In an interview with Fox News Digital prior to the debut of the new documentary “SKILLED,” actress Vivica A. Fox dispelled a number of myths about trade occupations.
This weekend, the 3M and Generous Films-produced and Julio Palacio-directed film “SKILLED” was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah. The documentary follows four people in their workplace as they candidly discuss why they chose vocational school over college.
Fox, an actress, director, and philanthropist known for her iconic appearances in “Kill Bill,” “Independence Day,” and other films, stated that she is “proud” of her personal links to skilled trade persons and their work.
Fox told Fox News Digital, “I’m all about girl power, and I’m very proud of my girlfriends Vanessa and Alicia, who are both in trade positions.” They are a mother and daughter team of forklift operators in Detroit. And I’m very thrilled when kids send me footage of themselves driving forklifts at their workplace.”
Fox continued, “And I was absolutely blown away when they first sent me their videos because they’re all about hair and makeup.” “It seems inconceivable that these ladies are operating forklifts and wearing hard hats. Another girl in the medical field who works so hard and contributes so much for her community that she helped us go through COVID.”
Four talented tradespeople are featured in the film, including Paige Knowles, a 20-year-old plumber and author of the children’s book “Plumber Paige” who conducts a unique, all-girls summer construction camp. Knowles stated that she pursued her passion in plumbing in part because she was interested in learning more about water and how it “begins somewhere and ends up in your house.”
“You take it for granted,” she adds in the movie. “Because when you turn on the faucet, water flows continuously.”
Each person featured in the documentary had a different reason for pursuing their professional occupation. His grandfather, a mechanical engineer, inspired Cedric Smith to find “direction” and become a welder. Anni Martinez became a film gaffer at Amazonas Electricas, an all-female grip and electrical team bringing diversity to Mexico’s film industry, after her experience as a film extra, and Andrea Martin, a fall protection specialist at 3M who was named one of the 2022 Top Women in Safety by Canadian Occupational Safety, was passionate about teaching others about work safety.
Each respondent stated that their chosen occupations had been evaluated by peers, friends, and even family members.
“When I returned to my home school, it felt as though everyone was embarrassed to be around me,” Knowles claimed, adding that she had lost contact with all of her middle school pals after electing to attend plumbing school.
Fox stated, “Unfortunately, there is simply a misconception that women cannot do anything.” “And I am here to demonstrate that. My career achievement exceeds my greatest expectations. As a producer, director, and writer. Doing things that people claimed I would never be able to do, I was quite proud to see those women, you know, researching those doubters. This is what I refer to as a “Please don’t put me in a box” plea. If I say I’ll do something, give me the chance to do it.”
Some think that the only way to advance in life and one’s job is to obtain a college degree. Fox stated that she understood the argument and emphasized the significance of education, but that people should be aware that they have alternatives.
“This is not a bad misconception, but college is not accessible to everyone,” Fox added. “And when I say it from a financial standpoint, I mean that everyone cannot afford to go college and then, you know, acquire their MBAs and other such degrees. Consequently, some of us had to take short cuts. Because either we become young mothers or our family cannot afford it financially.”
“Therefore, I would love to see women attaining positions as doctors, lawyers, and Supreme Court justices through education,” she continued. “I always want to emphasize education, please. I want my girls to receive their education. However, if anything in your life has led you in a different way, don’t be scared to seek a skilled trade for which you can receive decent income and benefits. However, educate yourself on that profession if you choose to pursue it.”
Studies indicate that less and fewer Americans are engaging in critical trade work.
According to NPR, applications for technical employment have decreased by roughly 50 percent between 2020 and 2022.
Fox expressed her hope that the video would inspire more individuals to pursue their aspirations in the skilled crafts.
“Sky’s the limit,” she remarked. “If there is something you want to achieve, do not let the fact that you are a woman or a minority prevent you from pursuing your goals. This is what we intend to do. With this short, we hope to dispel common misconceptions about skilled tradespeople. And like I said, I believe that women can accomplish anything.”
Fox recently stunned fans by recreating her legendary “Kill Bill” character in a music video for SZA.
“That day, my phone was ringing off the hook,” she told Fox Digital. “I kept it a secret, and it turned out to be fantastic. It went viral. People said, “Oh my God, look at that!” They produced an entire film. Okay, they’ve already written “Kill Bill 3,” but… Vernita Green has returned. They just adored it. I was like, ‘Whoa!'”
The actress previewed several upcoming projects, including her hosting responsibilities for “Secrets of the Interrogation Room” and her current filming of “Twisted House Sitter 2,” which she described as “‘Single White Female’ meets ‘Fatal Attraction’.” She also confirmed her participation in four new Car Shield advertisements.