Many people remember Dee Wallace from her roles in film and television, including playing the mother in the Steven Spielberg blockbuster, “E.T.”. But Wallace’s passion runs much deeper than just entertainment. Already an in demand actress, author and life coach, Wallace has been working for more than a year on her passion project – BuppaLaPaloo. A cuddly teddy bear that teaches a child to express their self-worth and love.
In addition to becoming a child’s new best friend, “Buppa” joyfully speaks pre-recorded, powerful statements of self-love in first person and allows the child to repeat these statements back. In the process, a child learns to claim self-love and power for themselves. There is even a way for caregivers (as well as the child) to record their own messages for Buppa to speak.
Wallace has invested much of her own money into the design, prototypes, legal fees, marketing and creation of BuppaLaPaloo. She’s now started a Kickstarter campaign to help get the project out in a bigger way.
There are several ways contributors can show their support for the project and incentives they can receive for their contribution. Everything from signed photographs of Wallace and the first run of BuppaLaPaloo Backpack Bears to personal recorded messages and Skype sessions or – if you’re in the LA area, lunch with Dee herself.
I recently spoke with Dee Wallace about BuppaLaPaloo and more in this exclusive interview.
James Wood: Where did the idea for BuppaLaPaloo begin?
Dee Wallace: I’ve been doing life coaching for more than twenty years and the more I’ve worked on myself and helped other people discover what was holding them back, the core of everything became we don’t know how to love ourselves. We’re all taught to love ourselves based on what we accomplish but no one ever teaches you how to just love the magnificence of you.
I’ve also been interested in studying the brain and have done a lot of work with experts. It was staggering for me to discover that a child’s personality and the synapses that create it for the rest of his or her life are pretty much solidified by that time they are 4-years-old, and the emotional way they see themselves in the world is pretty much complete by 18 months. So when we get to adolescence or go through college, we wonder why we lose our self-esteem so easily when other people accuse us or when we’re confronted and can’t figure out why we can’t push ourselves ahead. When I started putting all of this information together I thought, I have to reach the children. That’s why BuppaLaPaloo was born.
JW: Were there any challenges involved in bringing the idea for BuppaLaPaloo to life?
DW: The biggest thing I had to face is the exact reason why I created the toy. It was always, “Oh my God. I don’t know how to create this. This is not a world that I know!” But at every turn I would hear the voice that would say, “That’s why you’re creating it!” I kept taking it one step at a time.
JW: What are your long term plans with BuppaLaPaloo?
DW: I am seeing a whole collection of books and songs for young audiences, teaching self-empowerment and love qualities. So that when they do reach middle school, they’ll already know within themselves just how special they are. We’ve also had people asking about using it for pre-teen girls and about getting it into Alzheimer’s units as well. I really believe that this little bear and what it teaches can change the world!
Read more about Dee Wallace’s BuppaLaPaloo campaign by Clicking Here.
JW: What made you decide to get involved in life coaching?
DW: The death of my husband, Christopher. We were married for eighteen years and he passed away just before he turned 55. I remember just dropping to my knees at the time and saying, “I don’t want to be angry or be a victim. I want a way we can all heal ourselves!” Those were the magic words. You’ve heard of ask and you shall receive? That’s what it means. You have to ask if you’re going to get any answers and the first thing I heard was “Use the light within yourself to heal yourself.” And every day of my life since I get up and learn more and more about what that means.
JW: Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?
DW: I’ve just finished a series for Amazon called “Just Add Magic” that will be out sometime in either December or January. I also have another film that I’m going to be in Australia doing in November called “Red Christmas”. It’s a fine line between suspense and horror with a lot of great relationships. I’ll also be doing a big Sci-Fi show while I’m down there as well as teaching an acting and healing workshop. I also have my free call-in radio show every Sunday morning. But right now, my whole focus is on getting this little bear out.
JW: What excites you the most about BuppaLaPaloo?
DW: The unending possibilities of love that are opened up by this little bear and all of the books and songs. It’s truthfulness. When we hear it we get it and I want the kids to get that. Because when the kids get it and it becomes an innate part of who they are then the world gets it. And ultimately, the kids are the world.