A Faithful Leap | With Amber Tamblyn

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(Brian Rea for the New York Times)
(Brian Rea for the New York Times)

The biggest decisions in our life often come down to leaps of faith: changing careers, moving cross-country and, of course, deciding to spend the rest of your life with someone.

This week, actor and poet Amber Tamblyn — known for "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and "127 Hours" — brings us the story of a leap so dramatic, it's as if it were straight out of a movie. In this episode, Tamblyn reads Kelly Thomas' essay, "Ready to Take a Faithful Leap."

In the next week, we will release a bonus episode that's all about your leaps of faith. We are still gathering your stories, so send them in. In three sentences or less, tell us about a time you took a leap of faith in love. Write it down, or record a voice memo, and email it to And don't forget to tell us where you're from!

You can also share quotes on the Modern Love Facebook page.

More about the voices in this episode

Amber Tamblyn is an author, actress and director from Los Angeles. She has been nominated for an Emmy, Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award for her work in television and film. She has three collections of poetry and prose, most recently "Dark Sparkler" (Harper Perennial) which explores the lives and deaths of child star actresses, with accompanying artwork by such luminaries as Marilyn Manson and David Lynch, amongst others.

In 2007 she won the Locarno Film Festival award for Best Actress for her work in the film “Stephanie Daley”, in which she starred opposite Tilda Swinton.  She most recently appeared in FOX’s television show “HOUSE” and in Danny Boyle’s critically acclaimed film, “127 Hours” opposite James Franco.  She will next appear in "The Heydey of the Insensitive Bastards," and in the noir-tinged comedy "Girlfriend's Day." She makes her directing debut in "Paint It Black," a film that will be released later this year. Amber is probably most recognized for her work as Joan on the CBS television program “Joan of Arcadia.” She reviews books of poetry written by women for Bust Magazine and is a contributing writer for The Poetry Foundation and visiting Woodrow Wilson Fellow. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, comedian David Cross.

Kelly Thomas is a producer of independent film and co-founder of Extraordinary Renditions.  Most recently, Kelly produced "Spa Night," which premiered in Dramatic Competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and will be distributed by Strand Releasing. She began her film career with Mockingbird Pictures and has worked with acclaimed directors Rodrigo Garcia, Phedon Papamichael, Robin Swicord, and Brad Silberling. Kelly was the Producer in Residence for Film Independent’s Artist Development programs and in that capacity managed and curated labs for writers, directors, producers, and documentary filmmakers.  She also produced branded entertainment for Vanity Fair and Lincoln Motors.

Kelly holds an MBA from the University of Virginia and a PhD in English from the University of Michigan where her dissertation explored representations of “white trash” in American culture. Kelly currently lives in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles with her husband and their three cats.

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Jessica Alpert Managing Producer, Program Development
Jessica Alpert is the managing producer for program development at WBUR. In this position, she develops new podcasts and programs while also launching and nurturing WBUR’s newest projects.



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