SHOE CONFESSIONS Behind the Scenes
I am still working on the film SOLE SISTERS. I have collected so many stories from my SHOE CONFESSIONAL, and multi -outreach projects. The stories are wonderful, but many will never get in the film. Someone suggested a play.Well, to tell you the truth I wasn’t sure how I would craft a live theatrical production. I talked to some friends in the business who didn’t take me seriously. And then I thought about WingSpan Theatre artistic director and actress Susan Sargeant. I first met Susan when she auditioned for a film we were doing about the life of Cosmetic Entrepreneur Mary Kay Ash. I will never forget Susan’s audition. I was drawn to her talent and sassiness, not to mention her to die for black jacket. We didn’t really have a part for her, but we found one–she was that good. Anyway, I contacted her and pitched her the project. She said– write me a proposal. Two days later I emailed her a proposal and twenty minutes later she called and said, “I want to do this.”
Susan does not fool around. Well, I was walking on clouds. We had two readings of all the stories and got audience feedback. Then with her guidance, we crafted a play that she submitted to the Festival of Independent Theatres. They accepted SHOE CONFESSIONS. The audience response was great and the reviews were good. The actresses put everything they had in it. I don’t know how they kept up the momentum since there were 6 non-consecutive performances. But they pulled it off and the chemistry and energy kept getting better. I sat there at the end trying to hold onto an unbelievable high feeling – of joy, pride and satisfaction.
Several things happened during the play besides one woman’s phone alarm playing disco music for 7 minutes until we found the culprit. Several of the women whose stories were in the play attended. Betsie Bolger’s whose Converse and AIDS story made everyone think of buying shoes a bit differently. Crys Kelly’s story about making sure her dying daughter always had sparkling shoes on to lead her way helped her smile. Hollace Weiner’s Star of David book and boots story brought down the house with laughter. There was a shoe story that fit every size in the audience.
A strong talented woman whose theater is named WingSpan Theatre Co. gave me the wings to fly on my new journey. Susan gave me the courage, the platform and the where with all. This is not a footnote. For me this is momentous. I am always helping out a student or someone entering the business. I have had a lot of help along the way. And I continue to seek advice and support. But what Susan did to enable me to expand my artistic talents and showcase my work is momentous for me. I thank her profusely and know I will never be stingy with my help. And as I plan my next steps, I am putting on fabulous shoes to take this baby on another spin.