Thoughts About Current Topics and Events

#Me Too

“Double Standards” at Town Hall

You’d have to be living under a rock in the past month to not have heard about the barrage of sexual assault and harassment allegations surrounding some of Hollywood’s most powerful and elite players and, not surprisingly, prominent politicians both in power and Roy Moore seeking a seat in the Senate.

The #Me Too campaign ignited the flame on social media with a tweet by actress, Alyssa Milano. She suggested that any woman who had ever suffered sexual assault or harassment post the words #Me Too on their social media status.

Facebook reported more than 12 million posts, comments and reactions from women (and men) posting “Me Too” in less than 24 hours.

This powerful tool has given women and men of all ages, across the globe, a platform to air and share their personal stories without being judged. Often those memories were suppressed for fear of repercussions and their veracity questioned.

I must point out that the internet phenomenon #MeToo did not actually begin with Alyssa Milano (Kudos to her for reviving it). Tarana Burke, an activist for over 25 years founded the “Me too” movement in 2006. She had been sexually assaulted and wanted to do something to help women and girls of all colors who had survived sexual violence. She’s currently working on a documentary about the subject. She knows the power of words to inspire. It is sad to acknowledge how widespread and pervasive sexual violence is. It is important to let other survivors know that they are not alone. Literally, as she says, it is empowerment through empathy.

As a woman in the film industry, I am very familiar with the hierarchy of power and often times the abuse that accompanies that power. I am extremely fortunate to work for such a uniquely diverse film company that not only honors women but celebrates and emboldens them. I have worked as a teleprompter operator and speech coach for the American Movie Company in New York City for going on 11 years. I have worked with an impressive list of CEO’s and celebrities on a variety of personal, political and creative platforms.

Never have I been in such alignment with others in my profession, as I was in a theater full of powerful women (and men) on Sunday, November 12th at Town Hall. The event was Double Standards, hosted by comedic powerhouse Rosie O’Donnell.

She was joined on stage by stars from Broadway, and others from the Music and Comedy fields. Among them: Sara Bareilles, Ingrid Michaelson, Lauren Bell Bundy, Ana Gasteyer, Cady Huffman, Jessie Meuller and many more!

It was a unique gathering, a one-night-only Big Band Jazz Duet Benefit Concert benefitting women’s rights, health, and empowerment. 100 % of proceeds benefit the ACLU, National Breast Cancer Coalition and Planned Parenthood.

The benefit took place in the beautiful and historic Town Hall, a venue located in Midtown Manhattan, which boasts a rich and colorful history of stellar performances spanning more than 90 years.

It has deep roots in the suffragist era as it fought for the 19th amendment and remains both a symbol of victory that it sought and a beacon of hope illuminating a better tomorrow.

I had the honor of meeting Rosie O’Donnell many years ago when she portrayed Betty Rizzo in the Broadway production of Grease. She blew me away then and she blew me away at this benefit. The poise and dedication of the messages conveyed by a packed room of brilliant women with the highest of intentions, was beyond soul riveting. I was so moved by the stories, voices, and determined strength of heart that it brought me to tears numerous times. I felt emotionally and spiritually charged by a brigade of oneness for women, by women.

Our company had four teleprompter operators working this event. Three out of the four were female, yet all four of us left having a deeper bond from the gift of that shared experience. There is something truly amazing, almost indescribable about the energy of like-minded people gathered for the greater good, especially at such a pivotal time for our country.

I don’t want to overstate it, but there was a divinity in the very breathing of the air and an anchored connection that wove us all together. That’s the kind of power that changes people. Transforms people. I know it changed me. #Me Too. #Double Standards. #Town Hall.