Summary: She Does podcast features creative minds working in media. Each episode centers around an intimate conversation yet digs deeper into each woman's background, philosophy and process through artful audio documentaries soundtracked by music made by women. The show is hosted and created by Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg, documentary makers who are interested in how their guests got to where they are today.
Elaine McMillion Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg (that’s us) are co-creators, producers and hosts of this very show, She Does podcast, and maybe you got hints of this from listening to episodes of the show, but first and foremost, we’re documentary filmmakers. In this episode, the tables are somewhat turned and we are asked a few questions by our dear friend, production assistant and member of the documentary community herself, Alijah Case. We talk about what we’ve been up to outside of the podcast and what we are planning on getting into now that we’ve officially decided to taper back on releasing episodes of this show. We aren’t calling it quits completely, especially because we LOVE She Does and have over 10 interviews in the can with some incredible women, but we have decided to edit and release episodes on our own time. We elaborate on all of the news and future plans in this special ‘it’s-not-goodbye-it’s-see-you-later’ episode, reflect on the 31 plus episodes we put out over the last year and the women featured in them, wonderful, impressive, yet very human, each in their own unique way. While the process proved to be quite labor and time intensive, it’s been one of those experiences so magical and so fruitful that it’s hard to put into words, but we do our best with the guidance of Alijah, insights from our illustrator Christine Cover, and music and words by Nona Marie Invie, who recently released an EP titled Sisters with her latest project RONiiA. And as always, thank YOU for listening to She Does.
Lisa Kron has been writing and performing award-winning theatre since the mid-1980s. Most recently, Lisa wrote the lyrics and book to the musical "Fun Home," based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. Lisa, and composer Jeanine Tesori, were the first writing team of women to win a Tony for Best Original Score. Fun Home also took home Tony awards for Best Book of a Musical, Best Musical, Best Direction and Best Actor. Lisa's other plays include The Ver**zon Play, In The Wake, Well, 2.5 Minute Ride, 101 Humiliating Stories, which have all received recognition and awards nationally and internationally. She is a founding member of the legendary OBIE and Bessie Award-winning collaborative theater company The Five Lesbian Brothers. In this episode, Lisa talks about the role of theatre as an artform, the challenges of adapting a graphic novel into a musical, how to make live performance resonate with audiences, the representation of women--and lesbians--in theatre, and the morals of personal storytelling.
Lily Baldwin is a New York-based filmmaker and dancer that uses movement of the body and unconventional narrative structures to tell human stories. Her short films (Sea Meadow, A Juicebox Afternoon, Sleepover LA, and Swallowed) have played at festivals like SXSW, Berlinale EFM, and the Lincoln Center and been featured on NOWNESS, Short of the Week, Fandor, Filmmaker Magazine, and Vimeo Staff Picks. Lily fell into filmmaking when she was performing as a professional dancer in David Byrne’s two year world tour Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. Lily often writes, choreographs, directs, edits and plays the leading role in her films, seeking to “rip things up” with both graceful and rigid moments and scenes made up of bold, jarring edits. In other scenes, she’s simply another human on the street, walking with the rest of us. Lily is a Sundance Fellow with her upcoming VR project in collaboration with Saschka Unseld, Through You. She’s about to start shooting her first feature, Glass, a stalking thriller based on a real experience about a dancer and an insidious fan in our privacy-gone world. Lily talks about the rigor and commitment of dancers, coming into film as a “second career”, the responsibility she feels as an artist to pull from her own experiences and educate, and “working your buns off” to be the ultimate version of yourself.
Almudena Toral is a Spanish visual journalist and the head of video at Univision News Digital in Miami. Prior to working for Univision, Almudena freelanced worldwide and worked at The New York Times and TIME. Her work has been published by The Guardian, VICE, AlJazeera, Huffington Post, El País, Canal+ and other outlets. She's the recipient of a 2013 Pictures of the Year International Award of Excellence – Multimedia Photographer of the Year, and received an Emmy Award for her contribution to The New York Times project “Life, Interrupted.” Her work has received accolades from the National Press Photographers Association, the World Cup of Photography, and The Deadline Press Club. Almudena is passionate about multi-platform storytelling, human rights, health and gender issues, the global south and immigration policy, among others. In this episode, she talks about Univision New Digital’s goal to serve the growing hispanic communities in America, the benefits of being a woman in journalism, covering heroin addiction in Tanzania, and her many lessons learned as a freelance video and photojournalist. Almudena gives great advice on pitching stories. Most importantly, she encourages artists and journalists to be flexible with the ability to do many things, but to really specialize in and master one thing.
Iva Radivojevic is a documentary director and editor. She was born in Yugoslavia, raised in Cyprus and has lived in New York City since she was 18 years old. Much of her work explores belonging, and draws from poetry and personal experience. Her debut feature, "Evaporating Borders," examines migration, tolerance and identity through the experience of asylum seekers in Cyprus. The film has received awards worldwide and was nominated for an International Documentary Association (IDA) Award and a Cinema Eye Honors Spotlight Award and screened over 80 times at festivals, including SXSW, Human Rights Watch FF, Rotterdam IFF, DokuFest and HotDocs. Iva is the recipient of the 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and was named one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film of 2013 by Filmmaker Magazine. In this episode Iva talks about her series "IvaAsks" where she learned how to make films, her draw to poetry, working as an editor, her new film inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ “Aleph,” and the things she does (writing, exercising, meditating) to keep her life calm and collected.
Charly and Margaux of Chargaux are classically trained in string instruments but create music that blends traditional orchestral sounds with hip-hop, electronic music and Jazz. It's definitely music you can’t fit into one box. They started playing together in Boston and New York's subway stations and were quickly discovered by people and companies that wanted them to perform, like Opening Ceremony, Kendrick Lamar, and First Lady Michelle Obama. They are all about experimenting with both their music and their visual aesthetic, wearing colorful clothing that actually looks like the music they play.
Alexis Wilkinson went from being the first black woman President of Harvard’s acclaimed humor publication, to writing for HBO’s hit comedy series, Veep. She’s become an outspoken public figure and writer--with work featured in Slate, Opening Ceremony and TIME--but as we know, big victories such as these don’t come without a lot of work, a few disruptions and some twists and turns in the road. In this episode, Alexis recalls her experiences of “comping” or trying out for The Lampoon multiple times, finding her place in the middle of an elitist institution, losing her best friend and working to create media that represents this diverse world as it actually is. Her response to naysayers? Laughter. And this is why she chose comedy. Music in this episode is by Chargaux.
Alexandria Hall, a musician and poet, has been performing under the name Tooth Ache for over seven years. We featured music from her 2013 album, “Flash & Yearn," in last week's episode with Charlotte Cook. In this episode, Alexandria talks about growing up in Vermont, where inspiration comes from, lessons she has learned from the music industry and how being outside of your comfort zone spurs creativity.
Charlotte Cook is a documentary film programmer, curator, producer and co-founder of Field of Vision. Charlotte was the Director of Programming at Hot Docs film festival for four years before she left in May of 2015 to start Field of Vision, a visual journalism film unit that aims to commission 40 to 50 original episodic and individual short non-fiction films each year. Charlotte co-founded Field of Vision with Academy Award-winning director of “Citizenfour,” Laura Poitras, and filmmaker and founder of Cinema Eye Honors Aj Schnack. In this episode, we talk about Charlotte’s journey to programming Hot Docs--North America's largest documentary film festival, conference and market--including her time at The Times, BBC Storyville, and The Frontline Club. We also talk about the role of a programmer and their relationship with the filmmaker. Towards the end, Charlotte walks us through what Field of Vision is looking for and how you can be part of it.
Kylie Slabby and Kylie Hastings met on the first day of 6th grade, became best friends, and started making music together in their bedrooms because their parents wouldn’t let them go to the movies on Friday nights like all the other kids did. Along with drummer and guitarist Allen Martin, they became The Daddyo’s, a lo-fi, dream pop, grunge band based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. No matter the genre of their music or weight of their songs, The Daddyo’s will transports you to a very specific time in life. And even if your teenage years and early twenties are nothing like theirs, somehow, you can still fall into their world.
Cocoon Central Dance Team is a New York-based comedy dance troupe made up of three talented women: Sunita Mani, Eleanore Pienta and Tallie Medel. They are each up-and-coming actors in their own right, landing roles in indie films, big music videos and on television. But their work as a trio, as Cocoon Central Dance Team, is what we focus on in this episode because they truly are a remarkably talented, gut-busting, thigh slapping, absurd outfit wearing, glitter throwing, dance-until-you-laugh-until-you-cry group of women. Cocoon has performed at Upright Citizen’s Brigade, MoMa PS1, The Pit, Showgasm with John Early and Cast Party. They’ve opened for Broad City Live, the 2013 New York City Marathon, have been back up dancers for HUSH HUSH and have a successful web series called Rehearsal. Cocoon Central Dance Team breaks rules and plays with the forms of dance and comedy, making them an undefinable act, which is one of the greatest things you can be in today’s comedy and dance landscape. Music in this episode is by The Daddyo's
Cécile Schott, a musician and composer originally from outside of Paris, has been making music since she was 15 and she started releasing albums under the name Colleen at age 27. She has 6 full albums and 1 EP in total, her most recent album being Captain of None, released in April of 2015 with Thrill Jockey Records. Our talented sound designer and friend, Billy Wirasnik, has been a long time fan of Colleen. Billy calls her work, “The music a beautiful brain would make if you could plug a quarter inch jack into it.” Cécile uses repetitive loops of old scratchy recordings, instruments like the glockenspiel, guitar, viola da gamba, bells, chimes and a variety of music boxes to make up the sounds in different combinations across her albums, building mysterious atmospheres that can be dark and playful at the same time. Colleen tracks differ from album to album, but are all unified by a tenderness, a curiosity, and a will to experiment and play, always taking you somewhere you weren’t expecting. In this episode, we talk about falling in and out of love with music, taking time to pursue other creative outlets, an artistic response to hardships and tragedy, and really, just living a simple, happy life.
Molly Crabapple is an artist and writer who combines illustration, art and journalism to document societal and political issues. Her work is influenced by her own personal experiences and radical encounters with injustice around the world, and aims to shed light on marginalized communities. She’s written and illustrated stories about Guantanamo Bay, issues sex workers face, the prison system, among many other topics, for Vice, Fusion, The New York Times, The Paris Review, Vanity Fair, The Guardian and Newsweek. Molly’s captivating paintings, and pen and ink illustrations can be seen on book covers, canvases, backdrops, and have accompanied articles written by both herself and by others; her art is featured in MoMA’s permanent collection. She’s the recipient of the Yale Poynter Fellowship, a Front Page Award, and a 2014 Gold Rush award. She was shortlisted for a 2013 Frontline Print Journalism Award for her internationally-acclaimed reportage on Guantanamo Bay. In Dec. 2015, Molly released “Drawing Blood,” a memoir that details her life as a high school outcast, traveler of the world, Internet model, political activist, illustrator and many moments in between. In this episode, we dive into Molly’s intricate work, discussing the vampiric nature of being an illustrator, the inside of Guantanamo Bay detention camp, beauty as capital, her abortion, underground nightclubs, and using art to fight injustice.
Julianna Barwick's truly unique music is built around multiple loops and layers of her voice. Her experimental songs feel spontaneous, sometimes meandering, and always emotional. Julianna has lived i…
Julianna Barwick's truly unique music is built around multiple loops and layers of her voice. Her experimental songs feel spontaneous, sometimes meandering, and always emotional. Julianna has lived in NYC for over 14 years, but she was born and raised in the South--in Louisiana, Missouri and Oklahoma. She grew up singing in choirs at church and school, which has clearly had a lasting influence on her work. 2015 was an exciting year for her; she's finishing up her next album, she played with the Flaming Lips and Philip Glass at Carnegie Hall, and toured in Japan. In this episode, we talk about how her work has changed over the years, the collaborations she has worked on, and why it's important to teach yourself new skills and be nice to people.