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Member Spotlight – Corrine

This Member Spotlight is about Corrine. Corrine is no stranger to hitting refresh, she’s been doing it since 1988. Come follow her journey which starts with a fire in San Francisco at 38 years old and leads up to today, working on her memoir at 67 years young.


On September 20, 1988, while in a spiritual class of the esoteric teachings of Vernon Howard, (no longer alive) in Fremont, California, my 48 unit apartment building in the Mission District of San Francisco was an exposure building on one side of a bar that burned next to it. An only child and famous underground cartoonist for Rip Off Press and Last Gasp (two major underground comic book publishers at that time) and assistant animator on the first MTV (remember that?) logos at Colossal Pictures; I had just finished the first draft of a non-fiction book and was just launching my first line of clothes as a fashion designer, had just finished three paintings and wanted to do stand-up comedy. But the universe changed my life at 38, in a big way that year! I lost almost everything I owned. That year was peppered with tragedies: fire, death of my mother, my beloved black cat Jimmy died, the Loma Prieta Earthquake, and my father’s alzheimer’s began. Ah, but I found a first ever of its kind Topeng Mask Making and Dance Workshop by Idi Bagus Anom known internationally for both in Bali. Six months after my fire my computer (destroyed) insurance paid for my ticket to Bali. It was my first trip out of the US other than Canada and border towns in Mexico. The Garuda good luck Indonesian bird became my symbol for rising out of the ashes. We were the first ever cross cultural dance and mask making workshop ever in Bali in March 1989. I travelled throughout many islands till May 1989. My life was forever changed. I have leased 11,000 sq. ft. of land in Borneo since 1993. I went there alone in 1995 to meet members of SUBUD spiritual organization I have the land lease with. I still have the lease!
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I went to Belize for the first time to visit an old friend and her boyfriend living there. In March 1992, I did my first one woman painting exhibit at the Bliss Institute National Gallery in Belize City, Belize: TEK SOME, LEF SOME (Criol for take some and leave some) of 17 canvases of scenes of Belize and received national coverage on all three TV stations, and two newspapers and radio. My name was called in the streets of Belize as PAINTER LADY! I was instantly famous and was even asked for my autograph in a restaurant! I was living on Caye Caulker island then. I came and took away the experience of Belize and exhibited there and learned how to sail on her waters, and gave back with my show. My paintings after were then sold at a friend’s gallery, BELIZEAN ARTS, and new ones 25 years later are still sold there today. One year later, almost to the day, of the Bliss exhibit, I did a bigger, multi-media painting, sculpture and stand-up comedy show with a friend singing, at THE SITE, a beautiful new gallery in Antigua, Guatemala, and I was the first one person show at the new gallery. I was in a group show before and after my exhibit with all the best Guatemalan painters. And I was in both of Guatemala’s main national newspapers. It was wonderful!
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Guatemala exhibit SONGS OF SIRENS 1993, Antigua Guatemala at El Sitio Gallery
Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama I travelled extensively in from 1991- 2001. I have sailed on two different boats up and down the Belize coast twice into Guatemala on the Rio Dulce river and up and down that river many times. I have worked as a cook on a sailing charter to the Sapodilla Cayes in Southern Belize waters as well in 1993.

My father died in 1999 after 10 years with Alzheimer’s. In 1996 at 45, I started doing stand up comedy in San Francisco. In 2004, I graduated at age 53 from New Actor’s Workshop, Mike Nichols acting school in Manhattan. I went from Alzheimer’s to Acting School. Our school closed in 2010 (Phillip Seymour Hoffman spoke at that graduation, sadly) and all three founders, Mike Nichols, George Morrison, and Paul Sils are also all sadly deceased. It saved my life. Then I moved to LA. I created my first TV series HOBSON’S CHOICE, a one hour dramedy, which I hope to sell in England this year. Red Productions almost took it into development in Manchester in 2016. I lived in LA for 9 years. I am a member of Women In Film for 5 years. I did extra work, auditioned, was in a music video and did comedy in LA.

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At New Actors Workshop Graduation with guest speaker Stanley Tucci


I was stuck in the US for 14 years too long but I did a lot. I saved for 3 years to leave the US in May 2015. I live on Social Security, painting sales, and some minimal small monetary gifts and house sitting from friends. As a spiritual person and 30 years sober, my quiet voice within told me to get out. It is my best life and travel advisor! In 2015 I traveled to: Germany, France, Italy, Amsterdam, and Brussels. Then back to Belize and then 3 places now in Mexico and Todos Santos, Guatemala. In 2016 I did an art exhibit Ser Feliz es mi Color with 4 Mexican painters and another American painter at Sweetbeat Restaurant in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico. I also did comedy there and in Belize. Then I did a writing incubation in sweltering Calderitas, (near Chetumal) Mexico for 7 months and finished a memoir I am now revising to re-submit to Medusa’s Muse a small press in Ukiah in the spring. And did Shonda Rhimes MasterClass and began revising the elements necessary to package my TV series. I also have an iPad improv comedy adventure travel series that will be on You Tube once edited this year – I’m Sorry I Don’t Have A Pick-Up Truck!
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As I write this now, after a month in December 2017 earning $ housesitting for old friends in LA and to do necessary things, I am now revising my memoir since January 4, 2018 in Ensenada, Baja California – Mexico and then back to work on my TV series while looking for a 6 month house sit in England to pitch my show. I am 82% British in my DNA! So the adventure continues. I had been gone 2 ½ years away from the US. And a one month return and gone again! I am now 67, getting younger in great shape and loving solo travel! And big success is ahead!
And YOU can do it too no matter what age or what curveballs the universe has hurled at you! Happy Refresh and Travels!!!
My memoir title is: MERMAIDS, LOVERS AND PIRATES – One Woman’s Heroes Journey through Indonesia, Central America and her father’s Alzheimer’s by Corrine Petteys

Member Spotlight highlights the stories of inspiring women from the She Hit Refresh group. We hope that by sharing their stories of change and travel we can expose the unconventional paths that thousands of women 30 years and older have chosen.  There is no one way to live a life, just your way.

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3 thoughts on “Member Spotlight – Corrine”

  1. Great story Corrine, I never knew your history; so very interesting. I love that you always have such a positive attitude and allow the universe intuitively to guide you. Best of luck to you and you future.

  2. Craig & Vangie Gunderson

    So glad we got to share Time & Space with Corrine in Belize. Great article! Corrine’s artistic and humanistic skills reflect this quote: Laugh often – Live well (but simply), Speak Kindly, Care deeply, and Love Always. Thanks for BEing, Corrine. The Gundersons

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