How Joss Whedon Saved My Life and I Became My Own Big Damn Hero.

“She discovered she was the hero she had been waiting for.” – Wyanne

Last Thursday… I don’t even know where to start. I started the evening in a cab going to the SIFF red carpet with Clark Gregg and Nathan Fillion and ended it in a cab to go dancing with Joss Whedon.


The real WTF moment happened for me when I was sitting in the dark at the SIFF premiere of “Much Ado About Nothing” with Mr. Fillion on one side and Alyson Hannigan on the other side of me. In that moment, something hit me like the ending of a Shakespearean play, my own story just came full circle.

I realized that all of my actions up to that moment have led me here, 3000 miles and years away from where I started. I’ve traveled across the world, started successful businesses, worked with some amazing people, moved to Seattle and now helping build a social media management platform from scratch.

I’ll save you the entire long story, some of you might already know it. Cancer sucks and growing up without a mother was tough especially in the formative teen years.

As a young girl, I always a fearless, tomboyish kid, cave diving and swimming over alligators in Florida with not a second thought but when those teenage years kicked in…. I was emotionally screwed and the reptiles of the real world became much scarier than any gator.

Middle school was a beast, I had no friends except for the media center librarian and the school psychologist.  I was the new kid, Kids were mean, I was awkward. You know the story. Then I was flipping through the tv channels one night and came across what would be my savior and one of the things I can honestly has shaped me into the woman I am today…. We’ll talk about that later.

Fast forward to last week. Somewhere in a club in Seattle, aptly named Amber. I was showing Joss Whedon my whole multihued career as Miss Destructo on his phone. I looked right at him and said…

 “Thanks for Buffy…” 

I don’t know why I said it, I never talk about anyone’s work… but now I know why….

Without that damn TV show, without Buffy The Vampire Slayer, I honestly don’t know if I would still be here.

Yes, sadly… thirteen year olds can think about things like that.

I found a friend in Buffy and a mentor in the show, I could relate to her story of being the new kid, dealing with death of a parent and having a rag tag crew of the nerdy kids and a few adult mentors. I even named my chihuahua Spike after one of the characters.

Buffy was everything I wanted to be. A powerful, witty and kickass woman

I didn’t realize at that time, I had all of that inside of me. It would just take time, taking risks, hard work, helping others and a great support system.

Above all Buffy taught me that I could fight though the darkness if I believed in myself and my potential.

And I did…  I became my own hero.  

*Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Joss Whedon for creating real life superheroes and Nathan Fillion for always believing in me throughout the years. You guys are my big damn heroes.

5 Comment

  1. This is amazing. Very jelly. You've inspired me and it's exciting to see the adventures along the way. Congrats!

  2. Great post, Amber. It's amazing how life works if you take a moment to sit back and be in that moment. Even more so if you can take time to reflect on the entire journey. Things make a lot more sense that way. So happy for you!

  3. minavilly says: Reply

    Amber, you are the best! I'm impressed at what you've achieved at a young age, and proud of you for it! As someone who was "The New Girl" multiple times growing up, I know first hand how that can be to get through. Keep up the awesome job.

    You know, I still remember you telling me over breakfast in Vaughn Center that you had become friends with Nathan Fillion. You saved me from eating most of meals alone that semester when I was new, again, and I thank you. :)

    Melissa Villy aka The Jedi Librarian

  4. I was born too early for Buffy, but I made sure my daughter was introduced before high school. When middle age hit me hard, I rediscovered Firefly, which gently slapped me upside the head, and I had an enormous surge of creative activity that seems to just gather momentum. Joss Whedon's work has been an enormous gift to the world, and its impact will continue to grow. I'm SO grateful.

  5. TracyMallette says: Reply

    I love this post! Buffy has always been a huge inspiration for me, and it really does teach girls to empower themselves rather than wish they were someone else.

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