This weekend completed my 3-month training as part of the first class of Progressive Women's Voices at the Women's Media Center. I can't say enough good things about this program, but suffice it to say that I've LOVED being a part of its charter class. A highlight this weekend was hearing Code Pink's Jodie Evans, who is also a WMC Board Member, reflect on her own experience with the media as a grassroots activist. Jodie seeks always to be "provocative and distinctive" in her voice. She blogs to get noticed by radio, and actually does radio--different programs--one hour each day, which makes for excellent practice. She makes a point of always telling a story, and gets very personal and very real, as that, in the end, is what moves people.
I was personally so moved by Jodie that I went up and hugged her at the end (and I have no idea whether she's a hugger, whoops). Her authenticity was so apparent, it was hard not to be moved. I asked her how she maintains that kind of genuine performance in front of a camera, as I have a FAR easier time connecting with audiences in person, and even with a radio host, but shine that camera on me and I generally go rigid inside. Her response: "Practice getting naked on camera. Practice practice practice. And get out of your own way. Remember, you're not speaking for yourself, you're speaking for others who can't be there." Wise words, truly.
Jodie also spoke of her personal goals, and the importance of waking up other women to use their own voices, and of moving the person closest to her, so she can then move the person closest to her. She reminded us all not to get stuck in the "I'm right, you're wrong" space, and to carry emotion (ie anger) in your body but not in your voice when on the air.
I'm excited for those taking part in the second class of Progressive Women's Voices and look forward to joining them. And keep an eye out for Code Pink after April 15 (Tax Day), as they've got a very hot message brewing. That's all I'll say...for now!