Learning to ROAR

September 2016, I had an idea for an all-female storytelling show that would feature women of every age, race, sexual identity and preference. I wanted to feature stories that would open minds and start conversations. Out of fear, I immediately dismissed the idea. Who would come? Where would I get the money? How would everything work? After each question, a seemingly insurmountable wall appeared before me. This was impossible. Just one of my many crazy ideas. Forget about it, Erika.

I tried to tuck it away, but it tugged at my consciousness. Then the election happened, and like many of us, I was overcome with fear and uncertainty. I flew home to D.C., pink hat in hand, for a little march. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I wanted to be in the company of women and feel like I was part of some sort of solution.

January 21, 2017, was one of the most spectacular days of my life. I saw so many inspiring signs, held by both men and women. Black Lives Matter. The Water Protectors. Young friends on their first protest together. Wrinkled, grey-haired goddesses on their hundredth protest. On that day, we weren’t divided. We were one huge force for progress.

Then I saw a sign that forever changed my life: “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” A quote by June Jordan, it struck me like a bullet between the eyes. I knew I had to do something, some tiny little part, to empower women and girls. There were so many men in power speaking for us and about us, I was desperate to hear what women had to say. All women.

I gathered a group of five amazing women, and we had our inaugural show in May 2017. I needed ROAR so much more than I knew. The incredible courage, honesty, humor, and hope from our storytellers continue to inspire me. Despite fear and doubt and perimenopause and hot flashes and exhaustion, I keep going, one show at a time.

The hearts and minds of women are an inexhaustible source of inspiration to me. I learn from each of you. Now, more than ever before, is the time for courage.

Today I ROAR.

Join Erika and ROAR Voices on July 19th for the next show. You can find more information here: https://www.roarvoices.com/.

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About the Author | Erika Worth

Erika Worth is the author of the memoir Broken Bits and Glitter, and the Director and Curator of ROAR. Since she could walk and talk, she's been performing as an actress, poet, performance artist, motivational speaker, and storyteller.  She is passionate about empowering women and girls to use their voices, creating opportunities for others, and inspiring people to overcome obstacles. She performed in ROAR, 7 Deadly Sins, Pants on Fire, The Moth, Pickathon 2017, and Awkward, and numerous stage productions. She has also been featured in OPB Arts and Life, The Columbian, KXRW, KGW News, Women to Watch, and Impactful People NW.

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