Frustration as source of inspiration and story-telling as a tool for empathizing

The Story of Simone Stadler and Grace Hannoy




Grace Hannoy is the writer of When we Grow Up. This movie revolves around a multiracial family composed by Holly, the mother, Brian, the father, and their 3 kids: Louise is the youngest and the only biological kid of their marriage, she is going through a phase in which she is questioning the career path that apparently was chosen for her, she is afraid of her parents reaction to her decision of dropping medical school; Maris, the adopted middle child of Asian origin, has taken the decision of being a single mother through artificial insemination; and Elijah, he african-american eldest sibling is in the process of adopting a child along with his wife Irena. Irena and Elijah have the option of choosing the race of their future kid, which brings mixed emotions in both of them considering that they are also adopted kids in a multiracial family. The death of their dog brings the kids back to their parents home  in order to help with the funeral and be of support to their mother who is very impacted by the loss.

Intuition Calling: The Frustration with the roles of women in the film industry 

Just like in Debbye's and Professor's stories. Our heart's voice does not only take the shape of joy and inspiration for new ideas, it also talks in moments of adversity. In Grace's and Simone's case,their heart talked out of frustration.

I wrote the script largely out of frustration with the roles that I was seeing for women or as an actor...  Hot, club goer, in the corner, hot librarian, girl next-door who is beautiful but doesn't know it. Jimmy's girlfriend, like real no name, she does not have an identity.

-Grace Hannoy

I was really struck by every single set we were on...It was always men handling all the equipment, and men behind the camera... People will always talk about the tech guy, the sound guy, and I had to combat a lot of doubt in myself that it think is programmed in us women...We have this impostor syndrome where we say "how can I possibly call myself a producer?, I am not qualified to do this" but so many young men I think are super ballsy and I think they just go do the thing. And we are thought to question ourselves if we do a thing that we are not qualified for or ready for...Our director of photography Kat Castro, I remember when we interviewed her, she said something like "women need experience, men need potential". And if you have this kid out of school who has no experience on his resume but has some connections with other people in this program, people are like "yeah I think he really has something", and I think that for women is like "oh well I guess she hasn't done anything so how can we trust her"

-Simone Stadler

How did Grace respond to her calling? What did she do with this frustration?

We had an entirely female group which from the outside was something that I really wanted in order to combat this gender disparity that we are seeing so much in the world but also specially in this industry

-Grace Hannoy

When we face adversity instead of avoiding it and we choose to take action, any work we do may become a mission and a form advocacy 

I believe that story telling is one of the greatest means to change the world, even if your story is not a story of revolution but it is a way to get people to empathize, to know someone who is different than them...I think storytelling is the most effective way to get people to do that and see themselves in others.

-Simone Stadler

It is sort of my mission to put underrepresented groups of people at the forefront of my thoughts of my work and how do we bring underrepresented groups of people like women, people of color and LGTB. How do we push these voices forward because I want to see more of this. What is of my power to be of use in this arenas?

-Grace Hannoy

Grace and Hannoy showed us that storytelling can be a practice. Using their story and obtaining additional inspiration from a technique called narrative mediation described by Gerald Monk and TomStringer, Public Wisdom extracts the practice: Become the Audience


This practice can be applied to many situations such as solving cross-cultural differences and fostering cultural understanding, family therapy, healthcare, educational and business systems where storytelling becomes the bridge between two groups such as doctors and patients, parents and school directives, employees, among others. Inspired in these existing techniques and Grace's and Simone's story, there is a practice that we can all undertake when mediation and social understanding are needed.

Alexandra Gómez 11.30.2018

#Genderdisparity #Womeninfilmindustry #storytelling #strategicstorytelling #narrativemediation #femalecrew  #interracialfamily #whenwegrowup #adoption #Geraldmonk #Tomstringer