Getting fired isn't usually a career highlight, but for actress Annabelle Gurwitch, getting canned was a blessing in disguise. Jean talks with Annabelle about getting fired by director Woody Allen and turning that incident into a quest to find others who have gotten a pink slip.
Annabelle says when Woody fired her from a play, she was crushed. "What I did to make myself [feel] better was I started asking people if they had ever been fired," Annabelle says. "It was like a dam broke open, people wanted to tell me their stories." Annabelle says celebrities including Felicity Huffman, Tim Allen and Ben Stein all shared their tales of getting the ax. Some of the stories were so funny, Annabelle says she wrote them down and published them in a book called Fired! Tales of the Canned, Canceled, Downsized, and Dismissed. "[Getting fired] is a really devastating experience, so I thought I would offer some humor therapy in the face of that," Annabelle says.
After writing the book, Annabelle says she took her project a step further, traveling the country to produce a documentary film, interviewing people who have been fired. Annabelle says while making the film she discovered some deeper issues that come along with the experience of getting fired. "Not only have they rejected you, you are not getting paid anymore and your health benefits are connected to this job," Annabelle says. While she says she is now trying to shed light on the healthcare issue in America, her book and movie Fired! is helping people cope with getting a pink slip. "You can't just identify yourself with that moment [of getting fired]," Annabelle says. "Remember there was a moment when you were hired."