Yesterday my phone rang, and it was the director, his voice was excited…. ”We’ve done it, we’ve got ourselves a film”…”Not just any film, a feature documentary with content that has such limited access to the regular world, that it’s sure to be seen”… I could feel my heart pound because those words to me are both good and bad. “…sure to be seen…” kept playing over and over in my head. For those of us who have lived our lives behind closed doors there is a tremendous fear of being seen. So one would then think that us women are crazy for doing this… (I too question our moments of sanity) But, here we are and I believe there is a reason, bigger than any one of us. I stand back and am in awe of what has really just happened.
To make a long story short, I am sure this film is nothing short of magic. A group of us, from across the US came together, and really told our stories from our eyes. We have historically complained that we get a bad rap here in the US, but when I think about it, how could we not. Because of the current laws and stigmas we stay hidden, the media and anti-sex worker groups take shots at us consistently but rarely do we defend ourselves. When we do defend, it is usually in response to a scandal or a legal problem which already puts us in an unfavorable position. Plus, usually the woman involved in the scandal/legal problem, is someone that we are embarrassed by and can’t believe it is them, acting as spokesperson for this profession. Truly those who have something to loose, usually shy away from media.
Really, I think that the majority of us are tired..tired of being misunderstood and villain-ized. Tired of being lumped into the same category as the slave trade (since some of us started that way and escaped, we always find that one a bit amusing)… Tired of not having the same rights as others (we may pay taxes, but we truly can’t call 911 when being raped or robbed for fear of being hurt again) Tired of being marginalized (the amount of monetary support that we infuse back into the US economy is staggering)… Tired of being lonely and hidden (social hostility against those in this profession dictates that) …. Just tired. Ironically, I have no anger or hostility to those who don’t understand, because for every one of you who doesn’t, we find a friend hidden in the shadows just as we are.
Those of us who participated in the “American Courtesan” project, now that it’s done, are starting to realize the gravity of the situation. It’s never is good for those first people in any situation to stand up. History shows us that when ever any movement from an minority group is started, the road is not smooth. But in Tamsen’s words (she’s in the movie) “I keep telling myself, this is bigger than me”.
So, no matter what happens we’re all in it knee deep at this point. We’ve stood up and spoken and there is no turning back. The story has now been assembled, and they have cut it back to 98 minutes. Close to our goal. The editor, DP and director are laying in B roll this week (the pretty pics that make it fun to watch), and we have a team of writers and editors viewing it this weekend, to critique and brainstorm… We believe we will have a picture lock by June 22nd… Then off to composing, color correction, legal, and sound…. and poof… we’re there…
Our website will be americancourtesans.com, and is under construction at the current time, but getting close. I promise to let you know when the trailer and the site goes live!