The Adventures of
           Ruthy Otero

So I get in capsule.   Feels like a confessional.  A woman’s voice behind a camera lens asks “What are you doing in 2020?”   I talk about being bicoastal, leading storytelling workshops for women and then finally talk about the travel/cooking show and how happy I am.

I think I’m finished, but then she asks “Where was your favorite place?”

Uhhhh... I don’t know this isn’t real.  But I can’t say that, so I think of a country that sounds like I lose sleep over politics...”Russia!”  And then something about cooking at a politicians house and laughing my head off with his kitchen staff.  I hope I didn’t sound like an idiot.

Then it’s time for the opening paahhhh - tay!!!!.

“We have a few fun things in the works for our final session this afternoon and need your help.  Meet me at the backstage entrance at 4pm...and I’ll fill you in.”    I smile thinking “WDS is like summer camp.”

I ask Jody and Jan if they got the text this morning.  “What text?” 

I ask my friend Chelsea - “No.”

I ask a stranger - “What did it say?”  I stop asking.


After attending Jia Jiang’s meet up about rejection, I head over to the theater, expecting to see a bunch of people who look like improv actors.  There are only three.  Jedd the volunteer, Brittany & John.  None of them actors.   “Hi.  So what are we doing?”  Jedd shrugs “I don’t know”.

WDS is a HIGHLY organized, well run conference.  His answer makes no sense. 

Then Michelle The WDS Team Magician comes out and greets us.  We ask “What’s going on?”, “What we have to do?”   She casually says “You’ll understand what to do.” Now I’m scared.

At the filmmakers meet up I meet very creative editors, directors, and photographers.  My fantasy is that one of them will say “I want to work with you and I know exactly how to make your show happen -

Michelle The Magician.

Photo: Armosa Studios

tomorrow.”  No one did.    I’m still glad I went.

Photo: Armosa Studios

Photo: Armosa Studios

Cut to.... finding myself on stage in front of 2,800 people, in a red apron as Chris Guillebeau says “ help you shoot your first episode of Cookin’ Up Advenutres.”

(Record scratch) WHAT?!?!!?!?!?

Eight weeks later I’m still pinching myself.  This gift came at a time when my dreams felt D.O.A and I had little faith I had the ability to “make anything happen”.

Jan suggests I talk to 10 people about it.  Then one of the session speakers, Jadah Sellner encourages us to speak our dreams out loud.  So I do.  Feels forced at first, but my spirits start to perk up. 

Jan Black

Chris magically rattles off details about the people sitting around each of us.  How the hell did he know?

He calls me to the stage.  “An ambassador will walk you down.”   


I flashed back to the moment I told Jan & Jody I was looking for a videographer to collaborate with.  NEVER in a million years would I imagine THIS could happen.

JodyTemple White

Stephanie Zito

Photos: Armosa Studios

Armosa Studios

Armosa Studios

Armosa Studios