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Jill Soloway is one of my favorite badass people. I love what they* are creating and the stories that they are choosing to tell. I love that they are shaking up Hollywood and pushing back on the norm that has been there for decades. I love that they are authentically themself, but also open and vulnerable about their fears and insecurities. I love that they are encouraging “others” to be the subject instead of the object. In an entertainment world that is full of people who are working to sell you something, I find their work to be a breath of fresh air and a realistic portrayal of how complex life can be/is.

Makers recently featured their story, and I felt that the above clip was worth sharing. Here is someone who has won two Emmys, a DGA, a PGA, a Sundance Film Festival Directing Award, a Lucy Award, and a Dorian Award, yet still has moments of doubt and feelings of inadequacy. We all have that “uninvited guest” that nags and weighs on us, which can be the cause of second guessing the work that we want and hope to do. There is so much power in naming what that voice is – anxiety, depression, doubt, self-hatred, dread – but what it is NOT, is you. When we “see them for what they are” we can then recognize and acknowledge these feelings and thoughts, yet not allow them to define or debilitate us.

Understanding that these are thoughts and feelings that everyone experiences at one point or other, and that you are not alone in this, is helpful to your growth and creative process. The important part is that you do not let them linger too long, define you or stop you from “trying to do something outside of what is acceptable.” We need your voice, so don’t let that uninvited guest silent or stop you!

Side note: Soloway has a production company, Topple, and I love that 1/2 of Topple’s Principles are BE Mantras:

  1. Be Intersectional: Lift up the voices of women, people of color, queer people, and their allies. Use the power of storytelling to ignite an intersectional movement toward liberation.
  2. Be Chill: No one is in trouble. Promote good vibes. Make grounded decisions. It’s okay to move quickly, but if you’re feeling under pressure try slowing down.
  3. Be Brave: Ask: Has it been done before? Will it change the world?

Three BE Mantras that I can get behind – and really love the idea of companies creating principles, value statements or mission statements around BE Mantras!

Side Note #2: Today, March 31st, is Trans Visibility Day – “The day is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and victories of transgender [and] gender non-conforming people while raising awareness of the work that is still needed to save trans lives. The holiday was founded in 2009 as a reaction to the lack of LGBT holidays celebrating transgender people’s successes.” This years theme is trans resistance, with a focus on direct action countering transphobia.

*Soloway prefers to use gender-neutral pronouns. Explaining, “they don’t want to be confined by the gender binaries of male and female…they felt like them/they felt more comfortable instead of having to constantly switch from he/she.” I wanted to be sure to honor this and identify Soloway in the way that they prefer to be identified.

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