I created my blog, The Sheila Variations, in 2002. Those were the days when people would ask, “What’s a blog?” I wrote about whatever struck my fancy: books, my life, movies, acting technique, my fascination with big wave surfing even though I have no desire to actually DO any big wave surfing. Since I was a small child, passionate fascinations would take over my life, almost like an outside force. I’d get hooked into something, a cartoon, a television show, Ralph Macchio, and drop everything to submit to it.

This continued into the blog years. So there were months of posts about Dean Stockwell. An entire half-year devoted to Cary Grant. And, of course, Elvis: the ever-renewable source of inspiration.

This tendency of mine is why I chose the photo above to illustrate the introductory post. If you’re going to love something, you might as well love it as much as that girl loves Elvis. This has been my guiding principle as a writer.

I started writing regular reviews for Rogerebert.com in 2013, and I write there still. I’ve written for all kinds of outlets, and am lucky to have written numerous booklet essays and video-essays for the Criterion Collection.

I set up a regular newsletter a couple years ago, but I’ve decided to segue to Substack. There are a lot of things I want to write, long-form pieces about esoteric acting subjects, or doing a deep dive into a particular character actor’s career, subjects I’ve always wanted to write about but never have. I thought Substack would be a good place to do this.

Getting paid for what I do helps me do it more! Reader-support is important, especially since so many of the subjects I want to write about aren’t exactly commercial, or tied to the “current moment”.

I plan on putting up something new once a month (or more, if the spirit moves me). I may also un-earth archived pieces from my site - twenty years of writing! - that I’d like to share here. There is a free option as well as a paid subscriber option. You can pay monthly or annually. If you like what I do, please consider throwing a few coins my way, via my Venmo. Every bit helps and every bit is truly appreciated!

You can find me (very very occasionally) on Twitter @sheilakathleen and I’m also on Instagram @fenianchick. My blog, The Sheila Variations, is here.

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Harriet the Spy started it all. I’m a misanthrope who loves people. TCB.