My Brief Experience With Shonda Rhimes
To be honest, I was very discouraged by the $60 ticket price (aka two week's worth of food and other things that I need as the broke college student that I am). However, after considering the possibility that I might not be able to go, to see The Shonda Rhimes, I quickly knew that there was no way I wasn't going to be in that audience. Followed by a few minor heart palpitations, some screams and tears, I finally pulled myself together. I abused the fact that my birthday was in a few days and swayed my mom to get my ticket as my only present. And bless her, she did!
I arrived at the YMCA excited, to say the least. Since I had my ticket waiting at the box office, I was able to skip the long line that wrapped around the block. I felt like a G. Prior to the event, I knew that the ticket of admission came with a signed hardcover copy of the book and sure enough, a lady dressed in all black soon handed me this very book. I nodded politely as I held the book that I had been looking forward to reading for months now. Holding my breath, I opened the book and on the second page written in cursive was "Shonda Rhimes." Yes, I freaked out. Shonda touched upon many things during her talk. She discussed motherhood and the idea that it is not a job, and by calling it a job, one is belittling the role. Instead, she insists that motherhood is an extension of one's self and that it's the very thought of someone ripping your heart out of your chest, attaching it to another human being and running away. On writing, she encourages us "to write as though no one's going to read it...who you are is who you are you can't be scared of it." On her greatest accomplishments, she is most proud of is the fact that her work is encouraging women to pursue impressive careers, "I made something up in my head and women became scientists because of it. If I do nothing else, that's the best."
As for me, just seeing Shonda on that stage sitting across from Jake, was enough inspiration for a lifetime. Is Shonda my role model? Um...YES. My ultimate hero. She attended Dartmouth College and the University of Southern California for film where she received the Rosenberg Writing Award. She is also the screenwriter and creator of my favorite shows Scandal and Grey's Anatomy, which not only give me life on a daily basis, but give me characters that I adore and love.
Shonda has done what was assumed impossible. She is a woman of color, currently occupying a three-hour block of television on a HUGE television network. It shouldn't be, but that's unheard of. What Shonda is doing is basically kicking down the cloud of doubt in any young girl's mind that says you can never be a screenwriter in Hollywood, you can't create your own show. In fact, Shonda destroys this cloud. She stands tall like the Statue of Liberty, hand up, saying, "YOU CAN because I DID." And to that, we, young aspiring screenwriters of color, know that there is no limit to what we can achieve.