In 1989, Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida hired Elizabeth Barr and put her to work.
They taught her a dance routine, gave her a few very important lines, and put her in front of millions of spectators right outside Mel’s Diner. Barr played Marilyn Monroe, an American actress, model, and singer, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s and early 1960s.
Universal Studios has not given up on its production of Monroe. Tourists visiting the studio may find Monroe not only putting on scheduled shows outside of Mel’s Diner, but Monroe now leads private group tours on behalf of Universal.
However in 1991, the very first actress to play Monroe in Orlando had seen enough tourists. Barr tossed away the wig for tranquility and to set on a spiritual path to discover her inner self.
“I enjoyed the production, but I just needed to find my purpose,” she said. “Wearing a wig each day was no longer for me.”
Barr opened a map, put her finger to a place called Elkin, and with no connection to it decided to move to the destination and never look back.
Barr’s first stop was to Traphill, N.C. She traded labor to live off the land, and she eventually closed on a piece of property she would call her own.
“My mother told me I was just ornamental in theatre and my Marilyn position, and that comment made me hit a wall. I realized that the Orlando journey was not the life that was going to feed my soul,” said Barr. “So eventually I moved here, built a 14 foot by 16 foot cabin, and that’s what became my home.”
According to Barr, the cabin was gravity-fed water from the stream. No power was ever used in the cabin. She had a wood stove and a back-up heat source.
“It was really cool, and it was all built through my design. It was my throw in the woods. It was a place where I needed to find and discover who was Elizabeth,” she said.
The cabin was completed in 1994. Barr began to wonder what someone was going to do in the greater Elkin region with a musical degree.
Barr started taking yoga in 1999, then began teacher training in 2000 with Todd Norian, a well-known Anusara teacher from the Northeast. She opened Yoga on Main in 2002 in Elkin and taught yoga for 2 years. She volunteered in the Foothills Arts Council.
Briefly leaving Elkin to pursue traveling and continued yoga workshops & training/ studying, Barr recently returned to Elkin and teaches Level 1 & 2 Yoga, and focuses on physical alignment, connection of movement to breath, and introduction to meditation.
Barr has also been a massage therapist since 1998, and studied at the Creston Healing Arts Center, in Crestone, Colo.
“Everyone has a story,” said Barr. “You can write a story of destruction, or you can write a story about Phoenix rising. We all suffer of some health, physical illness, mental health, but at some point you get to decide a path where you are taking a responsibility for yourself, your health, not waiting for government to solve your problems, and living that way is quite rewarding.”
Barr says she also eats three small meals each day. She avoids all carbohydrates. “You have to eat healthy in order to be healthy.
“For the business, I have mats and props and with my studio on Main Street I am taking a chance on myself and the community,” said Barr who in February opened the new Yoga on Main location in downtown Elkin.
“I offer yoga classes three days a week and I do my massage therapy too. I offer morning and evening classes,” she said.
Barr disclosed that she changed her life to avoid addictions.
“Sugar was one of the more serious addictions I’ve endured,” she said.
Barr also stated that turning to the benefits of yoga helped combat other serious health conditions she has battled.
“Right now I encourage everyone to give yoga a shot and they can find out more about our downtown business at www.yoga.on.main.com. The site will be operative by March 15.
“Yoga is a daily discipline for physical and mental health,” she said.
Barr indicated that she no longer lives in a cabin, has since moved to Elkin and lives only minutes walking distance from her downtown studio.
“I have utility bills, too,” she said “bBt we are always searching for who we are.”