Home #Hwoodtimes Brilliantly Resilient LIVE Online! Hosts, Mary Fran Bontempo and Kristin Smedley

Brilliantly Resilient LIVE Online! Hosts, Mary Fran Bontempo and Kristin Smedley

By Jules Lavallee

Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 4/7/20-


With the world experiencing a crisis of global proportions, resilience and brilliance are needed more than ever. Ladies, tell us how your show Brilliantly Resilient is helping others?

We are two women that have been there in the pits of fear, doubt, overwhelm, plans ruined, dreams crushed. We call them life’s sucker punches and train wrecks. The world is in a collective train wreck and people are feeling like life is hitting them with sucker punches left and right. The interesting thing is – people don’t realize they have resilience built in! All we do is help them uncover their innate resilience and add a few strategies from our own experiences. We also take folks a step past resilience and help them realize that they possess unique gifts and talents that not only helped them through their own train wrecks… but can be utilized to create a whole new story for their journey. We are very clear about the fact that we are real women with real experiences–there is nothing special about us that isn’t inherent in every other person. Now more than ever, we need to recognize that we have the resilience and brilliance to not only get through this crisis but to thrive beyond it.


Your show delves into important questions including, “How do some people come through stronger while others never recover?” “How do you keep your train wreck from becoming your story?” How have your backgrounds shaped the content for your show? 

We’ve had some massive sucker punches in our lives and honestly, our through-line or theme of our work is simply: if we could survive and thrive after what we have been through, utilizing a few simple things that we learned on the fly, ANYONE can do it!

We teach folks three key steps that we uncovered and discovered were the same in both of our journeys: 

  1. RESET your mindset, your perception of the crisis and what you can actually do about it: Kristin‘s hopes and dreams for her family went dark when her two sons were diagnosed as blind as babies. But when she had a miraculous change in perception of blindness and got educated on the tools of the blind, the trajectory of her life and her children’s lives changed completely. 
  1. RISE – take action to get out of the pit: When MaryFran learned on Mother’s Day of 2010 that her son David was a heroin addict after an overdose that landed him in the ER, she learned how to navigate the world of addiction in 15-minute increments, asking herself three key questions to help guide her and mover her and her family forward in utterly overwhelming circumstances. 
  1. REVEAL your Brilliance: Not only did we both get through those challenges (and many more!), we uncovered our unique gifts and talents that carried us. We tapped into those to survive our respective crises and then went on to thrive and create extraordinary lives and businesses. In Brilliantly Resilient, we take those strategies and others, with the science of psychology as a guide, and give people an easy outline to move through struggles and come out on the other side brilliant, not broken. 

Kristin Smedley’s TedTalk


What is the best advice that you have ever received?

Kristin’s answer: Actually, it came from Mary Fran! She says basically that sometimes life just sucks. And it’s okay to be down, angry, disappointed, whatever. But the question you have to ask yourself is: are you going to live there, or are you just visiting?


Mary Fran: Aw, that’s sweet! And not to pat myself on the back, but since I learned that lesson (and I still have to remind myself when I’m hosting my own pity party about something) I acknowledge the yuck, let it have its moment, and then set my mind to moving forward. It’s very powerful. I also approach challenges and decisions in 15-minute increments. Life is much more manageable that way.

Share your vision for your show. 


That’s a great question! This was supposed to be polished, professional and pre-recorded. We had just launched the live, in-person Brilliantly Resilient program and this was to be an extension of that about six months down the road – and then the world got slammed by COVID19. Now that we switched gears and are seeing the huge, positive impact, we are committed to doing the live show daily for as long as the world needs us to. When things settle down and some kind of normalcy returns, we see this as a professionally produced show on a major network – we believe people around the globe will want to build their Brilliantly Resilient muscles all year long so they are not caught off guard when life throws them another sucker punch. 

Mary Fran Bontempo Speaker & Author: The Woman’s Book of Dirty Words

Who is Brilliantly Resilient for?

The short answer is anyone and everyone. This global pandemic proves to us that no one is immune to getting knocked down–sometimes so hard that we don’t know if we can get back up. We’re experiencing a great equalizer in that every single person on the planet right now needs to dust off and uncover their resilience, and instead of living in the space of the yuck, begin to tap into their unique brilliance and figure out how to begin to share it with the world, both now and when we come out of this challenge.

More specifically, Brilliantly Resilient will resonate with individuals experiencing challenges, students trying to figure out their place in the world, faith groups incorporating their beliefs into a life plan, and corporate organizations seeking to build effective teams throughout their business structure. The concept applies to everything and everyone.

Can you share a few of your upcoming topics and where we can tune in?

We’ll be talking about everything from how people have recovered and learned to thrive after personal crises and tragedy to how we can all continue to stay connected in these challenging and unique times during COVID 19. We’ll also be hearing about the brilliant contributions of others who have decided their message needs to be heard and are making the world a better place.

Folks can join us through our Brilliantly Resilient FaceBook Community Page, find us on our website at, watch Brilliantly Resilient LIVE on our YouTube channel and our FaceBook live broadcasts, and look for the Brilliantly Resilient LIVE podcast on Apple and wherever you get your podcasts. There are some other things in the works as well, like an online course and a book!

Do you have any additional thoughts?

First and foremost, everyone, everywhere is Brilliantly Resilient. We all have inherent resilience on which we’ve relied since childhood–it certainly took resilience to learn to walk and speak–but which we’ve never named as resilience. Likewise, we all have gifts and talents we’re supposed to share with the world. We have to focus on what we bring to the table and determine how to use that to make the world better.

Second, we had intended to do a professionally recorded, in-person show over the Summer and launch the episodes in the fall. Then the world got hit by a massive, collective sucker punch. We decided that we could not wait to get glitz and glam and scripts and lighting and promos… we had to get folks strategies and concepts that would serve them now. And since the state of affairs in the world, and in each town, and in each home, changes drastically day by day, people need help every day. So, we decided to turn on our laptop cameras from each of our homes and reached out to our huge tribe of amazing people to guest on the show to share their stories of becoming Brilliantly Resilient so our audience can see themselves reflected in others’ journeys.

We have never been prouder to take on something so quickly without a perfect plan, which, in fact, speaks to resilience in its own way. Dive in, get it done, and get something out to the world. The impact has been extraordinary and is helping each of us manage this crisis as much as it is helping people around the world. We want everyone to share and own their Brilliance and Resilience!