That's What She Said

Episode 63: Visiting with Ja’Naea Modest of Danville, IL and her story, “Live Your Life.”

Women in orange blazer stands on stage with microphone

Ja'Naea Modest That's What She Said

                                    SSPP ep 63 JA’NAEA MODEST “LIVE YOUR LIFE” 
Ja'Naea Modest appeared on stage in the inaugural performance of "That's What She Said" in Danville, IL. In her story "Live Your Life," she shares with our hosts how her mother's words continue to resonate in her life. 

ANNOUNCER 00:00 Raising women's voices. One story at a time. 
Welcome to The She Said Project Podcast.

[music: The She Said Project Podcast Theme]

JENETTE JURCZYK 00:27 So welcome to The She Said Project Podcast, where we share stories that have appeared onstage in That's What She Said, a live storytelling event that started in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. I'm really excited because in 2019, we started branching out into new communities. And now through the podcast, we get to share stories from women in more and more communities. And today's episode is a perfect example of that. So welcome to the podcast. This is Jenette Jurczyk, your co host, host co, Coco. Hi, Kerry Rossow!

KERRY ROSSOW 00:58 Hi, Jenette. Kerry Rossow, here. I'm co- to all the co- things, too. 

JENETTE 01:03 I know, I love hanging with you in the studio, because this is our chance to kind of reflect on some of the stories that have been on the stage, talk to the women, you know, there's a journey that they go through leading up to the show, but it is so much fun to hear their feedback, and the reactions that they got after the show, 

KERRY 01:21 Right. One of the things that I often talk about the stories, you know, sometimes it's a mirror and you're like, yep, yep, I get that, that's me too. And then sometimes it's a window where you're looking into something that isn't familiar to you. And it just broadens your perspective. And today's guest - so, I have four - teenagers are very young people about to go out and make their way in the world. And so I say to them all the time, go live your life. Gates are wide open. This is your time. So the whole time I was listening to this person I was - and, if you don't know this about me, I'm not a crier. And I was like, shut up. I'm not crying. No, I'm not. But I was - it was a battle. Because it was just, it so, resonated. She was so genuine. And she was just so connected to everything that I feel strongly about. I'm gonna go cry. Sorry. 

JENETTE 02:10 It's my personal mission in life to make Kerry Rossow cry. And She Said is my vehicle. So thank you. But let's talk about our amazing guest. Here in the podcast studio, we have Ja'Naea Modest, who appeared on stage in the very first show in Danville, Illinois, not too long ago; it launched in 2023. So it's still fresh. It's still a fresh memory. Ja'Naea, Welcome. 

JA'NAEA MODEST 02:33 Well, hello. 

JENETTE 02:34 Hello. 

JENETTE 02:35 Hello. So we're going to talk about that right there. Because very recently, we watched the videos of their show, we get together as a cast after each performance, and we watch the videos before we release them to the public. 

JA'NAEA 02:49 Which was, was awesome. It was such a good night.

JENETTE  02:50 It was such a good night. But what was your biggest observation when you watched your performance?

JA'NAEA 02:54 I have a radio voice -- my grown voice.

JENETTE 02:57 You're like - who is that? [Kerry laughs] Who's that grownup up there talkin'?

JA'NAEA 03:01 Right.

JENETTE 03:01 She, like, turned on her grownup voice.

JA'NAEA 03:03 I did. And I was like, oh! Okay, you sound sexy [Ja'Naea and Kerry laugh].

KERRY 03:08 Sexy beast and didn't know it!

JA'NAEA 03:10 Yeah. Right. You know, you know how you always listen to yourself? And you like, Okay, I still got my little squeak. But then when we watch the shows, like Ooh, okay! And you know, the crazy thing is, my partner, she said the same thing. She was like, you did not sound like you normally sound.

KERRY 03:26 You went all sexy town. 

JA'NAEA 03:27 I did [Kerry laughs]. I did, because she's really never seen me super serious.

JENETTE 03:33 And your story was really a coming-of-age story. So that's very appropriate that you stepped into your own, as a grown woman, and shared, you know, a chapter of your life that that made you who you are today. So we can certainly, you know, clue our listeners in a little bit that you talked about your relationship with your mother. 

JA'NAEA 03:53 Yes. 

JENETTE 03:54 And what she meant to you. And the big catchphrase, which was also the title of your story -

JA'NAEA  03:59 Live Your Life.

JENETTE 04:00 Live Your Life. Yeah.

JA'NAEA 04:03 Honestly the show was a big breakthrough for me too. ya know how you just have to come to terms with things. Even though she's been gone for about eight years, ya know it's still fresh, it's still an open wound. And so by doing this show it helped me heal. It did, the whole experience helped me heal. This year has just been amazing it has, and I appreciate you letting me be a part of this.

JENETTE 04:37 And what's so interesting, because when we were looking through your life and looking at the different stories, you know, we had other options. We looked at different topics. But this one just really became the one you needed to share at this time. 

JA'NAEA 04:52 Yes. It did. 

JENETTE 04:53 And I love that we got to be part of that healing process for you, with you. I don't think anyone ever really heals from the loss of a parent. Right?

JA'NAEA 05:02 Right.

JENETTE 05:03 And so this is just one step in the journey.

JA'NAEA 05:06 Yeah, it is. This is only the beginning. You know, like I said, it's been eight years, and I've grown a lot. Like I'm able to be... It's like, oh, no, the show kind of, like, took a weight off my shoulders, too. Even during the show. I mean, a lot of stuff happened while we were meeting, but that, right there, was the hugest weight that was lifted.

JENETTE 05:31 How does that make you feel, Kerry, hearing a woman who has been through this experience? Like, that's one of the number one goals, when the mission was laid out, like, giving women a safe space to release. To really, you know, you use the word relief, right? When someone shares a story, there's a feeling of relief that comes with it. And you experienced that. 

KERRY 05:54 I said it, I said it, yeah. It takes all of the, like, pressure off of you. Like, how will people react? How will I say it? How will it feel when I say it? I can't take it back. And then you say it, and it's like, oh. You know, it's sort of a relief, because it's like, okay, the world kept spinning. 

JA'NAEA 06:11 Right

KERRY 06:11 Babies kept crying, the sun came up, and you just- it's this beautiful relief. And I think, what a beautiful way for you to honor your mom at the same time. Like, it's never just one thing. It's all of it wrapped together. You know, you're going through stuff. You're honoring your mom, you've got this open wound, but you just keep trucking forward.

JA'NAEA 06:31 Right. Yeah, it was. It was a.. yeah, we definitely, definitely...

JENETTE 06:36 Well, while we take a moment to, um,  collect ourselves, why don't we- why don't we play the actual clip from the performance night so that our listeners can, can join in. So this is Ja'naea Modest with her performance onstage in That's What She Said, Danville, Illinois in 2023. Let's take a listen to " Live Your Life.”

JA'NAEA 07:14 You see this drip, huh? [Ja'Naea laughs] [audience chatter and claps] All right. 

"Live your life, Ja'Naea. Live your life." 

Those are some of the last words that I can remember my mother saying before she was unable to speak again. Even during her funeral, she still was able to let me know that's what she wanted me to do. Because the pastor said the same thing. 

My question is, how can you live life when you have spent the majority of your life taking care of others? 

So let's take a journey back to my childhood. 

Growing up, I was a normal kid, just like everyone else in my eye. I was spoiled. Now, remember that, because I'm never going to admit that again [audience laughs].  My mom and my grandmother gave me everything that I wanted, and then some, and all I had to worry about was going to school, playing, and keeping myself entertained. Life was fun then. But at the age of 13, life as a carefree kid stopped. The same year, not only was my mother diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she had a stroke that paralyzed her on her left side. 

At that time, I wasn't aware that life as I knew it would never be the same. There was no more life of being carefree. Suddenly, I had to grow up and be there for my mom. I had responsibilities of making sure she was okay before I could do anything. I was raised to go with the flow, because life happens. You just pick up the pieces and keep it moving. At that age, I did not realize that I was putting me on the back burner. 

Now, don't get me wrong, My mother encouraged me to continue to enjoy life and do the things that I love. But regardless of anything that I did, her wellbeing and making sure that she was okay was always in the back of my mind. 

As time moved forward, her condition got worse. She needed to have around-the-clock care and I had to make the difficult decision of putting her into a nursing home. I thought that would relieve some of the burden off of my shoulders, but it did not. I constantly worried and was afraid that one day I would receive that phone call that we always dread. I began to start traveling more and trying different things. I even started my DJ career- hint hint, y'all need a DJ? 

[audience claps and whoops] 

I landed a job as an over the road truck driver. It didn't take long before I did receive a call that my mother was back in the hospital. So again, I had to go back home and make sure she was okay. She wasn't. So I quit my job and found a job in town, and four weeks in, I did receive that call. 

My mother is gone. 

And you are never prepared for that. My best friend, my role model, and the person that gave me life was gone. And life stopped for me on that day.

During her funeral, the pastor stopped his sermon, and he completely zoned in on me. The words that came out of his mouth were so familiar, "Live your life. Your mother wants you to live your life.' 

I hear you, man. But right now, who am I? Where do I begin? 

For four years after she passed, I was in robot mode. Every DJ gig that was available, I took it. 

And home was just where I slept, nothing more. Home was a constant reminder that I was stuck. And if I kept working, I would not have to think about anything else. And being a DJ helped with that. Everything was a party, and I didn't realize how much I was hurting. No one else knew it, either. Because I kept a smile on my face, and I kept it moving. I even kept this hurt away from my awesome partner that I was getting close to. That didn't last long, though. 

11:18 When the pandemic started, I had to sit down. And when you sit down, your thoughts make a loud entrance. I had to face the reality that it was time to figure out some things. It was time to live my life and figure out who I am exactly. I had to change my way of thinking, and get out of the routine that I had grown so comfortable being in. I had to think about my interests and what gave me pure joy. I had to figure out what it was that makes me the person that I wanted to be. And most importantly, I had to wake up because it was time to live. 

First thing, I had to get rid of the things that were making me depressed, and moving was at the top of my list. I told my partner that I was getting rid of everything. But I think she thought I was joking. Ooh, but I was not. I got a dumpster and I threw away everything. I might have even gotten a little carried away, because I probably shouldn't have thrown away that carpet cleaner. [laughter}

Now that the clutter was gone, it was time to move. So I packed up, I had left to move with my partner to a smaller town. And that was definitely a test. 

I went from having something to do to nothing, no nightlife at all. And if you're a DJ, that's one of the worst things that you can do. I told myself that this will be one of the perfect times to concentrate on getting myself back to what I loved and miss about myself and figure out what it was that I wanted to do. 

Next on my list was getting myself back in shape. I needed to get my first love back: basketball. [pause] Know your limitations, people [audience laughs].

I have not played basketball for real since my mother passed eight years ago, and I am pressing 40. These knees are not the same [crowd chuckles].Nothing is the same. Especially these kids, and anybody under the age of 20, they’re kids to me. So I stepped on the court and, y'all, they called me old, and on top of that they were talking so much junk. And look, I don't care how tore up my body is, oh we’re playing! And I'm talking mess right along with you. But guess what? I lost [Ja'Naea chuckles, audience laughs] But best believe I made them work, though, okay. That year also joined a Women's League. Now remember, I'm realizing that playing is not my strong suit anymore. But I did notice that I enjoyed coaching. And that goes hand in hand with teaching. So I took that and applied it towards my work that I currently do. And that's working with kids. I already teach DJing to younger kids, and in order for a lot of them to get comfortable with you, playing basketball is a great segue. By being on the court and showing the kids something different, I did not realize that I was becoming a role model, and I was beginning to live my life on my terms. 

Over the years, I have made it a point to become a role model just like the adults have been in my life. My mother, my biggest role model, had been teaching me what life is about. Since I have gotten older, I'm starting to realize that even though she was sick, she still managed to live and set an example by doing that. I'm learning that living is not just about existing. It's about figuring out what it is that you enjoy and applying it towards everything that you do. I'm still learning about myself, but at least I stepped out on that ledge and I didn't look back. I know that my methods aren't for everyone. But I hope this message was loud and clear. 

It's okay to take your time and grieve. It's okay to not know your next steps when it's time to come out of your shell. As long as you take them. So step out on faith, and live your life [applause].


JENETTE 15:23 Okay, I'm getting chills. I'm getting chills all over again.

KERRY 15:26 I'm telling you, it was so-I loved that night. I thought it was kind of magical. Like, there was a storm brewing, and it was the first time in Danville, the stories were fabulous. My husband has been saying for years, he loves Danville, you have to go to Danville. And he had gone over I think that day or maybe the day before and met with a group and like, before I came to the show, he's giving me names. You gotta go find this guy, you got to go find- And it was so great standing in the back and then saying to an usher, hey, I'm looking for- and he's like, oh, yeah, he's down there. And I thought, man, here we are in Danville. And what a beautiful group of men, women, all of these people here to support and I thought it just goes to show, again, no community has a shortage of awesome women and people to support them. 

JA'NAEA 16:10 You know, the crazy thing that pops into my head when you talk about Danville is the “Cheers” theme song, “Everybody knows your name” [chuckles].

KERRY 16:17 [laughs] Yeah!

JA'NAEA 16:17 Yeah, so but yeah, that's exactly how Danville is. Especially when I was growing up there, it was a lot more close knit. But as the years have gone, a lot more people have moved into Danville, but it's still close knit. It's way different from Champaign, I can say that. Like, I moved to Champaign when I was in my sixth grade year. And it's always like when you go home, like Danville is like home, you know. And then home is Champaign still, but you can always go back home to Danville. Everybody's going to still know who you are. I can guarantee you every time I go home, I see somebody that I know. Or you know, your family, you see them in the community, Hey, cuz, like, you always see somebody.

JENETTE 17:03 I think we have to give a shout out, too, to the Fischer Theatre, which is a newly renovated historic theater. Beautiful space, they were so accommodating, so excited to have the show brought to their venue, they were just a dream to work with. So huge shout out there, because that was really, really fun. That just, that makes the, the performance, the event so much more exciting when you love working with the people and you love the venue. And they're part of the history of downtown Danville. 

JA'NAEA 17:33 Very much so.

JENETTE 17:34 And you know, they want to bring more culture and more art and more opportunities for connection downtown.

JA'NAEA 17:40 And you know the crazy thing, I have never been into the Fischer Theatre until we went. Like, it was always closed. It was closed longer than I was alive [chuckles]. So I remember the only theater that was old like that was the Times Theater and it got tore down. So yeah, it was nostalgic.

KERRY 17:57 And we got to be part of their big comeback. 

JA'NAEA 17:59 Yes, yes. 

KERRY 18:00 Okay, so let's hear it. So what was the feedback that you got?

JA'NAEA 18:05 People started inboxing me on Facebook, and were like, your story, it just had me in tears. Because I connected so much with it. I'm not gonna say her name. She was actually my friend's friend. And she told me that she was just crying. And just hearing that, I'm like, wow, you know, you just never know if you're gonna affect anybody by telling them your story. And just by that inbox alone, it was... man, it just really touched me. But besides inboxes, people still stopped me on the street about it. I went somewhere recently, and they were like, ‘You were on that- you were the person on the stage! And your story was just awesome. It was awesome’. And I'm like, Oh, okay. It's just, sometimes you just don't know how to react, you know. And it just, it just makes you feel great. It does. It warms you. 

KERRY 19:01 Connected.

JA'NAEA 19:01 Yeah.

JENETTE 19:03 And your mom's legacy lives on, and your legacy lives on. One of the themes that we kept coming to, we kept talking about, was, you know, Ja'Naea, who is who she is today, because of her mom's influence. But then there was a beautiful turning point in your journey. So you're a DJ, you DJ at clubs and bars, and you're all over this central Illinois, Midwest region. But then you had this discovery that you could use this gift to empower young people. 

JA'NAEA 19:34 Oh, yes. 

JENETTE 19:34 And tell us a little bit about that discovery and how you got to tap into all that your mom gave you and pay it forward.

JA'NAEA 19:41 Okay, so we got to start from the beginning if we're going to talk about DJ Silkee. [Jenette laughs]. So I don't know if anybody knows, but I was on Steve Harvey a long time ago. And just by being on that platform, when I came back, it just... everybody was stopping me on the street. Now, you never know how big you have gotten until you get stopped on the street of Chicago.

JENETTE 20:06 You have to share why. Why were you on the Steve Harvey show?

JA'NAEA 20:09 Oh, okay. Okay [laughs]. So I went on Steve Harvey because I made a post on Facebook when I was put on TV at a job fair. And I was currently working at another job. And I did not want my other job to know that I was applying for another job.

JENETTE 20:25 Yeah, so the media-

JA'NAEA 20:26 The media put me out there.

JENETTE 20:26 Posted this picture of her at a job fair, which outed her-

JA'NAEA 20:30 Outed me. [Kerry chuckles]

JENETTE 20:31 That she was applying for a job! uhh ohh.

JA'NAEA 20:33 When I say outed me, it was the Friday night news and you know how it goes on Friday night. Comes back on Saturday, and then if you're lucky, it's gonna come back again on Monday. And I was the lucky one to come back on Monday. And when I made the post about it, my post just went viral. And when I say viral, it went international. People from Australia were hitting me up, people from Asia were hitting me up, Canada... I got to be on TMZ. What's the other one? ET. Micheal - what's his name? Micheal Strahan. He announced my name on Good Morning America, so I was pretty much out there. 

JENETTE 21:13 Did you have a job Monday morning? [Jenette chuckles]

JA'NAEA 21:16 You know, the funny thing is, HR acted like they never saw it. And I'm like, yes, you did. Because y'all talk too much in the front office not to know that I was on TV. But you know, that's neither here nor there. But I kept my job, I still had my job. But I also was able to get the other job, which pushed me into working into the schools. And just by that publicity alone, just thinking back about how my mom used to push me and you know, she always used to tell me that you're a leader. And so by, you know, having that voice in the back of my head, I'm like, Okay, well, I'm gonna go ahead and use my platform for different things. And I just kept it kid-positive. And like, when I say, when kids see me on the street, they know exactly who I am. They come up to me, and I do a lot of DJing in schools. That helps, too. But every time I see a kid run up to me, "Hey, DJ Silkee," and like, it just likes their face up, like, oh, my God, I'm like, I'm a celebrity to them. But, you know, I'm just being me. So it's, it's, it touches my heartstrings.

JENETTE 22:23 But you became kind of an accidental role model, you said?

JA'NAEA 22:26 I did, accidentally [Kerry chuckles]. And, you know, you just never realize, like I said, I'd never realized how much my mother instilled in me until I started writing my speech out. Because I remember, we, we were going over different subjects to use, like you had suggested maybe using my teacher. And you know, that, honestly, it didn't sit right with me, I was like, nah, she's not the one that I really looked up to like that. And then that's when I was like, no, I gonna write about my mother. 

JA'NAEA 22:58 My mother is the reason why I'm in certain positions that I am because of everything that she taught me, everything that I saw of her. My mother besides, like, in my speech, if you heard she had MS, she also had a stroke. But she also overcame a lot of that stuff she, like, she walked the stage at Eastern after battling all of the things that she was going through, she had in her head that she really wanted to graduate, and she graduated. So seeing my mother do certain things like that, and then also, being like, a sponsor to people or just being there to be able to talk to her. She was always there. And I don't care, I don't care how many people that I see or how many things I see people accomplish. No one can accomplish as much as my mother did, in my mind.

JENETTE 23:54 From one role model to another,

KERRY 23:57 I love it. 

JENETTE 23:58 No, and you're paying it forward in such a beautiful way. I'm just enamored, I could just sit here and listen to you. Like with your sexy DJ voice [Ja'Naea laughs]. Just keep talking. Keep talking. 

JA'NAEA 24:09 Okay, let 'em know. Shoot, I might be in radio one day you never know.

JENETTE 24:13 Steve Harvey, if you're listening.

JA'NAEA 24:15 Right!

JENETTE 24:16 We found her. I mean, that was a fun story, too, about how your post went viral and that you got busted, but happy to hear it had a happy ending. And that Job Fair actually did spur you forward to find additional facets of your career where you do get to continue your DJ work. And I mean, let's just tell them you teach, you teach DJ as a skill set.

JA'NAEA 24:38 Yes.

JENETTE 24:39 To young people. We got to witness one of her students actually DJ at our after party after her show. It was just so cool to see, you know, your legacy paid forward.

JA'NAEA 24:50 Even with my classes, I just don't want my young girls to work as hard as I had to to get to a position where I'm at now. As you, you know, DJing is pretty much a male-dominated career. And especially in Champaign, I'm like one of the only females in this area that's really DJing like I am. Like, this is my career now. I don't, I don't have to work for anybody. Ain't that something, I don't have to work for anybody but myself. Set my own hours. Let people know, I don't want to do their stuff. 

KERRY 25:23 I love that you sort of kicked that door in and then now you're helping other young girls.

JA'NAEA 25:29 Yeah. If these girls that I'm teaching now went through what I was going through, a lot of them would not be DJing today. Let's be, be honest about it. I had to prove myself. I had to not prove myself, I had to prove to others that I was on their level. And I'm just now getting to the point where I'm like, I don't have to prove to anybody anymore. Like why do I have to prove to you? Y'all know what I do. It is what it is. And if you don't like it, it's okay. Somebody else will. It's enough money out here for everybody. And I'm teaching my girls now with She Spins. Let me put that out there, She Spins, if y'all haven't heard it, heard it today. But I'm teaching them entrepreneurial skill sets. So like you said, you see one of my girls DJ, she's actually made it a career and she hasn't graduated high school yet. She was shocked to get as much money as she did. And I'm just like, well, this is just the beginning. You can, especially if I would have started at your age, man! I can only imagine where I would be at right now. Only imagine.

JENETTE 26:38 The world is right in front of her, anything she wants. I love that you said that, though. There's this skill set for the music and the passion, but the entrepreneurial [inaudible]

KERRY 26:52 I totally followed. 

JENETTE 26:53 Uh huh, yeah no. The entrepreneurial skills. Girls in particular, we need to be pouring into them that they can, they can run a business, they can launch a business, they can earn money, you know, before they graduate high school. They can do anything.

JA'NAEA 27:10 They can.
JENETTE 27:10 There is no timeline. It's so exciting today, and especially to be a mom of girls, like my 10 year old has a bracelet making business and her own Etsy site, like, 

JA'NAEA 27:22 Which is awesome. 

JENETTE 27:23 They can do anything. And I didn't teach her to do that. She went and figured it out. She needs a mentor like DJ Silkee everywhere.

JA'NAEA 27:31 But she also sees her mother.

JENETTE 27:33 What, what, who, me?

JA'NAEA 27:34 Her mother is out here just doing it all. Like, I'm in awe of everything that you do. I'm still trying to figure out what you don't do?

KERRY 27:43 Does she sleep? I think that's what she doesn't do.

JENETTE 27:45 That's it. And I don't binge watch television. I wish I did sometimes, I get jealous of my friends all talking about hey, such and such happened on so and so. I'm like who? What?

KERRY 27:57 But that's part of it, you know, showing these young girls. Not just, I think, in one generation. You know, the women in my mom's generation, it was a lot of verbal because of what was available to them. Them saying to us, "you can be anything, you can be anything." Say that to our girls now, and they're like, why are you even saying that? Like, of course we can. We see our moms doing it. We see it's available to us. Why do you keep saying it? Because they don't know.

JENETTE 28:21 Yeah, I relate that to the story you shared last week. But yes, yes. It's not this- We're telling them like it's this big epiphany and it's not. They're like yeah, and?

KERRY 28:29 Of course we can. We are.

JENETTE 28:31 Just like you, mom. 

JA'NAEA 28:32 Yeah. 

JENETTE  28:33 I love that. I've told Kerry this story, and it's one of my favorites. So I was tucking in my daughter into bed a couple years ago, and she said,” You know, Mommy, when I grow up, can I work with you at That's What She Said?" I said, "Absolutely. Sweetheart, there will be a place for you. That would be amazing if we could work together." And I turned to my younger daughter, who was in the room and said, "Sweetheart, do you want to come work at That's What She Said also when you grow up?" and her exact words were. "Yes. When I get back from Mars." [Kerry laughs]

JA'NAEA 29:00 Okay, that's what I'm talkin' about!

KERRY 29:02 Yup. Big plans.

JENETTE 29:04 Okay, well she knows what she wants.

JA'NAEA 29:06 She will be in Mars. Watch. I can't wait to see that. Can't wait to see it.

JENETTE 29:11 Yeah. So, I mean,  we are positioning ourselves very much on purpose, to be a platform for women like you who have something to say to have an impact. It's one thing to have your story, but you need a safe space to share it so women can hear it, and men can hear it, and children can hear it. And so that is the work. That is the work we do each and every day to create that platform, and build and grow that platform. And we have the teen programming, and we have the publications, like, it's all there for the same purpose. To allow women like you, DJ Silkee, Ja'Naea Modest, to live your life. And then go and share that story so other women can feel inspired to do the same.

JA’NAEA Yeah. That’s deep. 


JA’NAEA That is deep.

KERRY 29:59, That's What She Said. [everyone laughs]


KERRY Sorry! [laughter continues]

KERRY 30:06 See, she has the nice lovely things and then I gotta come in with a ba-dum-dum. [laughter] Sorry, Jenette, that it was a lovely moment! It was lovely.

JA'NAEA 30:14 She opened the door to it. 

KERRY 30:16 You can't tee me up like that. I'm gonna swing.

JENETTE 30:20 Oh, you heard it here, friends. But that's what started this all, you know, these moments where we can laugh together at all the jokes, and then bring the women back to yuk it up. Did I say it right? Yuk it up? 

KERRY 30:34 You did, you did. 

JENETTE 30:35 Yuk it up. 

KERRY 30:35 Sometimes, Jenette, she says "yak it up", which sounds like vomitting or a hairball.

JA'NAEA 30:39 Yeah, you can't say it like that. 

KERRY 30:40 It's like no, it's yuk it up, not yak it up. 

JENETTE 30:42 Had to clarify. 

JA'NAEA 30:43 Okay. 

JENETTE 30:44 All right. Well, we're done yukking it up. I think that was a perfect note to end on. And I want to thank our friends who joined us today, I want to thank our friends at WILL radio at Illinois Public Media for being our partners in crime for The She Said Project Podcast and thanks everyone who has showed up, supported a show, listened to a podcast, bought a book, you know, you are helping us grow our mission so that maybe you one day could stand on a She Said stage and tell your story. Thanks for being here today on The She Said Project Podcast.

KERRY  31:06 Over and out.  


[Music: The She Said Project Podcast Theme]

ANNOUNCER  31:20  Thank you for listening to The She Said Project Podcast in partnership with Illinois Public Media. All materials contained in the podcast for the exclusive property of The She Said Project and That’s What She Said, LLC. For more information on our live shows go to [url=][/url]

This podcast was made possible with support from Carle and Health Alliance and presented by Sterling Wealth Management, empowering women to live their best lives.


Ja'Naea Modest appeared on stage in the inaugural performance of "That's What She Said" in Danville, IL. In her story "Live Your Life," she shares with our hosts how her mother's words continue to resonate in her life.

The She Said Project Podcast is recorded in partnership with Illinois Public Media. All materials contained in this podcast are the exclusive property of The She Said Project and That's What She Said, LLC. Learn more at