From the moment I found a seat in the packed house of Lipstick Monologues, I was intrigued. I had only attended one other monologue years ago, and could not remember too well how it was, so I did not know what to expect. Nevertheless, the ladies did not disappoint, and each monologue hit home to me as a woman, whether it was from personal experience or the experiences of family and friends. I knew I had to feature the creator and director, Ardre Orie, as a Wednesday Wonder Woman, so it’s an honor to share her story with you all today.
What inspired you to write and produce the Lipstick Monologues?
I felt compelled to write the Lipstick Monologues as an extension of my first book, Consciously Beautiful: I Am Enough. I wanted to provide a voice that would mirror the true sentiments and thoughts of women and girls in today’s society as well as create a platform for aspiring actresses.
How long have you been working on the play and how difficult was it to put together?
I worked on the concept for about a year to devise something that would be different. I wanted to create a theatrical experience that had never been done before. Additionally, the play began as a spinoff of my first book, so I thought long and hard about the characters to make them multi-dimensional.
How were the women chosen?
Initially, our play showcased everyday women and we evolved to become a platform for seasoned as well as aspiring actresses to share the stage for a cause worthy of their time and talents. We now have casting directors who work to find talent that would be a good fit for our production. I am still very hands on with this process as it is important for me to find actresses whom I can find synergy with. Our cast becomes family as opposed to just coworkers.
Where else will the show take place?
I had 3 goals for the production this year in terms of locations to host the show. This year we will host Lipstick Monologues in Atlanta, NYC, and Miami. We look toward 2016 to take our show on the road and initiate a US Tour.
Can you tell us more about the Heroine in Heels Awards and book?
“A Heroine in Heels” is a must read for inspiration and power. I teach valuable strategies to overcome obstacles, channel your innate power and become the heroine of your own life through a robust offering of affirmations and practical advice. I candidly share moving stories of inspiration as well as the triumphant stories of 14 fearless women who defied the odds to take control over their lives. You will be inspired to listen to and affirm your inner voice and become the most powerful version of yourself. Thought provoking, practical and empowering, “A Heroine in Heels” is an influential reminder that we already have all of the power that we will ever need.
A Heroine in Heels Awards was established to recognize fearless ladies who have broken down barriers and overcome obstacles to make a significant impact in the lives of others. This annual event will not only recognize their heroic efforts but also share their stories that might lift and inspire other aspiring women and girls of all ages to find the heroine within.
Why are you so passionate about women’s empowerment?
For me women’s empowerment is a lifestyle. It is who I am. In passing or with every interaction, I refer to women as Queen in hopes that I will remind them of just how amazingly beautiful they are. If you know me, you know that I try to bring the sunshine to the room.
I believe that women are the mothers of the earth. If we are whole, we can give life and give it more abundantly to our counterparts, we can change lives and heal if only we are whole. A woman’s love makes the universe go round but we must first possess this love within.
How would you describe your swagher?
My swagher is filled with humility. I am thankful to be alive, thankful for favor and thankful for the opportunity to share my gift of creativity and inspiration with the world. I don’t take one moment of life for granted. I rarely meet strangers and can get along with most anyone. I know that it is because of my humble demeanor. I often believe that people mistake humility for weakness but the humble inherit the riches of the earth. I know where all of my help comes from and that is God, the creator of SWAG!
How do you balance your home and work life as a creative?
I try very hard to balance home and work life but the creative side never sleeps. I work when my family is sleeping and there are certain things that are non-negotiables that they know they can count on me for. I cook 2-3 times per day for my family. They can always expect a hot meal with the things that they enjoy most. I also enjoy the exchange of affection with my family. We have “hug time” and during this time, you are required to put away your electronic devices and focus on the hug or kiss and look into the eyes of the person with whom you are exchanging. This time is special. My husband and I value dates and we share a love of eating out and movies so if we can do those things, we are happy. In terms of being a creative, I write like crazy every day. I have visions of characters or poems or chapters that I should be writing and they often wake me out of my sleep. I keep my cell phone near and write whenever God sends the vision to me. Sometimes, I have to pull over when driving because I have to write. For so long, I did not allow my creative side to live, now that she is alive, God is first, family is second and the creative side is third.
Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to share?
I will make my debut as a movie producer and director for “I AM”, the documentary that journals my mission to empower women and girls to change the way that they see themselves and the world. The film will feature the Consciously Beautiful Movement (sparked by the book “Consciously Beautiful: I Am Enough”) as well as a plethora of interviews from so many amazing women who share their stories about self-esteem concerns. It is my hope that this film will spark a nation wide discussion about self-love and acceptance. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could take this film to the Sundance Film Festival!