Addicted – The state of having a compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance. See also: Obsessed, ravenous, fixated.

Hi, my name is Danielle and I am an addict. I’ve struggled with this affliction since childhood—as far as I know, there is no known cure. It is a part of me that I have learned to accept, embrace, and celebrate.

I am a pop culture junkie.

Do you remember the first time you sat in a movie theater? I was only a toddler at the time, so my “memories” are more like imaginary musings, but nevertheless, they play in my head like an old-fashioned film reel. In the winter of 1989, I was about to turn two. Like other children of the ‘80s, I was blessed to be born into the generation of classic Disney animation. And so, my first butter-scented cinema experience was none other than Walt’s timeless twist on Hans Christian Anderson’s tale of “The Little Mermaid.”

I can picture my little light-up sneakered feet sticking straight over the edge of the booster seat, maybe clutching a little toy or a sippy cup in my hands, staring (as my mother describes) in awe at the screen. I was transfixed, she says, by Ariel’s angelic voice and the brilliant strokes of color that brought the world under the sea to life. While other kids quickly grew bored and wound up running around the theater, I apparently never fidgeted or lost interest. I’ve never doubted her story because it explains why the opening score still gives me chills to this day.

When we’re kids, there’s usually that one thing that speaks to us, opens our eyes to a world we didn’t know existed, that grabs a hold of our heart strings and hangs on for dear life as we grow up. For me, it all started with that teenage mermaid and her sheer force of will to find true love. Something clicked.

Any child in any given movie theater could watch a film and discover that their “when I grow up” goal is to act/sing/dance or direct/compose/choreograph or to simply become “a star,” in any way possible. I only knew that I, like Ariel, wanted more.

Flash forward 20+ years and my taste for art in all its forms has not been lost. It has instead intensified to an overwhelming hunger, and so, I sate my appetite daily by indulging in all things entertainment.


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