Yeardley Smith will read an excerpt from her book “I, Lorelei,” followed by questions and discussion at 1 pm Saturday at Deanna’s Playhouse, Life Services Parent Center (LSPC), 11172 Adams St., Holland. The cost is $ 5. Anyone purchasing an autographed copy for $ 15 will be admitted free. All proceeds will go to the Playhouse.

She is known for providing voice to the adorable, pearl-wearing and intelligent saxophone playing Lisa Simpson for more than 20 years on “The Simpsons” TV show, but actress Yeardley Smith hopes audiences will reading might soon like a little girl named Lorelei.

On Saturday, Smith will appear at “Deanna’s Playhouse” in the Netherlands to read her recently published debut novel “Me, Lorelei”. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Playhouse, a 15,000 square foot multi-purpose indoor activity center for families with children “of all abilities.”

Executive producer of the Dutch TicTock Studios film “What’s Wrong with Virginia?” Smith is in western Michigan until mid-November for the shoot.

Smith’s heroine, Lorelei, is an 11-year-old sixth-year charmer who – planning an extraordinary life – decides to help future biographers by creating a journal of her daily activities, speaking to her beloved cat and deceased “Mud”, who she describes as “an excellent listener.”

Although the book is written with humor, Lorelei’s life is not always easy, and the book touches on issues surrounding divorce, sibling rivalry – she has two “smelly” brothers – and parental expectations.

Although publisher Harper Collins suggests it to readers ages 8 to 12, Smith believes it has wider appeal.

“I would have preferred them to say ‘8 years and over,’ she says. “There is so much in there for adults too. “

Writing is just the latest career path explored by Emmy Award-winning Smith, who knew she wanted to play “at age 5” and landed her first paid role in a production of
“Peter Pan” in a decrepit and on the verge of bankruptcy dinner theater at the age of 14.

“I was making $ 50 a week and after the first two weeks the checks started to rebound. But I didn’t care, ”she laughs.

After drama school in the early 1980s, roles in Broadway’s “The Real Thing” and in films including “Heaven Help Us” and “The Legend of Billie Jean” seemed to fall into place easily. . In 1987, she auditioned for a series of animated shorts that would air on “The Tracey Ullman Show” and in 1989 these shorts were incorporated into the half-hour show “The Simpsons” , the longest prime-time series. on the television.

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“’The Simpsons’ gave me enormous freedom, the freedom to take the time to write a book, for example. In many ways it was a dream job, ”she says. “I never struggled to be an actor. I realize how incredibly lucky I have been and I never take it for granted. “

It was while she was enrolled in a writing class in Los Angeles – “I’m a person who prefers to be a little too busy” – that she developed the idea of ​​”Me, Lorelei”.

“I never intended to write a children’s book, but I love to write about children,” she says. “Children don’t have a filter. They take life as it is, and they don’t take prisoners.

These days, she’s delighted with the news that the independent film channel has bought “Waiting for Ophelia”, in which she has a leading role, and will start showing the film in January or February.

She is also trying to create a second novel “Lorelei”, around the very busy “What’s wrong with Virginia?” filming schedule.

And, she says, she “loves” western Michigan, was amazed at the size of Lake Michigan, and in love with the experience of picking blueberries and attending events in a small town such as the recent “Oktoberfest” in Douglas.

TicTock Studios’ job creation and retraining efforts allowed her to get involved in the “Virginia” project and spend time in the area, she says.

“I believe this is a way to rejuvenate the state,” she said. “I am so impressed with what they are doing and I am truly honored to be a part of it.”

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