We goal-oriented women in pain need to remember there’s always more than one way to skin a cat – (apologies to my sweet kitties, Zan and Haydee!) And let’s face it, ladies, we’re all AAA+ type personalities. But sometimes we forget our perseverance and stick-to-it-ness make amazing things happen daily, big and small.
When I was writing “Battle for Grace”, one of the team’s (co-writer Linden, agent Michael and editor Dick) goals was to get the book adapted into a film. Our plan was to land an A-list actress, as a disabled lead role could snag an Oscar nomination, sparking worldwide pain awareness.
Charlize Theron was everyone’s first choice. I think Theron’s one of the best actresses of our time (who will ever forget her dark, yet sympathetic performance in “Monster”?) – and has unique characteristics that would make her ideal for this rollercoaster nightmare of a role.
Theron looks for pain and darkness in every portrayal – perhaps due to her witnessing at a young age her mother shooting and killing her violent, alcoholic father. Also, Theron’s an accomplished ballerina. This is a massive plus as she could intimately understand the loss of this deep passion – and wouldn’t need a double for the dancing. Good God, that’s what torpedoed Natalie Portman’s “Black Swan” performance for me.
So our quest was to get “Battle for Grace” to Theron. Low and behold, my agent Michael had a working relationship with her long-time manager, JJ Miller. In fact, when Michael spoke to JJ about my story before the book was published, she was eager to get a copy. Hmmm, this was going to be easy… NOT!
Just days after the book was published, Michael impossibly disappeared. I mean this gem of a man who’d rep’ed my story for two decades just went poof! For the first time I couldn’t reach him by phone, email or text. I feared the worst.
Luckily I was wrong, but unluckily I wasn’t too far off. Turned out Michael needed emergency open-heart surgery – and we were all on pins and needles. I was over-joyed to hear a week later he’d made it through with flying colors. Phew, dodged that big bullet!
But after a long rehab and just days before getting “Battle for Grace” to Theron’s camp, Michael disappeared again. This time I didn’t get a call. Oh my God, what now?! This is when life turned stranger than fiction.
I got word that at a 4th of July party Michael, after losing consciousness from a sudden drop in blood pressure, had fallen down a steep flight of brick stairs and was lucky to be alive. In fact, he was back in the hospital with multiple broken bones and teeth.
I was stunned that Michael was going through what seemed like unending catastrophic health problems – but also torn because the clock was ticking with JJ. Should I get another agent?
Remarkably, Michael rose from the ashes again. Book in hand, he at long last phoned JJ’s office – only to receive the startling news that she’d unexpectedly passed away. The bizarre had now turned into the absurd.
O-kay, back to Square One. After all, we women in pain never give up. We take it on the chin every day and night, just to get back up, even if to a wheelchair, and brush ourselves off.
I thought… and thought. Then I remembered that Jane Goodall, an angel who sits on For Grace’s Board, did a Sundance Channel “Iconoclast” show with Theron a few years back. I re-watched the show, and couldn’t help but see that Theron was in awe of this world peace leader. Could this work?
I phoned Jane’s personal assistant who advised me this 80-year-old tornado-of-a-woman, who travels 300+ days a year, was in the midst of a world book tour. Never the less, Jane took no time to pen a beautiful, personal endorsement letter – and voila, that, a card from me and a copy of “Battle for Grace” were promptly shot off to Charlize. Mission accomplished!
Will Theron want to play this role? I don’t know. I hope so. But that’s not the point of this writing. For women in pain, the deck’s almost always stacked against us. Opportunities don’t come our way – we make them happen. With never-ending grit, guts and courage, we make the impossible possible again and again. That’s why we’re glorious, kick-ass goddesses!
Wishing y’all a sweet day…