So I spent the weekend hanging out at the “Future of Entertainment” conference at MIT. It was filled with all of the most prominent and accomplished men and women in the transmedia fields. Theorists and professors like Henry Jenkins (who writes “Confessions of an Aca-Fan”), authors and inventors like Grant McCracken, and, a woman who really caught my eye, Molly Bingham,  a photo journalist. This is a woman who has photographed the wake of the Rwandan genocide and the inside of an Iraqi prison and has just recently hung up her camera in order to dedicate herself to creating a more ethical way of transmitting global news. She is amazing.

Needless to say I was feeling highly inadequate. Here I am sitting in a lecture hall at one of the top universities on the planet. I mean, I was surrounded by classrooms with signs that said “Nano Tech” and “Neuro Research” on the doors and I barely made it through high school; it was humbling to say the least. Breaks between the speakers included stale coffee, a granola bar, and me standing against a piller staring in awe at the immense brain power surrounding me.

Luckily I had my three dear friends Mark Warshaw and Mauricio Mota (founders of The Alchemists) and Mark Vicente (director of “What the Bleep Do We Know?” and the new documentary “Incendiar el Corazon”) to remind me that we are all there with the same intention, armed with different specialties. It was then that I allowed myself to see the true awesomeness of what was being discussed as well as to recognize my place amongst the rest of the larger team. I could see the value of their skills in conjunction with mine and the beauty of our potential relationships.

Online communities and all the new forms of technology currently bursting forth are fascinating to me. The reason I was at the conference to begin with was an effect of Smallville and the way the fandom embraced and supported the character I worked so hard to build and portray for ten years. The power of the media became obvious to me when my friend Tabby Chapman began doing successful fundraisers for a young boy who was struggling with cancer through the online group she established, (allisonmackonline.com). She was able to raise astonishing support — this wasn’t your average bake sale. It blew me away. So I have many of you readers to thank for introducing me to this new world.

I have spent my life waiting for someone to give me permission to speak. As an actor you are told when to speak and where to go; the idea of having your own voice and expressing yourself without the validation or platform of a project or a studio is something I was not familiar with. It felt like all of a sudden someone gave me a mega phone, with no strings attached. A mega phone that people would hear, and listen to. A megaphone that made me speechless.

Mark Warshaw then sat me down over pancakes at a funky cafe on Ventura Blvd. and asked, “What do you want to do with your career, what kind of message do you want to support?” Once I answered, he then proceeded to build an online show, The Chloe Chronicles, in support of this vision. From this spawned the amazing organization “Inspire, Believe, Give”, which is currently thriving, as well as a TV commercial called “Legendary Chloe”, and a large network of young women working to build and grow themselves in ways they never thought possible.

So the conference came to a close and after dancing the samba with Mauricio Mota and the other Brazilian members of The Alchemist team I landed back at home. The following morning, while drinking my morning chai and browsing my tumblr page I started to digest all that I had heard, seen, and read. The opportunity to be heard with these toys is insane, and somewhat overwhelming. It is so interesting to me because I have always been so excited about the idea of being a proactive participant in making the world a better place, yet I had no idea what to contribute.

What I now see is that with these tools we are capable of making an impact in the world that is so far beyond paper letters or even emails. Within seconds we can send information around the world. We can relate to a person on the other side of the planet as if they were in our homes with us. The opportunity to share our objectives and ideals is amazing.

Then the overwhelming fear sets in. “What if I say the wrong thing? What if I make something worse in an attempt to make something better? What if I am not consistent? And what do I believe and want to say anyway?” The pressure weighs in and the paralysis of my desire for perfection tears (full incisors), chews and swallows all that potential. I sink into my room and continue to wait for the next audition. Give the mega phone to someone stronger, louder, smarter, and more self assured. Continue life as a parrot and affirm my belief that the world is a movie to watch, not a story to tell.

But then I open my lap top. I lift my technological tool box and I begin to search. I start to use it to remind myself what it is that inspires me. I look at people like Molly Bingham, Pema Chodron, Abigail Disney, and Leyma Gbowee. In wielding this tool of modern technology these women are expressing themselves but the key is they are doing it in the ways that are most true to them.

I see now I can’t possibly fix the entire world all at once. I’m an actress not a warlock. But doing nothing is no longer an option. So I begin at the beginning.

I will stumble and make mistakes, but that is part of the growing process, and the permission we give ourselves to make that okay creates a more courageous and compassionate world.

I will find my voice. I will share it. And if I share it with as much truth and passion as possible maybe I can help others do the same.

And so begins this experiment.

Add yours Comments – 43

  • Robin

    on November 21, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Wow…just wow!

    First off, can I just say thank you for sharing your experience whilst attending the conference and introducing me to so many interesting people and I look forward to reading some of their thoughts, theories and ideas.

    I also wish to thank you for this amazing site, it has, is, and no doubt will continue to be such an inspiration. I’m really not much of a computer user, I don’t use twitter or facebook. However this site really provides a platform to read, think and discuss such a varied mix of topics.

    I’m guessing like many of your guests on this site, I began reading comments through knowing and appreciating your work as the character “Chloe Sullivan” on the TV show Smallville. However, I was amazed at the respect everyone involved in this process including Tabby Chapman, yourself , nameless others that help maintain this site and other posters had!
    This site always has transcended the typical notion of an actress “fan” site! Whether it be, video interviews, photos, drawings, music or comments this is a place which encourages positive thinking, and the doing in being an active participant in our lives.

    None of us are perfect, I have as many dark thoughts as positive ones, I an just as selfish, small minded and lazy as the next guy or girl, but I continue to work on my own failings and hope to become the best person I can be through being happy, generous, energetic, kind, honest and humble as I can. ( It sure seems easier to thpye this architypes than live them, but I can sure try).

    I hope you allow us to share in this wonderful experiment in each of us finding our own individual voice… and hey, don’t worry about mistakes – it adds character!

    Thank You and Good Luck!

    • 3tesla

      on November 21, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      > I also wish to thank you for this amazing site…
      > a platform to read, think and discuss such a varied mix of topics

      I second that!

      • Beth

        on November 23, 2011 at 6:05 am

        I second that second!

  • Rémi foucart

    on November 21, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Hello,
    Even outside the smallville series you get to impress me, I discovered this site recently, it is relaxing and enjoyable to come here.
    It is very interesting that you share your experiences.

    Thank you and good luck!

  • 3tesla

    on November 21, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    > I allowed myself to see the true awesomeness of what was being discussed
    > as well as to recognize my place amongst the rest of the larger team. I could
    > see the value of their skills in conjunction with mine and the beauty of our
    > potential relationships.

    I reckon being in creative/worthwhile relationships is what all compassionate and pro-active people are searching for. I recently stepped out into a career change so as to utilise my skills (in medical physics) more appropriately (moving from university-based cancer research to hospital-based cancer treatment), and I think I’m enjoying being in a job that my skills fit better along with the stimulation of a new culture. I hope that you eventually find the right place/path at the right time too.

  • Tiago Bacelar

    on November 21, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I love you Allison. Your blog is great. Come to here and read your words about so many different topics is fantastic. You’re a amazing person, a beauty girl and a wonderful actress. With Love From Brazil!

  • Anonymous

    on November 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Allison, Reading this entry literally brings tears to my eyes! I’m so glad that you went to that conference with Mark. He’s a great guy and he’s totally right! I’m glad to have been involved with you on such a colossal journey as you discover what this whole transmedia thing is about and I am more than happy to assist you as you build your dreams that builds others dreams. You have made such great strides in the technological world. You’ve always got a technological buddy here, even if I give you all my trade secrets. 😉

    • 3tesla

      on November 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      Do you know what happened to http://www.allisonmackonline.com and its forum, Tabby? Now that Season 10 of “Smallville” has ended in the UK, I was going to go back and read the comments and discussion form States-side folks, but the site has disappeared.

      • Anonymous

        on November 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm

        I’m sorry, AllisonMackOnline.com expired during my move to California and I didn’t have available funds to renew it. Since then, I forgot about it having been expired and now i’ve missed the mark of getting it renewed without paying 80.00. So, my next best bet is to wait till it fully expires and then I can buy it again if no one else does, and set it up again.

        • 3tesla

          on November 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm

          I wasn’t aware that you still owned the domain name. Am I right in thinking that someone else was in charge of maintaining the content, though? The home page hadn’t been updated in nearly a year, and the forum had come to a natutal end too. But reading GuyanaGurl and jennygirl’s comments on Series 10 would have been fun.

          • 3tesla

            on November 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm

            ‘Natural’ not ‘natutal’. Gonna have to discipline myself to proof read things properly around here!

          • Anonymous

            on November 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm

            I did! I always owned it, I just couldn’t maintain it. It takes up a lot of time and I really needed to focus on work. I can always restore it with a new url until the old one is restored. Does that interest you or is it kinda too late for it all?

          • 3tesla

            on November 22, 2011 at 4:15 pm

            The forum had come to the end of it’s life/usefulness, I think. If you could restore the threads on Series 10 then I would like to read them, but if they’re gone for good then I wouldn’t bother doing anything.

          • Anonymous

            on November 23, 2011 at 6:21 pm

            it’s definately not “gone for good” – I can put it up on another domain. Like. AllisonMackOnline.EssenceInteractive.Net or something of that nature.

          • 3tesla

            on November 24, 2011 at 5:00 am

            I was assuming that the contents of the forum had been lost (the posts rather than the forum itself going forward), but if there’s a back up then I would enjoy reading eveyone’s Season 10 comments at some stage (now that it has finished in the UK, five months after it did in the USA).

  • Icthacker

    on November 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    I use to think like you, inadequate around others with great intellect and amazing accomplishments. What I realized was that my place in this world was not insignificant because, although those people were incredible, they had their own sphere of influence; mine, though not at as grand, was still significant. People on all levels count. Everyone has a sphere of influence and whether they choose to influence people for good, or evil in this world their influence is still apparent.

    Having said all that, you inspire and provoke inspiration to Aspire to be- and to be like wise. (I hope that made sense) For me, your literacy perspective provokes me to search my inner most being, to make sure that what I do for the Lord is pure in intent as well as in accomplishment. Truth has always been something HUGE for me. Once lied to, or deceived, it is difficult to award someone with that gift of trust again. Your probe’s make me question my own honesty/hypocrisy, and at times have lead me to repent.

    You never know who you’re going to influence, but as long as your voice is your own God given message, it will do it’s purpose that it was sent out to do. =)

    Oh and sometimes words aren’t enough to express a message. Sometimes I only get it by watching it, so…you’re not “just” an actress. Your gifts are all powerful, just make sure message is good and your influence will reach all that it was meant for.

    • 3tesla

      on November 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm

      > People on all levels count.

      Amen to that, sister!

  • Daniela

    on November 21, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    This is like the second time i read your blogs, and i started to read because a friend of mine loves how you write and think so she told me¡¡¡read her blogs!!!. I did.
    I like how you think and is amazing how i can compare your blogs with my life…i will keep reading what you post, so surprise me 🙂

  • Jon Mills

    on November 21, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Lovely honesty allison, its raw and heartfelt.

    “What if I say the wrong thing? What if I make something worse in an attempt to make something better? What if I am not consistent? And what do I believe and want to say anyway?” The pressure weighs in and the paralysis of my desire for perfection tears (full incisors), chews and swallows all that potential.”

    I think perfection is what is right now, despite all the seemingly crappy injustices that go on in the world.

    I like to think of it like a magnet, no matter how finely we slice it, it will have equal amounts of positive and negative within the finest slice. In as much as we think we can outweigh seemingly imperfections in the world, there will always be an equal amount of positive and negative going on at any given time ( just in our little part of the world “country, city, town, social group” we may only be aware of a )

    So why bother if we never outweigh the scales in favour of what we think is more important, humanitarian or seemingly better

    Self expression
    Simple act of creating
    Like shooting a show, rarely ever does it all get done in one shot right?
    It’s a series of retakes until we arrive at something that expresses what we envisioned

    Yet even then that final cut, may be full of flaws to viewers and others who create shows, so it once again presents an opportunity to create something better, something more perfect

    Another opportunity to make a choice based on beliefs we hold about what we are viewing, too arrive at even more numerous crisises/conflict that bring beliefs back in to question and eventually cause us to make a choice which produces change.

    And it goes on and on… takes, mis_takes, takes, mis_takes

    Just as you said, all part of the growing process

    ( the evolution of humanity)

    Even when we think we are doing nothing, we are doing something…

    Reminds me of this part from Tuesdays with Morrie

    *************************************************

    “”Have I told you about the tension of opposites?”, he says.

    The tension of opposites?

    “Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn’t. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted.

    A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle.”

    Sounds like a wrestling match, I say.

    “A wrestling match.” He laughs. “Yes, you could describe life that way.”

    So, which side wins, I ask?

    “Which side wins?”

    He smiles at me, the crinkled eyes, the crooked teeth.

    “Love wins. Love always wins.”

    *************************************************

  • SueB

    on November 21, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Isn’t it amazing to look around and realize people are interested in what you have to say! Daunting sometimes, but Smallville is well over and you still have an active following. Good luck and God Bless on your endeavors.

  • Alyssa

    on November 21, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    This is why I can proudly call you one of my role models! You face the things that scare you, you dive headfirst into the unknown, in order to make a contribution to the world! I’m inspired. I’m excited to see what you start doing!

  • Marion_aecs

    on November 22, 2011 at 2:19 am

    WOW! .. So I read this and find myself relating to each and every word you say.

    As I’m now finishing my undergraduate degree I feel free and a little lost. All my life I’ve known what comes next, you go to elementary school, high school, and then you get to college and learn things you didn’t think you could like, or things you are good at and never even considered, after a few years you are freed and I’m realizing how scary it is. To be able to do anything you want, and choose any path you want. The possibilities are endless, and I’m just starting to understand that even though I’m scared, I’m also excited, anxious, to see what this journey will bring ..

    Rock on life Allison! you truly are a role model, and a wonderful actress!

  • Kirill Chuchelin

    on November 22, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I like it! Really, wonderful post. It’s truly happy to realise that there are a lot of such good people in this World as You and as those who comment here. I am glad to see that all these people have similar thoughts and ideals in life. This blog is perfect place to realise that thanks to You and Them our World CAN really be some better. And i believe it will be. And as for You, Allison, You wrote:
    > I see now I can’t possibly fix the entire world all at once.
    > I’m an actress not a warlock.
    I think that actors and actresses are those people who really can share their thoughts to the other World. Maybe not fully… Maybe only piece of thoughts, sometimes small piece. But this is great if other people will be able to hear, to understand this piece. And maybe it will sink into their souls. And that’s what You have already done, Allison, as Chloe. Ten years… You really put some part of You into Chloe. And it is markedly. A lot of people all over the World know You because of her. But some of them came here to see You not as Chloe, but as Allison. They just wanted to see actress who played such memorable and beautiful role. And now they are still here. Because they like You, Your thoughts, Your life ideals and objectives (maybe not all people here exactly in this reason, but some of them). I mean that You have already done something that sank into their souls. You just wrote:
    > But doing nothing is no longer an option.
    > So I begin at the beginning.
    Based on the my words above, maybe i can say, that You have done 1st step to Your objectives.
    > I will stumble and make mistakes
    But even the greatest people of this World made mistakes. Everyone makes it. Path to the great is full of stumbles and faults. But the price is really worth it.

    > I will find my voice. I will share it.
    > And if I share it with as much truth and passion as possible maybe I can help others do the same.

    > “What if I say the wrong thing?
    > What if I make something worse in an attempt to make something better?
    > What if I am not consistent? And what do I believe and want to say anyway?”

    The main thing is to believe in what You do. But first of all to believe Yourself. As once song in one sing “even when the road is hard never give up”.

  • Murphy

    on November 22, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    You are an inspiration. I have been blessed by the sharing of your gifts for the past 10 years! Don’t underestimate them…but all the while, remember that you are more than the sum of your parts.

  • Jeff Gomez

    on November 22, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Allison, you will always be a patron saint of transmedia for your work with Mark and Mauricio out of “Smallville,” and certainly in my humble estimation a worthy one. What you did and continue to do truly embodies the transmedia ethos of opening up narrative to dialog, inviting others to respond and even participate, and shedding new light on a tried and true story world. You used the power of an American myth to shift the perspectives of so many young women who are now seeking careers as writers, journalists or professionals of one sort or another. That to me makes you more than worthy of walking MIT’s hallowed halls…it makes you someone who has sent ripples out over the surface of the entire world, making it a better place.

    Jeff Gomez
    CEO
    Starlight Runner Entertainment

  • Beate

    on November 22, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    First, thank you for this long, honest, thoughtful post.
    Instead of a very long comment, I just want to point of the irony of me spending those years in my life that you spent at the Smallville set inside the academic world and not being too impressed (okay, it was not MIT or anything like it)……and now I find you in awe of that world, while all I can dream about is becoming a part of a project like Smallville, any part (I am no actress).
    Well, I realize I still confuse you with Chloe and consider too little that her words were put in your mouth (by whom? A team, I guess), but you filled her character with so much life and radiance. Back then, when I was your age, I dreamt of role models like Chloe or Lana, but could not find them anywhere. Girls looked nice, picked flowers and had to be rescued. I always dreamt about doing the rescuing myself (just I always was lousy at sports..but good at climbing trees). Well, looking beautiful is still required.
    When I studied, I could write, in my papers, anything I wanted, but nobody cared to read it (well, most of them are not worth it, just a few sentences and ideas here and there). If you post, people pay attention because you captured their hearts and minds. Keep it up, use the platform you worked yourself up onto !

  • Beth

    on November 23, 2011 at 3:33 am

    Wow! Awesome, awesome, awesome post!

  • Beth

    on November 23, 2011 at 3:36 am

    See this is why I can’t help but tell my friends that you are my role model, idol, mentor and ultimate inspiration all rolled into one!

    • 3tesla

      on November 23, 2011 at 11:16 am

      If Allison were your literal mentor then you would get to spend time with her reflecting on life together, and we would all be sooooo jealous! 🙂

      • Beth

        on November 24, 2011 at 1:40 am

        Which is why I say she is ‘like’ a mentor.

        • Beth

          on November 24, 2011 at 1:43 am

          on this site and for all of us…to be more specific.

  • Beth

    on November 23, 2011 at 3:42 am

    ‘I see now I can’t possibly fix the entire world all at once. I’m an actress not a warlock. But doing nothing is no longer an option. So I begin at the beginning.’

    This reminds me of a quote: “It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” – Confucius.

    There are so many other awesome aspects of and concepts within this post…I’m in awe. Don’t know where to start.

  • becky

    on November 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    I must say that your website is one of the few sites that I absolutely, positively must check daily. I enjoyed this post so much and it reminds me how important it is to share our creativity with the world around us. No, we can’t change the entire world at once but we can make it a little brighter each day by sharing what is positive. There’s so much darkness in the world, let some light in today and it just might spread:)

  • Bouroux

    on November 24, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Hi Allison
    It’s really lovely the story of your weekend at MIT. You find yourself surrounded by specialists in various fields to talk about communications, entertainment and technology. Communication and entertainment need writers for the content but also actors to give life and make it credible that the writers have written. So that the message goes, the actors must make us live all kinds of emotions with their interpretations. To make the world better every man and woman usingmust use the talents that life has given them. Allison, I can not wait to discover the new characters and messages of your next interpretations.
    After several weeks of reflection, despite the lack of new projects, I decided to keep ChloeSullivan.Site open for another year. Your fans who speak French have shown their attachment to the site that gives news of all your creative activities and your thought.
    Take care of you.
    Claude.

  • Pablo Iwa

    on November 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Hola Allison,

    Mi nombre es Pablo y recién estoy conociendote y buscando cosas tuyas. Estaría encantado de saber que estas líneas las lees vos y no solamente tus fans.
    Admiro tu belleza interior y la hermosa manera que tenés de demostrar tu ser hacia los demás.
    Te mando un beso.

  • Jette

    on November 30, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Last year a friend of mine, who studied singing in High School, told me she’d like to do more with her voice… Back then, I had no response to that, but now I could write her a letter – thanks to the rocks you’ve sent rolling.
    There’s one experience I’ve had a hundred times over the last couple of years: People who were talking in a negative way about art (especially music or film industry) and also about modern technology (blogs, facebook, internet at all).
    Only a couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to be part of a new project: “Network for people with Podoconiosis in Ethiopia” – people, who are suffering from one of the most neglected diseases of the world. We saw a lot potential in naming it “network”; development cooperation has moved to a whole new level. We are able to connect, easy and fast and all over the world.
    Suddenly being part of the world wide web isn’t something “along the way” anymore, it is the way.
    My friend definitely has the ability to reach people with her voice, she only has to find the courage to take that megaphone :). It’s not “just” singing, nor something unprofitable. It’s the possibility to move something. And the possibilities are way too underestimated! I agree, it’s about being authentic and passionate in order to give our gifts an expression that makes a lot possible.
    I thought of me to be someone who didn’t care about grades or principles and now I find myself having to tear down so many stop signs. Whenever people said: “first this, then that”, whenever they labeled something as pathetic or not important, whenever something was rated…
    The space to grow grew smaller and smaller with one single aim: concretion of my life’s path.
    I do like clarity, but there’s so much more inside that is endangered to be suffocated (no time and space to think outside the box).

    So, I guess, I wanted to say “Thank you” – it were much needed thoughts 😀

  • Danielrknecht

    on December 2, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    There is such honesty in your voice… You are inspiring others to share their thoughts without self-doubt and I thank you for doing so. We all have our special qualities, and yours are especially apparent. Sure those Nano-tech MIT professors can comprehend the molecular structure of matter, but that does not mean they can pint their emotions with words and inspire others to lead a fulfilling life. You have a phenomenal personality, are drop dead gorgeous, and do all that you can to impact the world in a positive way. Heroes exist when we make a choice. You are a hero ms Allison!!!!!!!!!!

  • kuzmax90

    on December 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Hi Allison, My name is Maxim Kuznetsov, I’d really like to talk with you. Can I do this and how? Are there any you’re on facebook?

  • Maxim

    on December 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Hi Allison, My name is Maxim Kuznetsov, I’d really like to talk with you. Can I do this and how? Are there any you’re on facebook?

  • Guest

    on December 24, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I have to say Alison Mack is an amazing actress, writer and blogger. I truly am a fan of her work!

  • Sprinky_24

    on December 30, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    seems to me you have already found your voice; and thank you for that!

  • matt

    on February 18, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    love it! Allison you are amazing!