My Journey and Mission Statement

Saturday, June 15, 2019

A simple Google search of the term mission statement brings up the definition "a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual." I clearly fit into that third category, an individual. One person on a planet filled with over seven billion individuals, each and every single one on their own special path that can only belong to them. What I choose to pursue during my time on this Earth is up to me and only me, just as what you choose to do is up to you and only you. I personally believe that no matter the hardships one faces, we are all created with a fire deep inside of us, a mission and a path, and that it is up to us to fulfill it, and that somehow we will no matter what. Some people struggle with finding out exactly what that purpose is, but for me, it comes naturally. I don't know what is in store for me for the rest of my years, but what I do know is that I am certain of what I'm supposed to be doing right now. And I have never been so sure about something in my entire life. All it took was discovering one person from another time. So without further ado, here is my journey and my mission statement.

I have had an interest in Old Hollywood since high school, and it all began with Marilyn Monroe. When I was a teenager, I connected strongly with her and took a nose dive into researching her life. Years ago, I started an Instagram fan account dedicated to her, and by the time I had left, I had gained over 50,000 followers. I was proud of myself for that. I have always been the person who is afraid to speak up for themselves, and that is still something I struggle with. Only recently have I been learning to value my voice and opinions more. That Marilyn account gave me confidence in my abilities and allowed me the opportunity to connect with people who had no prior knowledge of my insecurities or personality or what I looked like, and I was able to gain a fresh reputation simply based on my passions and the thoroughly researched content I was posting. Being listened to and praised for my hard work by strangers was an entirely new experience. I am lucky that I grew up in a loving household with a family who supported my dreams, but my school life conflicted with that at times. I was that shy outcast, often being cut off mid sentence or given weird looks while I was talking, as if what I was saying was weird or unnecessary. I wasn’t into the same things my friends were. There were times that I felt my opinion was worthless in my social circles and there were times I just did not want to go to school because of how severely low my self esteem was some days. Because of this, I often just agreed with what everyone else was saying because conforming to my peers was less work than being outspoken and finding my voice. I was not a loner. I had many friends throughout school, but I was not always comfortable. I think even today some people have targeted those insecurities, knowing I would give in so they can be manipulative. Like many who have experienced being a social outcast, I turned to the internet to express myself. And my time on Instagram allowed me to begin breaking that mold of staying quiet.

My Marilyn account had a great run and provided me with valuable experience in research ethics, communication, and recognizing reliable sources as well as simply learning about the history of Hollywood itself. But as time went on, I became more and more dissatisfied. I think I ran it for around two years, and by the end of my time there, a new wave of fan accounts had taken over, and it seemed like everything was cookie cutter and nearly everyone was the same, and it was hard to stand out. I began to see less original content and more carbon copies. I'm not criticizing people for taking inspiration from others, but that environment just became too overwhelming and it was not for me. I had outgrown it and needed a fresh start, and I couldn't ignore the tugging feeling inside me that my path was about to change. That the one I was currently on had reached the end of its course and it was time to change direction.

During the course of my Marilyn journey, I naturally began binge watching as many of her films as I had access to. At the time, she was the only old Hollywood actress I was ever interested in. No one could compare in my mind! Well, at least until I watched Monkey Business (1952).

"Barnaby Fulton, I don't like you." Who could forget that image of Ginger Rogers as Edwina Fulton, plaid shirt, pants rolled up, hair down, and completely covered in paint? Not teenage me. Although my world revolved around Marilyn Monroe at the time, Ginger was the first actress that wasn't Marilyn who grabbed my attention. While watching Monkey Business, I found myself impatiently waiting for scenes with that Edwina character in them. I thought she was one of the prettiest people I had ever seen. Ginger? What a cute name! Her charm just radiated out from the television and enveloped me in a massive hug. I cannot describe the feeling I got while watching that movie other than it was a feeling of knowing that something had shifted. I wouldn't act on it until a few years later, but I knew in my heart at the time that change was coming.

I was still focused on Marilyn for the most part, but I did learn to venture out and watch a few of the Astaire-Rogers musicals. The first one I watched was The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939), which, if you are familiar with it, may not be the most ideal introduction. But it was for me. And it only confirmed my adoration for Ginger. Watching her bounce around as the Yama Yama Man was special. And tragic as that movie was, it allowed me to begin broadening my range of classic films. It helped me realize that, hey, black and white films aren't the worst thing in the world. With the Marilyn movies, my young self was mostly just paying attention to Marilyn. In fact, The Castles might have even been the first non-Marilyn classic movie I ever saw. How about that!

Although the few Ginger films I watched during that time gave me great joy, I found myself making unhealthy comparisons. Growing up with so many social insecurities meant doing that on multiple occasions, but with Ginger it seemed more intense. I wanted her perfect skin, her bubbly charm, and most of all, that tiny waist. Admittedly to this day that is still a thing I have with Ginger, but it is not nearly as negative as it was back then. But that was truthfully one of the ways that Ginger stood out to me from the beginning. She was perfect to me, my ideal.

Okay before this post gets too long, let me fast forward. It wasn't long before I left Instagram and Marilyn (even though I did and still do adore her), and became consumed with the world of Ginger Rogers. I don't remember exactly what triggered my departure, it just happened naturally. I was an eager new Ginger fan equipped with those valuable research skills that I mentioned before. This was, in fact, not my first rodeo.

Eventually I created a personal Twitter account which ended up being 90% Ginger content anyways, but was a mistake because all that got me for the most part was the wrong crowd, and I wanted out from practically day one. I knew I didn’t belong and was destined for something more impactful, so I deleted it and moved over to a more formal and cleaner space. My final destination became what you all know today: the creation of Saga of Ginger. If you have been following me long enough, you might remember that I actually used to go by The Carioca Girl. I ultimately decided to scrap that name, as I wanted a lot of attention to be drawn away from Ginger’s films with Fred so that I could shine the spotlight on her other, lesser known works. So I decided that waltzing around with a title named after their first dance might not be what I should go with. Thus, Saga of Ginger was born, named after the "Saga of Jenny" number from Lady in the Dark (1944).

I threw myself into my work. I didn't know what I was working towards, I just had that strong conviction that I was finally on the right path. But because I was such an excited young fan, I made mistakes. I was desperately seeking approval from those who had been fans of Ginger's longer than I have. I just wanted to be heard and wanted to belong. I asked lots of questions, and was sure in my research abilities and shared my views freely. Of course to my surprise, this began to attract negative attention, which was the complete opposite of what I wanted. I make mistakes, we all do. My delivery could have been different, but I certainly did not deserve some of the condescending remarks I received from people I initially looked up to. Their loss.

My confidence was blown for a while, and sometimes I think back to incidents such as that and start to sink back into my pool of self doubt. But I always come out of it. At some point during my research efforts, I finally realized what I was working on: a book. Me? Write a biography? The girl who didn't go to college, fell asleep in history class (true story), and who is sometimes overcome by self doubt and insecurity of what I know? Precisely!

I hope to write a book someday. Actually, I've already started. But a book is not my priority, the research is my priority. Why? Because Ginger deserves nothing less. I have never admired someone I never knew more than I admire her. She deserves nothing but the absolute best, and that's what I plan on bringing to the table. I refuse to prematurely slap a potential release date on it just to do so. The biography won’t be good if the research isn’t thorough and perfected. I don't care if this takes two years or ten, I will get it done and it will be as perfect as I can make it. Likely only those in the Old Hollywood community understand the importance of preserving a star's legacy. They are no longer around to defend themselves or tell their story. We may have books and personal accounts to refer to, but misinformation is still widely spread today.

My goal here is to provide an informative space for those looking to gain a deeper understanding of a woman who is only known to some as Fred Astaire's dance partner, all while I learn for myself. I am by no means an expert, but I dig as deep as I can for the truth. I want to show that she is still immensely loved and appreciated today, especially by the girl typing this post. As someone who often feels pretty lost in life, Ginger has provided me with some direction. She has helped me discover new passions and set new goals. Something about her sparks the most intense familiarity in me. When I watch her on film, I temporarily escape the realities of life. When I listen to her candid interviews, her voice fills me with joy. I can't explain it, and this might even be the first instance in which I've honestly tried to. But I just wanted to share some insight into how this blog came to be, and a little bit of background on myself, even if it meant venturing out of my comfort zone. This terrifies me, but you all have given me the space and reassurance to feel comfortable speaking my mind and sharing my story, especially after touching on anxiety in my festival recap post, and especially after having the opportunity to meet so many of you in person. I have been through a lot to get here, but I got here and that is what's important. I found my path and I am sticking to it. Writing this post was therapeutic for me in a way, and I appreciate it if you made it all the way to this point. Thank you for your support always!


  1. Reading this felt like reading a biography on myself! I knew we were souls sisters and this beautifully written post confirms that. :) It was really hard for me even through my mid twenties to be comfortable with my voice and have the courage to say what I liked, felt and believed to others. I'm so happy to see you grow and continue to be more and more confident with your work. You are one of the most inspiring people I know and can't wait to see what your continued dedication and perseverance brings for you. I know Ginger is so proud.

  2. I'm so glad I found you on Facebook, Ky. I wish I'd known you much sooner. Yes, I am working on the Ginger questions. It can be challenging as recalling my experiences with Ginger means not only remembering the joys, but recalling all the people and things that are no longer in my life. Yet I persist.


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