Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why I Love (and Admire) Nia Vardalos

As anyone with a Twitter account will tell you, (vicariously) following the often-exciting lives of your favorite celebrity can be fascinating, unpredictable, and fun. You soon learn about their favorite books/movies/songs/alcoholic beverage, what their sense of humor is really like, and, most often, their political and/or personal beliefs. Yet, this strictly online relationship really creates a one-sided friendship - you know everything about what's going on in their world, but they have no clue as to who you are. In fact, you are one of their many "followers", there to simply promote their latest project to.


Then, you can only imagine my surprise, when the following tweet popped up on my computer screen from high-profile actress/screenwriter/goddess Nia Vardalos, sent to all those who follow her on Twitter: "After much LARRYCROWNE press, I'm bored of my own voice. What u working on that could use a little twitter promotion? I'll RT."

Wait....what?

I had to re-read her words. In the midst of promoting the release of the Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts film Larry Crowne (that she wrote and therefore has a high stake in the success of), she was offering to take the time to promote a project/cause/purpose for someone else? Who does that?

Nia Vardalos does, that's who.

I replied to her with information about my upcoming book: "My second novel, a gay thriller titled ACCIDENTS NEVER HAPPEN, hits stores July 19th! Thank you very much for your support!"

Within minutes, she reposted my tweet to everyone who follows her on Twitter: over 126,000 people. Suddenly, I started receiving inquiries about my novel from around the world. Everyone wanted to know one thing: where could they buy it? I couldn't have asked for more promotion and support.

But I wasn't the only person she helped. For the next hour, she retweeted on behalf of the Humane Society, a man whose music store had burnt down, the adoption of HIV+ children, scholarships for families of fallen soldiers, and much, much more.

When the question was posed to her of why she was retweeting on behalf of so many people, she replied with, "I wanted to use Twitter for good."

I now clearly understand the power of social media. Collin Kelley and Karen Head, mentors to many in this all-too important arena deserve credit here for sharing with me - and many other writers - their know-how and expertise, and encouraging us to utilize social media.

I get it now.

But, more importantly, I am forever indebted to a wonderful woman named Nia Vardalos. She charmed us with My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She became every gay man's ideal best friend in Connie and Carla, and she made us want to spend every summer in Greece in My Life in Ruins. Now, she's written a beautiful screenplay for Larry Crowne, of which a recent review in the Huffington Post referred to as "a movie that focuses on the power of positivity" - am I not surprised, considering the source behind the script?

At the heart of it all, Nia Vardalos is an exception. She really does care about the people who support her. Given the chance, she used her celebrity status to support them.

I'm living proof of this. And, I'm forever grateful.

3 comments:

  1. I also love Nia Vardalos. Connie and Carla quotes come out of my mouth almost daily, most notably "Worship that body; it's the only one you've got." In a world that tells me hundreds of times a day that I am not good enough, but might be if I just buy this new product or deprive myself of this and that, I could not appreciate such a sentiment more. What a woman!

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  2. Great post! I love Nia and her movies.

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  3. How fantastic for you!! I too love anything Nia does....she is really special. Such a talent in so many areas.....best of luck with your book!

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