This is part 2 of the Carrie Genzel interview where she gets very indepth on Supernatural, acting and her amazing site State of Slay. You can read part 1 here where she talks about her fun experiences on the set and those pranks she went through with Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki.
Carrie Genzel is one of those lovely actresses that thought being in Supernatural was so nice she did it twice – she was in Bugs, one of the earlier episodes in Season 1, and in Just My Imagination, one of my personal favorite episodes, in Season 11. Many fans will remember Carrie’s character, Linda Berman, being the one with “Sparkle on her face!” Definitely one of the more iconic moments in Supernatural, for sure.
Since Supernatural, Carrie has appeared in Max 2, They’re Watching and Season’s Greetings. Carrie is also the author of State of Slay, a blog about “the state of living in self-love as your authentic self.” Carrie explains further about her blog and her journey to writing it below.
My gosh … the list is long! Carol, I’ve had a huge long, long-term crush on Harrison Ford. Since American Graffiti. Like … way back. I would love to work with him, but it would really hard for me to keep my cool. There’s so many people whose work that I adore. Cate Blanchett, apparently I like all the Kates, Kate Winslet … Honestly my mind is spinning. It’s like ahhh, who? There are so many people. I go to the movies at least once I week. I still love to go sit in a dark theatre and escape … go to that faraway land, and connect with a story or connect with the characters, or just run away with the circus. I’m constantly watching people doing what they do. Working their craft. The list is long.
So how has being Canadian affected you as an actor?
I don’t know how it’s affected me. I think that there’s so much work in Canada, it’s affected me in a good way. They need Canadians … so that’s good. In terms of working in the United States, or abroad, I don’t really know. I think that’s really nice, that I’m really proud of, is that around the world, Canadians are regarded as good, honest people, and it’s nice to feel that you’re welcome wherever you are. That’s really nice.
When I first moved to the U.S. in the early 90s, people really didn’t know anything about Canada and asked me weird questions, like: Do we live in igloos? Do we have electricity? These are all real questions that I was asked … this is my favourite: Do you hunt for your food? I’m not kidding. Yeah, just strange questions. I have to say, since the 2010 Olympics, a lot of people went, oh wow, there’s a whole city there! Mmm, there’s many!
Although I still get the question – I did recently get the question – are you in the Canada that’s near Seattle or the Canada that’s near New York? Well, it’s all one Canada, first off … it’s like, what? I find that there is a lot more awareness to what we have; it’s not just snow and bison. We have cities, and people, and things going on … One of the things that I really love is that when I’m working in Vancouver and the American cast is here, or the international cast – a lot of Americans are here shooting – is how much they love working in Canada. How excited they are to be there and the great experience they are having. It makes me really proud.
When I get to work in Vancouver, it is a smaller community and whenever I’m on set I know people, in the crew, or in the cast … So it feels like a family. I don’t feel that when I’m down in LA … it’s much more spread out and bigger, and it’s a little bit of a different experience … it’s nice to be able to walk in and be like hey, how are you, haven’t seen you, what’s going on, how are the kids … that feels really nice. You don’t have so much of that weird first day of school feeling, like okay, how does this work, is everyone going to like me, who do I sit with at lunch. It does kind of feel like that. It’s a nice feeling. I think being Canadian … with the way the market is right now, it’s great. They like us because we’re a tax break.
And we’re cheap.
And we’re cheaper, typically … but hey, not too cheap. I talk to my agent. I’ll let him take care of that. I think it has changed, it has definitely changed since I first started. For sure.
How did you come up with the idea for State of Slay and what are your goals for it?
State of Slay is a blog that started probably just over a month ago. It was a long time coming. I actually just wrote a blog about what kind of inspired State of Slay on Sunday [June 2], called A Power Greater than Myself. I had an experience where I should have died. By all accounts, I should not be here. I had a hard time with that, was struggling with that. Why did I survive, why am I here … what am I offering the world … what makes me enough to still be here when I really shouldn’t be.
It took a lot of counseling, a lot of journaling, meditation, for me to come up with the reason why I ended up here was to be of service and to give back. There’s a lot of things that I’ve gone through in my life that I’ve never talked about in the press. Typically we’re instructed by PR to talk about the show and how great it was, and how awesome everyone was to work with … yadi, yadi, yada … some funny stories, and that’s the end.
I never really kind of talked about the things that I struggle with or have struggled with, or the things that I’ve overcome. I’ve noticed that on social media because we all like to post the shiny happy pictures, that people would make comments thinking that the implication was that I have this wonderful fabulous life and that it’s all rainbows and unicorns, and premieres, and private jets and mansions, and that’s just not the truth and the reality of my life. I would say, Well no, I understand what you’re saying, because I myself went through that. You did? There was this, what? You’re a real person? I made a conscious decision to really put out positive messages within my personal social media. People really started to respond to that. I started to get messages from people that would reach out to me to say thank you so much for posting what you did today; it really helped me because this is what I’m going through, and they would write me this lovely message.
It would happen a lot. It got me thinking of being of service. How can I be of service and how can I give back? It’s one of those things, which I’ve also talked about in my blog, when you’re living as your authentic self and you’re on the right path, there’s constantly signs are given to you about where you’re supposed to go next. I kept getting these signs from different places and different people, about writing. It was the beginning of the year and I thought okay, new year. Fresh start. What am I going to do to challenge myself this year. It came to me – start a blog, and talk about me. Talk about all of the struggles and the things that I go through and how I overcome them. How I live my life today in a positive light. Learn to love myself and accept myself, and in turn I’m able to share that light with others. Off I went.
I thought, well, what the heck do I call it? Because I wanted it separate from my name, as me, as an actor … even though it’s me writing it, and I don’t hide that it’s me writing it, and there’s a lot of crossover … especially on social media. I just wanted to have something separate, so that it felt like a safe place where people could go and share. It wasn’t necessarily a place where people would go and be like, Oh, let’s see what Carrie’s writing about, the actor, and maybe read things that they might not be comfortable with. This is where this stuff happens, and the actor stuff happens over here.
It was important to me that it be a safe place for people to share. I played around with different names and it just kinda came to me. State of Slay – Slay in this case being an acronym for Self Love Appreciate You. I also just liked the image of slaying, you know … of warriors. And I think I took a lot of inspiration from a lot of all of you – the #SPNfamily, and just the image of all of you warriors slaying your day. Because you do every day. That’s kind of how it happened. So I’m like, nobody else has this, the domain’s available, this is it! We’re going with it. It just kind of blossomed from there, which told me that it was right, that I was in the right place. The goal with it really is just to do really what I’ve been saying … to bring some light to mental health, to depression, to struggles that people go through. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, we all have struggles; we all go through times that are difficult. What I found is there’s strength in talking about what’s happening. That we are only as sick as our secrets.
If we are harbouring all of those things, and we’re not talking about them, we’re just getting sicker. If we tell somebody about it, it’s out there – it’s gone. It’s not necessarily gone like you don’t have to deal with it, but it’s not weighing you down any more, as this embarrassing horrible thing. It’s out there. There’s really nothing that can’t be worked through. I’ve seen that in myself, I’ve seen that in other people I know that live their life the way I do. Incredible things can happen when we live in our truth and we live in the light … and we share that, and we talk about it with others.
Which I think that you all know because there’s so much strength in every day, in even just saying I’m having a tough day … it takes this weight off of you, that really makes a huge difference. You get the support of all of these people that come around you and go you can do it, I know you can, I love you … there’s this whole group of people that circle around you to give you the strength that you might not have in that moment. And that’s really what the intention behind State of Slay was and is. That’s really what’s been happening … which is really incredible.
It’s been really wonderful to see the response to it and I’m touched every day by the brave men and women who reach out and tell their stories and their struggles, and their victories. We all get to celebrate with them. It’s been really wonderful. I’ve been literally in tears almost every day, because I’m so touched with what’s been going on. It’s been a lot of work, and some times it’s tough to juggle in with my day, but it’s so worth every minute; it’s really been an incredible journey so far. And it’s just starting.
It’s been wonderful reading your blogs … I can definitely tell you that you’ve found your tribe. That’s exactly what the Supernatural family is. You’ve got not just the fans who are open and sharing and always available to help each other; you’ve got the cast, above all you’ve got Jared who’s always so open about his struggles, and you’ve got Misha with Random Acts and the I’m Alive with Jensen … it’s just … I love our cast.
It’s incredible, and as I said, I took a lot of inspiration from all of them, just in seeing how open that they all are with their lives and things that are important to them, and what they struggle with. I was just like, it’s time to kind of tear down this false image of perfection, or I don’t know what … it’s bullshit. We’re all real people … just because I have a job that might be more in the public eye, that doesn’t mean … I don’t get a pass from life. Because I have a job in the public eye, I have a bit of a platform where I can share things and people will look at it, so why not use that for something good, and give back …. Connect with people like me, who may be struggling or have struggled, or who knows. Life ebbs and flows, so even though I may be having a good day, I might be struggling tomorrow. And that’s okay, because I know it’ll pass. I’ll get through it, I’ve gotten through so much … I managed to survive a night on the beach, unconscious … I can certainly overcome a bad day. I’ve done a lot of work on myself and continue to, so I’ve picked up a bunch of tools over the years, and it’s all things that I’ve done and still do when I’m with friends, or with people that have reached out to me that I know that are struggling, and I’ll sit with them and really talk things through with them. But it’s now really me just sharing all of those things in a broader sense. It feels really good to kind of let all of that out. It’s very freeing to go this is it, this is who I am … It’s interesting, because I’ve had a few people that I know who are actors that I’ve worked with and I see around a lot, send me messages and go there’s a whole other life to you that I don’t know about … I’m like yeah, because I don’t roll into work this in the hair and makeup trailer … it’s just not appropriate. Unless somebody’s like Carrie, can I talk to you … I’m having a bad day … I’m like hey, yeah, let’s talk. It’s not like I’m rolling in with this stuff. We’re talking about silly, goofy things … It’s fun that people have gotten to know me in a different way, or have gotten to know me at all – because they’ve had a preconceived notion of who they thought I was. It feels really good just to have it out there. And to see that it’s helping people is the best gift ever. There’s nothing that I could ever receive in life that could be greater than that. It really was by the kindness of another person in my life, as to why I am still even here. There was someone in my life, when I was at my bottom, who never judged me, never pointed fingers at me, and just asked me how I felt, what was going on. In the moment when I could have gone left, I somehow mustered the courage to call him and say I need help. So I’ll always just remember that. Because that’s why I’m still here. If I can do that for somebody else, that’s just me paying it forward.
Carrie currently has a fun comedy called The Layover coming out on Direct TV on August 3 and in theaters in September 1. It stars Kate Upton and Alexandra Daddario, and was directed by William H. Macy. In addition, fans can see Carrie at Modesto’s Classic Comic Con, Oct. 27 to Oct. 29 in Modesto, California.