AmySimon

Amy Simon is a mother, actress, playwright, improviser, published writer, producer, and self-proclaimed Cultural Herstorian. She has been acting in and producing theater for most of her adult life. Her first play Cheerios In My Underwear (And Other True Tales Of Motherhood) holds the record as the longest running solo show in Los Angeles. SHE’S HISTORY! plays in theaters, schools, libraries, military bases, museums, for conferences, women’s groups, fundraisers, political and social justice organizations and retirement communities. SHE”S HISTORY! is fiscally sponsored by the Women’s Museum of California (http://www.womensmuseumca.org/). Always interested in hearing and presenting what women have to say, Amy directed, co-produced and performed in Los Angeles with GAL-O-RAMA and OVARYACTION at The Improv, The Laugh Factory and The Upfront Comedy Theatre. As the creative force and co-producer behind HEROINE ADDICTS, the four-year hit all-girl variety show, Amy worked with and was inspired by many of the most talented female writer/performers in Los Angeles (including Jane Lynch) at Hollywood’s bang Studio. She created and produced Motherhood Unplugged and Moms Who Write, a mom written and performed story and music salon and stage show (to benefit Beyond Shelter) with LA Parent Magazine and Mamapalooza (Moms In The Arts). It inaugurated and is featured on Los Angeles’s KPFK Radio’s Pacifica Performance Showcase. Working as a consultant on the 2008 launch of the Broad Stage Theater in Santa Monica, Amy performed a variety of duties, including stage-managing the thirteen member cast of American Voices: Spirit of the Revolution, Stephanie Glass Solomon’s original play based on The Federalist Papers, directed by and starring Dustin Hoffman, a truly wonderful man, whom she assisted. As the cast understudy she actually got to play Abigail Adams going in for Annette Bening in dress rehearsal. A frequent guest on local and national radio, Amy was a guest commentator for American Woman In Fact And Fiction, a three part series that aired on Pacifica Radio Archives FromTheVault.org series. She is also a regular guest on the Nicole Sandler Show Radioornot.com. Amy plays California Pioneer Maude Younger in California Women Win The Vote, the documentary/film produced by Wild West Women, Inc. (www.wildwestwomen.org). Her work in the classroom, as an educational specialist teaching improvisation and theater games inspired her to create a curriculum related interactive presentation of SHE’S HISTORY! for Middle School. As a “Herstorical” humorist, Amy writes, blogs, performs and entertains on the radio, online, and onstage furthering her mission to turn the world on to all the fabulous females no one knows anything about. She is a single mother of two glorious and "challenging" teenage daughters who can tell you all about the first woman to run for President.

Feb 242010
 

ada lovelace

Noble English mom and math whiz, she was the daughter of Lord Byron (who she never knew but is buried next to). She showed signs of her genius as a child. Her mother, a big math fan herself, had a huge influence on Ada’s life and the direction it took. Married briefly to the nomadic, aristocratic and incredibly flirty Lord Byron, she took Ada away from her famous dad when Ada was just five weeks old.

Fearful that Ada would follow in her famous father’s footsteps, her mom steered her away from studying the dangerous subjects of literature and poetry and guided her intellectual studies toward math and science. Still in her teens, she became fascinated with the inventor Charles Babbage and his Difference Engine. He became her mentor, helping her to study math at The University of London.

When he created the Analytical Engine, this enchantress of numbers, as she was called, wrote the plan for how engines might calculate numbers – regarded by many as the first computer program– all at the age of twenty-eight. She published this historical work under the initials A.A.L., as women were not accepted as intellectuals.

At the age of twenty, she had married a King – a William King – and when he became an Earl (of Lovelace) she became a Countess. Unfortunately, after she published her now famous work, it was all down hill from there.

This “poetic mathematician” hung out with lots of famous people, including Charles Wheatstone, inventor of the telegraph and microphone; Sir David Brewster, inventor of the kaleidoscope; and Charles Dickens. However, her own letters describe a tortured life of illness, gambling and debt, battling drug addiction and eager to flourish in a man’s world. She has. The United States Department of Defense developed a software language in 1979 and named it “Ada” after her.

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Feb 242010
 

Jeanette RankinPolitician, Pacifist, Reformer. Jeanette Rankin became the first woman elected to the United States House of Representatives and the first female member of Congress on April 2, 1917.

First order of business (after having a “Ladies Room” installed) was suffrage (the right to vote), which she got for women in her home state of Montana in 1914 – five years before the 19th Amendment passed. A die-hard pacifist and Gandhi fan, she voted against World War I and became very unpopular when she voted against World War II, making her the only member of Congress to do so.

Still running for office at the tender age of eighty-eight – for a third term in Congress – she died from surgery complications in 1973.

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Feb 242010
 

Victoria Woodhull

Wow what a story!  What a life!  What a shame!  That no one knows who she is. She was…. the FIRST WOMAN TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT.  Yes, in 1872, this often-married thirty-four-year-old mother of two (one with special needs) who eloped at the age of fifteen – ran (against Ulysses S. Grant) for president. Victoria Claflin Woodhull pulled her self out of poverty and up by her bra straps. Gorgeous, charismatic and smart, she spent her life bent on improving it, through education and association with smart powerful men – like Cornelius Vanderbilt, and women – like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony who left her out of the history books for being so controversial.  She cut her performing chops early on, traveling around with her completely crazy, perennially poor, religiously fanatical family, staging medicine and fortune telling shows – she was a spiritualist and a magnetic healer – which inadvertently prepared her for a life in politics.  A true maverick, with so many firsts, including being the first woman to address the Senate Judiciary Committee demanding the right to vote, the first female to have her own stock brokerage firm on Wall Street (with her sister) which made enough money to fund her own newspaper in which she wrote about all her little pet projects such as women’s rights, free love, and legalized prostitution which is what she called marriage.  Mrs. Satan, The Prostitute Who Ran For President and The Scandalous Victoria Woodhull, as she was known, spent election day – and many other days – in jail, for publishing a story about Henry Ward Beecher – the most famous preacher (and hypocrite) of the day who was having an with a married parishioner in what became the biggest scandal and trial of the century.

Victoria Woodhull attempting to vote

Victoria Woodhull depicted as "Mrs. Satan"

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