A Clear Message

 

“We are set for a press conference, you know. We literally have to be there in forty minutes.” For years this young woman has worked hard for every ounce of recognition that she’s earned. Many stars have to really work to be noticed, but those are usually the ones coming from nothing and nowhere. This young lady, though, she had every opportunity to get what she wanted without lifting more than a pinky. But that wouldn’t make her the Ithaca that everyone adores today.

“I know, bello. I was just finishing my speech. Would you like to read it now or be surprised later?” As she speaks, she stands with confidence and defiance – shoving the papers into her chest. Being Ithaca’s agent has never been a difficult task, but sometimes her personality can be strong – and therefore exhausting. For example, she always wants to do a speech on the project at the start of any press conference for the films in which she stars. It isn’t even a silly thing she just does, but it’s actually in her rider that she be allowed to do such.

With a huff, her agent takes the paperwork and humors her client. Usually she doesn’t mind because most of what comes out of Ithaca’s mouth is media gold. However, everyone who worked on ‘A Woman’s Worth’ is financially invested in the success of the project. After all, everyone worked on it for free – and every cast member, crewmember, and corporate investor will split the profits evenly. That means the people that put money into the film are banking on this film being a box office hit in order to gain any sort of profit. And, of course, they’re all women. The whole thing was Ithaca’s brainchild – her work of art – a film made by volunteers that only individuals identifying as women.

An agent’s career can go down with a client’s ship in this business. So she casts her eyes down, just as Ithaca comments; “Do not worry, Charlene, it will make you feel empowered – not embarrassed.”


To every strong woman that made this project possible…

I wish not to thank you for your generosity but applaud your faith in our ability to bring power to your investment. I wish not to express my gratitude for your money but to congratulate you on seeing the world for what it should be instead of what it is today. I wish not to thank you for all that you’ve made possible by financially carrying this film but wish to commend you on your awareness of the social issues that women face in society.

This project has been more to me than another bullet point on my resume. Not only have I found a home with my fellow woman, but also I’ve found the platform for our too often quieted voices in this industry. Regularly we are overlooked as reliable feminists because we are rich, because we are privileged, and because our problems do not match what our sisters must face in the middle and lower classes of this country. But we, too, face adversity in Hollywood! We understand the sexual harassment you face, and we understand what it is like to make less than our male co-stars, as well as we understand any other sexist nonsense you must face – because we face it too.

And we’ve all had enough. ‘A Woman’s Worth’ isn’t just a documentary and it isn’t just a film. It is a learning experience and adventure into the world of women where even money cannot protect us from the damage of sexism. Nothing can save us from the adversity we face from something we cannot control. Sexism, racism, and generalized prejudice can no longer reign in the world – and we have worked hard to show society with this film what the damage is on women in the world today.

Today, our representatives ask that you keep your questions as respectful as our answers. We ask that you treat us the way you would want to be treated. And above else, remember that we are human beings no different than you. Thank you for coming to this press conference for ‘A Woman’s Worth,’ and we are delighted to have you.


 

Charlene looks up at Ithaca through her bangs that could definitely use a trim. She remains standing, proud as ever, with that trademark grin upon her lips. That’s always what makes a star – the way they smile at you with victory glinting in their eyes. Ithaca knows that her speech is just fine – more than fine. It is wholesome and successful in the message it is trying to deliver.

“It is exactly as you would expect from the outspoken Ithaca – one of the top ten most influential women of the decade.” Each woman laughs out loud at the reference. Charlene had been less than impressed when Henley snuck his daughter into his documentary anyway, since it was a clear violation of Ithaca’s wishes. Of course, she fought fire with fire by creating ‘A Woman’s Worth.’ In the preliminary screenings it was already outperforming her father’s film. In fact, the investors were projected to at least triple their profits. Ithaca’s timing on the film couldn’t have been better. Things are truly changing, actually changing.

After the women share a brief hug, Ithaca takes back her notes grumbling; “I do not want to read this, to be honest. They are my words and they belong to my mouth but I wish not to speak them. Who do you think would make a suitable replacement?” Hearing this is out of character. Charlene brushes her back in confusion wondering how to respond. Is this a joke? Is it a trick? Is there a game plan? What possibly could be the end goal of having someone else speak?

“I was thinking you could read it, honestly.” Ithaca reveals.

“Oh, darling, that hardly makes sense. All I did was put in two percent of the overall funding. I barely qualify as an investor, let alone a proper representative of the movie.” Charlene argues, blushing at the suggestion. Agents do not play an active role in press conferences. Traditionally, they stand in the crowd with the interviewers, answering questions and ensuring their clients do not get bogus questions hurled at them.

But Ithaca demands it, “I am not asking you to do it so much as I am telling you. I have already spoken to the other leading stars and we want to stand behind you with our faces covered. All of us are recognizable faces but we are not the only ones that make these great things possible. It’s time someone from behind the curtain takes the helm with these public affairs.” The message to be made is extremely clear to Charlene. This is partially a publicity stunt to gain even more attention and media coverage for the project – but it is also a message directly reflecting the film.

Women do more than what we see front and center. Women exist in front of the camera as well as behind. Women are literally everywhere doing anything that they want, because they’re capable of anything; “I will do it.”

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