Meditating while sitting on a pop disco shagged love seat- owned by a Marina Del Rey penthouse owner, I captured my moment of success. Overlooking fleets of white boats rocking the harbor, I felt at peace.
I was here- after all the years of sleepless nights, constant work and struggle. The only one, in this very moment in time, who one the Artemis Film Festival award entitled "Women in Action- Best Music Artist."
Rewind to the night before, I stepped on that stage in front of an audience of celebrities and performed a song that I wrote when I was battling with my mental health. A song that represented years of feeling as though there was no validation in existing, in being unique. A song that helped me discover my gender identity and sexuality. A hip-hop song written through the eyes of a woman in a male dominated industry that further represents the voice of the LGBTQQIA community. There I was on stage performing “One of the Boys."
As I sat in the seats after my opening performance, I listened to a bunch of empowered women bless the stage with their award acceptance speeches. From Levy Tran (credits; Fast & Furious, The Haunting of Hill House & Shameless), to Daniela Ruah (NCIS), Kimberly Peirce (Director of acclaimed cable shows such as; The L Word, and Dear White People), to the original Wonder Woman stunt double Ms. Jeannie Epper- each woman had a story of struggle and glory.
One acceptance speech being that of stunt woman Mahsa Ahmandi (Credits including; S.W.A.T., Will & Grace, Z Nation, Training Day and Heathers) in which Mahsa reflected on cutting her hair in Iran, just so that she could be trained in martial arts. Stunt woman Lisa Hoyle (credits; Pirates of the Caribbean, National Treasure and Charlie’s Angels) spoke of overcoming her near death on set experience, only to further achieve her dreams. And lastly, Dot-Marie Jones (credits; Glee) speech. Her words of wisdom being “I am going to tell you all what my Mother told me, when you go out for a role and you don’t get it- you piss on them and get the next one.”
Congratulations to all of the Artemis Award Winners- you inspire women like myself to keep fighting the battles that are asynchronous yet unique in experience.
Thank you to the courageous Melanie Wise for organizing and hosting this well needed award ceremony. A ceremony that empowers women to keep breaking through boundaries. Thank you to Kaylene Peoples of Bella Composers and of Agenda Magazine for her diligent work in bringing awareness to the festival and for her work in shining light on the accomplishments of all of these hard working women.