At Fe-line Women we often have people coming up to us and telling us about interesting businesses and projects run by women. A couple of people had mentioned the production company Scary Little Girls to us. So we thought it was about time that we caught up with the two Artistic Directors Rebecca Mordan and Sharon Andrew (see image above) to see what Scary Little Girls is all about and why they are putting women at the forefront of their productions.
Scary Little Girls was started informally in 2002 by Rebecca and then became more official in 2005 when it became a charity. At this point Sharon came on board with SLG and since then Sharon and Rebecca have been working to put SLG on the map.
Rebecca explained that the initial inspiration for SLG came from growing up in a household with a strong feminist influence; her mother was a Greenham woman. This meant that Rebecca started on her feminist journey earlier than a lot of people and it has always been a big influence in her life.
The other big influence in Rebecca’s life was acting; she always knew that she wanted to be an actor. But when she went to Bristol to train, she didn’t like what she saw. Women were doing very little in the acting world; there were no stories for them to take part in and no places for them to perform. Therefore setting up SLG seemed like the logical thing to do. Rebecca felt that the world didn’t need another famous actor; it needed someone to get women into stories and give women options in the arts.
What comes across very strongly from Rebecca and Sharon is that SLG is all about creating a better working environment for women in the arts. Both Rebecca and Sharon told me that the industry is not as glamorous as people think. In fact a lot of people are treated horribly and SLG is all about creating, as Rebecca puts it, “a tiny enclave with a safer working environment.”
SLG have some really exciting projects coming up, Living Literature walks in Cornwall, cabaret at Edinburgh Festival, Salon de Chocolat in Chipping Norton, developing two new shows and a slot at the Minack Theatre in 2014: a fantastic outdoor theatre set on the Cornish coast.
With so much exciting stuff coming up I asked Rebecca what she is most proud of so far: “creating a network of artists, I’m in awe of them and they want to work with us, which is a massive compliment. I’m also proud of all of the low level guerilla style work we do to keep women at the forefront, we don’t always market SLG as feminist, but all of the writers are women, it is very positive – and most of the time we are very keen to let everyone know we are a feminist and matifocal production hub!”
Rebecca went on to explain that although the writers and actors are women SLG is for everyone: “Art is for everyone as is feminism. Art is really powerful, you change things differently; you get the end result by the means created. Ultimately we want people to leave our shows feeling better rather than worse. The happier we are, the better we are, a world of unhappy people is too dangerous to live in.”
To end the interview on a Fe-line note I asked Rebecca and Sharon what the best part of running SLG is and what advice they would give to other women thinking of following their dreams:
Rebecca: “The best bit is encouraging others to be the best they can be.
My advice would be to keep congratulating yourself. The first time you do something scary, congratulate yourself, be your own parent. All the little things lead to where you are happiest. The journey is as important as the destination. Praise yourself for the journey.”
Sharon: “The best bit is creating a space for women and girls. I enjoy letting other people take the baton and giving confidence and light to them.
My advice would be, there is nothing to be afraid of. The worst that can happen is it doesn’t happen. We are two women that made up our own jobs. Sometimes we hit a brick wall but we adapt. There is always a way round and there are nice people in this world that will help, doors will open. It doesn’t come quick but don’t give up.”
These are very powerful words from two women who are making a big difference in their industry. It is wonderful to speak to people who are not afraid to stand up and say this is not good enough, and then make such positive steps to change it.
If you would like to know more about Scary Little Girls visit their website.
I have been out and about this week telling people all about the Christmas Frock ‘N’ Roll and obviously people are interested in what it is! I keep telling people that it is not just another craft fair! I love craft fairs but there are already lots of good ones out there! When I moved to Oxford, 5 years ago, I thought there would be lots of independent shops and it would be a great place to shop, well I was wrong! All I found was chain after chain and expensive boutiques. I grew up near Manchester and spent a lot of my youth in Afflecks Palace, a haven for alternative fashion, but also an amazing shopping experience. Me and my friends would spend hours in there , whilst you shopped there would be great music, a cafe, a hair salon and lots of interesting events going on. This is what I wanted in Oxford and so Frock ‘N’ Roll was born.
So what can you expect when you come along on Saturday? Well we have 20 great fashion stalls selling their wares but there is much more: a pop up cafe run by The Bake and Craft House, a clothes swap, A Pamper Bar and some amazing workshops! The workshops are all about making you feel good but also to have fun, it is Christmas after all, we will be talking body confidence, clothes DIY and Oxford Middle Eastern Dance Society will be running taster bellydance workshops for everyone who is curious about the beautiful art of bellydance. Here is the line up:
12:30pm: How to boost your body confidence with Body Confidence coach, Henrietta Nagy
1:15pm How to DIY your own clothes with student fashion blogger, Helen Walker
2.15 to 2.35 – Bellydance taster with Rachael
3.15 to 3.35 – American Tribal Style taster with Kay
4.15 to 4.35 – Bellydance taster with Lucy
All afternoon: Hula hooping with Oxford Hoopers, everyone can do it with a little help!
As Fe-line Women moves into it’s second year we are becoming famous for our playlists at events, so we will not let you down with some amazing music to get you in the Christmas mood!! Sneak peak available below!