Amber Tamblyn has spent the majority of her career traveling down two seemingly parallel roads: writing and acting. It just so happens that her journey along the acting road accelerated at a much faster pace than that of writing, which may explain why the public knows her foremost as an actress and not necessarily as an author.
Yet Tamblyn is as much a budding powerhouse artiste as she is an introspective poet. Sure, she may be known best for her work on the critically acclaimed, short-lived series “Joan of Arcadia” and the film “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” but Tamblyn is also a published author; in 2005 she released the poetry compilation “Free Stallion.”
In a rather perfect arrangement, Tamblyn’s acting and writing worlds combine this week as part of Girl Fest Bay Area. The four-day festival, now in its second year, utilizes art, entertainment and education to promote female empowerment and prevent violence against women and girls.
Tonight Tamblyn kicks off Girl Fest Bay Area with a spoken-word concert that draws from her adolescent musings found in “Free Stallion.” The name of the concert — “It’s Hard to Face Your Problems”— is actually from a line of her poetry that reads: “It’s hard to face your problems, when the problem is your face.”
“The theme of my poetry crosses all different areas from ex-boyfriends that I hate and want to tell people that I hate them to what the pressures are of being in Hollywood and having a certain body image,” she explains. “My poetry isn’t hardcore feminist stuff; most of it is just really honest feelings.”
Tamblyn’s introduction to Girl Fest came last year when she visited Hawaii’s annual festival as the guest of friend and fellow poet Rachel Kann. After performing a few poems and listening to panel discussions on such topics as sex trafficking and gay and lesbian rights, Tamblyn knew she wanted to be a part of the festival.
“I had some time off and thought the combination of the festival and Hawaii would be the perfect destination in between films. I got there and couldn’t believe what an incredible event they had accomplished. I was blown away,” says the 24-year-old.
In addition to her spoken-word performance, Tamblyn, along with director Hilary Brougher, will be on hand Friday night for a post-screening discussion of the film “Stephanie Daley,” which follows the case of a 16-year-old girl accused of concealing her pregnancy and murdering her infant.
“It’s one of those movies that took a chance to try and explain something that is practically impossible to explain tangibly on screen, which is this strange ambiguous gray area of being pregnant,” says Tamblyn. “I feel in a weird, strange way that every mother in the world should take their daughter to see this film… I think it’s a story that’s needed to be told for a long time and it hasn’t really been told.”
Presented by Girl Fest Bay Area
When: 9 p.m. today; Girl Fest runs through Sunday
Where: Cafe Du Nord, 2170 Market St., San Francisco today; venues vary for other events
Tickets: $15 for today’s show