In the Land of Lucia: GoGirl CEO Jennifer Murphy Honors Lifetime Humanitarian and Entertainment Industry Pioneer at “Once Upon a Runway – A Toy Story” Charity Gala in NYC
At just 14 years-old, mover-and-shaker-in-the-making, Lucia Kaiser curiously acquired a fake ID to land a gig as a gyrating go-go dancer on the hit Hullabaloo television show. While dancing in a cage on set, she was eventually introduced to crooner superstar Sammy Davis, Jr, fostering a lifelong mentorship and friendship with the legendary entertainer. Lucia never looked back. Meet one of the hardest working women in the entertainment industry and how she has dedicated her blessed life to helping others.
Kicking off the new year celebrating fashion – and fierce, philanthropic females – iconic NYC-based toy company F. A. O. Schwartz hosted charity gala “Once Upon a Runway – a Toy Story” to raise money and awareness for St. Jude’s Research Hospital. All the glitz, glamour, clothes, and compassion were presented by the Kiss the Monkeys and Kiss the Mermaids organizations, including the Heritage Indian Fashions. Hosted by Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg and MC’d by GoGirl’s very own CEO/Founder Jennifer Murphy, the highly anticipated, eye-catching event was a spectacular success, to say the least. Presented by silent auctioneer Prashant Goyal, heroic humanitarian and entertainment industry emissary, Lucia Kaiser was cordially honored with the coveted Evolutionist Award for Lifetime Achievement for Philanthropy and Leadership in Pioneering Women in the Entertainment Industry. The star-studded evening was beautifully captured in stunning images by veteran celebrity photographer, founder of Reflections NYC, and longtime friend of Ms. Kaiser, Mr. Jeff Smith, Lucia humbly accepted the well-deserved honor with a compelling, tearful speech recounting her own narrow escape from sex trafficking while living in Cairo, Egypt as a young woman. She proceeded to offer the gala’s guests a few words of cautionary advice and the urgency to act against one of the most duplicitous and defiling ills against women, children, and humanity in the modern world.
Showgirl to Show Businesswoman
The daughter of Italian immigrants and the two-time Emmy Award winning producer, philanthropist and keynote speaker, launched her illustrious career at just 18 years old when she became an intern for the late-night television hit, The Johnny Carson Show. By 19, she became the iconic show’s first female talent booker. After a successful run with NBC, Lucia developed her entrepreneurial muscles and founded the first-ever, all-female operated Venus Advertising Agency. The start-up ala “Mad Men” with a feminine flair, represented some of the biggest household names in the biz, like Pepsi Cola, owned by legendary star Joan Crawford and her husband. Lucia walked away after a year due to sexual harassment from the male investor. Soon after, she was offered the role of President of Studio Film Exchange – an organization that purchased and marketed award-winning documentaries. While vacationing in Hong Kong, she was approached by legendary Kung Fu fighter and screen star Bruce Lee, to be the first and only female president of his film company, Concord Productions. She was overseeing the production and distribution of some of the most memorable martial arts motion pictures, including negotiating a historic distribution deal with Warner Brothers for the worldwide box office hit “Enter the Dragon”.
While globetrotting across Europe on vacation, she met the love of her life, Steffan Kaiser and decided to live with him in Munich. Three years later, their best friend, Donna Summer, threw them a wedding party and they decided to move to Honolulu. Hawaii. Lucia first fell in love with the gorgeous chain of Pacific Islands after she graduated high school at the age of 15. She was extremely smart and skipped a few years. From a young age, she had dreamed of going to Honolulu, Hawaii and running away from the Bronx in New York, upon graduation from high school. She saved the money from dancing on the NBC Show, purchased a ticket and followed her dreams to Hawaii. Shortly after arriving, she met some surfing champions who taught her how to surf. In the ten months she lived in Hawaii, she won two female only surfing competitions.
Not long after their imminent escape to paradise, Lucia found herself at the helm of many entertainment industry-related endeavors in Television. A fearless, unrelenting risk-taker, she boldly accepted a position as the only woman ever General Manager at Hawaii’s renowned KGU radio station. To increase their ratings, Lucia created the very first live remote broadcast of the Larry King show in Honolulu, broadcast throughout the U.S. and Canada. She was awarded her two Emmy’s and many other accolades including “The Points of Light Award” from President George W. Bush in Washington, D.C for producing two amazing documentaries, “Hawaii Files:Journey From Homelessness” and “Battered Men”. She became known as “The Documentary Producer” that Made a difference.
Brawn, Brains, and Giving Back
Besides having led a fun, fulfilling life of glass ceiling-breaking, behind-the-scenes work within entertainment, media, and radio, Lucia’s real love has been tirelessly working for the world’s underrepresented, disenfranchised, and victimized by being a voice for the voiceless. She was an active organizer/fundraiser for the Partnership for the Homeless, Hawaii Symphony, Girl Scouts of America, Diabetes and Heart Association, Hawaii Theater and School of Ballet to name a few. Her early humanitarian efforts led her to the esteemed position of Democratic Chairperson during both terms under former President Bill Clinton. She has spoken at the United Nations and the Venice Film Festival, respectively and continues to lead the charge in engaging audiences in the socio-political sphere. She is involved with the New York Theater Works, a resourceful organization that seeks to introduce the crafts of actors, writers, directors and producers to the industry’s top, influential professionals. Lucia also regularly supports Destiny Rescue – a deeply humanitarian initiative that is dear to her heart. Destiny Rescue is an impactful non-profit dedicated to saving the thousands upon thousands of children enslaved in sex trafficking all over the world.
So, it is no surprise this lady leader has an ever-growing resume of prestigious awards, accolades, and other reputed recognitions. Here are just a handful of the distinguished deets: The Davos Honoree of Davos 100 Most Influential Women in America; Lifetime Achievement Humanitarian Award from GEM (Global Empowerment Movement Organization) presented at the United Nations in 2019; HBO Legacy Award for her role as President of Bruce Lee’s Film Co. 2018, The Human Spirit and Cultural Harmony Award on Wall Street, 2017, the Lifetime Achievement - Pay it Forward Award at the Yale Club in 2016; and Lifetime Achievement Award – Project Pay It Forward Award presented on Wall Street in 2015, just to name a few.
Movie Making Before #MeToo
Most recently, Lucia was featured as the exclusive January 2020 cover story for Womenz Straight Talk Magazine, which was dedicated to the loving memory of her late husband, physicist Steffan Kaiser. The article was an untethered commemoration of her revolutionary career, as well as her lifelong devotion to philanthropy and propagating awareness to charitable causes. When asked how her decades-long career inspired her own approach to seeking relevancy and validation in a historically male-dominated industry, Lucia says, “I was born with self-confidence, brains, and drive, realizing from a very early age that if I wanted to do something, I could eventually find a way to make things happen. My approach to life is this: ‘I never let anyone tell me I can’t do something I want to do. EVER. I always tell people, women especially, don’t ever let anyone stop you from doing what you need to do. And, never give up.’”
When asked how she managed to dodge show biz’ infamous bullet – the casting couch – and navigated the precarious misogynistic culture before the benefits of the #Metoo movement, she candidly comments, “Of course, there were times I had to fight off horny studio execs or producers trying to get into my pants. Sexual advances and the possibility of rape were commonplace. It was almost an expected part of doing business and it was scary as shit, but to be honest, I wasn’t about to have sex with anyone to get a job”.
Her advice to any female hopeful of leveraging a career in entertainment without the risk of getting caught with their pants down (literally)? “Being prepared for any situation with the right tools, especially confidence. Confidence comes with knowledge and knowledge is power. I made it my business to learn everything I could about every project I was hired on, so I could prove myself.
Lucia has been fervently working on producing a major feature film, “Framed”, based on a bestselling book. It will be the “Wolf on Wall Street” of the artworld. Also, Lucia continues to loom large as a formidable force in the fight against child sex trafficking worldwide. She is scheduled to produce a television series entitled, “Caged Obsession”, a semi-biographical adaptation of her own life, which depicts her courageous escape from the vile underbelly of sex trafficking in Cairo. The fight against the multimillion-dollar enterprise of selling children into the sex slave trade, has been one of Lucia’s lifelong, humanitarian passions. An ardent enthusiast of the arts, Lucia also loves salsa dancing and enjoys listening to an eclectic array of music. While living in Hawaii, she became a professional surfer and reigned champion of Slalom water skiing; she also raced motorcycles when living in Bangkok and skydived as well. A true virtuoso of many talents.
To learn more about this indomitable dame with the arguably uncompromising fortitude for fighting – and giving – back, be sure to visit her website at www.luciakaiser.com. You can read her full featured write up in Womenz Straight Talk on Lucia’s website in the media section. Nothing is off-limits with Lucia!