We had the good fortune of connecting with Cecily Gish and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cecily, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I used to think there was such a thing, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to recognize there isn’t. “Balance” is less of a seesaw and more like Michelle Obama’s MyPlate. You portion things, but there is no balance, only priorities. And, as a woman, my priorities are constantly switching. You cannot give equal time to your work and your life; one will always be the priority and that’s okay! I really enjoy the ebb and flow. It gives me the permission to work harder on my career for a few days while my dishes and laundry pile up. And, conversely, it gives me the opportunity to take a weekend off of work to focus solely on self-care, which for me, usually consists of napping, snuggling with my pets, deep skincare rituals, getting takeout and watching movies with my husband – although I can never watch a movie for entertainment anymore; there’s always some aspect of viewing through a creative lense. 🙂
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have walked many paths in my life: dancer, singer, actor, producer, designer, CFO (and many more). Each of them has built upon each last. And, while many would not consider me to be traditionally successful, I would say that I have accomplished a great deal. I am a successful performing artist, having performed in musical theatre for most of my life. I transitioned to film/TV and it has been a whole new adventure! But, it was like starting from scratch. It’s also fascinating, having been in the business for over 30 years, to see the changes occur in real-time. In the ’90s, everyone wished self-tapes would become a thing – and now that they are, everyone wants to be in the room! I am proud of my resilience and adaptability.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am an indoorsy person. I prefer to spend time with people at home, because I’m frugal and noisy. I also very much enjoy seeing musical theatre and movies. My favorite place in Los Angeles is The Magic Castle. I have been so fortunate to be able to visit regularly thanks to several friends (they know who they are). Magic makes me feel like a little kid; when you’re little so much of the world is filled with wonder and magic. To be able to spend an evening meandering from magic show to magic show is a true delight. Having grown up in southern California I have to mention that one of the most California things we have is Knott’s Berry Farm – America’s first theme park! I have such lovely memories of all the Boysenberry delights and would definitely go there with out-of-towners.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shout out Jona Xiao, Owner & CEO of Career ACTivate. She is an incredible actor & entrepreneur and she changed my life. She has created a community of heart-centered, go-giving actors that I can count on for honesty, integrity & fellowship. Because of Jona, I have built some of the best friendships of my life. I am forever indebted.
All photos by K. Austin Yarnton (my husband)