Vanishing Girls had the pleasure to host an interview with Sharon Angel, Founder of A North Production, Author, TV Show Host, Entrepreneur, Humanitarian, Motivational Speaker and all round Media Production expert. The interview was part of a number of events organised under our “Isn’t She Precious!” campaign.
Sharon is a dynamic, young leader and a voice for this generation. Sharon’s passion lies in bridging societal divides between people of different status, faith, caste, race, age and gender. Her goal is to give voice to those who are destitute and faced by oppression, and help facilitate their journey toward rehabilitation, employment and leadership through her work in media and justice.
In this interview, Sharon shares her experience of what it's like to work, as a female, in the media industry. You may watch the video interview here. A transcript of the same is available below.
VG: Media production is still a new field for women, especially, in India. Did you face any challenges when you decided to choose this line of work?
Sharon: I certainly faced many challenges being a female in the media production industry in India. I started very young when I made it a career being in front of the camera — telling stories, singing songs and hosting television shows. I was probably just 10 years old. And if I had an opinion, if I had an idea, or a thought, it wasn't taken seriously because I was a girl and I was very young.
Not just my gender, but my age was also against me because everybody who was working with me had 10 to 15 years of experience. They were older and they were male. So, their ideas, their thoughts and their plans always got heard over mine. This propagated me to get some experience. I did many internships. I pulled all-nighters learning how to edit videos. I wrote scripts, I learned how to write a story, and how to tell one. I put myself through graduate school for film and cinema television. The documentary that I made in graduate school broke many stereotypes because as a young Indian girl, they did not expect me to be good. This experience gave me a level up in my career and brought a lot of respect to Indian female women around the world.
VG: In India, 7000 unborn girls are aborted every day just because they are girls. While the law needs to be strictly enforced to curb this, what do you think could be done to change the mindset of the people and the false narrative against the girl child?
Sharon: The current narrative is that the girl child is a financial burden. We need to tell stories to change this narrative. During the recent Covid-19 lockdown period, there was an inspiring story of this young girl, who carried her old father on a cycle from their village to the town, where her father worked. The father was not physically capable of doing this himself. Because of her efforts, her father was able to continue work, and the family could receive a regular income for their livelihood.
We need to tell such stories and highlight the competence and courage of women and girls. They can contribute to the growth of the family and to society. In telling such stories, we’re impacting mindsets.
VG: As a girl, how has your family been a support to you?
Sharon: I'm grateful for the support I get from my family. If I had to list out what each of them did, it would be a long list. There were times when they did not understand why I wanted to do certain things, but even in those times they gave me the space to experiment, to explore, to fight for the things that I wanted to stand up for. That space meant trust. And that space meant that they're giving me the freedom to actually pursue my dreams. And that meant a lot to me.
Even though they were not able to walk with me through every single thing, allowing me, or giving me the space to do it meant that they were still supporting me. I encourage people who don't know how to support somebody, to simply give them the space to experiment and explore the things that they want to do. Their tenacity and their courage will get them to the place where they want to go.
VG: As we celebrate the inherent worth of the girl child through the “Isn't She Precious!” campaign, what would you like to say to the girl child today?
Sharon: All my little ladies remember that you are valuable. You are talented and you are beautiful. You are so important and don't let anybody else tell you otherwise.
Remember that your talent is valuable. If you have a talent, if you have a skill and if you have a dream, pursue it because no one else will do it for you. That avenue is meant for you to accomplish and succeed.
Always be kind! Do everything in kindness. Be gracious to people, be gracious to the people of your gender and be gracious to the people of other gender. Be gracious to people who are battered and bruised and who have gone through struggles and challenges. Your kindness will place you on a higher pedestal. Keep fighting for your cause, invest in your cause, work for it, and don't let your dream die. And more importantly, remember that you are precious.