Heather Donahue came to public attention after appearing as the lead character in the 1999 cult classic The Blair Witch Project. The independent horror film became a blockbuster; Roger Ebert named it one of the ten Most Influential Movies of the Century and Donahue became a household name. She then appeared in an array of independent films, as well as guest appearances on several television shows, most notably for her starring role in Steven Spielberg’s science fiction miniseries Taken and a guest appearance on the sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. She has been featured on the cover of Newsweek, in People, and on The Tonight Show, The Today Show, The Daily Show and CNN.
Deciding to take a new direction, Donahue walked away from show business and into a strange new life of growing marijuana, mostly for medical purposes – a journey she relates in her memoir, GrowGirl: How My Life After The Blair Witch Project Went to Pot. Her writing has appeared in Los Angeles Magazine, The Huffington Post, and the Orange Coast Review and her first adult writing prize was as the winner of the Bust Magazine/Good Vibrations erotica contest. She is a member of the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto, where she teaches memoir writing, and is currently at work on a novel called Bounds.
At 24, I made the Blair Witch Project, which Roger Ebert named, “One of the Ten Most Influential Movies of the 20th Century.”At 34, I went to pot. Literally. More on that later.When Blair Witch became a phenomenon, I was on the cover of Newsweek, featured in People, appeared on The Tonight Show, The Daily Show, the MTV awards, CNN, and a blur of other print and media outlets across every major market in the US, and internationally. I was named one of Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Fun Fearless Females for 2000 and I like to think I continue to earn that title. I also won the 1999 Razzie for Worst Actress, which is like an Oscar for guttersnipes.It turned out that in many ways, the spurts of unemployment inherent to an acting career were the real dream come true. I was able to travel the world, have a brief foray into making bath products, another into importing African art, all while writing everything under the sun.There’s been a novel (don’t ask), stories, screenplays (ditto), songs, poems, and now, with GROWGIRL: The Blossoming of an Unlikely Outlaw, a memoir. I’ve spent quality time at The Squaw Valley Community of Writers and in Jim Krusoe’s literary orchid hut at Santa Monica College.
My first writing prize came from the 1979 Young Author’s Contest for my story about how I went roller skating with Olivia Newton John like in the movie Xanadu. There are, mercifully, no extant copies. My first adult prize, as the winner of the Bust/Good Vibrations erotica contest, was definitely adult. I was paid in vibrators and latex hot pants. I figured this omen could only be auspicious.