So many people never ask themselves what they want. Maybe it’s because they think they have everything already, or because they’re afraid it’s too late. But if we don’t ask ourselves what we want, there’s no way we’ll ever know if our dreams are possible, or what it would take to achieve them. Until recently, that was my story. I was living an amazing, beautiful life, and I didn’t feel I deserved to even contemplate anything more. This talk is about why I decided to finally ask myself that question, and what happened when I did. Although Rita Wilson is well-known as an actress and film producer, her most recent projects have all been connected to her passion for music. After achieving her dream in 2012 with the critically acclaimed album AM/FM – an intimate, elegant, and beautifully sung collection of classics from the ‘60s and ‘70s – Wilson has been focusing on a new component of her musical career as a songwriter. Recently, she has collaborated with a number of talented and successful songwriters, composing original material featured on her second album, self-titled Rita Wilson. Her new album Halfway to Home (March 2019) has a fuller sound: Southern California rock meets Nashville country, co-produced by Rita Wilson and Nathan Chapman with additional production from Ron Aniello and John Shanks. Many of the songs were co-written with an A-List group of songwriters, including Grammy winner Liz Rose, Kristian Bush of Sugarland, Mozella, Mitch Allan, and Kara DioGuardi. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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29 COMMENTS

  1. Dear brave soul, thank you for sharing your story, yourself and your talent. It takes incredible courage to be vulnerable. Some fear success as much as failure. As the wife of a famous person, finding your true self isn't easy. Stepping out of their shadow opens a world of critics but your parents gave you a sense of self worth and it has given you wings. I am happy you are thriving in the limelight. You are in a valuable position to collaborate and lead positive changes all around the world especially for women's health and equality. Your songs can heal the soul. I pray you are both stronger than the virus. If you are going to sick, it nice to have the company of a loved one and music. Maybe there are some lyrics incubating during your down time.

  2. So good Rita you and Tom are 2 of my favorite people, thank you for the guidance and insight, and to show us ,me, how to be more thank you for 💞💞‼🤗🤗‼ you are both gifts to us who enjoy all that you do 🤗🤗💞💞‼

  3. Confused. You said your mom died in childbirth?…but then you were escaping with your mom..
    Thank you for sharing this amazing story♥️

  4. Ms. Wilson, I know that you're recovering with Mr. Hanks and I wish you both the best during this challenging time. Aside from that, I've shared this inspiring video on different social media platforms because it speaks to so many of us. I am grateful for your bravery and wisdom. Have you connected with Mary Steenburgen on her recent folding into music? It's fascinating and I'm sure you'd make a great team.

  5. As I read the comments, most are very positive, and then some are not. I think as a woman and I am the same age as Tom Hanks, (62) I was raised to live my life as a housewife like my mother. I was taught to darn socks and I do beautiful flower arranging as well as I am a great gardener. I am a delicious cook and I keep a beautiful home as well I was taught to always look great when my husband came home and to cater to him. I remember in school being asked what I wanted to do at 15 yrs old. I wanted to be a teacher. Well because Viet Nam had produced so many teachers, there was a glut on the market. So I went into the health field like my big sister. I did ultrasounds. I was a great wife but 16 years into it he left. I am retired but feel an emptiness inside me. But I asked myself this very question about a year ago. I am going to start some art classes soon. I do not expect to be a Da Vinci but I do expect to feel free and joyous to be doing something for me. I think that is the message. To find your passion and follow it and love it. To be willing to take a choice and go with it with no expectations except to enjoy myself. I have never taken a class for fun in my life and I taught clinical ultrasound in conjunction with UCLA at a Los Angeles County Hospital for many years. I am educated but my entire life I have spent raising a family, taking care of others, and I never thought about what I wantedjust for me. If asked I would have said to be a loving mother and wife and a great technologist. It is wonderful that Rita was given such great opportunities but I think her message is about letting yourself open up and finding something that excites you and allowing yourself to just go with it. It's not about how successful you will be. The success is in the joy of finding yourself. And if you do find you are sucessful by money or fame, it is because you asked yourself this question and went with it! But don't go into it expecting anything except self satisfaction and growth in yourself. Everybody is unique so comparisons shouldn't be made. And the thought of singing on Broadway would terrify me!!! Wouldn't it you?? Thank you Rita and I get it. To just ask the question is not an easy thing but until you ask you may never have a dream to follow. Best wishes to you and Tom and may you both heal and come home real soon!

  6. Wow. I love this. I love to sing. I don’t have a natural beautiful voice. I love to sing. Thank you for this message. I’m 67 and love the entertainment field. You are amazing. I thank God that He brought you through your cancer. My prayers are with you in Australia as you and your husband heal from the coronavirus.

  7. Rita Wilson, I just love you! Genuine, talented, good hearted beautiful inside and out. Blessings and fast recovery to you and Tom. Sending you lots of positive thoughts and LOVE. ❤️🙏🏻☀️👍🌈🌍♥️

  8. I want to take a tree class, sign up at a college near me, then I thought, I’ll just buy a book and memorize a tree a day, then it all faded away, because I can’t do it, not good enough to be happy and follow my heart, need to go wash dishes.

  9. What a lovely talk you’ve given here! Thank you so much! Your parents are amazing!!!! And so are you! Blessings BE🙏🏽💜🙏🏽

  10. Wow! Stumbled across this while trolling YouTube. I know what I want. I’m 62 and have wanted it since I was 5. Thanks for the push I needed to go for it.

  11. Who knew that in just a few weeks you and your husband would be in Australia, ill with the Coronavirus…thinking of you and your family from California…

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