Last Saturday night was my first experience on stage at the Virginia Theater in Champaign with the That’s What She Said Show. It was a night to remember. Much preparation and bonding, availability and vulnerability, sharing fears and dreams culminating with a Show we could all be proud to be a part of.
It was a 2 1/2 month immersion into stories, or as someone last night said, “An incubator for fast female friendships.” Fast female friendships between five decades of women, ranging in age from 29 to 64.
On the morning after, I was thinking about the process we went through for That’s What She Said Show #4. Seven Women-Seven Stories-Seven Minutes was the original idea for the Show, as I understand it. Kerry believes that every woman’s story can be a window or a mirror to the women who hear it. What a beautiful mental picture that is. Giving women a glimpse of understanding. Letting another woman know you have “been there,” too. Helping others see that it is possible to make it through tough stuff. Showing strength that is welcome and helpful.
While the Seven Minutes got stretched a bit, the Seven Women with Seven Stories came together in a way that went beyond entertainment. As each of us discovered the story we were ready to share (thank you, Kerry!) and then honed them to an acceptable length (thank you Jenette!), a journey was taken together. Domestic abuse, middle age, addiction, mom vs career, aging on purpose, difficult childhood diagnosis, struggle to be content….topics were true and pertinent.
Digging a little deeper, thinking in a new way (people are going to listen to this!), deciding what to wear, our conversations were pretty real from the beginning and solidified as we went along.
What Kerry Rossow has created with SheSaidProject.com is a little bit hard to explain from back stage. The Show is understandable—Women telling their stories. We have photos and videos of this show and of past shows.
But how Kerry was able to take 9 women (7 speakers, Kerry and Jenette, the director) who don’t know each from meeting each other in the privacy of Kerry’s living room to standing together on a stage, being deep and intimate and real in front of a whole lot of other women (who mostly they don’t know) is something of a mystery.
Truly, it was a privilege to share the stage…and the process…with this group of women.