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CBS Sunday Morning contributor, comedian, actress, and self-described “Accidental Pundette” Nancy Giles is a funny, perceptive, and provocative observer of today’s world. For over 14 years, Giles’ work on the Emmy Award-winning CBS Sunday Morning has received acclaim for its unique blend of common sense wisdom, laugh-out-loud humor, and social and political commentary.
A veteran of Chicago’s esteemed Second City improv troupe and winner of the Theater World Award for the off-Broadway musical Mayor, Giles appeared for three seasons on the TV drama China Beach. She has made appearances on Law and Order, Spin City, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Her one-woman shows include The Further Adventures of the Accidental Pundette, Notes of a Negro Neurotic, and Black Comedy: The Wacky Side of Racism, which the Village Voice called “smart and unforgiving.”
Giles believes “humor bridges what divides and can even stop people from shouting at each other.” On topics from politics and race to pop culture and body image, she says, “I want to make people laugh, and I want to entertain them, but I also want to provoke thought and discussion." She has offered her perspectives as a frequent guest on The Today Show, The Joy Behar Show, and The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.
An accomplished voiceover and radio artist, Giles has been the voice of The Food Network for over 10 years. Her credits include work for Office Depot, True Value, Tide, The New York Times, Yoplait, Avenue clothing stores, Lifetime, ABC Daytime, PB&J Otter on the Disney Channel, and Nickelodeon’s Mighty Bug 5. Giles won back-to-back Gracies from the Alliance for Women in Media for her CBS Radio show on WPHT-AM in Philadelphia. Her podcast, The Giles Files, takes a lively spin on trending topics – from pop culture to politics – with interviews, commentaries, song parodies and more.
For more than 20 years, she has volunteered with The 52nd St. Project, helping at-risk kids take part in acting, playwriting, and poetry workshops, classes, and performances.
Give Back: It’s So Easy to Do
What do our “first world problems” amount to at a time when so many people are in real need, right here in our own country? In our own neighborhoods? After recent hurricanes, floods and forest fires – from Florida, Texas, and California to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, there is real need for engagement, for giving, and for kindness. Nancy Giles is well versed in the grace of giving back. For the last 29 years, she has partnered with The 52nd Street Project, a community-based arts organization in Hell’s Kitchen devoted to expanding children’s means of expression and improving their literacy, their life skills and their attitude towards learning.
In this speech, Giles discusses the importance of giving back, whether it be time, money, or attention, and the valuable lessons one inevitably learns from helping others. Delivered with the same levity, depth, and compassion seen in her CBS Sunday Morning segments, such as “Radical hospitality” towards Philadelphia’s Homeless, Giles shows audiences how giving back helps you realize how much you have, how little it takes to be of service to someone in need, and how easy it is to do.
Let’s Have a Conversation About Race: True Tales from a “black experience”
Will we ever have that “conversation about race” (as if one conversation will do it), or is it safer to have yet another conversation about having a conversation about race? Nancy Giles wants to talk, and listen, and talk some more. Among her thoughts: does anyone ever refer to “the white community?” Why are my people the only ethnic group to dance to the rhythm of a self-hating racial epithet? Are there actual black women who aren’t strong and sassy, but neurotic and even unsure of themselves? Can soundtrack music be bigoted? And why is hair such an issue?
Fearless in her exploration and presentation, Giles brings the same level of wit, compassion, and insight that audiences have come to expect from her CBS Sunday Morning appearances to the discussion. She dives in head first, sharing her own experiences, emails, and letter correspondence from friend and foe alike. Come prepared to talk, as Nancy will reserve plenty of time on the end of her presentation for conversation with the audience.
The Accidental Pundette: Musings, Complaints, Shrieks and Sighs on American Politics
Stories from the Work Front: From Working Girl to CBS Sunday Morning
FIND YOUR VOICE AND TELL YOUR STORY
You won’t find your own voice by sitting quietly and waiting. You have to get out there and make some noise!
When Nancy Giles first left college, she didn’t know where to go. How could she? There’s no road map to success in entertainment. What she did find after years of hard work and adaptation was her own creative stamp that became the key to her future.
In “Find Your Voice and Tell Your Story,” Nancy Giles takes the audience on a journey from the page to the stage. Based on her own experiences, Nancy offers life lessons for the creatively inclined. Everyone has twists and turns, allow Nancy to share hers. It might just help you find the occasional straight and narrow paths to success.
This program can be presented as a speech about Nancy’s path to finding her creative self or an interactive workshop that will help students to find their own.
LIFE IN THE 24-HOUR NEWS CYCLE
Remember the days when there were only three major networks, and TV news was reported by journalists? You had time to watch a story, take time to think about it, and draw your own conclusions. These days, “mulling” over an idea takes too long, and more airtime means a 24-hour mix of hysteria, talking heads, and split screens. It’s more news, but it’s the same news, before, during, and after it happens. All examined and analyzed for you. No thinking necessary.
Giles’ TV commentaries on CBS News Sunday Morning made her an “accidental pundette” with plenty of opportunities to fill (and kill) time. Shouting matches on Larry King. Dealing with hate (e)mail. It’s all part of the job these days. But is there any time left for thoughtful, political conversation? All this and more on “Life in the 24-Hour News Cycle” with Nancy Giles.
MENTORING: YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE
A proud product of New York City’s often maligned public school system, actress/writer Nancy Giles shares her stories of the teachers who inspired her, her own volunteer work with kids, and the constant lessons learned from both. Mentors and mentoring have shown her the value of at-risk kids spending time with adults other than their parents – adults who are there to listen, to pay attention, and to share their knowledge. It also gives young people a chance to see that people who grew up in similar circumstances had dreams, reached their goals, and weren’t necessarily “stuck” in the same cycle as what they might see around them.