Heidi Goar



The 1991 film Defending Your Life is based on the idea that we are here, on Earth, to overcome our fears on order to “move on” in the universe. If we don't conquer our fears, we have to return to Earth and try again. In this existential charmer, the neurotic Albert Brooks, who is defending his life, asks the cool Rip Torn, his “lawyer” if he has been back to Earth before. Torn says, “Oh, yes.” Brooks, terrified, asks, “How many times?” Torn answers, “Oh, 20 or so...” Brooks stutters, “Is that a lot?” Torn laughs, “I know people who have been back 100 times, I wouldn't want to hang around with any of them, though.” This delightful slice of art offers a simplistic, almost childlike commentary on what keeps most of us from living “dangerously.”

In 2008, after teaching college sociology for 15 years, I left St. Paul, Minnesota, and moved to New York, New York to work as an actor. When I announced this, almost no one I know well seemed very surprised about it. Others I don't know well gushed over how courageous such a move is at this time in my life.

But this is effortless, and I have felt along-for-the-ride ever since I began seriously training and acting in 2007. It's like a love affair you know is right and so it gives you very little trouble (still, even in the best affaires des cours, there are always some little issues to hash out, non?). And when I “defend my life,” I will have very little to quibble about with the judges about whether I have been afraid to take chances in life. Dozens of fears can keep people from performing, not the least of which is that fear of public speaking shows up in the top three fears, after cancer, AIDS, terrorism, and nuclear war. But I am not afraid to perform.

I am originally from Duluth, Minnesota. I did not complete high school, hating it beyond belief; I have a GED. By the time I was in my early 20s, I was working three jobs (bartending and delivering newspapers) and going to college full-time. I got a graduate degree in sociology in the early 90s and started teaching at a small community college. I often get the question, Did you always want to act? I respond, I am from the Midwest, and if I did, I wouldn't have admitted it. We are a modest culture in the Northland.

I admire the class of Kathryn Hepburn, the swank of Julianne Moore, the versatility of Meryl Streep, and the heat of Jessica Lange. I emulate all these woman. I am a smart, outgoing, outspoken, sensitive woman. I am a hard worker. I love being immersed in ideas and pushing my intellect to move into new places. I have always read literature with an eye to the larger social commentary and imagine ways to move those ideas out into the world through performance. I want to do smart film and television, particularly that with social commentary. My stage presence is palpable, honed by years of singing sitcom theme songs for students and lecturing from the desktop (literally).

The more I know about the entertainment industry, the more I know how little I know about it. I can see myself doing more than acting; I can write with ease, have a terrific imagination that might allow for some directing; and have great organizational skills that are required for producing. No matter what, I have a lot to say about the world.