For the past couple of months, I have been based in Sydney instead my usual base in LA. Spending time in Sydney has largely been a peaceful and happy time for me, time spent in a vastly different environment to LA around my family and old friends has allowed me the break that I needed. Whilst excited to fly back to LA in a few days, I am glad to have had time to reflect on my life and happiness itself, what it means to be happy and what needs to be done to become a happier person.
When I first moved to LA, I had this great idea. I was going to move to there for just one year and if, after one year, I hadn’t booked anything, I was going to move back to Sydney. After just three weeks of living in LA, I realized it was going to take more than one year. In fact, it could take many years. This realization was quite scary for me. It meant I was leaving Sydney for good and that a lot of the instability and uncertainty of pursuing a career in acting in LA was going to be my whole life. The safety blanket of living of Sydney was gone and I was faced with an arduous road ahead. The journey in understanding the sheer amount of resolute and unwavering dedication required to pursue a career in acting in a city filled with such incredible talent was overwhelming. However, I realized very early on, that in order to survive and succeed in LA, you really had to commit, there was no half in and half out. The past couple of months, I have been in Sydney spending time with my family and this short visit and time spent away from LA has truly allowed me to reflect wholeheartedly on my life there, my career, my commitment to acting and what it really means to be dedicated to something. read more
Mithila Gupta is an Indian-born, Aussie-bred screenwriter that is quickly emerging as one of our best new talents. Her devotion to creating honest, culturally diverse characters in the landscape of Australian film and television, one that has largely been dominated by older, white males has ensured she is not only in demand for her fiery ideas, talents and spirit but that she also a breath of fresh air. read more
Patrick James is a triple theatre of a different kind, a producer, content creator and actor best known for playing the acid tongued drag queen and screen siren that is Wilma Bumhurt in the online series sensation The Horizons. Patrick is the kind of dynamic creative that understands that the creation and development of new content is the way forward. Since we first met and became friends many years ago, I have been privileged to watch my friend go from strength to strength creatively, his presence and personality always a source of joy and inspiration in my life and the lives of those around him. Nothing has given me more joy than watching Patricks journey from first being cast as Wilma and his nervous discovery of how to approach playing a drag queen, very unfamiliar territory for Patrick, to now being an activist for the LGBTQI community and an outspoken defender for equality. His role of Wilma has literally taken him all over the world and granted him countless amazing opportunities including the opportunity to present at the Logies and even have his own spin off series, ‘Where’s Wilma?’ read more
I remember the first day I landed in LA very clearly, it was mid July and LA summer was in full swing. I had nervously survived the ordeal of going through customs for the first time and having my green card be officially approved. After zero hours of sleep on the plane, having left behind my family, my lovely life in Sydney and my then boyfriend, I was jet-lagged and emotional to say the least.
A few months back, I came quite close to booking a job that I had become very attached to. When I found out that in fact I had not booked the job, instead of my usual ‘ugh that sucks, forget about it three minutes later’ routine, this one stung. I tried to brush it off and continue on but a couple of hours later when I found myself crying into a plate of fries sending dramatic texts in caps to my friends like ‘I CAN’T KEEP DOING THIS,’ I realised I might be a little upset about this one. read more
Since I first moved to Sydney to pursue a career in acting, my friends have mostly comprised of actors and people that work in the industry. These relationships have afforded me a few things, namely many people around me to help me with auditions, a network of people that understand the rollercoaster of pursuing a creative career and lastly an insight into the many different ways to achieve success as an actor. The latter is something I have recently been reflecting on a lot, especially as I have found that each and every one of them has achieved their own success in the industry in such vastly different ways.
I’ll admit that when I was first began acting; I assumed success was achieved in one way. First, you get signed to an agency. Then you go to a bunch of auditions, finally you book a job, do the job, you go to another audition, repeat the previous steps.read more
Recently, I went to a casting for a feature film here in LA. The usual transpired, it was in the Valley which with traffic (and there is always, always traffic in LA) is an almost hour long drive from my apartment in West Hollywood, sometimes more. It was a balmy 100 degrees (LA is in a constant state of sweltering heat). Despite the usual challenges, I arrive with five minutes to spare, deeply impressed with myself for not being late. I have my script in tow and a mild whole body sweat that I’m trying to pass off as a general glow. I sit in a packed waiting room; the actor sitting next to me me tells me that they’re running an hour behind. Excellent. I wait, I run over my script, I eat a snack in my bag, I stare at my phone, time passes. Eventually after an hour and fifteen minutes, I am called into the casting room. As I walk in, I am surprised by just how many people are in this room, mostly men. Very little is said to me. Someone asks me to slate and to begin the first scene; I barely know where the reader is.read more
Diversity in casting simply means that our screens reflect the true diversity of our world. This ensures we are engaging with content showcasing authentic portrayals of our daily lives. According to a recent US census, disabled people make up 19% of the population meaning nearly 1 in every 5 Americans live with a disability. That is an alarming statistic, especially when you stop to consider whether these numbers are being accurately reflected on our screens.
“When you think of a director, you think of a man with a baseball cap on, staring at a monitor. You probably don’t think of a Katherine Bigalow and that’s what needs to change.”
Parity is the state of being equal, regardless of status, pay and gender. Parity within the film industry means more women working at all levels, the goal being to have women working from the top down and the bottom up. It means more women on set, behind the camera and in all roles helping to shape and form the narrative landscape of our film and television and the stories we allow into our lives. The value coming not just from a position of fairness and equality but also that of just good story telling from a female perspective.