Patricia Isaac is an Indian-Canadian actor, who has appeared in a number of feature films and major network television series, such as 'MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL' starring Tom Cruise, Hallmark's 'HARVEST MOON', 'SYFY's 'The Magicians', and more. She is currently producing a semi-autobiographical comedy with Flower Films, a production company headed by Hollywood legend Drew Barrymore.
Recently, Isaac was inspired to create 'License To Rise' (www.LicenseToRise.com), an online platform where women come to release their stories and give themselves the permission to rise above any and every violation they have experienced in the past. In this interview, the actress, producer, humanitarian and entrepreneur discusses the platform's purpose and coaching techniques she's used to empowering women around the globe.
Q) How were you inspired to create 'License to Rise'?
I have always had a fire for girls/women stuck in the shame and guilt they feel around their stories of abuse, assault, and all the alleged "grey areas" in between. Just about every woman we know has experienced assault or harassment in one way or another, but few of them have ever felt safe to share their stories with anyone. We're in an amazing time right now, where so many are coming forward with their stories. But this option is just not the case for many others.
I know this is especially true for women in the South Asian community. Many don't want to tell the world what happened to them, so to not have those who love them reel from pain and devastation. Grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, children. Others have been conditioned to blame themselves and it has consumed their self-worth, so they haven't felt deserving of being "released" of this burden. And for others, out of fear of their own communities ostracizing them, blaming them, shaming them, and for some, fear of far more violent repercussions.
With all this in mind, I was deeply inspired to create 'License To Rise'. 'License to Rise' is an online platform where women come to give themselves the Permission to Rise above any and every violation they have experienced in the past. A place to be encouraged, uplifted and reminded of their voice.
By anonymously sharing their stories, seeing the stories of others like themselves, consuming life-giving content, and engaging in community, "License To Rise" exists for us all. The intent is to spread the word like wildfire and reach as many women as possible. Release the story. Feel the light. Break the shame. Burn the guilt. Live Healed, Strong, Joyful and Free.
Q) As an actor and producer what role do you think media has in empowering women?
What role doesn't it have? The media has the power that goes beyond the obvious. Whether we want to admit it or not, we are all subconsciously, if not blatantly, impacted by media for the better part of every day. While I'm scrolling through social media, through tv channels, driving down the street - I'm seeing ads, billboards, commercials, models, movie trailers, tv promos...and so much more, all without even trying. The female representation in each of these mediums has the power to remind us of our value and worth, or to drive us down the path of "never-enoughness". It has the power to unite us or to teach us to see other women as competition. We are in a pretty amazing time right now, where women of many different ethnicities, body types, and ages, are being seen more and more in mainstream media. But we definitely have a lot more work to do. And there are men and women out there doing the work, hiring diverse women, writing powerful female characters, throwing empowerment workshops, including other women in opportunities, being kind to one another, practising what they preach - and that is what we have to focus on. Staying positive, hopeful, optimistic and courageous, while also staying aware, educated, accountable and a part of the conversation. Practising what we preach. "Being the change we want to see".
Q) You also coach a select number of women each month, can you tell us a little more about this?
I do. However, I do this separate of License to Rise. License to Rise is a platform for all - a community. I have been speaking and coaching in communication, empowerment, image and strategy since 2010, no matter what I was doing in my career. Simply because I get such great joy from seeing people realize their own strength, value and live out their own dreams. I want to be of great service and value in all my works. I want to use every gift and skill I've been given, learned and acquired, in the most impactful, positive way I can in this lifetime. And that will continue to evolve for as long as I do.
Currently, I coach on one specific topic I call "Kickstart Your Dream". I love this program the most because everyone has a dream, an idea, a vision...something that they've wanted to do or try...a part of themselves they've wanted to see expressed. Yet most never even start. A month, a year, a lifetime goes by, and they never tried, most often because they didn't know where to start or someone told them to "be realistic".
I recently worked with Medha Jaishankar, a powerhouse producer in both the US and India.After conducting a "Kickstart Your Dream" coaching series with her, she made an active decision to develop infrastructure to encourage discourse among women in the media industry. Seeing professionals like her walk away self-reliant, empowered, joyful, confident and hopeful - with tangible results...
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