October 14, 2016
How did you find out about J4J? How old were you?
I was a teenager surfing the internet on my parent’s computer in the family room. The internet was new. I was searching for “woman made movies” “movies made by women”, stuff like that. The search results came back with mostly pornography. It was frustrating and sad. Movies affect the way we see things, the way we see women, the way we see the world. If we are watching movies that are all made by men or made from a man’s point of view, we are constantly being objectified and we’re missing more than half the conversation. I wanted to find other women who were making movies and I wanted desperately to watch movies made by women. Then somehow, I stumbled upon Joanie 4 Jackie and it was like I had found exactly what I was looking for. Someone else had noticed this problem too and done something about it, something awesome. I ordered some chainletters and co-star tapes, and immediately, the love affair began.
Were you involved in J4J? What exactly did you do?
I started making movies in High School. By some crazy strike of luck, my small town public high school in Oregon had a broadcasting department. I took classes and loved it. I loved making movies. I earned a full scholarship to go to a college far away on the east coast called Bard. There I enrolled in the film department and studied mostly experimental film, being mostly interested in movies and art made by women. My professor, Jackie Goss, and I got together to use some grant money to get Miranda to come speak at the university. She did a lecture/presentation/screening and a dance party. We invited the community to participate in Learning to Love You More projects. I asked Miranda if I could intern with her that Summer in Portland and she said yes. I lived in Portland that Summer, in an attic of a huge house in Irvington. I rode my bike to Meier & Frank at 3am to do inventory and then to Miranda’s house to help her with whatever she wanted help with. She put me on a pile of VHS tapes in the corner of her living room. I made 2 chainletter tapes and zines. It was really fun. She said she wanted someone or somewhere like a school to take over Joanie4Jackie and so we figured out how we could get it to work at Bard with the help of Professor Jackie Goss.
Did you attend any screenings? If so, where and when was the screening you attended?
I put on some screenings at Bard College.
What do you remember about it?
It felt really important and political to be watching movies that were made by women and to be encouraging women to make and share their movies.
What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
I remember feeling like, “I wish this thing existed.” And then it did. It felt like magic. It felt so sad that men were controlling the means of production and then it felt REALLY GOOD and SO IMPORTANT that this thing called Joanie 4 Jackie existed.
In retrospect, I’m sad I never put one of the movies I made on a chainletter. At the time I didn’t think that any of my movies were good enough. I was waiting to make THE FILM that would be good enough to put on there and then of course that never happened. I am glad I got to be involved in other ways and make intros and outros and support other women movie makers, but I wish I would have submitted one of my films.
What did you do then – academically, professionally and otherwise? Were you a filmmaker? And now?
At the time I found Joanie 4 Jackie I was a high school student, then a college student, and always a waitress. After college, I planned to go to LA to work with Miranda on “Me, You & Everyone We Know.” I got a car and drove down from Oregon, making a pit stop in San Francisco to go to LadyFest Bay Area. I fell hard for San Francisco and some girls there and also I smashed my car, so I stayed in SF where I lived for a couple of years before moving back to Portland. In Portland, I started a plus size clothing store for people of all sizes, income levels and genders called Fat Fancy. After 9 years of activist fat fashion, I transferred Fat Fancy to some excellent new owners. Currently, I’m working on my Body Positive Life Coaching business, Dreamboat Coaching. I work with people to improve their lives and their relationships with food and their bodies. I was a filmmaker then and though I’m not officially at this very moment, I always have that skill in my back pocket and the urge to make movies could resurface at anytime.
What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at this time in your life?
Yoko Ono, Yvonne Rainer, Sadie Benning, Su Friedrich, John Waters, my professors, Leah Gilliam, Jackie Goss and Peggy Ahwesh, riot grrrl, feminism, fat positivity, queer stuff, experimental film and video.
Anything you would like to see on the J4J site?
I think it looks great! Thanks for doing it!
I love how you’re using the old school feel and fonts.