Drop The Act, It’s Exhausting!:

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I’ll preface this post with saying this is a funny one.  And if you’re looking for your next book to pick up that’s relatable, hysterical and truthful, then this is your gem.  I’m proud to say I’ve been friends with Beth Thomas Cohen (BTC as I, and many people in the fashion industry, refer to her as) for about 12 years.  I met Beth when I started my career as a fashion assistant, and she was a big wig in the fashion PR world, and the rest is history.  We’ve had countless laughs, cocktails and brainstorming sessions together (down to how many days did she recommended I consecutively give Colette a new fruit and veggie to try when she was a baby–yah, I trusted her more than my own doctor!).  I sat down with BTC to get the scoop on her life, how she got to where she is now and how we can all just DROP THE ACT!

cocoincashmere: Tell us about your extensive background in fashion:

Beth Thomas Cohen: I started my career almost two decades ago as a fashion editor and ended my fashion career as a fashion Publicist.  I am so thankful that I spent all that time in the fashion industry; it was a pivotal introduction to the world of media.  I was able to identify trends, write, be creative all of which attributed to the success of, “Drop The Act, It’s Exhausting!” Often people ask me if I miss the industry and the truth of the matter is I really don’t; and I am not sure if misses me either, haha. I was a little bit of an oddity now that I think about the quintessential fashion person, but all of those experiences helped me identify myself in a better way and garner important material for my first book.

 

coco: How did you transition from fashion to getting the idea to write “Drop The Act, It’s Exhausting!”?

BTC: I don’t know if I truly transitioned or if I am still transitioning!  I just kind of bowed out of what I didn’t want to do anymore, and focused solely on the book and everything that is coming with it.  It all happened really quickly and in the end it did not make sense for me to do fashion publicity anymore.  I knew that I could not run my PR company all while also focusing on myself…it was a clear conflict of interest and frankly I didn’t want to be in the fashion industry anymore.  The book was never really supposed to happen, well I think I should say I didn’t know that it was supposed to happen…it just happened so organically, I never, ever thought this is what I would be doing; but at the same time it feels so right and I am so much happier doing what I love…writing and talking!  The idea was always in my head, I just never dreamt it could or would be a book people would actually read AND like to boot!  I always felt that there was a lack of information about real accounts of what life is like when it comes to anything from career to marriage to kids, etc.  I felt there was a need for other women (and men) to know that there was someone else thinking like they do and that you don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not and that authenticity was the way to go!  In full disclosure my agent believed in me and represented me with no true experience at all, helped me find a great writer, stream-lined my ideas and shopped it around.  Needless to say, I was ok if it didn’t work out the way it has, but praying that someone would “get it” and see a need for it….and here we are!! Literally a dream come true, because my lord, writing a book is A LOT of work!  More than I could have ever imagined though, and then some.

 

coco: Is the book based on your own life experiences in suburbia (slurbia!), or of your friends as well?

BTC: It is completely based on my life, my sequel will follow what I call the “sluburban struggles” but “Drop the Act, It’s Exhausting!” is completely based on my life experiences.  Each chapter is broken up into “The Act” and then “How To Drop It” combining all the masks that people wear pretending to be someone else; and in many cases, some are not even aware that they are constantly wearing a mask, and surrounded by people wearing masks.  It’s about breaking down every wall you have built to be the most authentic version of yourself, even if that version is not so pretty.  I am so excited to write more acts, there are just so many more to drop!

 

coco: Any plans to write any more books?

BTC: Yes, working on book #2…looking like a sequel to the first book, something along the lines of “Act Two”.  I would love to continue this as long as people will have me, but my ultimate goal is to be part of an ensemble cast (radio or TV) and just sit and talk about anything & everything; alongside other people with strong opinions.  People ask me all the time don’t you want your own show, and the truth is I really like discussing things with a group of people and getting many perspectives.  I did a TON of research when I wrote the book and other people’s opinions count…well if they are good opinions I should say!  I also think that it’s VERY important to have a more ordinary person sharing opinions.

 

coco: You’re a former city girl (although you can leave the city, but the city can’t leave you…), how do you find living in the burbs now?

BTC: A TOTAL NIGHTMARE! Sorry! I can’t possibly sugarcoat it. When people say things like, “It’s great for the kids” and “Ugh, the schools in the city”, YES, that may be true, but hello it’s not like prison in the city, it’s like prison in SLUBURBIA!!! It’s like middle school all over again, but this time I get to actually opt out of going. I can’t/won’t “mingle” and “coexist” I just can’t and I don’t. People say, “but what about the kids and making friends”, well hello, they have friends and we make it work, but I wouldn’t associate with anyone that I would have to worry about including my kid to begin with!  We won’t stay where we are forever.  I grew up in this town, but with independent schools you can live anywhere, and I do not want to be in Tenafly forever.  It was an easy escape from NYC, a quick getaway (we decided and moved 3 weeks later) but I do not want to stay in any of these towns to be honest, and it’s something I battle everyday, literally. I always ask my mom how she did it here in this town and the truth of the matter is, my mom was a single mom, so worrying about social status and all that crap was the LAST thing on her mind; and inadvertently she has programmed me the same way, thank god! I hear my friends relaying horror stories about invites or lack there of to parties, dinners and having to deal with other moms… I just cannot and will not conform to that type of norm.  It does however give me A LOT of food for thought!  I am amazed at the BS that still goes on, and these women are in their 30’s and 40’s.  Listen, we have a pool so the way I see it is I can invite the people I do like over, and we can drink and never leave the confines of our own home!

 

coco: Anything else you would want to add?

BTC: I think the bottom line and the message I would always like to convey when someone reads “Drop The Act” or follows me on social media (@beththomascohen which has become such a nice platform for me), is that people need to cut each other some slack.  There is no reason to feel like you have to have it all together, and that we need to stop judging one another in every category. Accept people for who they are, not what they are, and remember that we all have shit…some more than others, but we ALL have shit! NO ONE is exempt.  Let the mask fall off, and if you do, you might feel more liberated than you ever thought was possible.

Purchase your copy of Drop The Act, It’s Exhausting! here and read more about Beth Thomas Cohen here!

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