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.

Nov 112013
 

What happened in October 2013?

Well, aside from the government shutting down, fabulous females have been working hard to to enlighten our youth.

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for wanting an education AND the youngest person nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize – addressed the United Nations on October 11th –  International Day of the Girl Child.  Read all about it her “I Am Malala” book  and campaign:  http://www.malalafund.org

   

I am continuing my own share of enlightening! On Saturday November 9th I performed SHE’S HISTORY! for GIRLTOPIA – the Girl Scouts Teen Summit at The Los Angeles Convention Center.

I was and am SO inspired by Jennifer Lee’s amazing moving important documentary FEMINIST STORIES FROM WOMEN’S LIBERATION. http://www.feministstories.com   Our girls – and boys – do not know what the Equal Rights Amendment is, so I told the lovely girls at the show ALL about the ERA EDUCATION PROJECT (http://eraeducationproject.com) and then turned them on to Alice Paul – who wrote it in 1921.

They THOUGHT they knew what feminism is (defined by Merriam-Webster as the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities; organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests), so I showed ’em what a Feminist looks like:

But some of them knew about Sojourner Truth and Malala Yousafzai and it was so very cool chatting after with a bunch of young excited feminists! They really give me hope. One of the girls is dead set on becoming President. Here is what she wrote in my Comments Book:

Thank you for inspiring me! I hope to see you at my inauguration parade!

 

Guess which Girl Scout said it?

This is why I do this!

Who knew there were the Veteran Feminists of America? http://www.vfa.us I didn’t until I went to the conference here in Los Angeles.  My good friend and colleague and uber Fabulous Female Paula Caplan wrote about it here…

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-isnt-golden/201309/much-needed-women-and-media-conference-energizes-inspires

So check out what some MORE of my colleagues are doing!

http://www.bravegirlswant.com/brave-girls-take-back-media.html

http://www.womenactionmedia.org

http://www.sheheroes.org

Listen to Fabulous Female Facts every THURSDAY at 8:20AM PST (or podcast anytime) on my fabulous female friend Nicole Sandler’s Radioornot.com.

And of course, as always, visit sheshistory.com.

Amy Simon Cultural Herstorian/Playwright/Performer
(310) 308-0947

She’s History!  The Most Dangerous Women In America…Then And Now  is a play and school program about women who make and made history.  

 

 

Today’s Fabulous Female Fact: “I would have girls regard themselves not as adjectives but as nouns.”  Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902)   After suffering from “mental hunger and domestic drudgery” this privileged activist mother of seven demanded the right to vote in 1848 at the first Women’s Convention (that she called for and made happen).

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Aug 212013
 

Who Said: “I think…that the young women of today do not and can never know at what price their right to free speech and to speak at all in public has been earned”.

It was Lucy Stone in 1893. And still sadly true today when we know all about Kim Kardashian and nothing about Lucy Stone. We celebrate Woman’s Equality Day on August 26th, honoring the momentous event ninety-three years ago, when women got suffrage – the right to vote in – 1920, with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. Ahhh. Lucy Stone was the first American gal to get arrested for civil disobedience – she would not pay her property taxes because she could not vote. You had to be a white male property owner to vote.

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Lucy Stone (read more)

Fabulous Female Fact: Lucy Stone

Voting is the most powerful way to affect change. (Unless you agree with Emma Goldman, who said; “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” ) And as we look back ninety three years ago, could we have imagined such a powerful change as a black president? How many of us know how hard the gals fought to free the slaves – were INSTRUMENTAL in getting the Thirteenth Amendment passed? Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her crew over at The Loyal League (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/ topic/647185/Womens-National-Loyal-League) got 400,000 signatures on a petition abolishing slavery! (Imagine what these suffragists could do with Facebook andTwitter?) But the gals were not free to vote. “Votes for all or votes for none! Universal Suffrage!” said Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony when they were asked after the Civil War, to fight again. This time for the freed slaves’ right to vote. Black male suffrage is paramount. Tis the hour of the Negro” they were told, which pissed off some of ‘em so much that it split the movement, setting back the gals efforts for their own right to vote another fifty years.

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There were very FEW gals in positions of power in 1920. In 1917 Montana’s Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to the House of Representatives (they had to build a Ladies Room for her).

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Jeannette Rankin

http://sheshistory.com/site/category/fabulous-female-facts/page/4/

And Pioneering Attorney Belva Lockwood ran for President – TWICE – in 1884 and 1888. Back in 1872 the scandalous, history-making, glorious, Victoria Woodhull (AKA Mrs. Satan), became the FIRST woman to run for President (and spent election day in jail for what she published in her newspaper).

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http://sheshistory.com/site/category/fabulous-female-facts/page/5/

Speakin’ of gals who run for President, who woulda thought back in 1920 that a woman who MIGHT be running for President, is so apparently powerful, an entire political party VOTED to ban CNN and NBC from airing their Presidential debates. CNN’s planned documentary and NBC’s planned film about the life of Hillary Clinton is the cause of the brouhaha. Wow! Here we are in 2013 and the power is on as we inch our way toward equality with ninety-eight women (out of five hundred thirty-five) in Congress. This would thrill Jeanette Rankin and the amazing activist/suffragist (and author of The Equal Rights Amendment) Alice Paul. In 1917, Alice Paul and a bunch of her gal pals were thrown (literally) into jail for peacefully picketing the White House for the right to vote. These gals went through HELL sacrificing and suffering, enduring physical abuse and hunger strikes, ALL SO WE CAN VOTE!

And thanks to the late great New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug, every year since 1971, The President of The United States issues a proclamation commemorating August 26th as Women’s Equality Day!

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SHE’S HISTORY! plays The Lounge Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday October 13th at 2PM.

BUY TICKETS

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Jun 302013
 

JUNE 2013

Abolitionist: a person who favors the abolition of a practice or institution, esp. capital punishment or (formerly) slavery.

Just returned from a performance in New York City for The Coalition Against Trafficking In Women

Coalition Against Trafficking In Women.

The event was inspired by CATW’s continuing efforts to bring awareness of and attention to MODERN DAY slavery, which is sex trafficking.  Director Norma Ramos (who saw a performance of SHE’S HISTORY! last year at The Museum of Motherhood – http://museumofmotherhood.org/,  saw – as she put it –  “the power of  artistry” to shine a light on a very dark subject.  So she put me together with Stacey Robertson (visit her website here:  Stacey Robertson), historian, author and educator.  Her latest book – an inspired historical work: Hearts Beating for Liberty, brings attention to the key leadership of women in the Abolitionist movement in the 1800’s. Norma asked me to bring to life some of the abolitionist women in SHE’S HISTORY! (Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony…) as a collaboration with Stacey.  Inspired by this idea, Stacey created a play of sorts where she read from her book, I performed excerpts of MY play, and a wonderful actor named Alberto Bonilla read speeches that Stacey chose, of Abolitionists Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison.

It WAS very powerful.

 

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Table Read At Coalition Against Trafficking In Women
Left to Right: Alberto Bonilla, Stacey Robertson, Amy Simon

Amy Simon as Lucretia Mott

Amy Simon as Lucretia Mott

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Albert Bonilla, Stacey Robertson, Amy Simon and Director Norma Ramos

Albert Bonilla, Stacey Robertson, Amy Simon and Director Norma Ramos

 

We learned about how CATW and Equality Now, got legislation that passed the Trafficking Victims Protection & Justice Act in New York.

25 JUNE 2013 UPDATE – In a positive step for 16 and17 year-old sex trafficking victims, on 22 June, the New York State legislature passed a bill extending its Safe Harbor Law to cover all prostituted individuals under the age of eighteen (previously only victims aged 15 and under were covered). Now, 16 and 17 year-old victims who are arrested for prostitution will be classified as trafficking victims, thereby allowing them to access treatment services rather than jail time. Their criminal records will also be sealed so as not to penalize them further while they rebuild their lives. Equality Now congratulates Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and Senator Andrew Lanza for their incredible work in ensuring passage of this bill during this legislative session.  

Read more hereEquality Now

Norma spoke about how easy it is for girls to get into prostitution and how it is to hard to get out.  The work they do is incredibly heartbreaking, important and so difficult as most people have no idea that modern day slavery still exists.

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JUNE  2013

Who said: “We want a woman schlemiel to get promoted as quickly as a male schlemiel.”

It was the one and only former Congresswomen Bella Abzug, a fabulous trailblazing female who I can never say enough about.  (read a bit about her here… http://sheshistory.com/site/category/fabulous-female-facts/page/4/.

In 1961 Bella (and Dagmar Wilson) created Women Strike For Peace which was part of the movement to end the Vietnam War AND to end nuclear testing.  On Bella’s very first day on the job as Congresswoman in 1970, she tried to get the troops out of Vietnam.

She comes to mind this June 2013 for several reasons.  As the controversy rages on about the NSA and the Government keeping secrets, The Pentagon Papers is in the discussion.  Just for a refresher;

The Pentagon Papers were papers that contain a history of our political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967.   Daniel Ellsberg (a senior research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for International Studies) decided – on his own – to give them to the New York Times.  It was eventually revealed that four administrations, from Truman to Johnson, had misled the public, and that Lyndon Johnson’s Administration had lied to Congress and the American people.

In 1971, Bella Abzug, got the Pentagon Papers to the floor of The House of Representatives using the Resolution of Inquiry.  She testified before the Armed Services Committee demanding the Pentagon Papers, and had quite the role in having them released.  She also helped write the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts, laws that restrict the right of the Federal Bureau of Information to withhold information.

Just a few Fabulous Female Facts for ya…

 

Bella Abzug - Women Strike For Peace

Bella Abzug – Women Strike For Peace

Photo Credit: Swarthmore Library Collection

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What I love about SHE’S HISTORY! The Most Dangerous Women In America…Then And Now, is bringing to life the fabulous females that make – and have made – our world better.  And through this work I get to meet all kinds of fabulous females who continue the work of the gals whose shoulders we stand on.  Norma Ramos is one of them.  She is the Director of The Coalition Against Trafficking In Women

http://www.catwinternational.org/ and saw a performance last year in New York City of SHE’S HISTORY! at The Museum Of Motherhood http://museumofmotherhood.org/ (envisioned and realized by another fabulous female – Joy Rose).

Founder of The Museum Of Motherhood Joy Rose and Amy Simon

Founder of The Museum Of Motherhood Joy Rose and Amy Simon

 

 

Norma invited me to perform excerpts of the show in collaboration with yet ANOTHER fabulous female, Stacey Robertson, celebrating her book about abolition women Hearts Beating For Liberty http://www.staceymrobertson.com/.  I am honored to participate but sad that we still have to work to end human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children worldwide. CATW is the world’s first organization to fight human trafficking internationally and is the world’s leading abolitionist organization.

 

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June is the month we honor our fathers.  Check out my Hollywood Journal blog about my fabulous father : http://hollywoodjournal.com/personal-journeys/just-here-on-a-pass/20130612/

 

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For anyone is Los Angeles, ANOTHER fabulous female – my great friend and colleague Wendy Hammers has a SUPER UBERFABULOUS totally inspiring, life affirming and hysterically funny solo show about embracing life, called RIPE.  GO SEE IT!!!!!

RIPE The Play

TWO NIGHTS ONLY
THURSDAY, JUNE 27TH at 8PM

SATURDAY, JULY 6th at 8PM

www.greenwayartsalliance.org

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Don’t forget – (Fifteen Minute Segments) Fabulous Female Facts every Wednesday 8:15AM Pacific Time on Nicole Sandler’s http://radioornot.com/.  It’s archived, and you can hear a few here:

 

radioornot

http://sheshistory.com/site/media/audio/

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Bella Abzug had two daughters.  So do I.  My daughters are and have been my inspiration.  They are now sixteen and twenty.  My oldest, Rose, will enter her third year of college (about an hour away from me – yay!) and my youngest, Ruby, decided when she was fifteen, to go live with her father in London.  Ahhhh.  We give them roots and wings and when they fly away…I am happy for her to have this wonderful experience of living and learning abroad, but my heart…oh my heart….

 

This puts me three years ahead of schedule.  I’m at a transitional time of my life…an unexpected empty nester.  For the first time in twenty years I get to make decisions based on MY needs – not my children’s.

 

(For fun I told my Rose I was gonna join the Peace Corps – a beyond noble choice – and because I am SUCH a good actress – she believed me.  Ha! I don’t have what it takes to join the Peace Corps!)

 

Bella Abzug was elected to Congress at the age of fifty.  And she kicked ass! Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who had SEVEN kids, wrote (along with Susan B. Anthony and other of her her BFFs) The History Of Woman Suffrage at the age of seventy-two.  At the age of eighty, she wrote The Woman’s Bible.  Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of sixty-nine. Eleanor Roosevelt co-authored The Declaration of Human Rights for the United Nations at the age of sixty-four.  I could go on.  When women, who raise humans for a good part of their adult lives, find themselves child-free, they are FINALLY FREE to devote themselves to…whatever they want.  If they are financially able of course….

 

I will be fifty-seven this summer.  And I am just getting started…..

 

I will devote myself to continuing to try and support myself writing and performing about the women who inspire me.  What these women – and men – do – and have done – is SO important and is the message I try and leave my audience with at the end of SHE’S HISTORY! 

 

Repair The World.  It Needs It.

 

 

 

 

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