That's What She Said

Episode 71: Visiting with Amanda Crose of Danville, IL and her story, “Look at You, Danville!”

woman in black dress with red heels talks on stage with furniture behind her

Amanda Crose

                                    SSPP ep. 71 AMANDA CROSE 

In our first episode of season eight, hosts Jenette Jurczyk and Kerry Rossow return to the the studio to speak with Amanda Crose, director of the inaugural That's What She Said Danville show, about producing her first She Said show, speaking on stage and her recent move out of state. 

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 This is a super special episode of The She Said Project Podcast. So welcome back. I'm Jenette Jurczyk, your hosty-host, National Director of all things She Said. I've been working hard for that title for about eight years. Kerry Rossow is here with me in the Illinois Public Media studios, my gorgeous co-host. [Kery chuckles] But one of the founders of That's What She Said and The She Said Project. I will forever, forever bow down to you, give you full credit, you and your friends, Jill and Casey, just had an inspiration and created something that was so special in your hometown of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, that it needed to grow beyond. And that's why today is so special, because we're talking about the growth of That's What She Said.

KERRY ROSSOW 01:15 It's true. And like I've said before, it's it was intended to be a one night, I almost said One Night Stand oops, Freudian slip.

JENETTE 01:23 Was it though?

KERRY 01:25 It was intended to be a one night stand. And then here we are all this time later. And so I still on the regular stop and just watch all that you're doing and, like holy smokes! This is a runaway train. And the great thing is seeing all of these amazing women and boy did Danville deliver. I mean, the lead up to that was exciting. And it is not lost on me that it was like a dark and stormy night. It was just like the entire universe was pointing to Danville that night. It was an amazing show. 

JENETTE 01:55 Oooh, very ominous. Yeah. So Kerry is talking about our inaugural show in Danville, Illinois, not far from where we sit in Champaign-Urbana. But a really beautiful connected town that needed something like this, to wake it up and say, "Hey, ladies, you got something to say." And we had talked about Danville for some time. There's this gorgeous theater in downtown that had been renovated. People had told me about it for years. In fact, "When are you going to go to Danville? When are you going to be at The Fisher?" And as you know, we have to wait until all the pieces align, and the stars align in the cosmos align. And they did they actually did, because we found our champion in that community. And her name is Amanda Crose. Hi, Amanda.

AMANDA CROSE 02:36 Hi, everyone. How are you? 

KERRY 02:37 Hey, girl. Oh, my gosh, I have to tell you, one of the things that stands out to me from that night, it was an awesome show. And all of those things. I loved the show flow and all of the speakers. But I got to chat with your mom for just a few minutes and it was the highlight of my night. She was so, so proud of you. And it was just it was really touching.

AMANDA 02:57 I think that was the highlight of her night to any opportunity to brag about me [Kerry laughs]. My skin is crawling just a little bit hearing this, too. But yeah, she was, you know, I really didn't tell her much about the show. She'd come to Champaign, so she knew what to expect. And she knew we were doing rehearsals and I didn't really discuss it with her. I really wanted her to see it with a fresh set of eyes. And I think I joked that day with a friend not knowing that this storm was going to blow into town that we were going to blow the roof off the Fisher theater. I think she definitely felt that along with all the people that were in attendance that night.

JENETTE 03:34 And I'm so glad the storm didn't scare people away, because we had a beautiful crowd, and the women were on point that night. So let's talk a little bit about you know, where Amanda came from and how she became our Danville producer for That's What She Said. So Amanda and I met very much by chance through colleagues in the Junior League, she had relocated back to Danville after, you know, living your life in different cities. And you were looking for something and our eyes locked across the room, I think. And we, we decided to work together and bring the show to people.

KERRY 04:09 Did you know what the show was? Did Jenette, how did that play out?

AMANDA 04:13 Kerry, I love to tell the story. [Kerry laughs] I had only heard rumblings of That's What She Said at Junior League meetings [Kerry laughs]. I mean, I've been to like maybe two or three at that point. And yeah, Jenette was the keynote at this women's conference that we were both attending. And I thought this is absolutely what Danville needs, and not even I say that's what Danville needs, but at that moment in my life leading up to I guess the last three or four years I've never been so lonely in my entire life, having moved away from you know, a solid group of girlfriends and community and chasing my ambitions. You know, that gets lonely, because you leave the people that you make a great connection with, and so hearing about the work that That's What She Said does and Jenette and Kerry's story, you know the story was a whole thing. It was just, I was overwhelmed with emotion. And I really thought, this is the time. This is absolutely what I can dedicate time to. I didn't know it was going to happen so quickly. But I should have known better [Kerry chuckles]. I know myself pretty well, but, but it really was the universal lining to say, this is time. And this is exactly what you're supposed to be doing right now.

JENETTE 05:20 Oh, I love hearing you say that. Because for those who don't know, Amanda is a life coach. And I love watching your social media, because there's all these first of all inspirational quotes that pop up. But every now and then there's a picture of Amanda with something that says, tell me your auspicious goal, and I'm going to help you get there. And you know, when you meet Amanda, when she sets her mind to something, it's going to happen, and it's going to happen quickly. And that is exactly what happened. We turned that show around in less than six months. But can we just talk about the women that you found that you gathered together to be in that first show? It was I mean, I have some new friends for life. I'll just tell you that.

KERRY 05:58 How did you, how did you find them all?

AMANDA 06:00 I started asking. So I started telling people about That's What She Said. And I said, Who would you like to see from this community, it takes the stage to tell a personal story, who needs to be on this stage. And I just started asking the few people in my network, and coincidentally or not several names, you know, just kept coming my way. And it was strategic. You know, I had like this long list. And I just I saw I knew what I wanted. I wanted a pure reflection of the unknown Vermillion County that was so important to me and such a guiding light. And, you know, I mean, I think there's that pressure to like, how do you do it again, but they really truly were the perfect, best cast for That's What She Said Danville. And I love them all dearly. And I'm like from day one, their biggest fan.

JENETTE 06:51 I have to agree it was such a fun journey, getting to know each of them and their stories. But today is actually about you. And even though you were the Producer and Emcee for the evening, you shared a little bit you had a story that you opened up the show with where you did reveal some about who you were and why the show was important to you. So we're gonna go ahead and play that clip from the show night this past March so that our audience can get to know Amanda; and really relive that moment, that night with us for just a moment where you shared your story, "Look at you Danville" onstage in That's What She Said 2023 in Danville, Illinois. Here is Amanda Crose.


AMANDA 07:30 Hello, Danville. [whoops and applause] Look at, you, No, really! I need us all to take this moment and look around. Be still in this moment. This is huge. Though, luckily, for those of us gracing this beautiful stage tonight, we can't really see you. It's good news for us. Who we can hear you though. So I encourage you to respectfully show your love and support throughout our show tonight. Let's give it a try.  [loud applause and whoops]Just like that. My name is Amanda Crose. I'm the Regional Producing Partner for That's What She Said Danville. And tonight. I'll be your emcee. Over the last couple of months, I've gotten questions like, what's that She Said thing? You're doing what at the Fisher? You mean, that joke from the office, right? Yeah. But my closest friends and family aren't surprised one bit, that I decided to add Producer to my long list of titles. You see, I'm a classic overachiever.

Yeah, thank you. I don't know how long I've been like this. But I recall confidently telling a friend at 18 that I was going to make the world a better place. 'course at 18 It came off way cockier than that [audience chuckles]. I honestly blame my Grandma Crose for my achievement drive. I spent a lot of time with her growing up. When I was bored or in trouble, She just magically appeared to pick me up. Little did my parents know I had secretly snuck off to make these arrangements. I think I may have somehow even faked Mono in the third grade just to spend more time with her [audience laughs]. She was my number one fan. She led me to believe I could do anything I set my mind to. My grandma would constantly encourage me as I put on fashion shows in her living room. I'd wear her slips as dresses and walk around in her bright red high heels while singing Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman". She would tell the other grandmas in the pretend audience how beautiful and special I was and how proud she was of me. This is all starting to make sense now, isn't it? [audience chuckles] But as an adult, I've made a life out of chasing achievements, degrees, titles; Cramming a 30-year career in education into a decade seemed like a good idea. My Midwest work-ethic has made it all so easy. I thrive on hard work, and getting shit done [applause].

So, when completing my Bachelor's degree, my husband began ever so lovingly, to suggest that I get a hobby. Just never really interested me much, though, work has always been my hobby, specifically, work worth doing. A few years ago, on a trip, while returning from a trip with a friend, it was suggested that maybe soapmaking could be my hobby. I loved buying locally made soap as a souvenir when we traveled so why not give it a try. In that short, so short three-hour drive home from the beach, I had turned this suggested hobby into a business: name, logo, mission statement, farmers market research. I had it all figured out. Shortly after starting that new hobby like mid first batch, it very quickly became Amanda's hobby by Josh.I just don't know how to hobby, but my husband does my hobby really well [audience chuckles]. Thanks, babe. My brain doesn't turn off. I see possibilities everywhere. Don't even get me started on my ideas for revitalizing the village mall [applause]. I am never satisfied with the status quo. And I have this unwavering belief that I can do anything I put my mind to, and that you can too.

I am so grateful to have women in my life who have believed in me and showed me that it was okay to believe in myself to because of them. I know that believing in yourself is a woman's greatest superpower. And I think just maybe I found a hobby that will stick encouraging and supporting women to believe in themselves and to share their stories [applause]. Welcome to my new hobby! [audience and Amanda chuckles]


AMANDA 13:19 Definitely can still recite it like I think I'm like, I do wonder like at what point will I forget it? [Kerry chuckles] Probably never.

JENETTE 13:26 What always stood out to me when we were working on the show was that Amanda knew that she had to be on stage, she knew that she was emceeing that was agreed upon very early, and yet she was still hesitant about how much of her personal story she was going to let unfold on that stage. And we had some powerful moments during our rehearsal process where Amanda said, "Well, I don't like it to be all about me. I am about you know, empowering you and everyone else." And we stopped. And we made every woman at that table look, Amanda in the eye and tell her something they admired about her. I've never seen a woman squirm so hard. [Kerry laughs] She was so uncomfortable. But it was important for her to know that feeling. Because that's what we aspire to for every woman who takes the stage.

AMANDA 14:15 It was so easy; it is so easy for me to build another person up. In fact, it's probably my life's mission for someone to have such self-efficacy to really believe in who they are and what they can accomplish. I never expect anyone else to do it for me and I never expect that praise or recognition, because it's so important for me for other people to be seen. And so, I, I am uncomfortable with it. I'm dismissive of it; I would much rather shine the light on someone else than take it myself. And that is interesting to me because it doesn't mean that I am not confident, and I don't know my worth I very much do.

KERRY 14:58 Well I think, It seems like, it seems like that's just that that is where you shine that that's your role. One of our Co-Founders, she we always say like, there's no way we all sat around and had ideas and talked about things. But she was our biggest cheerleader she would. She is never to this day, she's never done a story on the She Said stage, but she was the, she's the biggest cheerleader. The first one to say we were like, hey, yeah, but we don't know what to do. And we don't have theater experience. And she was like, yeah, we can, yeah, again, we're gonna do it, we're gonna do it. And then with the speakers, it was the same way. And I thought that you reminded me of her a lot that night. That you're just, that's where you're in the sweet spot when you're building other people up.

AMANDA 15:36 Yeah. And I have to tell you, my husband has actually said like, recently, you need to pump the brakes, because people will tell me their ideas, or I'll come up with an idea. And then suddenly, I've made it into a thing. And you know, I mean, at this exact moment in our life, we don't really need any more things. And so, he's like, can you just press pause for a moment? [Jenette laughs] So momentarily, for a few more days, I will press pause, but then it's game on with anyone's idea.

JENETTE 16:03 And how is Josh's soap making business these days?

AMANDA 16:09 It is a classic. You know, he didn't take my idea and plan into farmers markets, and you know, that whole foods and all of that that's there. But he Yeah, I know, he very, lovingly, still make soaps for us and all of our friends and family. And it's really, it really is perfect.

JENETTE 16:30 Well, I'm so glad that he found joy in, in one of your many hobbies. But I actually loved that you refer to That's What She Said as a hobby. It is meant to be a joyful experience. It's meant to be kind of like a brief interlude in your life and not be you know; it doesn't need to be year-round. It's, it's like, I've used this analogy, and but I think it's so good. It's like a really powerful week at summer camp where you create memories, you make best friends, you can never recreate it, but you'll never forget it. And that's what it's meant to be. So, it can be a hobby, a powerful hobby. And it can, it can go anywhere. Like it's a very portable, haha, very portable, very portable, like event structure. Because there is no shortage of women, there's no shortage of stories to be told. I like it as a vehicle for making friends. I've been told again and again, that the reason the women get really close really quickly, is because we cut out a lot of that small talk and chitter chatter that you typically have at a cocktail party or a networking event, right? And from the day one, the very first meeting, you're like going for the jugular, you're talking about real hardcore stuff. And these women connect VERY quickly. Did you feel that?

AMANDA 17:51 Absolutely. And and it was so perfect for me, because I absolutely hate small talk. Like, get into the nitty gritty stuff. Tell me how you're feeling what's on your mind. You know, I think that just always been natural for me to strike up a conversation. In fact, yesterday, I made a new best friend at a friend's concert. And we both thought we'd known each other for years. And she was my mother. And I'm like, oh, no, we just met but, but we got right to it. I mean, and I think that that's, you know, what I loved about you, Jenette, is that we could just get to it. And that first rehearsal, I mean, I think there there's there's that hesitancy, there's that uncertainty of what did I sign up for? And who are these people and can I trust them. And it is such a special thing that we're doing, where that trust and that foundation of “I got you” is solidified from day one. And that helps move past the small talk and break it down and just wrap your arms around one another.

JENETTE 18:51 You're speaking my language, like I have chills running up and down my spine right now. Like you couldn't have said it better. That's exactly the environment we strive to create. And you, you feel the power. You feel the connection right away. We've had some of our Danville sisters on the podcast already and it's been so much fun connecting with them and hearing the story behind the story and, and hearing you know what the experience meant to them. So for our podcast, listeners, go ahead and search Danville on The She Said Project Podcast if you want to catch up with some of our other friends. But you know, every time we go into a new city, a new market, I don't, I don't ask anymore. Is this going to work? Will it play in Peoria? I've seen it play in Peoria and 10 other cities and I know that it works because women are hungry for this kind of connection. And Amanda was the most perfect steward of the mission and what she said is so true. We literally got to a point where we were co-directing we were, we were finishing each other's sentences when we were giving feedback to the women who as they were working on their stories. We were so on the same page every time that it just it flowed beautifully. That would have been very hard if that was not the case, but it, we were very much in sync. Like I said, the planets aligned to make That's What She Said Danville happen. It wasn't just a coincidence,

KERRY 20:07 it really felt that way. And my husband had been a big you got to take this to Danville for many years, he had been over there speaking with a group and he came home and said, "Hey, you know this guy, he's gonna be there and this guy's wife's gonna be there. You gotta find him tonight." And that I thought this, look at you, Danville. I got there and I asked a an usher Do you know and gave him some names? And he was like, oh, yeah, walks me over. Here he is. And then, like, within 10 minutes, that community was just so inviting and welcoming. And I had to go back and tell my husband, he was right. That doesn't happen very often. But he was.

AMANDA 20:30 Yeah, it was, it really was, you know. We keep saying the stars aligned so perfectly to have Jenette and I meet, have this incredible cast. And to have a sequence of events that had occurred in the community in the last six months to a year that not just me, but other women in the community, were really looking for connection. They were looking to be seen and to be heard. And if we could offer that through, you know, a small cast of eight or nine women on the stage, people were feeling acknowledged, they were feeling validated, even if it wasn't their story, yet.

KERRY 21:19 Yep, yet is important.

JENETTE 21:21 I love that I'm pretty sure there's more women in Danville that we're going to get to connect with as, as the show must go on. I know the women who were in the first cast are eager to help and see it grow. So your baby shall be taken good care of, don't you worry.

AMANDA 21:35 I appreciate that so much. You know, I think that that's the nature of what I do, is I get things started. And as hard as it is to leave behind. I know that it's always in great hands. And I know that someone will do it better than me. It's the new iteration. And so I you know, in my time in Danville, it was the best gift I could give the community and it was the best gift I could give myself. And without a doubt, I know there are women who are going to be beating down the doors to take the stage to share their story.

KERRY 22:05 Well, as Jenette said earlier, this it translates. So you know, no matter where you wind up Colorado or Danville that the show waits for you. 

AMANDA 22:17 Yeah, and it really like it's such a beautiful model. I mean, I come from a background in education. And so as soon as Jenette and I started talking, I was like, okay, all right, lesson planning, backwards planning. All right, I've got this, like, here we go. 

JENETTE 22:30 Here's your timeline. Here's your templates… go.

AMANDA 22:33 Here's like the filling in the blank. But otherwise, I was like, Yeah, you can literally do this anywhere. And that's exactly what I think we should do.

JENETTE 22:40 And help us spread the word because we want to see this in as many cities as possible. Because yeah, the power is there for the women who want it.

KERRY 22:48 Thank you so much, Amanda, for for bringing that to Danville, I think exactly the way you described it, it was a real gift to Danville and to you, and to everyone who was part of it.

AMANDA 22:57 It will live in my memories forever. And I think, you know, I want to go back to something Jenette said about about my story, I called it a hobby. And afterwards, I had to sit with it. It didn't feel right to call it a hobby, because what producing That's What She Said in those short three months and meeting the women and the community, That was really life changing. And I I take what I learned about myself, what the other women in the cast taught me into every single day. And so it's so much more than a hobby.

KERRY 23:34 All right, Jenette's crying.

JENETTE 23:37 Amanda, that was beautifully, beautifully said. And I also love that you, what you said you acknowledge that that's what you do. You start things, you launch things. And the fact that yes, there is a sad side or downside when you have to move on. The fact that you own your power, because that's your gift, oh my gosh, the the magic that you get to create for every community that you're in, you know. I know you have a history of being an education and, and creating programs. What did you say you did a 30 year career and a decade, something like that? 

AMANDA 24:14 Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

JENETTE 24:16 Yeah, you took ownership of your gifts, and not many people can get that clear on who they are and what they're meant to accomplish and be and bring to this, you know, this earth. And you did and you do and get to. So, I celebrate that, I celebrate you.

AMANDA 24:31 I think that's the piece about my story. When I started writing, I was answering the question and I have been for years I guess answering the question, Why am I like this? And thinking that there was something wrong with the way that I moved through life [Kerry chuckles]. And leading up to That's What She Said and then writing my story, it was really owning, no, these are really awesome things about me, and they're what makes me unique. They're what makes me special. And if I can share these gifts with others, game on! That's the perfect life right there.

JENETTE 25:03 Game on. That's exactly right! I hope every woman here listening knows that when you find your gift, and you acknowledge that it's what makes you special and not what makes you difficult or different. You know, you can really live in your purpose and live an amazingly powerful life. And you Amanda, you inspire other women to do the same in your coaching business, but even just knowing you; knowing you has impacted me and the women of Danville, and we forever grateful, forever grateful. Wherever you are. Yeah, you're in my heart.

AMANDA 25:40 Oh, same same. I carry the attributes of each of the women in the cast with me every single day.

JENETTE 25:46 Yeah, they're pretty great women. So I am going to keep hanging out with them, because they're too awesome. So my new friends, 

AMANDA 25:54 Please do. I'm a little jealous.

JENETTE 25:56 We'll send pictures. All right, that's all the time that we have for today's episode. It's always fun to reconnect and get together with women who've been on the stage, women who've you know who've brought That's What She Said to life in their communities. You know everyone's got a story. We believe you have a story and Kerry and I are just so grateful that we get to connect with these women who've spent a little bit of time with us sharing their stories here on The She Said Project Podcast.

KERRY 26:22 Over and out!


[Music: The She Said Project Podcast Theme]

ANNOUNCER 31:36 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.


AMANDA CROSE  27:16 Thank you so much.


In our first episode of season eight, hosts Jenette Jurczyk and Kerry Rossow return to the the studio to speak with Amanda Crose, producer of the inaugural That's What She Said Danville show, about producing her first She Said show and standing on the stage, speaking to her hometown community about the power of bringing powerful ideas to 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