In 1933, Helen Keller wrote a scathing letter to Nazi students in response to her book of essays being placed on Adolf Hitler’s book-burn list, which included works by many well-known writers with viewpoints that differed from the Nazi perspective. She boldly wrote, “History has taught you nothing if you think you can kill ideas.”
While our modern-day troubles don’t come close to the widespread chaos and trepidation of that time, it’s vital we remember such historically significant events and the steadfast men and women of courage who refused to let their ideas be trounced by tyrants. Ideas are the foundation of free thought, logic and personal opinion. From a revolutionary film you watch to a stimulating conversation you have, the ideas you formulate exist forever. No one can take that away from you.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 76 Percent
The formidable Helen Keller embraced an activist mindset, fighting for what she believed in. It can be tough for women and minorities to have our voices heard in a society that often shuts down opinions that don’t fit the white, male standard, even today. Take the world of film, for instance. In 2016, 76 percent of female characters in the top 100 grossing films were white. And often, those white, female characters were portrayed as attractive sidekicks, helpless victims or silly airheads. Perhaps that’s because women accounted for only 11 percent of writers for those top films. Still, no one can stop women from working to change how Hollywood views us. If there’s one thing I know about women, it’s that when you push us down, we come back swinging even harder.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Corrina Crade, Founder of CradeMade Entertainment
One woman swingin’ hard against some well-established customs in the entertainment realm is the spirited and tenacious Corrina Crade. A lifelong lover of all things theatrical, it was perhaps Corrina’s fate to aim to turn Hollywood on its head with her business, CradeMade Entertainment.
Corrina, who was born in India and spent her early months of life in an orphanage, was soon adopted by a Jewish family in Wisconsin. They whisked her to the U.S., where she grew up like any other Midwestern kid, often gathering her friends in the basement to re-enact music videos, TV shows and newscasts, recording every tidbit on her Magnavox camcorder. It was the beginning of her life’s passion.
In college, Corrina studied theater and language arts, earning her degree in education, later working as a substitute teacher. Then life suddenly dealt Corrina a lousy hand when her long-term relationship ended with her being dumped by email. But it was how she played that hand that led to a truly life-changing decision.
With little else than her suitcases, an air mattress, a few bottles of red wine and her beloved cat in tow, Corrina uprooted and moved to Chicago, just in time for one of the worst snowstorms in nearly a century. Sans furniture, internet and even a shower curtain, Corrina did some serious soul searching. She emerged from that snowstorm with a dedication to become a writer, actor and filmmaker.
Through CradeMade Entertainment, Corrina works to empower stronger roles for women in film. She’s also writing a book about her journey to create her first indie movie, which will include lots of good tips for newbie filmmakers. The film, Oranges, released last year, was Corrina’s first feature-film endeavor, which she wrote, produced and stars in.
For Corrina, there’s one simple daily ritual that’s helped guide her in her career and relationships: practicing gratitude. It’s as simple as being thankful for all the little joys she experiences and all that’s yet to come. We’re certainly grateful Corrina is challenging Hollywood stereotypes and making the entertainment world a little more accessible to women.
QUITE THE QUOTE
With Corrina Crade in mind, let’s wrap things up with a quote from actress Rhonda Hansome. She said:
“A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. A woman must do what he can’t.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.