Carol Lee Campbell is a goddess in the true sense of the word. As an advocate for women, she uses education, artistic endeavors and storytelling to increase awareness and raise funds to support individuals and charities. Her theatrical production, The Goddess Diaries, is now reaching national stages. Voted One of the Best of the Fringe two years in a row by DC Metro Theater Arts at The Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC, The Goddess Diaries is preparing to return to Capital Fringe for five nights in July and two nights as a fundraiser at George Mason University in October.
As a regular contributor for five years on the Sirius-XM satellite radio hit broadcast, Broadminded, Carol provided commentary on a wide range of women’s issues that headline the media, took listener’s questions and drew from myth and ancient imagery to find answers related to body image, relationships and new opportunities.
Carol has twenty five years of experience in women’s health education and counseling, including inspiring and coaching women through her creation, Crone Stones, a meditation tool using sacred stories and goddess mythology. The much anticipated publication, Return to Wellness: The New Book of Crone Stones, was published in 2011. She facilitates coursework in feminist theology – sessions dedicated to goddess history, philosophy and art, conducting workshops and gatherings bringing ritual to the community. She is married and has two daughters.
Can you point to one event that triggered your interest in your career?
When I was ten years old, my grandparents gave me The Purple Puzzle Tree, a collection of bible stories that included a book and record album to play and read along with. Even at that early age, I could not accept that Eve was supposed to take the blame for upsetting God. There was something suspect about it. I think that’s when I became a women’s advocate.
In college I joined a group of women who created The Rape Awareness Campaign in Richmond, VA. They stenciled outlines of women on sidewalks where women had been raped. This was my first experience in activism and it really opened my eyes to the realities women face.
What about this career choice did you find most appealing?
My career path has unfolded in many forms; doors opened and inspiration was found in unexpected ways and places. The greatest appeal has been discovering the stories to share and working with the people who share them.
What steps did you take to begin your education or training?
A lot of my training has been, post college, in book form. In the 1980’s a wealth of women’s empowerment writings exploded onto the scene and I was swept up in self-discovery and learning about the wider universe that existed outside of traditional values and conventional teachings. In terms of staging productions, I had some experience in college, but through my very liberal church, I co-produced Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues as well as other awareness events. These shows taught me a lot in terms of marketing, fundraising and what a small group of women can accomplish in a short amount of time.
Along the way, were people encouraging or discouraging?
I was lucky to find a community of artists who have been an incredible source of support.
Carol Lee Campbell, far right, with the Cast of The Goddess Diaries
Did you ever doubt your decision and attempt a career change?
I have never considered a career change.
When did your career reach a tipping point?
My tipping point occurred when I became a regular contributor to the women’s Sirius-XM talk show, Broadminded. It validated my sense of purpose and gave meaning to the passion that drives me forward. When you’re writing your own script for your life’s work, it’s hard to know you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Realistic elements of life beg for doubt; namely, the solo aspect of writing and the low income at times can be very challenging.
Can you describe a challenge you had to overcome?
One of the challenges I have faced is learning how to reach the most people. My work has always found a niche market. There was a process figuring out how to expand my messages to include a wider audience.
What single skill has proven to be most useful?
I’ve always gotten excited about the work and about new projects, new discoveries. I think my exuberance comes through when working with others.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I’m proud to witness how The Goddess Diaries has evolved to become both a great tradition for women to kindle their own empowerment and a vehicle to raise money and awareness for critical issues our society faces. More specifically, being able to transform a woman’s experience into something for the stage is an incredible blessing.
Any advice for others entering your profession?
As for giving advice to others: Don’t live as a hermit trying to pursue a passionate art. Everyone needs to master the learning curve of business as well as art when seeking success.