Brooklyn, New York based certified celebrant, Carrie Gibson trained in our funeral celebrant training course and now conducts funerals and memorial ceremonies, in and around New York City.
Read on to learn more about Carrie's celebrant journey.
What did you do before becoming a celebrant or in addition to being a celebrant now?
I am an actor and a writer with a MA in psychology. I also practised as a counsellor before I became a full-time actor 20 years ago.
What experiences or past skills do you think helped you with being a celebrant?
Being an actor who has also facilitated discussion groups around pieces I have performed on diversity issues has been tremendously helpful. I have written plays based on interviews where I have had to capture someone's story in a compressed way. Also being a counsellor working with families along with experiencing quite a few deaths in my life has added to my ability to empathize with people and give them the space to feel whatever they need to as they go through the grieving process.
What made you want to train to become a celebrant?
When I heard there was a profession where I could help people heal as well as use my creative skills I was sold.
What did your friends and family think of your decision to become a celebrant?
A lot of them felt like it was a perfect fit. There were a few people who found it odd that I wanted to work in the field of death. Now everyone is totally supportive of it as a great choice for me.
Why did you choose to train with the Celebrants Collective?
I really liked the tone of your website and how inclusive you are in your language and philosophy.
Did you have any worries about being a celebrant which the course has helped you resolve?
I was worried about material and finding resources. The course helped with that a lot. I also really enjoyed doing an actual ceremony since it was all theoretical until that point.
What was your most favourite part of the course and why?
Creating a ceremony based on an interview. I talked with my husband about his grandfather and his experience allowed him to grieve in ways he could not as a child and let me get to know someone better who was a big influence in his life.
How has your training with the Celebrants Collective helped you to become a confident celebrant?
I was able to confirm how much this fits me. It has also been helpful to talk to other celebrants. I really enjoyed the feedback I received.
What’s been your biggest takeaway so far about training to be a celebrant?
Always lead with your heart and listen!
What kind of celebrant do you think you’re shaping up to be?
I have done several ceremonies and each family has told me in their way that they feel like I am part of the family. It feels right and I am confident that I have the skills and ability to do what a family needs for their loved one.
How have you been making a name for yourself since you became certified or in the process of getting certified?
I have joined several website resources groups here in the US funeral wise and I also did the InSight Training to get grounded in US celebrancy. They have a good website resource as well that I joined. I have talked with several funeral directors who are very open to working with me but have not had the right clients yet.
What would be your advice to someone looking to train to be a wedding or funeral celebrant?
Go for it. You won't know it is a fit until you try. The reason you are looking into it is because you are ready to be a celebrant.
We are so proud and excited to have Carrie in our Celebrants Collective community and we know she'll be a fabulous celebrant ambassador.
If reading this makes you really excited about training to be a celebrant, make sure to check out our homepage for more on our celebrant training online and in-person courses.