Teen Film: Just Kidding, Just Fine and Other Lies
“This project by ambassadors Justine & Chelsea is still continuing and it has such a strong message. Everyone can relate to someone in Just Kidding, Just Fine and Other Lies.”
Just Kidding, Just Fine and Other Lies is a 74 minute movie that was written by students, filmed by North Metro Television and supported by the Anoka Country Domestic and Sexual Violence Coalition. The students’ goal is for the film to be used in community awareness, education and action initiatives. The topics addressed by the film include bullying, cyberbullying, and teen dating violence. The script is available to anyone who would like to put it on as a play. To get involved, make sure you watch the film, read the production requirements and then download the script to re-create the play in your school or community.
The Story Behind Just Kidding, Just Fine and Other Lies by Ambassadors Justine B. & Chelsea C.
Our names are Chelsea Chilson and Justine Borden and we are two people who know first hand how art can create meaningful change. When we were in 10th and 9th grades respectively, we found ourselves involved in a project that we believed would have a positive impact on the world we live in. Our teacher, Jennifer Bobbe, recruited us to join The Voice: A Peer Education Theater Troupe. Once we got involved with an amazing show called Just Kidding, Just Fine and Other Lies, we were hooked and we have been working since then to spread the message of the show through the script, stage performances, and even a film version of it that we helped create. We believe that anyone who reads the script or watches a performance will be inspired to create their own works of art and positively impact the world they live in.
Creation of this show began in the winter 2010 when Jennifer Bobbe and The Voice were contacted by Marlene Jezierski. She asked us if we wanted to be part of a grant project devoted to ending dating violence and verbal abuse. We decided immediately that we were eager to participate. Soon after, we received funding from the Beyond the Mirror Project and the creative process began. Ms. Bobbe worked with students at Spring Lake Park High School’s Learning Alternatives Community School to educate and learn collaboratively about domestic violence and verbal abuse. Students used various resources, including speakers, and their own personal experiences to create original works, some of which are reflected in the final draft of this show. Their stories of heartache and abuse were powerful and affecting, and provided the fodder for the first draft of the show. Ms. Bobbe took these works, stories from other students, and her own experiences and together with The Voice wove them into a story that became the show, Just Kidding, Just Fine, and Other Lies.
In November 2011, we cast the first stage production of Just Kidding, Just Fine, and Other Lies. The cast was eager to perform and in addition to being great actors, they were also remarkable writers with stories of their own to contribute to revising the original draft. The Winter 2013 cast added their own interpretations, new characters, and cyber-bullying. After the final scheduled performance in 2013, our co-advisor, Matthew Meier, suggested that we turn the stage performance into a movie that could be distributed and used after we graduated. Working with TJ Tronson and his crew from North Metro Television, we were able to create a movie that we are distributing to the public as a resource and inspiration.
This show reflects the language, experiences, and emotions experienced by students who live through verbal abuse and bullying everyday. Their stories are based on actual experiences. We elected not to edit the sometimes painful and often offensive language because to do so would not be reflective of what actually occurs. We hope that as an audience you are affected, offended, and committed to take action to end bullying and verbal abuse. We firmly believe that identifying the problem is only the first step towards ending the abuse.
Watch this news segment to learn more about the students’ work.
Contact Marlene Jezierski at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a DVD or for additional questions.