Empowering Women: One Girl at a Time
The one thing I have learned throughout my journey as a writer, publicist and dreamer is that you never ever give up on what you believe in, no matter how daunting the task may seem. And that's why, when I got the chance to spend some time with Gina Otto, the author of the new children's book "Cassandra's Angel" and founder of the brand new Change My World Now website, I instantly learned that no matter how much you've achieved in your career, if you're not using your talents for good, you might as well pack it in and call it a day.
That's exactly what Gina did just a decade ago. As a top film and television commercial producer, she was truly at the top of her game. Working with the likes of Lucasfilms, CBS and NBC, Gina was a twenty something wunderkind whose career literally catapulted right out of the starting gate. But something funny happened on the way to fame, fortune and success. Gina was producing a diet cola commercial and noticed how incredibly thin the young models looked during the shoot. And as she thought about what that image conveyed to young girls, Gina realized that she no longer wanted to build a career centered around sharing negative messages about body image to young girls. And so, she quit.
Leaving her glamorous Hollywood life behind, Gina began to visit schools where she spoke with young girls about the issues that they felt were most important. Little by little, the girls confided their innermost thoughts - sharing their insecurities about body image, the problems they faced with peers and much more. The school visits soon turned into a book idea called "Cassandra's Angel" which eventually became a concept for a musical. And as fate would have it, when Gina set out to do a reading of the play, hundreds of people filled the theater and then asked for a DVD of the performance. Soon, a broadway producer heard about the little reading that attracted so many fans and invited Gina to New York so that it could be developed into a full fledged musical.