well. What unique blog. I think it’s night the post you found out the reason why. You may notice that nerd for news does not exist anymore. It’s not because of the reasons you may think. Over time I realized that I can have the best numbers in any website however I was losing focus on the task at hand. And I was losing focus as trying to verify the reason why I started the blog to begin with. Seems like the more social I got the more Focus I forgot. And I did get more social as time went on. You may not like this but even you have to admit it you and I are exactly the same the only difference is 4 different genders. But we’re both Americans if you really think about it. I closed down the block because I didn’t want to present Social Gospel and I thought with my latest rains it was becoming just that. I think I would like to start another one up but I don’t want it to become more Social Gospel again. My condolences to your Broadway teacher. I’m not one to like celebrities very much but even I found the Enrique Iglesias comment funny and the reason I found that funny is because I know Alex Daddario isn’t going to knock on my door anytime soon and if she does she’s going to bring a Samoan with her for protection.

  32. Lovely post. RIP HOPE and thank you for giving us BBB – the gold version. We only enjoy life to the level to which we are willing to “give@ ours away for others. Thanks C. Been on the road, so I’m only now catching up on BBB Newsfeed.

  33. I just want to say you write beautifully. I really hope some of the people who are battling and fighting to overcome difficulties read your blog and gain clarity, inspiration and hope.

  34. I loved this post. People who can see you and believe in you are to be treasured always, no matter when they come into your life. I’m 64 and hope I will still be growing into myself until the day I die!

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