By Veronika Benson
Special to the Rappahannock News
Megan Smith, who lives in the town of Washington, and her sister, Debi, began making music and touring together in the 1980s.
Debi, a musician since childhood, claims she never knew Megan had musical talent until she returned home from college and overhead her younger sister singing. Before becoming part of the talented duo, Megan, who took after their father (a left-brained engineer), was planning to get a medical degree.
Instead, she and her sister embarked on a highly successful, decade-long musical act they christened, “The Smith Sisters.” They released five albums and truly enjoyed this time together.
When the two eventually went their separate ways it wasn’t the result of burn out or creative differences, instead circumstances simply sent their lives in different directions. Both decided to pursue other interests, and while Debi remained involved in music and now plays with the Four Bitchin’ Babes, Megan returned to her left-brain roots and took a job in D.C. lobbying for renewable energy.
Fast forward a few decades, and Megan has just completed one of two film projects. Her short film, entitled “bOObs: The War on Women’s Breasts,” a documentary about breast cancer, will have its world premiere this weekend at the Flathead Lake International Film Fest in Polson, Montana. The film will also be shown at the Norwegian International Seagull Short Film Festival and eventually the World of Women Film Fair Middle East in Dubai.
The premise of Megan’s longer film, entitled “A New Standard of Care,” is a personal one. In 2009, her husband Proctor Jones died less than a year after being diagnosed with cancer. Megan believes the chemotherapy he received was so overpowering that it debilitated him, inhibiting his body’s natural ability to fight the cancer.
Megan explains how troubled she became by the lack of emphasis on nutrition and alternative care during her husband’s cancer treatment. She has spent the past three years trying to generate a positive influence on how the world views and approaches cancer treatment.
She has taken her grief and turned it into a brave, inspirational project; one that can educate and perhaps provide hope for the millions of people around the world who are facing a cancer diagnosis. She not only wants to help individuals, Megan also hopes to change the way the medical field approaches disease.
Through her work in film, Megan hopes to instill greater awareness of these (and other) disturbing truths about modern medicine, as well as open the minds (and hearts) of those who are providing such treatments. She feels strongly that when practitioners are devising an individual’s plan of care, a person’s entire body, mind, and spirit must be taken into consideration.
Megan began the work on her longer documentary regarding Standard of Care in 2016. It remains a work in progress, but will hopefully debut by late 2019. Two local residents are assisting Megan achieve her cinematic goal: Roger Piantadosi is her contributing editor and John M. Kirchner her cinematographer.
Her sister Debi describes Megan as a true artist who follows her heart, and has been inspired and enlightened by her sister’s journey. And she’s proud of how her sibling has taken a tragedy (the loss of her husband) and turned it into a gift she can give others.
You can witness the diverse musical talents of Megan and Debi at the Little Washington Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 8 p.m. And, if you don’t want to miss seeing these two extremely gifted and lovely musicians with voices that harmonize like a chorus of angels you’d best purchase tickets soon. The last time they performed, the show sold out.
Whether or not you make it to the show, be sure and shake Megan’s hand when you see her on the street or at the Post Office. We should all be proud to have Megan as our Rappahannock compatriot.
Buy tickets to the show here