Last night we hosted ‘ReWired and Reading: Sonja Sohn in Conversation’ in the sun-filled Rodewald Suite at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
The event was sold out and Sonja proved to be a very special guest indeed. Not only was she engaging, witty and sensitive, she took total control of the stage, gauging the audience’s enthusiasm for her words: “nah guys, let’s not stop for a break, shall we just carry on talking?!”, “Yes!” was the overriding response. She told us about how she got into acting through performance poetry, what her audition for The Wire was like, what it was like to be on set with ‘all those guys’ and how she’s now gone back to Baltimore to set up ReWired for Change, helping at-risk young people to build on their courage and success and improve their standard of life.
It felt like the conversation could have gone on all night (the audience asking her to continue talking rather than using the time for signings!), so I’m sure she’ll be back…
Here’s what some of our guests thought:
What really struck me about Sonia was the fluency and honesty with which she talked about her work with ReWired for Change. It wasn’t rehearsed or worthy – not just another platform for an actress to promote herself – but the voice of someone who had found what she was good for, where she could do good. It was really inspiring to listen to a woman who in herself and in her actions is the hope that breaks the circularity of the life presented to us so powerfully in The Wire.
We already know what an impact reading can have, I found it inspiring to hear how much good can be triggered by a television programme!
Jane’s thoughtful questions and Sonja’s warm, ample responses thrilled the audience. It was as if we were part of the strong, sincere friendship which links these two women and their organisations and which brought Sonja to Liverpool. The link between Rewired for Change and The Reader Oganisation was epitomised by this honest, wide-ranging conversation. Moments relived, insights shared, own motives analysed – these are the stuff of Get Into Reading: We were charmed by Sonja’s openness and generosity. A force for good.
I really enjoyed last night- Sonja was inspirational. I was really moved by the emphasis that she put on the need for hope in Baltimore. The possibility of change is something that many of the young people we work with need and may find in Get Into Reading groups, so it felt like she was really confirming the importance of what we are doing in our community.
Her philosophy, and what she says has led to her eventual success, is to ‘try anything once and to listen to the little voice in your head if it’s telling you to do something’. [You can read the full review, from which this is taken, on ‘Feeling Listless’.]
You can see more photos from the event here.