The First of Many film
The events portrayed in the film happened to me as you see them. When I walked out of that audition room I told my boyfriend and my two best friends and did my best from then on not to ever think about it again. I was so embarrassed and ashamed that I silenced myself. After all, I willing took off my clothes after the director convinced me it was a necessary prerequisite to winning the role. How did I not know to get out of there sooner? How could I let something like that happen to me? I suddenly lost all faith in myself.
From that point on I went from being a high-achieving scholarship student at the University of Michigan, fearless and self-confident ,to the opposite. I was a dance minor who stopped dancing. The psychological changes in me were subtle and I gradually just came to accept once I was out of school, living in the big cities of New York and Los Angeles, that I became easily intimidated and shy. I buried the memory, suffered from bouts of depression and never associated what problems I had with that “audition” in 1971. I never stopped wanting to be an actress and a few roles came my way but I never had the kind of career I wanted. I limped along through life until….
I happened upon a New York Magazine article on the internet “The Curious Case of Joseph and Nicholas Brooks" . As I read a flood of recognition overtook me and I knew Joseph was my attacker and that I most likely was “the first of many.”
With that gift of recognition I began to take the actions a woman in her 60’s could that the young me couldn’t. I sought legal help. I filed a lawsuit against his estate (he’d killed himself awaiting trial in Manhattan for numerous counts of sexual assault). I spoke out about it, giving interviews and telling my story in public forums. I spoke to the Assistant District Attorney who prosecuted him. I finally told my therapist about it. I ripped the lid off my psyche, opened the wound, wrote this screenplay, won an award for it and so decided with my brilliant daughter’s help to produce and direct this film, the most healing action of all. My daughter wanted to portray me and watching her go through what I did, was the final step in my journey toward healing. With tears streaming down my face as I stood behind the monitor, I truly learned in that moment that it wasn’t my fault.
All through this process I’ve found that whenever I told someone my story, some similar event has either happened to them or to someone they love and they weren't talking about it. It’s my hope that this film starts the conversation wherever it’s shown.