Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Brenda Chapman Speaks at the United Nations

Brenda Chapman....she who laughs last....
On Monday, director Brenda Chapman spoke at the United Nations as part of a TEDx event BRAVE: United in Action.  What's TEDx?  According to their site, "TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring individuals together to share in the spirit of TED’s mission, 'Ideas Worth Spreading.' Our event is called TEDxUNPlaza, where x = (independently organized TED event)."

Brenda took some time out after the event to tell FLIP about it.

FLIP: You were invited to the United Nations….wha?
Brenda: I know... bit of a shocker. But I wasn't speaking to the UN delegates... it was a TEDx event.

FLIP: What did you do and how did it go?
Brenda: The title of my talk was "Role Model Resilience" - about how it's important to encourage young girls by first showing them that you see their potential - whatever that may be - then being an example to them through both our successes and our failures.  I think it went pretty well.  People at TEDx are nice, so they applaud no matter what.  But I think I made a couple of people cry... that's a good sign. :)

FLIP: How did you prepare for this?
Brenda: It was very different from the talks I do at art schools and universities, where I usually just talk about what I do.  That's easy.  This was very different.  I wasn't supposed to talk about what I do so much as talk about "Women't Empowerment" - There was no "re-use" to be gotten from my normal talks.  It was hard - I had to dig deep and think about what women need - and I landed on resilience... and it was the first time I've really talked about my mother - her story.  So it was kind of a personal experience that I shared in the talk.  I was really nervous about that - but I though it was the best thing to make my point.

FLIP: Was anything accomplished, or was this more of a networking thing?
Brenda: I think a bit if both. I felt the inspirational speakers were the most successful. The ones that gave us something to think about as individuals... A different perspective on how we could make things a little better out there.
I know, sounds idealistic, but I was really impressed by some of the speakers. Others maybe not as much.

FLIP:  On your top ten list of surreal life experiences, where does this fall?
It falls around 8 - 10 being the most surreal.

FLIP: And what does it fall next to?
Brenda: Oh... I think getting on a plane in Cairo to fly over terrorist territory instead of sailing down the nile to Luxor, opening up the overhead bin to put in my carry on and finding it full of semi-automatic weapons is probably up there at the top. (That was on the research trip for Prince of Egypt.)

FLIP:  Could this be the start of a political career for you?
Hell, no!

FLIP:  Does your daughter understand that not everyone's Mom wins an Oscar and is invited to the UN?
Brenda: She seems to take it in stride... I'm just Mom. "What's the big deal?" And with her being 14, I'm mostly just annoying. (sigh)

Read more about Brenda's trip on her blog:

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