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benefit of my experience….

Photos of Barbie Angell by Rodney Smith - Tempus Fugit Design © 2013

I have come to a point on the path of my life where I finally have a good view of my past. I knew it was coming. I have been climbing upward for years and I knew that when I finally reached the top I would be able to look down on all that I had done before.

And now that I’m here I’m amazed that I endured it all. I’m baffled by the will I must have had when I was younger to be able to overcome the obstacles laying across my path. To have had the courage to go around all those blind turns without knowing what dangers I might have met. I stand here and look at a path with very few smooth, straight, or even sure-footed sections. It appears to be all rocky and steep and yet, I don’t remember it being as difficult when I was walking it. Then again, my hindsight probably needs glasses these days.

And so I’m standing here at the top of the mountain that I’ve apparently been climbing these last 30 some years and I feel like there should be a party. Like there should be balloons and streamers and a naked gut wearing a lamp shade on his head trying desperately to spell out YMCA with his arms and failing miserably. I feel like I should have invited all of my friends to the top of this mountain for a bash to rival even the wildest of company Christmas parties. I guess I just feel like I should celebrate. Not be rewarded or anything because the accomplishment is it’s own reward. And not a birthday party, because, well, it’s not the accomplishment of getting older. I know a lot of people who have done that with a great deal more grace than myself. I just want a party for all of us, no matter what age, who have finally reached the end of the first big climb and can look back and see how we got here. To be able to see just what chance and fate and tragedy and circumstance have created in all of us.

But here I am, alone now as I was at the beginning of my path, and there is no party. Just me. Just me and the top of the mountain that I have climbed.

And that’s okay. I know inside that I have accomplished a great deal more than age in these last 30 some years and that knowledge sustains me as I look out upon the next mountain I have to start climbing now. I do wish there were signs though. I mean, sure, I made it this far on my own, but I haven’t the slightest clue which direction to go next.

Anyone got a map?

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3 Responses

  1. Ah… the inevitable question of “Now what?”. No matter the accomplishment or vantage from the peak it always seems to be onward, ever onward.

    Congrats on reaching a summit. Cheers!

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Contact Information

Barbie Angell

Release Date

March 5, 2024


“Barbie Angell Uncensored” is a dazzling fusion
of poetry, comedy and tragedy

ASHEVILLE NC – Poet, playwright and raconteur Barbie Angell performs “Barbie Angell Uncensored: An Unfiltered, Uninhibited and Unapologetic Event” at 8pm Wednesday, March 27, 2024, at LaZoom Bar & Gorilla. The 90-minute show is a melange of works spanning Angell’s career, including her poetry, excerpts from her autobiographical play “Death by Sparkle,” pieces from her children’s book “Roasting Questions,” and rarely performed mature works.

A multitalented, multi-hyphenate personality based in Asheville since 1999, the always colorful Angell is recognized around town for her work as a poet, playwright, columnist, emcee, artist and fashion designer. She has been voted “Best of WNC” poet by Mountain XPress readers for 10 consecutive years, and her skills as an emcee have made her a sought-after host for local festivals and large events such as Planned Parenthood’s Condom Couture and the Reproductive Rights Rally. 

Angell has written sketch comedy, co-authored “The Kids Show: Definitely Not for Kids,” and penned one act of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” for Montford Park Player. She is currently creating and selling upcycled clothing in her own fun and funky signature style – some of which will be available for sale at the event, along with original artwork and prints.

Equal parts stand-up comedy, poetry slam and public confession booth, “Barbie Angell Uncensored” promises to be emotional, unsettling, hilarious, and as unique as Barbie Angell herself!

Tickets are available at for a suggested donation of $20.