Tonight is my last night in the van and tomorrow is the end of this summer’s journey. None of this could have happened without all of you. Your encouragement, your belief in my crazy idea and your financial support made this possible at a dark time in our country and history. My idea was simple - to do outdoor screenings under the stars of my film Like A Woman across the country, and in a socially distanced way. But the experience has been so much more. I am extremely grateful and thankful to those who hosted screenings, and always seemed to invite the right mix of people who really made the magic happen. I was only one part of the puzzle. I think in all there were 13 screenings and two more scheduled when I get home. That’s about 1 every three days with a lot of driving in between.
It has exceeded my expectations in so many ways. Personally, it got me out and I experienced the real America, not what I had been seeing on the news sequestered in my home. But I did so in a safe way, responsible to myself as well as to others I encountered along the way. I’ve had hundreds of conversations with all kinds of people from the newly graduated high school student pumping my gas in Oregon to all the amazing women I met at screenings throughout the country. I saw a tentative America but I saw hope in people. Most of all I saw unity just because of my film and it’s message about female equality and empowerment.
Driving and seeing America has been another part of the experience and during a very unique time in history. I could see cultural shifts in terms of dealing with the pandemic as I traversed the country. I started out in my town in Brookside, NJ on our little beach, up to Gloucester and Brookfield, MA on to Rapid City, Iowa, north to Big Timber, MT and then a long but incredibly beautiful drive through Montana, the panhandle of Idaho, and then to Oregon where I got to see one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world.
Each screening was different and special in it's own way. People from different parts of America but interested in the strength and power of women. I was energized and motivated at each screening with every question and conversation regardless how tired I may have been. And each screening seemed to get a little bigger while still staying safe.
I headed south to Sunnyvale, California where my daughter lives and on to Oceanside, CA, Santa Fe, NM and then north to Denver, CO for screenings in each. I had a few long days of driving through the Mid-West until reaching Lebanon, OH for a screening hosted by good friends on a special night, the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. With each screening the setup took less time and the audience grew a bit larger. In Indiana, I finally got to meet a client and friend who I have worked with for many years, but who I never had met. The last screening of this tour was inspirational and it seemed fitting to end this journey in the city I was born in, Chicago. LikeAWoman.us
These screenings may have been one of my better ideas, but I couldn’t have done it without all of you and those who helped along the way. I did what I set out to do and created some needed human connectivity but in a safe way at a dark time. I saw smiles and hope for the future. I empowered women and sparked some ideas in young girls and I came away with hundreds of ideas and possibilities.
I have two or three screenings to do in Florida and I hope they can happen soon. This may be the end of the tour but it’s just the beginning for this film and it’s positive message for young girls and women that anything is possibility. Pursue your passion.