Bedard was accompanied by her husband, musician Deni Wilson, and by Laura Ortman, a classically trained violinist from the White Mountain Apache tribe who currently works as a musician in New York City.
Bedard, Wilson, and Ortman opened and closed Wednesday’s workshop with music. Bedard, with lead vocals, performed storyteller-like lyrics, accompanied by Wilson on guitar and Ortman on violin. However, for the bulk of the program, Bedard talked about her performing arts career and answered questions from the audience.
At about this time, Bedard said, she signed with her agent. That led to an offer to appear in the soap opera “As the World Turns” and a conflicting offer for a movie screen test. Bedard chose the screen test and was offered a three-movie deal. Unfortunately, she explained, she had to turn down the first movie role because of its inaccurate portrayal of Alaska Natives.
“The movie was about my people, and it was wrong. We don’t have horses in Alaska,” she said. “I just couldn’t do it to my mother.”
She is particularly interested in telling the stories of contemporary Native American women. One such story, she said, is that of Molly Spotted Elk (1903-1977), a Penobscot dancer, nightclub entertainer, and actress who moved to Europe and married a French journalist. Bedard said she is currently planning a film project about Spotted Elk, who fled Europe with the outbreak of World War II and who lost her husband in the war. Such film projects help move Native women out of the pages of history and into contemporary society.