Wednesday, November 22, 2017

#MakeItFair Interview With #RealDeal

Robyn Hussa Farrell, Editor of #RealDeal, interviews Nadia Quinn and Patricia Noonan, two of the Founders of the #MakeItFair campaign shedding awareness and light on gender inequality in the entertainment industry.  Check out their interview about our #WhatIsBeautiful campaign, here.

  MakeItFair1.00_jpg_srb1.  What is the #MakeItFair campaign?

#makeitfair is a call for gender equality in the stories we tell, the wages we earn, and the future we shape.  The goal is vast and so, as artists, we decided to do what we do best: create.  Our first video involves a cast and crew of more than 70 women, underscoring the wealth of female talent that often goes untapped.  As we move forward, we will continue to raise awareness, ask tough questions, celebrate female talent, connect female artists to opportunities, laugh, create, and broaden the scope of the stories being told. We encourage others to use the hashtag #makeitfair to ask questions and spark conversations within their own networks.

Please see website: www.themakeitfairproject.com for photos, videos, behind the scenes footage, etc.

 

 

2.  What are the long-term goals / outcomes for the project?  If your biggest dreams could come true … what would happen?

PN: I think the long-term goal is to be part of speeding up the tide of change that is currently moving us towards a world of gender equality.  I believe in the power of the stories we decide to tell and influence of the images we see on gender equality issues as a whole. The initial video we created was intended to raise awareness about the hard facts that make up the gender gaps in the entertainment/storytelling industry and in the country at large in a fun, comedic, creative way that – at the same time – highlighted the very same female talent on all sides of the creative process that so often goes unused.  All of the us on the team behind #makeitfair are continuing to work on our own projects – as writers, directors, actors, administrators, etc – in order to put “our money where our mouth is” and be a part of the movement to tell stories differently and to put women on stage, on screen, and in charge. MakeItFair2.00_jpg_srb

I think the “big dream” is gender equality.  That’s an incredibly vast goal/dream, though.  Part of working towards that dream is creating our own work as we continue to do as individuals and will continue to do as a group.  Another part is to connect women in the entertainment industry to opportunities and to each other  – to that end we have various resources on our website and we have created Facebook groups/communities where members can post about projects and work opportunities.  A great group we recently partnered with is Works by Women – they already have something that we were thinking of creating – a database of talented women in the field who can fill various positions, so that employers can more easily find great women to hire.  I guess you could say the dream would be to make the #makeitfair project completely unnecessary!

NQ: I agree– I think we just wanted to spark some awareness. I have definitely experienced gender-bias and gender inequality on my journey as an actor/artist….but when Patricia put the actual stats in front of me, it really blew my mind! I don’t think a lot of people have any idea how imbalanced things really are! Awareness is always the first step– if our video can make someone take a step back next time they are hiring and say “wait– why are there only guys here…let’s look for a woman to do this job” then we have succeeded in my book.

AmearaMakeItFair.00_jpg_srb3.  What led you / all to the idea for #MakeItFair?

NQ:  Well, Patricia (Noonan) was inspired to create a comedic piece about gender inequality in the entertainment industry after the sad showing for women at this year’s Oscars (and also after Patricia Arquette’s moving speech).  She approached me with her idea and I suggested we write some original material since that’s something I do often.  We brought on Emily (Tarver), who is my comedy partner/bandmate in Summer and Eve (the comedy music band we have together) and the three of us sat in my living room for four hours and came up with the idea for a comedic PSA with reversed statistics and the lyrics for an anthem-y song underneath.  We reached out on Facebook asking if there were any women interested in getting involved in making a comedy video promoting gender equality, and Adrienne (Campbell-Holt) responded saying she’d love to direct.  She brought on our DP/Editor, Crystal Arnette, Zoe Sarnak who I further developed and wrote the music with, and Erica Rotstein who has been the most amazing producer.  We put our brains together and came up with the idea for the #makeitfair project– thinking we might be able to reach a larger audience if we isolated a mission statement and really committed ourselves to creating a movement for this issue that we are all so impassioned about.  We mainly wanted to achieve awareness.  These stats are pretty staggering– we hoped that by watching our video, having a laugh, and noting how imbalanced things really are…people would think about the ratio of men/women in their own media and workplaces and start taking action to make things more balanced.

 

4.  How can people get involved or help with the #MakeItFair campaign? MakeItFair.00_jpg_srb

PN: If you have any resources you’d like to share with creative women or projects you’re working on that you’d like to involve more women in, please reach out to us via our website and/or Facebook.  I think, in the future, we will have more ways for people to get involved, but for now I would say the best way to be involved in #makeitfair is to start making change and asking questions in your own corner of the world.  Look at the Tv/movies/plays/ads you consume – start to think more critically about the way women are portrayed.  Write your own stories, speak up in meetings, run for office, take up space (whatever that means for you).  Keep the questions and conversations going – use #makeitfair when you do so on social media.  Awareness and questioning are parts of the first steps; taking action and making change are the next.  I think being “unapologetically yourself” as the “real deal pledge” states is a good first step – because if we all do that, we could create a revolution.

NQ: Make things. Create. Think. Strive. Work hard. Do YOU! Love, support and enable the creativity of the women around you. We can help each other. There aren’t a few lady-spots that we are all vying for. (It sure seems like it, but we can’t play into those ideas!!) We are strongest together–men and women–equally moving forward side-by-side, putting the gifts we have to give out into the world. Leaving a strong legacy for future generations. We all have value! All voices are important.

#MakeItFair founder bios:

PNoonanPATRICIA NOONAN (Script, Lyrics, Executive Producer) is an award-winning actor, singer, lyricist, and playwright.  Noonan wrote book and lyrics for the musical Learning How to Drown developed at The Johnny Mercer Writers’ Colony (Goodspeed) and the Pitch (Finger Lakes Musical Theater Festival) and penned the piece “Happy Anniversary” debuting in Ladybits this spring.  She graduated as a Presidential Scholar from Boston College where her award-winning plays The Storykeeper and Mermaid People were first produced. As an actor, Noonan has created roles in Maury Yeston’s Death Takes a Holiday (Sophia), Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Elizabeth Bennet), Signs of Life (Lorelei), Baby Case (Betty Gow), Neurosis (Abby), and Little House on the Prairie and appeared in revivals at NYC’s Avery Fisher Hall and City Center Encores and across the country.  As a concert soloist, Noonan has traveled the country from 54 Below to the Kennedy Center to Bass Hall.  She is also a regular performer with NYU’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program and made her TV debut earlier this year on Law & Order: SVU.

NadiaNADIA QUINN (Script, Lyrics, Music, Executive Producer) is an actor, producer, writer, singer/songwriter known for her work on Broadway (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), Television (Mysteries of Laura, The Big C, SMASH, Younger), and Film (Top Five, The Flower Shop, Kitty).  Nadia co-created the folk-rock-comedy-music quartet, Summer and Eve (UCB NY, Joe’s Pub, ArsNova.www.summerandeve.com) and is currently working on writing/producing/making/doing several other things because she can’t turn her brain off ever there’s just no chance of it. (The Paradigm Agency/www.nadiaquinn.com)

 

EmilyTarverEMILY TARVER (Script, Lyrics, Executive Producer) is an actress/writer/comedian/musician/producer lady. Emily was most recently seen on ABC’s Blackish, TruTV’s Friends Of The People and Vh1’s Best Week Ever. Emily has been studying and performing with the Upright Citizens Brigade NY Theatre since 2004. Emily does stand-up, improv, sketch and musical comedy with her band Summer and Eve. Summer and Eve has a web series currently on Above Average – the digital content wing of Broadway Video. Emily is in a million commercials and will be starring in the upcoming series DONNY! on USA.

 

Campbell-HoltADRIENNE CAMPBELL-HOLT (Director, Producer) Adrienne is the Founding Artistic Director of Colt Coeur.  She has written/directed two short films: Autobiography of Red (adapted from Anne Carson’s epic poem) and Henry and the Trains. Upcoming theater directing: Foeller Fellowship at Williamstown Theatre Festival, summer 2015; world premiere of First Life (Colt Coeur @ HERE, September 2015). Recent: World Premiere of Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spiegel (workshops at New York Stage & Film and Ojai Playwright’s Conference, production with Colt Coeur @ HERE, NYC), Red starring Tim Daly (Dorset Theater Festival, VT), World Premiere of Greg Moss’ REUNION (South Coast Rep), World Premiere of Everything is Ours by Nikole Beckwith (Colt Coeur @ HERE), Recall (Colt Coeur @ Wild Project), and Fish Eye (Colt Coeur @ HERE). She is a Time Warner/Women’s Project Lab 2014-2016 Fellow, a recipient of a Jerome Foundation/Tofte Lake Fellowship, the EST/Sloan grant, an alum of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and a New Georges Affiliated Artist/Audrey Resident. BA Barnard College, Columbia University.

SarnakZOE SARNAK (Music, Music Director) is an award winning composer, lyricist and playwright. She graduated from Harvard University where Sarnak’s The Quad was produced at Harvard’s Loeb Experimental Theatre and she was awarded the Ann Radcliffe Trust. Sarnak wrote the book, music and lyrics for Mixtape (featured in Silent Street Productions 2012 season), A Lasting Impression(winner of Pace New Musicals 2012, produced Off-Broadway at the 4th Street Theatre at NYTW in August 2012, winner of the 2013 NJ Playwright’s contest, and performed in concert by Cutting Edge Composers), and The Years Between (performed at 54 Below and workshopped in Musical Theatre Factory’s 2014 season). Sarnak was a finalist for NY Stage & Film’s Founders award and her music has been featured by The Lilly Awards, New York Musical Theatre Festival and more, and in venues from Playwrights Horizons and New York Theatre Workshop to Joe’s Pub and the Highline Ballroom. Zoe is one half of the indie folk/pop band, she, featured in #sheSESSIONS recorded live from The End Studios.@zoesarnak  @shebandTWEETS

ArnetteCRYSTAL ARNETTE (DP, Editor) is not afraid to wear many hats. She is a member of the resident acting company at The Flea Theater (The Bats) and co-produces their late night play festival #SERIALS, makes films with her Bushwick-based production collective Adventure We Can, and music with her folk-rock experiment Ladybird. She also really really likes typography. crystalarnette.com // adventurewecan.com

 

RotsteinERICA ROTSTEIN (Producer) is an Associate Producer at Broadway Across America.  As such, she helps manage BAA’s portfolio of theatrical investments and serves as part of the producing team for all in-house projects (current: Million Dollar Quartet; in development: Water for Elephants).  As an independent producer, Erica is currently developing Short Story Long by Joel Fishbane (both a stage play and a film) with producing partner Samuel Goldberg.  She also seeks out opportunities to collaborate with and showcase the work of talented artists whom she adores.  Current artistic collaborators include Drew Gasparini, Andrew Kober, Alex Brightman, F. Michael Haynie, Zack Zadek, Eli Bolin, Lauren Pritchard, and Megan Loughran.  Erica sits on the Board of Directors of Colt Coeur, an innovative non-profit theatre company and artists’ ensemble led by Adrienne Campbell-Holt.  Erica holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business of a BA from Brown University.

 

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