The non-profit I’ve been running for a couple of years, Look What SHE Did! has been fortunate to attract some pretty wonderful people to support it, but no one has been more creative in her approach than the amazing Rose Lopez, a French teacher at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose. I met Rose last summer and our mission resonated so deeply with her she adopted us in a manner I find breathtaking and inspirational. First, she supported us financially from her own pocket.
Then she participated in a charity tournament and made us the recipient of her winnings. (That check was a fun surprise!) She also introduced us to educational organizations that will make our videos available to schools across America and she took the lead at her high school to conduct a film shoot with her students, based on our methodology. As if that wasn’t more than enough, Rose introduced us to The Ambassador’s Circle and Bay Area 360, groups dedicated to promoting people and organizations who DO MORE GOOD. Rose and I did a podcast which you can listen to here. For the promotion of the podcast Bay Area 360 put together a short reel about Look What SHE Did! that really captures what we’re about. You can watch it here.
Look What SHE Did! is super-fortunate that Rose has joined our board. I just want to take a moment to publicly thank my dear friend Rose for her commitment and follow-through. She’s a rare and special woman, and I’m proud to know her and work with her.
Here’s a Look What SHE Did! storyteller as interesting as her subject. I met Dr. Lucia Jacobs (UC Berkeley neuroscientist) in a talkback after one of my plays at the Magic Theater. We went out for a drink and hours later we hadn’t run out of things to say — about science, art and you know, the general meaning of life. It was two am on a foggy San Francisco night as we made our way back to our cars knowing a true friendship had been formed. These many years later, the conversation continues. I’m in awe of Lucia whose work on animal consciousness and olfaction is as deep and true as her work as a writer of plays and a creator of miniature theatrical spectacles. She’s a force, and it’s no surprise her astonishing woman — Sarah Blaffer Hrdy — is a mind-blower.
You’ve heard of Darwin and Stephen Jay Gould, but have you heard of Sarah Blaffer Hrdy? Hrdy is an anthropologist who proved that females — like males — are competitive, independent, and sexually assertive beings. (Shocking!) Oh yeah, and they don’t just mate to reproduce, they can actually enjoy sex.
Hrdy’s findings were groundbreaking not just for scientists, but for feminists too. In this video, Lucia recounts the incredible untold story of disrupter Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, the biologist our textbooks should have included.
Laura Tremaine, host of the podcast The Smartest Person in the Room, interviews Julie Hébert about her career in theatre, film and television. Julie takes us on an inspiring journey from small town Louisiana to her current position as Executive Producer/Writer/ Director on the award-winning ABC series American Crime.
We get a glimpse of the dynamics in the Writer’s Room of a television drama and the responsibilities writers feel to their audiences. Julie discusses being a woman in a male-dominated industry and why it’s important for directors to wear boots. We also get a sneak-peek into current and future projects.
Laura leads a fascinating conversation giving an inside view into the workings of Hollywood and the life of a free-lance writer/director.
We completed our latest Look What She Did! shoot at the end of August in Julie’s backyard (and two in the front yard– we got wild). Our all-gal crew was amazing (!) and we filmed nine interviews in just one weekend, our biggest shoot ever. Two incredible, inspiring days filled with crazy-great women talking about other crazy-great women. Stay tuned, we’ll be posting new videos soon.
Here are our newest co-conspirators:
Writer/director Julliette Carrillo on writer/director Jo Anne Akalaitis
Theater Critic Sylvie Drake on the mind-blowing Queen Hatshepsut of Eqypt
Screenwriter Anna Thomas on anthropologist Carobeth Laird
Documentary filmmaker Grace Lee on Civil Rights activist Grace Lee Boggs
Filmmaker Tamar Halpem on journalist Nellie Bly
Actress Elisa Bocanegra on playwright Maria Irene Fornes
Downtown Women’s Shelter communications director Ann-Sophie Morisette on homeless advocate Mollie Lowery
Musician/writer April Wolfe on badass aviator Pancho Barnes (yes, she’s a woman…)
Playwright Laural Meade on suffragette Sara Bard Field
The Look What She Did! team convened the first meeting of its Founding Board of Directors on Sunday May 15th, 2016. It was an inspiring gathering of brilliant women in support of our project and we are truly grateful for their wisdom and vision as we create a sustainable organization to celebrate women of achievement long into the future.
During the meeting we passed the By-Laws of our new company, discussed future interviews (including out of town shoots!), made plans for fundraising and partnerships, and of course elected Officers and Committee Chairs.
Board members include Ellen Gavin, Courtney Graham, Julie Hébert, Janice Hebert, Lucia Jacobs, Tegan Molloy, Julie Sgarzi and Melinda White. Like all Look What She Did! gatherings… the food was yummy. Onward!
Julie is thrilled to announce the launch of the cool new website for her backyard video project Look What She Did!
Check out the mosaic homepage with all the beautiful faces (and videos) of the women who have been interviewed so far. It’s a quite an inspiring collection. Some have even called the mini-videos addicting! See for yourself: www.lookwhatshedid.com or click on the image to the left.
The mission of Look What She Did! is to share stories about the lives and impact of under-recognized women who have transformed the world. Please go by our Connect page and tell us about an astonishing woman you know who deserves more recognition.
Check out the site and learn about some crazy-great women as told by some crazy-great women!
Last weekend we accomplished our biggest-yet Look What She Did! shoot, involving 8 crazy-great women telling us about 8 crazy-great women. Hey, wait a minute, one of our interviewees was a guy, the first one ever on our project. Rick Zieff offered to do his interview in drag, but we decided that was unnecessary as we are flexible and open-minded gals. Rick was invited based on his sheer enthusiasm about his subject, Ernestine Fields, the Teddy Bear Attorney, a woman who has created a national program called Comfort in the Courthouse to help children in Family Court. Ernestine visited our backyard set on Saturday and we were thrilled to meet her in person and hear more about her projects.
Our harmonious all-female crew had a tremendous time working together (stringing up tablecloths in the lemon trees to diffuse the sunlight…) and listening to stories of women who fought to change their worlds and created important, lasting effects for all of us. On Saturday we heard about a brilliant scientist/artist from the 17th century, an Academy-Award winning costume designer who inspires unconventional beauty, the first Black female novelist who wrote her major work while hiding in the Underground Railroad, and one of the seminal founders of Jazz in America– unheralded women who we want to know about!
Susie Landau Finch on Milena Canonero.
Sunday we started with a beautifully told story by our lead editor, Farrel Levy, on an artist-nun who saw spiritual meaning in the most unlikely places.
DP Sevdije with umbrellas.
We also heard about the first art photographer, a woman who elevated photography from its designation as archival by daring to infuse her work with feeling; we finished the weekend hearing about the woman who founded the Feminist Health Initiative, a housewife who shocked everyone with her radical commitment to women’s control of their own bodies.
Jan Oxenberg talks about Carol Downer
I am so grateful to my friends who took the time to tell us these inspiring stories, many of whom are not that comfortable in front of a camera. It is the core mission of this project that we should hear stories about real women from real women, and I so appreciate your commitment in showing up for this lovingly hand-made series.
And to our mind-blowingly great and dedicated volunteer professional crew– thank you. It would not be possible without the generous gifts of your time and talent.
Ellen Gavin, Roberta Levitow, Julie Sgarzi, Alice Tuan, Melinda White and Ruth Cusick tell us about some amazing women– women you need to know about, including a founder of the ACLU, an El Savadoran immigrant, a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and Mother Uganda. The women being interviewed are as interesting as the women they’re talking about. We’ve fallen in love with them all. See for yourself.
Support our little dream project by clicking the link and subscribing to our channel and you’ll be the first to know when we post new interviews. Say “Yes, we want to hear from these women. Yes, we want to hear about these women.” Click and enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/user/lwsdchannel/videos
A few photos from our two-day Look What She Did! shoot last weekend in my backyard.
We had Dr. Julie Sgarzi speaking about Jungian analyst Gilda Frantz who at 87 has just published her first book;
Activist attorney Ruth Cusick told us about Magdalena Aguirre a woman who escaped the civil war in El Salvador then sent money back to her family over the years to fund a family compound of four houses;
Director Roberta Levitow conjured up Rose Mbowa, known as Mother Uganda, a woman who said no to Idi Amin;
Playwright Alice Tuan reminded us of Rachel Crothers a woman who wrote and directed plays on Broadway before women had the right to vote;
Business leader Melinda White extolled the virtues of her mentor CEO Maggie Wilderotter, one of the most influential business women in America;
Writer Ellen Gavin touched us with her portrayal of Elizabeth Gurley Flynn a bold and brilliant activist, a self-made woman who changed the world.
We had a blast listening to the stories of these amazing women and recording them for you. The edited interviews will be posted in the New Year.
Meanwhile, hearty thanks to our generous and talented crew this time around: DP Ellie Ann Fenton, Producer and Sound Engineer Courtney Graham, Producer and Bon Vivant Jill Klein, and thank-god-they-know-how-to-do-this-stuff Editors Farrel Levy and Franzis Muller. This project couldn’t happen without a lot of women giving a lot of time and I am so grateful to you all. More fun to come!
So proud to present our very first Look What She Did! interview with the audacious Jill Klein.
This is a project dear to my heart where we interview great women talking about other great women who have inspired them. We’ll be posting new interviews over the next few weeks, so keep checking in here and on my Facebook page.
We just finished another shoot this past weekend of six new amazing interviews which we’ll be sharing with you in the New Year.
Help us kick off Look What She Did! by forwarding the links to the interviews, liking the FB page and subscribing to our YouTube channel.
We are in the early stages of this project which I hope will go on for many years– as there are many astonishing women in the world– and we would very much appreciate your support. Thanks!