Today I am having a conversation with the Content Producer and Senior Writer of Carrie Ann Conversations, Ellyn Sinicropi. We met while working together at “Dancing with the Stars”, and then I asked her to come and work for me at CAC! She started as the Judges Production Assistant, and will be returning this year as an Associate Producer. People that are talented, intuitive, creative, sensitive, honest and have a good work ethic are not easy to find these days. But Ellyn checks all of the boxes, and on top of that, our sensibilities are in alignment. And that has been key to the way we work together.
Without further adieu, ladies and gentlemen, let’s give a warm welcome to Ellyn Sinicropi (applause – I can’t help it, I’m from live TV)!
Carrie Ann: So Ellyn, first of all, let me say this: You have been working so hard and I’m extremely grateful for all of the passion and hard work you have put into Carrie Ann Conversations – not only the website, but the social media and the digital series we did in the Spring.
Ellyn: Thank you so much!! I love working for CAC and seeing it grow. It’s been so fun to be on the ground floor of something that I think has amazing potential. I love the creative process and working alongside you!
Carrie Ann: Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from, and what brought you to LA?
Ellyn: I grew up in Houston, Texas and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. I was a double major in public relations and film/tv, but always knew that working in the entertainment industry was my ultimate goal. Growing up I loved acting and writing, and was a voracious reader. I was pretty determined to have a career in some kind of storytelling from a young age.
Carrie Ann: What is your cultural background?
Ellyn: My last name is Italian so I definitely have a bit of that in my blood (if my love of carbs and gelato is any indication). I’m also Norwegian, Polish, English, and Irish. If I had to guess I’d say that I am mostly Italian and Norwegian.
Carrie Ann: What is your age?
Ellyn: I’m 26!
Carrie Ann: What are your aspirations?
Ellyn: Right now I would love to continue growing in my career and use storytelling to connect in a meaningful way with others.
Carrie Ann: Hobbies?
Ellyn: I love reading fiction, listening to podcasts and music, spending time with friends, and am really into fashion and beauty.
Carrie Ann: When writing for Carrie Ann Conversations, what is your main goal? And how do you choose the topics of your articles?
Ellyn: I want to make sure that people feel understood and seen through my writing. I also hope that people take away something helpful from each article, or look at something in a new way. But honestly, having someone feel less alone because of something I wrote is more than enough for me!
When it comes to choosing article topics, I always try to keep the bigger picture in mind. What is going on in the world right now? What are we collectively experiencing? What trends, good or bad, have I been seeing on the internet? I kind of start from that point and then narrow it down. The goal of CAC is to help people so I approach ideas from that angle. And then sometimes I just feel like writing about skincare products because I have a Sephora addiction.
Carrie Ann: What are you hoping to give to our audience?
Ellyn: I hope to give them a greater sense of self confidence, and the knowledge that they are not alone in their struggles. We are all in it together!
Carrie Ann: What have you learned along the way?
Ellyn: I’ve learned so much! However, I think the greatest lesson I have learned is to be more honest and vulnerable in my writing. CAC is about embracing our flaws, and I hope that my writing is a reflection of that. There is no benefit to acting like you’ve got things figured out. Where’s the fun in that? I don’t trust people who claim to not have problems.
Carrie Ann: What was the most personal article you have written? Why was it important for you to share what you shared?
Ellyn: The most personal article I have written was on my experience with acne. Just about everyone has gone through a bout of acne, but it hits some of us harder than others and can be a source of low self-esteem. That’s also why I felt like it was important to share my experience with it. I never want people to feel like they’re alone! We need to normalize skin conditions and I wanted to do my part in that process. My hope is that the beauty industry eventually catches up and shows people with unretouched, real skin. I don’t want future generations of kids growing up thinking that their skin is supposed to look photoshopped.
Carrie Ann: Carrie Ann Conversations started as something I wanted to do to help people in need. As I was being challenged with my own health, I felt helpless. I went from being a very active and physical person, working intensely all day and then dancing or working out at night or doing other projects I loved, suddenly, I was in bed four days out of the week. And it was a hard adjustment. And I needed something to be creative and productive. It actually feeds my soul to create and be productive.
While in bed, I started to research for answers and to understand what was happening to my body. The Sjögren’s syndrome,and other autoimmune diseases were not as well known then, and I really had to dig for information. I found these very specific facebook groups that addressed a lot of what I was going through. One in particular helped me a lot, that was the Sjögren’s sisters group on Facebook. You have to ask permission to join because we share our real struggles with each other. I found answers the doctors couldn’t give me there, from people who actually knew what it was like. I could cry, complain, and also ask for support or advice in a way that allowed me and everyone else in the group the full freedom of expression. And that was healing.
And that is why I started Carrie Ann Conversations. In an effort to help people have a safe place to share their struggles. My goal has always been to build a community of ordinary- but also extraordinary people going through this journey of life, helping each other by way of sharing compassionately and honestly.
So, for me it was not easy to find the right people who could help me build this out and continue on the days I couldn’t. Which is a part of my life I accept and respect now. I have learned that the team is everything and you have been incredible that way.
What stands out to me is is that you have been able to combine a warmth and intelligence and added a dimension of a younger mindset, while keeping the torch going – all the while with an elegance that puts a smile in people’s hearts.
How do you approach your writing? What is your process for any young writer out there?
Ellyn: Thank you! It means a lot to hear that coming from you. When I write, I want the reader to feel like a friend is talking to them, and provide useful information at the same time. I’m figuring things out just like they are!
For young writers out there, I would say don’t be afraid to inject your own unique style and voice into your work. That’s what makes for an interesting read. Don’t try to write like anyone else, because your voice is what makes you special! This is the same advice I have to remind myself of.
Carrie Ann: When you joined CAC, I noticed you were incredibly self motivated and proactive. You continue to always be on top of things. How do you stay motivated in a world that seems to be a bit lost at the present moment?
Ellyn: I 100% go through periods of lack of motivation just like everyone else. Especially with everything going on in the world. But, I know deep down that giving up isn’t going to serve me or anyone else. Plus, I run on the anxious side so letting things slide will result in a worry spiral at 2am. I’ve found that I’m at my most energized and creative when I’m taking care of myself. If I’m not socializing, exercising, or resting enough, that is a recipe for lack of motivation. I am still working on creating a better balance for myself, but that’s why writing about wellness is so great. I am constantly writing about something that reminds me to get back on track.
Carrie Ann: We’ve been through some tough times these past few years…What are your biggest concerns about the future in general?
Ellyn: I have many. I try not to dwell on those things though, and instead focus on what I can control. I can only control my actions and what I put out into the world. It’s easy to get swept up in what’s happening right now and be in a constant state of worry or rage. I have vacillated between the two but always end up in the same place. I can only control my actions.
Carrie Ann: And what about your own personal future?
Ellyn: I think I have many of the same worries as any other 20-something. Am I doing enough? Am I on the right path? Will I ever be able to afford a house in LA?
Carrie Ann: Ellyn, in my humble opinion, you are doing your part and I know that whatever path you step on, you will bring a lot of light to it. And I’m sure you will be able to afford a house in LA! But maybe you should wait until the prices come down a bit, haha.
So, what excites you about the future? For me, it’s technology. It has grown to help make our lives simpler, which for people with disabilities is extra helpful. Apps like Instacart, Amazon, and Postmates have helped many of us survive these past few years, especially those of us who have unique immune systems and have to be extra careful.
Ellyn: I’m also excited to see where technology takes us. Especially in terms of how it can help us in clean and renewable energy. I’d love a world where we no longer need to put gas in our cars! I’m also excited to see how female leadership grows in our country. Hopefully we get a female president sooner rather than later.
Carrie Ann: Amen. Let’s talk about your self care:
What’s something you do for your mind?
Carrie Ann: Your career?
Ellyn: I have read self / career development books and enjoy talking to other people about how they got to where they are. The last book I read is called “The Path Made Clear” by Oprah Winfrey. It’s a collection of quotes and passages from successful people on how they found their purpose.
Carrie Ann: Your body?
Ellyn: I like to exercise and have been working on making it more present in my life. I take different exercise classes through Classpass, and have recently got into spin! It is very difficult but I always feel so accomplished when I walk out.
Carrie Ann: Your skin?
Ellyn: I have a skincare routine that I follow and never miss a day! Here’s an article I wrote about crafting your own routine!
Carrie Ann: Your sleep?
Ellyn: I try to shut off at a decent time and have a similar routine every night. Easier said than done though!
Carrie Ann: Your spirit?
Ellyn: I like taking long walks while listening to music and find that it helps clear my mind. I usually do 3-4 miles while listening to Harry Styles’s new album on repeat.
Carrie Ann: Your heart?
Ellyn: Spending time with family and friends is really important to me!
Carrie Ann: Your hope?
Ellyn: I think that the combination of taking all of these self-care steps lifts my spirits and gives me hope.
Carrie Ann: It gives me hope to hear of other people’s hope, so thank you for sharing that. Just a few more questions…
What has surprised you in all the research you have done and how has working with CAC affected your own personal wellness?
Ellyn: I have learned that wellness is very personal and not one size fits all. It’s all about trial and error. I’ve also learned to be more open to different wellness modalities. If something works for you, it doesn’t really matter what it is or where it came from. This has definitely affected my own wellness and made me a lot more aware of how I need to take care of myself.
Carrie Ann: What do you wish for CAC in the future?
Ellyn: I hope that it continues to grow! I would love for it to expand because I believe in its mission, and that anything that helps people understand themselves and others better is worthwhile.
Carrie Ann: Final question – we have to at least do one about “Dancing with the Stars”! What has been your favorite dance on DWTS?
Ellyn: My all-time favorite was Iman & Daniella’s horror night contemporary to the “Us” theme! It was such an inventive and unique routine. I think everyone in the room was wowed. I went home after the show and watched it again because it was that good! I’m so happy Daniella was nominated for an Emmy for her choreography.
Carrie Ann: I agree, that was one of my favorites as well. And now the final question – must ask, who is your favorite judge? Lol
Ellyn: You of course!!
Carrie Ann: Thank you so much Ellyn, and thank you for all of your contributions to CAC. I look forward to all that is to come.
Stay tuned for more conversations, and check out Carrie Ann’s previous interviews here!
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