A school shooter sits down with the mother of a Columbine victim to speak for first time about their respective experiences on the opposite ends of school shootings in Unworthy, a new Conversations film from I Am Second, a global storytelling organization.
Amanda Jane Cooper is best known for her role as Glinda in both the Broadway and National Tour version of WICKED, but as she shares in a new short film from I Am Second, a storytelling organization, the bright shining role she plays on stage hasn’t always mirrored her real life. In the new I Am Second film she opens up about her struggles finding her identity and ultimately peace.
Cooper’s love for theater started at a young age. At 15 years old, she saw WICKED when it first opened on Broadway and from then on she dreamed of playing the part of Glinda. She committed herself to the arts, studying acting and musical theater at Carnegie Mellon University, but in the process, she lost sight of her true identity.
“I didn’t have an understanding of what made me matter; being on stage was what I did and who I was,” Cooper said. “Without me even knowing it, success started to slowly become my God, and I told myself, ‘If I can achieve this or get this role, then I’ll be enough.’”
The pressure she felt led her to develop an eating disorder and a hatred for her body, which began a hard journey she would battle for years. Following her studies, she moved to New York where the struggle for acceptance and success only continued.
Cooper quickly secured off-Broadway roles and within eight months, she landed her dream job as Glinda in the WICKED National Tour.
Even though she received affirmation and applause from thousands of people every night, she admits she was still very lost. She then moved to Los Angeles to pursue a TV and film career but despite landing roles on shows including ABC’s Selfie, Disney’s Jessie, CBS’ CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and FOX’s Bones and Glee, her struggles only compounded in Hollywood.
“This war inside me was just ravenous. It almost became a place of comfort because dealing with the pain was less scary to me than the pain of what it would take to change,” Cooper said.
In her I Am Second video, Cooper discloses her internal battles with self-worth and addiction and how a conversation at an L.A. party eventually led her on a journey to find freedom and hope.
“I don’t think I ever thought it was possible to be totally free, but I was wrong,” Cooper said.
Years later, Cooper was offered to reprise her role of Glinda on the National Tour, where she played the role for twice as long as her first run, though this time her experience was completely different and for the better. Following the tour, she was invited to play the role of Glinda on Broadway.
To watch the full film, visit iamsecond.com/amanda.
About I Am Second
I Am Second is a non-profit launched in 2008 that ignites hope and inspires people to live for God and for others. Its website, iamsecond.com, features written and film-based stories of more than 100 athletes, actors, models, musicians, cultural influencers and everyday people who have stepped in front of the camera and declared, “I Am Second.” For information, visit iamsecond.com.
Film, TV and Music Powerhouse Duo David and Tamela Mann share intimate details about their childhood and how they overcame the baggage each brought into their marriage in a new short film from I Am Second.
A former Neo-Nazi and his African-American probation officer sit down side-by-side for a discussion on their unlikely friendship and how it forever changed each of their lives in the new Conversations film from I Am Second, a global storytelling organization.
“LOUD KRAZY LOVE,” the unconventional true-life story chronicling the chaotic and unexpectedly uplifting life of guitarist and co-founder of KoRn Brian “Head” Welch, received the 2018 Dallas International Film Festival Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary.
Kathie Lee Gifford, author of three New York Times bestselling books and three time Emmy-winning cohost of the fourth hour of NBC TODAY, stepped in front of the camera to declare herself “Second” in the newest film from I Am Second, a global storytelling organization.
Professional Road Cyclist and former Tour de France rider Ben King, is opening up about a hidden secret of male performance athletes in a new film released today on I Am Second, a non-profit organization sharing stories of hope.
I Am Second, a non-profit organization sharing stories of hope, is now taking donations through the Second Helping initiative to help Hurricane Harvey victims receive assistance with household tasks through Takl, the on-demand home services app, as the rebuilding process begins.
I Am Second, a non-profit organization sharing stories of hope, today announced the launch of Second Helping, an initiative to bring practical household help to veterans, single-parent families, seniors and those experiencing financial difficulty. I Am Second is working with Takl, the on-demand home services app, to facilitate Second Helping’s charitable mission.
I Am Second, a storytelling movement meant to inspire others, today released the newest White Chair Film on IAmSecond.com featuring Esther Fleece, speaker and author of “No More Faking Fine.”
I Am Second, a storytelling movement meant to inspire others, today released a short film on IAmSecond.com featuring country music writer and Blackhawk founding band member Dave Robbins. The film, which is part of I Am Second’s White Chair Film Series, features Dave and his wife Mary Lynn sharing honestly about the struggles that nearly ended their marriage.