Human Trafficking or Producer Pants?

I’ve recently added a new project to my artsy/ producer-y repertoire with the production of a commercial for Free the Captives, an anti-sex trafficking non- profit organization based in Houston. (Please note the ANTI-trafficking part…this is important)

This was a fairly new experience for me in a couple of ways. First of all, thinking of myself as any kind of “producer” is new for me. I never thought it possible to attach such a powerful sounding title to my name. It’s a whole new identity for me. It feels weird, but I like it, and I am determined to embrace the producer-y feeling, and be a good producer, dammit!

By nature, I am a bit shy and clumsy, and I’ve experienced my fair share of low self-esteem.  But, I also have this unyielding desire to move forward and be a total bad ass, especially when it comes to helping people. Therefore, I am putting forth my best effort to thwart these insecurities that have a hay day in my mind, and embrace the badass-ness. So, when we (BEAZ Inc) did the casting call for the Free the Captives commercial, I tried on my best pair of producer pants.

Producer Pants

See how the Producer pants are sparkle-y, they glow, AND they make me look taller? By the way, they did not have sequins, glitter, or twinkle lights on them…they were metaphorical sparkles.

The producer pants felt awesome…and a little weird. I was not at all used to them.  However, once I put them on, it was no longer about me and my insecurities, it was about accomplishing the task at hand (they are seriously magical pants… I’m telling you).

I introduced myself to each auditioning actor, and explained the process of the audition as we walked to the audition room. I found myself wanting to ask each actor, right away:

How normal and NOT creepy do you think you can be when placed in the midst of creepy situation…because, this is going to get CREEPY, and we want you to look like a normal, NOT creepy dude, who might have sporadic bursts of creepy, but only on the inside because you still have to look like a regular dude and not creepy on the outside

I’d had a lot of coffee…

I didn’t actually say that. Instead, Rebecca, the main producer and director, asked each actor if he was comfortable with acting the role of a sex purchaser, AFTER he’d auditioned…. (I’m still breaking in the producer pants…)

Unfortunately, I had to leave town during the actual shoot (the commercial is finished now, and looks amazing), but after I returned, Rebecca and I went to an anti-sex trafficking conference where the commercial played in front of an audience for the first time. *NOTE: It was so super awesome to see hundreds of people view and respond to the commercial! But, I was trying to embrace this “I’m coooool and producer-y and don’t get overly excited about things”, so I kept the need to do the happy dance to myself (although I think a little happy dance accidentally slipped out as we were leaving the conference).

Producer face

I was so excited on the inside that the smile on my mouth inconspicuously infringed upon my forehead.

This leads to the second new experience for me. I’d never been to an anti-sex trafficking conference before (or any kind of trafficking conference for that matter).

Prior to my involvement with this Free the Captives project, I didn’t know much about sex trafficking or prostitution. I was surprised to learn that there is a significant sex trafficking problem in Houston. In fact, Houston is a national and international hub for it (I had no idea).  And, contrary to my previous belief, the majority of girls in the business of prostitution don’t enter it willingly. I was mortified when I heard the story of one girl whose father started grooming her for a life of prostitution at the age of 3, and first solicited her at 7.  So much of what I heard pointed to how hopeless and defeated victims of sex trafficking feel. I’ve felt hopeless and defeated many times…we’ve all felt hopeless and defeated,  but I feel I’ve been lucky to have friends and family who help me tackle my insecurities and embrace a new role in my life. Who helps these girls tackle their insecurities and feel comfortable with new roles in life? Who helps someone who has been kidnapped, or sold by her parents? How does someone recover from something like that? Is it as easy as putting on new pair of metaphorically sparkling pants?

I struggled with what to call this post.  Normally, I write about things from a humorous perspective, but nothing about children being kidnapped and/or groomed for a life of prostitution is humorous. It honestly makes me so sad. I wanted to write something deep and profoundly moving about it, but that didn’t work out very well. Writing deep and profoundly moving material doesn’t come as easily to me as does making fun of my pants, so that’s what I did…I made fun of my pants.  In a way, it feels like I went on this new adventure, and learned all these new things, but all I brought back for you was this lousy (albethey sparkling and producer-y) pair of pants.

Take a look at the video and please share.



22 thoughts on “Human Trafficking or Producer Pants?

  1. That is so great Amy!!!! Definitely a powerful message and the video is well done. I’m really happy for you that you got to be part of something like that! I know sex trafficking is such a huge problem all over the world. Even girls who vacation in other countries need to always stay with other people and never wander off with someone they do not know because they could easily end up captured and thrown into sex trafficking. Again, check out the movie Taken if you have not seen it (the first one)! It’s based off sex trafficking trade. That is fascinating about Houston. I would never have thought they were the leading capital for the sex trafficking. Wonderful post!


  2. Wow…bravo!!! [insert very loud applause here]
    Firs I must say, the lighting is fantastic on the video. (Yes, the photographer is always at work in me.) But seriously, it’s a darn good video! I was expecting cheese, simply because, most info-mercial/edutainment commercials are a little cheesy but the quality is top notch, which makes the message even more powerful- because it’s really well put together. Well done, you! 🙂 Way better than I expected. And I’m so darn happy for you and proud of you also for choosing such a powerful and life-changing direction you’re taking in your life. You’re not just “going to work and doing a job” (etc. etc.) you’re literally changing lives. Please realize how amazing that is. And hey, you’re selling yourself incredibly short. I see your fingerprints all over this work, simply because I know what a raw talent you are. You’re an incredibly gifted writer. I know that whatever avenue you decide to take part in- you’re going to shine, and it’s going to be good. You don’t just wear the super-awesome, sparkly producer pants- you OWN them! And when the pants fit….wear ’em. 😉


    • Thank you so much Monochromejunkie! I wish I heard your voice in my head all the time! It makes me want to keep trying and working to improve…All the people who worked on this video are extremely talented, and I feel lucky to be associated with them! Thank you SO much for your encouragement! I can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me! 🙂


      • You know, I thought of your associates also when I wrote that earlier. They’re fortunate to have you and vice versa. I’ve made a solid habit of not blowing smoke up peoples’…noses over the years- I mean what I say. I see good things in your future! The formula is so simple- you just have to have a good heart and try to do the right things in life (and work hard, of course)- and your super awesome producer-pants destiny will find you. Think of how many young girls (and boys) that you can help and change the entire course of the rest of their lives. That…is amazing. 🙂


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