the first time i saw it

I’ve been sitting on this footage for a few years now, but I figured that in the spirit of Dressember it would be appropriate to show one of my first encounters with the sex industry and how it affected me.

In 2011 I went to New Orleans with some close friends from school to shoot a documentary (which is still in the post stage, by the way #filmstudentstruggles). We went to Bourbon Street one evening to shoot some B roll and ended up getting some footage of the whole atmosphere there and some of the girls working as strippers, which I very briefly included in here (warning if you have small kids). After all I had read about trafficking and how it can start out, this whole experience hit me pretty hard and I had a breakdown. It’s difficult to tell in the footage because I’m walking so quickly and not facing the camera, but the entire time I was talking I had tears and snot streaming down my face and I was more angry than I’ve ever been in my life.

I didn’t realize that my friend Chrissy was filming at the time, but I’m so glad that she did. She prodded me and asked all the right questions to get me to share my raw emotion and response to the situation at hand. This was a pivotal moment for me in my discovery of just how much this issue bothers me.


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