Back in June I served on a committee for the Until The Violence Stops Festival. It was quite the learning process for me. For instance, I learned that I am in fact, better at planning an event and inspiring people to volunteer their services for a good cause than I would have previously thought. Unfortunately, I only learned this after FIRST learning that I suck at committee work- ie asking people for money, and convincing people to organize events on their own. As an actor I am just so much better at cold readings than cold calling.
The result was that I ended up planning my own event just because I didn't want to continue to go to committee meetings with nothing to show for my home county. I did it with the help of SEVERAL generous people/organizations:
The Players Guild Theatre including:
Technical Director and fellow KSU alum Craig Betz
Sound genius Scott Sutton (who single-handedly turned the PG into a concert hall)
Artistic Manager Tricia Ostertag, who, along with her husband Stephen, Carrie Alexander Spina and myself performed monologues.
But wait- there's more!
We wouldn't have had more than my three family members in the audience were it not for the fans of the amazing Spider Lilies band. I owe them big, especially my old friend/bass player Stacie and lead singer/Domestic Violence Project staff member Theresa for arranging for the band to donate their performance. Theresa also hooked me up with Angela Paul - art therapist extraordinaire who's display of her own work as well as victim's art added a deeply beautiful element to our event.
Also helpful were my UUCGC church friends who donated to the festival, including Karen, who also works at the Domestic Violence Project in Canton, spoke at the event and arranged for Rape Crisis to speak as well.
Whew! Oh- and lastly I must give the biggest plug to Deb Lemire, of
Queen Bee Productions, who introduced me to Eve Ensler, first figuratively and later literally. Over the past several years Deb continues to inspire and challenge me to step outside my comfort zone, whether it's sitting around discussing Vaginas, or telling me, "You CAN do THIS" over and over regarding the festival.
Now here's the interesting part. In recent posts I mentioned I have a play to write about Nellie Zimmerman. I read her biography and was all set to do my research when I had the urge instead to write something else. So I wrote another monologue, this one about a domestic violence counselor, who came by her profession by living in the trenches as a child. I had just finished it when I received an email from Charla, another Domestic Violence Project staff member. She mentioned that Karen (thanks!) had recommended I perform for Take Back the Night and asked if I would be available.
So I said yes, and told Charla that, quite ironically, I had just written a new monologue that would be perfect for the event. She mentioned that there will be men there who are trying to re-educate themselves to stop being abusers. I told her in this monologue the father/abuser makes an attempt to turn his life around and the main character finds a level of forgiveness for him. KISMET.
When I told my husband about it he said, "Someone keeps calling you [once again literally and figuratively] to do this. Good thing you have your theatre/writing/and life experience [ie crappy adolescence and adulthood up til recently] to draw on. Perhaps this is what you're meant to do."
You know I never saw it coming. As a matter of fact I so enjoy exchanging energy and rehearsing with others that I don't even like to be IN monologue shows. However, I will get around to Nellie, but the since the subject keeps finding me...
I am compiling a monologue play of a vast array of women's issues. The characters will represent the stories of all the women that I have known and loved (including little ole' me) who have personally experienced each of them. As my husband says, "Unfortunately, you went through so much yourself that you don't need to do much research."
Sad, but true ;) However, as the enlightened Maya Angelou says, "I wouldn't give nothing for my journey now."
Hope to see lots of you at
Take Back the Night
Tuesday October 16th, 2007
First Christian Church, Edgewood Campus