“The Blair Witch Project” set up the landscape for current movies and the way they are shot. Films such as “Paranormal Activity” and “Quarantine” both capitalized on the success of “Blair Witch.” I recently had the chance to talk to one of the original cast members of “Blair Witch,” Heather Donahue.
Going back about 10 years, you made your breakthrough in “The Blair Witch Project.” This movie set up a lot of the ways movies are being made now, mainly low budget hand held camera shots like “Paranormal Activity” and “Quarantine.” When doing this project, was there any thought that “Blair Witch” would essentially change the way movies are made?
When we were making “Blair Witch,” the highest hope was that it would get into Sundance. There was no sense, in my mind at least, that it would have such an impact. My job was just to go for it, get down and dirty. No holds barred, not even runny snot and splotchy cryface.
I saw “Blair Witch” when it first came out and everyone thought it was real until one day you showed up on an MTV Awards show. From the time the movie finished shooting until the appearance on MTV, what was your life like in terms of not being able to promote yourself for upcoming projects when people thought you were dead?
There weren’t a lot of opportunities at first for the cast to show that we were in fact alive and well. It was part of the marketing scheme to keep the cast under wraps. To the extent that we showed up as dead on IMDB. Once the movie came out, we were given more opportunities.
The movie recently had its 10 year anniversary. Do you still have fans coming up to you that still can’t get enough of “Blair Witch”?
I can’t say that I’ve had many people come up to me that can’t get enough of “Blair Witch,” but I still do get recognized for it. These days, that mostly happens around Halloween. It’s always funny how fresh it is for people, since they’ve just seen it, and how long ago it is for me. They sometimes seem concerned, like I’ve aged a decade overnight.
Since then, you’ve done some smaller roles in film and TV, one of which being on “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.” What has the road since “Blair Witch” been like in regard to getting acting jobs? Has the movie helped or hurt auditioning, etc.?
I think it’s always hard for actors whose first big movies become etched in people’s memories. I think it was challenging for me to be seen as anything other than ‘the girl from the Blair Witch Project.’ I hope to see Katie Featherstone not become more than ‘the girl from Paranormal Activity,’ if she wants to keep acting.
For me, having people stuck in that one perception of me turned out to be a blessing, though it didn’t feel that way at the time. It gave me the kick in the head I needed to move on from LA and acting. I was able to get back to writing with more commitment and discipline than I had when I was still auditioning. I was able to find a life I love. Most important? I learned how to let go. Have the courage to empty the cup, because it will fill again, with something more delicious. I guess it’s that whole thing about nature abhorring a vacuum.
Eduardo Sanchez (“Blair Witch” director) danced around the idea of making another “Blair Witch” movie. The movie was so great because of its originality. What are your thoughts about another “Blair Witch” movie?
The mythology that the Haxan guys (producers of Blair) created for the original movie is so rich that I don’t doubt they could come up with something great. I would go see it.
You actually have an extensive writing background. What do you enjoy doing more, writing or acting?
It was my love of reading and writing that originally brought me to acting. I love trying on another skin, another life, walking in someone else’s shoes. Diving into another world. I loved that about acting, but writing lets me go deeper. I get to spelunk myself and the world in more ways. On the page, you aren’t limited by age or race or nationality. You can create any kind of character. I wasn’t getting to do that as an actress. I wasn’t getting to tell stories whole. So, though I miss some of the social bits of acting, I love writing (most days) and finally feel like I’m doing what I was meant to do.
Currently, you’re writing a book called “GROWGIRL: The Blossoming of an Unlikely Outlaw.” Tell me a little bit about how this came about and what the story is.
I’ve been asked by my publisher not to talk about the book. But I can say this: for my thirtieth birthday, I got a tattoo of a daisy growing out of the crack of my ass. The thought behind it was that all beauty comes from shit. The book illuminates adventures along those lines. And I mean that in the most positive way.
I had a chance to watch some of your readings from the book via your website (http://heatherdonahue.com/). The response from fans is great. What has been the reaction from the book and its readings?
For me, readings satisfy any lingering itch to perform. I love sharing my work, and the response has been great so far – even the haters have been enthusiastic. That’s another way my background comes in handy in my current life. Acting gave me a pretty thick skin, which is a thing to be grateful for when you write about controversial topics.
You write a lot about marijuana. It was recently voted to NOT become legal in California. Do you think it will ever become legal? If it does, how does it change the way people look, use or fell about marijuana?
I’m fascinated by the politics of marijuana. The plant itself is a force to be reckoned with. We’ve been coevolving with cannabis for thousands of years now. It’s always been there. The founding fathers grew it.
I feel the zeitgeist around pot is here to stay and we will see growing momentum toward legalization nationwide. As there is more testing around the medical benefits of cannabis, there will be a change in the way that people look at the plant. I think it is just a matter of time before we recognize that the benefits of marijuana, used responsibly, outweigh the harm inflicted by prohibition.
And I say this as someone who doesn’t indulge much, but when I do, it’s because I feel it’s necessary. If I can’t sleep and I have a choice between a bit of Kush or an Ambien, I will choose the Kush because I believe it’s better for me. I look forward to the day when that’s proven.
Thank you for taking the time. Is there anything you wanted to add?
Just a big thank you.Read More
Of all of things that teens are using to get high the most popular seems to be prescription drugs. It may possibly be because of the ease in which these drugs can be obtained.
Most teens admit that they get their prescription drugs right from their family member or parent’s medicine cabinet. Furthermore, if they cannot be found there they are all too easy to buy off of the street from other teens. This addiction can be a very dangerous one.
Parents should be alert to the fact that every teen may experiment with prescription drugs at some point. Some of the drugs that teens will frequently try are painkillers, muscle relaxers, anxiety medications, anti-depressants, and prescription weight loss aids. There are some things as a parent that you should look for if you suspect that your child may be using prescription drugs.
One of the first implications that your child is using prescription drugs is common sense. If you notice a drastic change in your teen’s personality or behavior, there may be something going on. You may notice that your teen is either not talking or talking excessively. There may be a change in the people that they hang around.
Their grades may change or even their study habits. They may display an inability to focus or concentrate on one topic at a time. You may even see major mood swings. They may be very ecstatic one moment and then completely down the next. Their personality may become something that you have never seen before with your child. This will be the first sign that there is some kind of drug abuse problem.
Pay close attention to your child’s sleep patterns. A good indicator that there is something not right is if your child is not sleeping like they should.
A lot of prescription drugs contain stimulants that will inhibit someone from being able to sleep. There are also some drugs that will mike a teen sleep more than normal. If you notice that your child is suddenly unable to sleep at night or is sleeping way too much, there very well could be a reason behind it.
Appetite changes are also something that needs to be watched. Teens will go through different times in their life that they will eat more or less. This does not mean that every teen is on drugs. However, if you notice that your teenager is barely eating anything and feels nauseated often there is usually a reason behind this. One of the main side effects of prescription pain killers is nausea. Therefore, keep your eyes and ears wide open to what your child is eating or lack thereof.
Most parents will keep their medicine cabinets locked when a child is small. Many never think that they should do the same with older children in the home. With prescription drug abuse by teens on the rise, this is a very good reason for everyone who has a child in the home to keep their prescriptions under lock and key. You may think that this is a bit much but drastic times call for drastic measures of protection.
The biggest part of keeping your child off of drugs is simply your involvement in their life. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Do not feel guilty for going through their things. It is your responsibility as a parent to know what your child is doing at all times. Pay close attention to the actions of your child at all times and be a part of everything that they do. You alone can be the preventing factor of having a child who is addicted to prescription drugs.Read More
The supporters of the marijuana legalization argue that the weed is not as addictive as like other harder drugs like heroin and cocaine but the addiction handling professionals have seen that the weed is used for many years and it does not leads to the addiction. The research made on this weed drug has found that the 10 users have developed the dependence on it in over time. As like the other substances of abuse cases when you stop the use of the marijuana then it will leads to the withdrawal symptoms that ranges from anxiety to the irritability. Considering that the marijuana is a drug which changes our body actions where its uses will lead to high occurrence which changes our whole life. For instance from low to moderate doses distort the perception that causes the traffic accidents. In fact the study of the weed legalisation is founded, it is a familiar illegal drugs used for many purposes.
Even the unhealthy items are legalized such as like cigarettes and alcohol which are prohibited from being sold to the children and the primary reason for this is because in general the children do not exhibit the same reasoning, judgment and responsibility of the adults and their bodies are not equipped to handle the intake of these substances. The use of the marijuana creates more problems which can deal with the serious blows to develop the bodies and minds so the use of the marijuana is legalized at anytime and this has increased the accessibility of this drug. Well this drug is now used by children and the teenagers in the form of alcohol and cigarette and the authorities should think about legalizing this drug. It would be well and good when you use this getting a suggestion from your family doctor before using it.Read More