Congratulations Amy Newmark & CSSE

When a woman I’ve met succeeds at achieving her goals, it makes me hopeful. Congratulations to Amy Newmark of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment! CSSE is now trading publicly on NASDAQ. I had the honor of speaking with Amy on What Women Want Talk Radio a few months back with Judy Goss! Amy is a shining example of leadership and vision.Her entertainment company has been making headlines today and I am so happy for her success.

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Amy Newmark at the opening bell of NASDAQ 8/18/2017, debuting Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (CSSE).  Photo courtesy of NASDAQ Official Facebook Page. 

 

Check out this stellar interview with Amy Newmark  here.

Fashionistas Fashion the Future

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I was so inspired by last week’s broadcast of What Women Want Talk Radio.  We had fashion moguls Megan Grassell and Marissa Lewis on our live broadcast, two young, enterprising ladies making waves in fashion.

Megan Grassell founded Yellowberry, a brassiere company for teens and tweens, after she could not find an age-appropriate bra for her little sister. What I found interesting about Megan’s story was her ability to push back when all department stores offered were push-up bras for her young sister.  So often we go with the flow, or resign ourselves with “That’s the way things are.”  Megan didn’t accept the status quo when it came to bras for teens and tweens and has made it to a successful business.

Marissa Lewis, founder of Miss Jumpin, came to Los Angeles with dreams of making it as an actress but rekindled her love of fashion and now runs successful and philanthropic enterprise in downtown Los Angeles.  Marissa always loved jumpsuits and quite literally followed her dreams to where she is today.  Hers is a story of listening to her deep self and knowing when to pivot and adapt.  Marissa also has tremendous commitment to her downtown LA community and she exemplifies the moxie and pay-it-forward approach of the millennial businesswoman.

Listen to this powerful conversation here.

We All Get Trapped in the Linen Cabinet

My day started off with a faint scratching.  It was cat claws on something, a milder version of the cringe-worthy nails-on-a-chalkboard sound.

“Catty, what are you doing?”

Nothing.  Silence.

I sip my coffee and begin to deal with notifications:  Facebook, Twitter, heaps of crap email.

That sound again.

“Catty, what ARE YOU DOING?”

I look around and no cat creating chaos.  I looked in on the cat box.  No cat creating a mess.  I looked around the living room where the cat sometimes rebels and poos anyway.  No mess.  I sit back down on the couch.

Nails-on-chalkboard sound.  CRINGE.

“Mercury?”

A faint mew.

“Mercury?”

I look around, doing a 360.  No cat in his usual spots.

“Mercury?”

A faint mew.

I open the linen cabinet.  Mercury, sitting atop a pile of towels, stares at me.  Somehow, when I was putting the towels away late last night, I had failed to notice he had gotten in there, and apparently spent the night there.  I had serious cat mom guilt.  I’ve spent most of the day hugging and petting this little guy.

I won’t be able to ascertain how long Mercury wanted to actually spend in the linen cabinet versus how much time he was actually trapped in there.   However, I’ve come to appreciate something very important.  Sometimes cries for help are faint.  It was that soft mew that led me to him.  If our furry friends have this issue, then certainly our human friends do too.  We have to be better listeners and curious listeners, not just listening for the sake of hearing, but listening for the sake of learning and hopefully, helping.

Everyone has their own linen cabinet.  For some it’s depression and for some, a rarely-spoken-of trauma.  Some spend a lot of time in the dark, just waiting for a door to open.  If you haven’t heard from someone in a while, are you listening closely enough?  Are you giving them space to be heard?

And You Thought Spirituality Was Boring…

If you’re talking with Jennifer Longmore, it’s not.

Our recent What Women Want Talk Radio conversation with Jennifer Longmore opened with how Jennifer helped solve a murder case involving a female victim that had met her end in a wood chopper using her intuitive abilities.  As a scream queen, I was fascinated.  This sounded like something right out of a horror movie, except that the suffering of this woman was all too real.

Jennifer described her years in forensics in candid detail and how she used her intuitive abilities to solve heinous crimes.  Today, she’s helping entrepreneurs–not to commit heinous crimes–but find alignment and authenticity, after she embraced a more life-affirming path for herself.

What I like about Jennifer is that she’s very real–humorous, not saccharine–not too stuck in the ethers as to be unrelatable.  She embraces her “lady balls”.  I embrace mine too.

If you want to listen to a conversation about spirituality that has a bit of sass, listen in here.

 

Development Hell

If you’re an industry person, you may have heard this term or used it–development hell. Development hell refers to the often chaotic, messy, frustrating business of getting a script ready to go into pre-production.  No script comes to a producer perfect and camera ready.

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Draft 1

We like the script, but there are few things that we need to change.  Here is what we want changed:  add this character, expand another character, take away the annoying mom character–and can you get this down to 90 pages?

Draft 2

This wasn’t what we had in mind.  You know,  I had this really great idea for some comic relief at the beginning, since it’s a heavy drama…

Draft 3

This is a mess.

Draft 4

Why is the subplot so much more interesting than the main plot?  Should we go a different direction?

Draft 5

We should go a different direction.

Draft 6

Is this too political?

Draft 7

It’s coming together, but we need to find a compelling role for (insert expensive actor’s name here).

Draft 8

Repeat process, starting above.

 

Churchill said,

“If you’re going through hell, keep on going.”

Hollywood’s Problem Starts in High School

The success of Wonder Woman and the live action Beauty and the Beast has generated a great deal of discussion about women in cinema and woman-centric narrative.  A Variety article pointed out, though, that despite record box office, women, “made up only 7 percent of all directors working on the 250 highest-grossing domestic releases in 2016. That represented a decline of two percentage points from the year before.”  Without getting too heady or too political, I need to point out that women’s narratological problems start off long before a screenplay gets optioned by the studios and directors are hired.  It starts in high school, with the ways we are taught narrative structure.

Read more on Mogul.