Who Will You Fight For?

About two weeks ago, I ventured into NYC, by myself, to see a movie. Trade of Innocents opened Columbus Day weekend, and I knew I had to see it, with or without company. Upon returning, I wrote a little blog/movie review and was delighted to receive an email a few days later from one of the film’s producers. Laurie Bolthouse sent me a little note.

Dear Raj,        

Thank you very much for taking the time to go out of your way to see “Trade of Innocents.”  It’s been a faith stretching experience for our family to produce it. …  It’s very difficult to get people to a theater seat unless it’s the Avengers, but I do see change and beautiful things happening under the radar.  

Again, thank you.


Laurie Bolthouse, Producer “Trade of Innocents”

I reacted like a little kid who receives a return letter from Santa! I was stoked! A real live movie producer emailed me! Piddly little writer me! 

I’ve never spoken to a producer before. Besides the guy who writes his own scripts at Starbucks and he produces…let’s just say…the kind of movies that don’t have much talking in them. Oh, and a friend of mine from Northwestern recently produced the final episode of Legend of Korah, and an email announced his job description just changed to “Producer!” Yeah Tim! 

Anyway, in typical Raj fashion, I acted without thinking and emailed her a response that was “all about me!” Dumb! I know. My overzealous reaction button needs major adjusting…as in press the off-key. The next morning, I want to kick myself for a missed opportunity. Why didn’t I email her some questions? Interview her? Get the inside scoop behind the movie?  Not expecting a response, I decided to give it a shot, hoping the previous email got lost in cyber space.

Coming up with ten questions was the easy part. There’s so much you can ask a person when you first meet them. And Laurie responded! The same day! Turns out we have quite a bit in common! [Sorry for the overuse of the “!” …Yes, you could say I’m a tad excited!] Since she’s on a sabbatical at present, she answered most of my questions through a link to a short but very informative YouTube video.

Watch if for yourself: The Story behind Trade of Innocents

Then she listed a bunch of fun stuff we have in common after she read my little bio on this blog. So I thought it would be fun to share this with you. Because when you get to know a person, their art comes to life. And its no longer just another story, but rather a quest for human justice. With a living, breathing dreamer standing behind it. 

Laurie says, 
1.  We are both mothers of girls!
Yeah for living in a world of pink and purple! 
2.  I used to nanny for a dear family during my colleges summers in Locust Valley. They’re still there.
Little Locust Valley is on the map, folks!
3.  Our lead actor, Dermot Mulroney, studied English at Northwestern too.
I knew I recognized him from somewhere! 😉 
4.  I’m also married to a doctor and I LOVE him.
Cheers to our Dr. Spouses with big hearts!
5.  We dance as a family.
What do they say? A family that sways together, stays together! :) 
6.  We are a Mac household.
We’re Toby Mac fans too! I know. You’re talking computers…
7.  For more fun you ask?  
Sure, why not?
Last year for our kids talent show at school, eight of us moms thought it meant “talent of the moms” so we secretly met half a dozen times and did our own dance rendition to Dancing Queen by Abba,  complete with our lovely 70’s outfits, wigs and rainbow eyelashes. We called it character development. We let the fine arts teacher know and she put us at the very end of the show, much to our kids (and we had 20 something represented from littles to strapping senior boys) horror/deep down delight.  We made it spoofy and the audience was over-the-top gracious.  It was my first time on the stage and it’s changed my life. We’re thinking about going on tour :)
How wildly fun! Save me front row seats! Personally, I’ve been on stage only once as an adult. A couple years back, my dance class at the YMCA did a little salsa-cha cha number for the holiday party. I had a blast, but I don’t think Broadway is calling my number any time soon. Then again, I’m a little like Shakespeare. I believe every day life is my stage, and I’m all about voice projection!
8. Besides truly loving Indian and Thai food, I secretly long for a gluten-free Napoleon with the perfect chocolate icing sealed on top delivered to my door one day.
Shout out to two of my favorite cuisines! And if someone does deliver that gluten-free Napoleon with the chocolate seal, save me a bite. Then again, just eat it before it melts. Already feel so touched that you shared a bit of yourself with me!
Seriously Laurie, [Can I call you Laurie?] I feel like we’re friends! :) And I am totally drawn to your risk-taking, adventurous spirit. Who knows how our paths might cross again someday, maybe even face to face! Looking forward to hearing good things from the viewers of Trade of Innocents!
Because I truly believe great stories do more than just entertain. They stir us. Unsettle us. And reposition our thinking. So we see the world from a new perspective. And once you’ve seen life from a new angle, you can’t continue as if you don’t know the truth.
Remember the movie A Few Good Men, when Jack Nicolson turned to Tom Cruise in the court room and said, “You can’t handle the truth!”
He was right. The truths of human trafficking are so horrific, to think for even a moment that just one little girl’s story is true disturbs beyond words. But the truth, once processed, has the power to move a person. Because truth changes people. 
Thanks for sharing the truth through film Laurie and Laurie’s Dr. Hubs! For the sake of the children. Thank you! 
So, on this Veteran’s Day, as we think about those who have fought for our Freedom… don’t stop at fuzzy feeling thoughts of gratitude. And yes, these men and women are too be greatly appreciated and loudly applauded. That goes without saying. But after the deserved recognition, think. And Think seriously. Who can I fight for? We’re not all meant to hold guns and train for the Marines or Navy or Army or Air Force. We’re not all created with bodies or strength or the desire to work in Special Ops. But we all have gifts. Voices. And dreams. 
What will you use your talents for? Who, in your lifetime, will you fight for?
AND… [A little more food for thought while I have your attention…]
Have you seen Trade of Innocents? Looking for Christmas presents?
Nomi Network, a New York based non-for profit organization fighting sexual slavery through the marketplace, sells really cool bags, laptop cases, and other items made by rescued and at-risk women of the trafficking industries in both Cambodia and India. Because none of us can do everything. But each of us can do something! And a lot of somethings add up! Yes they do. And a whole lot of little girls and women will sleep free. Safe. Loved.


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