Category Archives: Girls

Whose “Approval” Matters & Why?

by Andie Bottrell

Whether you’re submitting a new play or coming out to your family–the goal is same: approval. Approve of me, validate me, recognize the work it took for me to get here, be kind, see me and hear my words in the way they were intended.

I’m dating a woman. I’m bisexual, and I’ve known and been open about it for well over a decade, but this is the first time I’ve dated a woman. Not uncharacteristic for me–it took 29 years for me enter a relationship with a man.

The play I was working on has been paused as I found there were not enough hours in the day to work two jobs, launch and run a business, be a person, and finish a play. So, in leu of playwriting anecdotes and stories, all I’ve got is my life. I hope that’s a satisfactory enough offering. I believe playwriting anecdotes can still be made (see: first paragraph). I’m nothing if not a terrific multitasker.

Approval. The word has been beating against my brain all week after having been told I did not have someone’s approval in regards to my dating women. I hadn’t asked for their approval. In fact, I’d wrongly assumed I had it, in so much as one person has any kind of right to “approve” of another’s life in these matters. It had caught me off guard and has been eating away at me–my brain launching into hypothetical arguments in a constant subconscious stream throughout the day.

As any kind of creative knows, living your life in constant search for approval is the surest way to burn out and begin to hate the very thing you love. At a certain point, you have to turn that off–that search for validation–and you have to find ways to validate yourself, to make the kind of art that you are proud of, to live the kind of life and be the kind of person that you need to be in order to have pride and peace within yourself.

If you go through life only creating art intending to please this person or theatre or that, or to live a life that this person or that approves of, all the while denying your own vision, truth, passion, and violating your own morals…well, what a waste of talent, time, and life! Let those people do the things they need to do to be authentic in their lives and art, and if you don’t understand it or think it’s weird or wrong…don’t do it, but also, maybe examine why you think that and find out more about it because we are so quick to judge things that are different to what we’ve been exposed to as “evil” or “bad” (Fun example from our local mega-church this past month: https://www.news-leader.com/story/news/local/ozarks/2018/11/12/james-river-pastor-yoga-has-demonic-roots-springfield-yogis/1897249002/) that we close down any chance for communication that could allow us to understand each other and learn how to care for one another in more helpful and healthy ways.

I’ve only recently gotten to a point in my life where I am able to be proud of who I am, to love who I am, to feel good in my skin and know that even if someone rejects me, it doesn’t change my value as a human being. I am whole and stable and fulfilled on my own, whether I am in a romantic partnership with another person or not (and whether or not those I love and trust are able to see and accept me as I am — oof, okay still working on that one).

It’s a good place to be. And I feel stable in that–even as I wrestle with that ole bugaboo of approval again. I admit, I want that approval, I try really, really hard to get approval, I have anxiety around not being accepted (who doesnt?!) but at the end of the day, I have to come back to myself. Can I lay my head on my pillow at night and be proud of my actions? That approval trumps any other, because if I can’t do that then I won’t sleep and if I don’t sleep, I won’t function, and I won’t live.

So, whether you’re struggling with feelings of inadequacy or acceptance in your writing or in your personal life–I hope this post will encourage and remind you to take a minute, take an afternoon, heck, take a lifetime (!) and pause to look within and ask yourself if you approve. If your actions are in line with your morals, if you are being authentic, if you are creating honest art, if you are proud of the human you are becoming…and, if the answer is YES, how much it really matters if others don’t agree.

Dang, I do believe I straddled that fence quite nicely, eh? I guess, in the end, playwriting and being queer really were one in the same. Wow.

The Female Science Fiction Writers of Tomorrow

by Korama Danquah

It’s not a secret to anyone that science fiction writing has, in the past, been a boys’ club. I can’t really tell you why. Perhaps it’s a carryover from the gender gap in science education or maybe it’s just that women feel it’s more productive to construct a real-world society of equality before creating elaborate fictional future worlds. Whatever the reason, there are 20 H. P. Lovecrafts for every Ursula Le Guin.

This weekend, however, marks a momentous step forward for women in science fiction writing. Five young women will have staged readings of their science fiction short stories at Sci-Fest LA’s Tomorrow Prize. These LA high school students will have their stories (1500 words or less) read by prominent sci-fi actors and all five finalists are women.

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 4.58.39 PM
Finalists from Left to Right: Ashley Anderson, Erica Goodwin, Janeane Kim, Ruby Park, and Athena Thomassian

The five finalists are a beacon of hope for female sci-fi fans. For decades women in science fiction have been seductive aliens and, more recently, captains and starship officers, but we have not often been the authors of these fantastical stories. These finalists and others like them are saying no to the boys’ club of the past and carving a place for themselves in the annals of sci-fi history. It is often said that “you can’t be what you can’t see,” and these young women are making themselves visible for female science fiction writers of today and of tomorrow.

The Tomorrow Prize readings take place on Saturday, May 16th at 4:00 at Acme Comedy Theatre (135 N. La Brea Ave, Hollywood). Tickets are available for $10 online and $15 at the door. All box office proceeds and any additional donations received that day go to the winner’s high school science department. 

Write #LikeaGirl

By Tiffany Antone

Oh wow – who watched the Super Bowl on Sunday?  I’ve got to admit, I was less invested this year because the “Defending title team VS a team embroiled in controversy over deflated balls” narrative wasn’t especially gripping.  I did, however, get totally into the commercials (as I usually do), and want to talk for a moment about Always’ #LikeAGirl commercial.

I loved this commercial.  I think Always struck just the right balance between messaging and emotion, on top of totally owning its brand.  Twitter lit up with the #LikeAGirl hashtag afterwards… and then some ass hat self-proclaimed “Meninest” decided that the commercial, by encouraging 50% of the population, was exclusive and unfair to men and started a competing hashtag, #LikeABoy.

Gag.

I mean, let’s ignore for a moment that the entire freaking Super Bowl is basically penis Mecca—what do these people honestly expect from a company that sells feminine products?

And what does it say about them that a commercial encouraging girls to be awesome would be so threatening that they felt the need to immediately attack it…

I just can’t even.

Except, I produce a female playwrights festival called the ONSTAGE Project, and this year – for the first time – I received submissions from men.  At first I thought *maybe* the gents simply hadn’t read the submission details thoroughly enough to understand that by using the words “Female Playwrights Festival” in the event name, we meant this festival is for FEMALE PLAYWRIGHTS.

Until one of them signed his submission email with the following:

P.S. Yes, I am male, but isn’t it about the story and not the gender of the author?

WOW.

I was gobsmacked.  Gobsmacked, I tell you.

And more than a little furious.

Furious because his email not only communicated a total disregard for our company’s mission statement, but a complete disregard for female playwrights’ gender parity struggle at large.  Also, it’s a pretty dick move to tell a female playwright that writing a woman character basically negates the need for female writers.

I’m still feeling incredibly growlsome about it.

But isn’t this why we’re talking about gender parity?  Isn’t this very issue one of the reasons the LAFPI exists?  It’s certainly part of my motivation to increase production opportunities for female playwrights.   So I can sit and stew, or I can turn this particular Twitter turn into further grist for the “Get shit done!” mill…

Because I write #LikeAGirl and I’m not afraid to admit it.

#FemalePlaywrightsROCK!

Why I Love the Web Series World

by Cindy Marie Jenkins

About a year and a half ago I started getting really involved in the web series world, then created a site to connect potential audience with shows they might like.

I recently even went so far as to voluntarily watch every single show nominated for an IAWTV Award. From there I found even more shows that I love. Like anything independent, there is a ton of crap and a few that don’t quite make it to their potential. But wow, was I surprised at the gems that I found.

Here are a few great female helmed shows, coincidentally all with a lesbian bent. That is why I love the web series world. How often will you find so many incredibly different shows created by talented women showing their struggles – except perhaps in a play festival? The web series world is very akin to intimate theatre, especially in Los Angeles. Kiss a lot of frogs, you find a prince(ss) or two.

I hope you’ll give some of these shows a chance and let the creators know what you think. Share the ones you really like. Audience voice matters if indie artists are to rise above the mainstream.

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little horriblesMy favorite is Little Horribles. It took me a minute to get it. By it, I mean that it took me a second to sync – or perhaps sink –  into Amy York Rubin’s brain. Once there, it was such a delicious train wreck that I couldn’t stop. When caller i.d. adds “Be Cautious” to the caller’s name, and Rubin still picks up the phone, you know there is drama.

Rubin’s specific brand of comedy makes each episode feel like really great improv, or incredibly relaxed banter. This could be a documentary, the conversations feel so real. Jokes tend to hit from the inside out, sometimes trailing your guts along for the ride.

Take a look. You’ll know within the first two episodes if this is a show for you. And if it is, I guarantee you’ll be a fan for life like me.

Little Horribles (http://LittleHorribles.com) is a Barnacle Studios (http://Barnacle.is) production in collaboration with Issa Rae.
http://LittleHorribles.com
http://twitter.com/LittleHorribles
http://facebook.com/LittleHorribles

Created + Written by Amy York Rubin @ayrubin
Executive Producer: Issa Rae @issarae

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producing julietProducing Juliet is by the same team I discovered last year with their pretty wonderful teen drama Anyone But Me. As its name suggests, many stories circulate around theatre artists. The fact that most of the main relationships are lesbian is just a fact, not a plot point or the butt of jokes like in most mainstream stories (vastly generalizing here). Writer Ward has developed a great craft out of writing for the web. With episodes lasting an average of nine minutes, she wields her ensemble well. We follow certain characters and in the next episode could be taken through the same time frame from a different vantage point which quite literally made me gasp once.

New series from Tina Cesa Ward Executive Producer/Writer/Director of “Anyone But Me” and star of “Anyone But Me” Rachael Hip-Flores.
Visit the website: http://producingjuliet.com/
twitter @ProducingJuliet
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/producingjuliet
tumblr: http://producingjuliet.tumblr.com/
instagram: http://instagram.com/producingjuliet#

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the better half

The Better Half is absolutely delightful. Everyone can relate to these woes and triumphs of being in a relationship, even if you’ve never had to have the “stop instagramming your poop” conversation.

http://thebetterhalfseries.com

https://www.facebook.com/TheBetterHalfWebSeries

https://twitter.com/betterhalfshow

http://instagram.com/thebetterhalfseries

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single never marriedLauren Hamilton pitched me her show as ” a web show about a dating expert who sucks at dating, for your consideration to be reviewed. It stars myself, Lauren Hamilton, and my dog Violet (pic attached)” so I automatically love her.

Watch the first episode of Single, Never Married. I double dog dare you not to love her more.