Kathy Najimy | 2018 MAKERS Conference
Kathy Najimy introduces a special performance of Real.Life.Stories, a series of live monologues directed and produced by the award-winning actress and activist at the 2018 MAKERS Conference in L.A.
DYLLAN MCGEE: So, some of you were here last year, and experienced for the first time, something that we did that is so special that we were like, "We got to do it again," the amazing Kathy Najimy. Yeah, yeah. So she put together something called "Real Life Stories," and this is something that you don't see in a lot of places. This is women coming up on the stage and telling very real and raw stories of their lives. And they do it because of Kathy.
Kathy is the Makers fairy godmother. She has been so extraordinary to us, and if you know the hours that go behind the scenes into putting this together, you'd be blown away. And Kathy has done, I mean, you know, she's on, you know Veep right now. She is, you know, Graves, and all these incredible things. But what really matters to her is the real work. And I'm going to read this, because it's so inspiring.
She's currently working on a documentary to meet and understand the 53% of white women who voted for Trump. She's also working on her true passion with one of her best friends, a play about the life of Gloria Steinem. Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only Kathy Najimy.
I do what I want. Yes, she does. Did what you say. I work real hard every day. I'm a mother f-[BLEEP] bullet, baby, all right. I don't need a man.
KATHY NAJIMY: Wow-wee. I want to meet me after that, and I have my own theme music. I'm never leaving Los Angeles. So this is one of my favorite evenings of the year. Are you guys having a good time so far? It's so great. It's almost like a fantasy. So, our prompt from Makers this year is Raise Your Voice, although full disclosure, I have to tell you, raising my voice has never been a problem for me. Most would agree. But it's a groovy sentiment. I like it.
And in line with Raise Your Voice tonight, we've scored three of the most potent voices of their generation. Events like the Makers gala gives us a place to call our own, and to welcome 2018 with resolve, hope, commitment, and a huge mug of Grey Goose, let's hope. These next couple days were celebrating the feeling of having almost landed, almost. We're almost there. For me, as a longtime feminist, I am freaking thrilled to now be a part of the Time's Up movement. Oh, it's so rewarding.
And as you all know, Time's Up was a response to #MeToo, an unearthing of an army of pain, courage, and resolve. The only possible way to heal is together. It's not required we have to agree with each other's views, Gloria. It's not required that we have to agree with each other's views. The only possible way to heal is that we agree with lifting up each other's voices.
So, that's maybe-- that's not true, because full disclosure, I am not in line for lifting up Kellyanne Conway or Ann Coulter's voice. So not-- I wrote that, and I thought, Kathy, you're lying. You don't want to lift up everybody's voice, just those of us who are into compassion, humanity, and equality. And oh, speaking of equality, Patty Arquette asked me to remind you that our discrimination, assault, and sadness would vanish with the passing of the ERA. We have to get on that.
So, for the past six years, I've had the pleasure of working with some known women, spending time with them, helping to write, curate, and direct personal stories. Too deep for a talk show appearance, like you can't sit on the couch at Jimmy Kimmel and talk about this, and too long to tweet. And maybe, some personal info. What I can tell you is that these stories support-- that we don't-- that the response to the feeling that we don't have the right to speak up. We end up thinking of ourselves, of what, at every turn, we've been told about ourselves.
I had-- I'm going to tell a quick story. I had dinner with a bunch of people and Katie Couric a couple of months ago, and she was sitting at this long table with these young actors, and they were asking her questions and they were having this great political discussion. And at one point, I reached across and I thought, "Oh my god." I grabbed her hand and I said, "Katie, you have to run for office." And Katie Couric, the most experienced, smartest person I've ever met, said to me, "Ah, Kathy, I don't think I am smart enough." So that's the impostor syndrome at its very, very worst. Katie freaking Couric.
So, these stories are a response to that, our experience and intelligence. The bar has-- and speaking of running for office, the bar has been raised so low that it's like the limbo stick for like a Keebler elf, like anybody can run. It becomes clear that we're just one big coven of people. And in that, we gain strength, the strength that men are told from birth that they deserve. So, these personal stories, and us sharing our stories makes it easier for us to take hands, to look into each other's eyes, as Gloria says, "Don't look up, look in," and rise the hell up together.