Read A F*cking Book: ‘Something Spectacular’

Greta Gleissner‘s memoir, Something Spectacular: The True Story of One Rockette’s Battle with Bulimia, chronicles her career as a professional dancer culminating in the ultimate gig: being chosen to perform as a Rockette for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular — all while leading a double life as she struggles to hide the reality of her eating disorder from everyone she knows. Interestingly, this is one of very few books that directly address the issue of eating disorders in the dance industry.  She painstakingly details binging up to ten times a day, a costly habit ($100 a day) which finds her actually stealing money from her parents to support her food addiction. Gleissner’s expose of how the obsessive thoughts destroyed every aspect of her life is interwoven with her sexual awakening as the lesbian daughter of homophobic parents in Kansas City.

The good news is that she eventually seeks treatment after her third year as a Rockette and has been in recovery for the last ten years. Gleissner has been a contributor for The Disordered Times and The F-Word, and also publishes a personal blog about eating disorder recovery, Life with Cake. Greta is a clinician at Hazelden and has a private practice in New York City, dedicating her life to helping others find recovery from eating disorders.

Greta will appear at Hazelden in Tribeca (283 West Broadway) in New York City this Tuesday, July 17 at 7pm for a reading, Q&A and book signing.

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Jess is a pop culture junkie living in New York City. She enjoys endless debates about The L Word, Howard Stern, new techy gadgets, DVR, exploring the labyrinth of the Lesbian Internet, memoirs, working out, sushi, making lists, artsy things, anything Lady Gaga touches, traveling, puppies, and nyc in the fall. Find her on Twitter @jessxnyc or via email.

Jess has written 267 articles for us.

7 Comments

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    I love these stories about the hardships of show business– and memoirs with the “secret lives” element. I feel like most people have a disconnect between what is happening outside and what is happening inside and sometimes reading about it can help you articulate your own disconnect.

    thelingerielesbian.wordpress.com

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    This looks really interesting.. I particularly want to read it being that I blog about beauty and desire. If you want to check out my blog.. it’s blog.daniellesonnenberg.com

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    Can’t decide whether or not to read this. I feel like 33% of books I read are about being queer/eating disorders/being queer whilst simultaneously dealing with EDs. You’d think that being long-since out and healthy and happy and blahblahblah I’d stop and find some cheerier genres with the possibilty of like diversity of content but apparently not! But I dunno it seems interesting because still you have ballet directors or others in the dance industry openly denying such a prevalence of EDs in the industry when other industries may as well be embracing it considering the attitudes of many. Fair play to Greta though on working to help those suffering!

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      I was going to say, it seems like eating disorders and closetedness and show business are common bedfellows (in a terrible bed). Portia de Rossi’s memoir “Unbearable Lightness” comes to mind (I’m not going to pretend I did anything more than leaf through it in a bookstore to find cute parts about her and Ellen, but I remember it being pretty good).

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