Story and Interview by Miwa Sakamoto
It begins in Topanga Canyon. At least my version of the beginning does. I am sure my parents have a different interpretation.
I have so many. I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by horses and oak trees and hiking trails. Nature was as close of a friend to me as any other kids I grew up. So I guess experiencing the extremes of nature are the stories that I will always hold close. Driving my dad’s Jimmy through 4 feet of water on Old Topanga to help put sandbags around the local Italian restaurant during the floods. Being evacuated in elementary school during the infamous fires of 93’ and watching flames dance hillside behind our home while I grabbed what I thought mattered to me at 11. Being rushed out of our house during the earthquake of 94’ by my parents who of course sleep naked and sitting in our cars under the oak trees trying to find a radio station that could tell us what happened. It was a beautiful way to grow up. I rode horses, sat on top of Saddlepeak during the Santa Ana’s with wind so strong I felt like it was going to carry me away, learned the importance of hiking and the beauty of peace and never once questioned why I couldn’t walk to a friends house. In Topanga, you just don’t really have neighbors walking distance. I love that.
When I bought this home I had very little foundation, financially, spiritually and emotionally. It takes dedication, to maintain stability and a home base through the countless instabilities over the course of 10 years. In many ways I grew up in this home. It nurtured me and challenged me to keep up and move forward. I learned to cook here. Learned to keep plants alive here. Learned to design space here. Learned to heal myself here as well as let go.
Nope, if anything easier. Having another body in my space all the time makes me insane. I just end up sweeping after them. Crazy?
I honestly don't know what stability would be like. My world blossoms in uncertainty. I find balance in the things outside of work I can control. Hiking. Meditation. Travel. My friends. My work will never be constant and I am thankful for that.
As an actor you are constantly building tools to connect and be accessible so the idea of building walls is counterproductive. The only thing I try and do is protect my soul as best I can. Image is a huge part of being an actress. I get that. I just work on keeping myself healthy in all parts of myself. If that means traveling more and getting out of this industry for a bit, so be it. If that means doing a cleanse for my body, great. If that means having dinner with friends and drinking too much wine, amazing. The important thing is to listen to your body and make sure the line of communication is nurtured. What do YOU need?
It is never simple work, opening up. It is asking yourself to dig deep, ask questions and somehow look at yourself through another set of eyes. This work never ends.
Oof. Tough question. I haven’t always dealt with things ideally or gracefully. I think that is the road you travel sometimes. When it doesn’t work try a different way. I have gone through a lot and reacted a lot of ways in my time and I have learned a lesson from each moment. I have grown a lot. Bitterness has never been part of my vocabulary thank god, but jealousy has. And loneliness, and sadness. I embrace it, move through it and learn from it. I realize now these feelings don't benefit me or anyone around me so I try and find another way to interpret the feeling. It is all about perspective a wise woman once told me, something I always try and remind myself.
My car, the road, my dog, a bottle of wine and camping gear.
Standing even on two feet
For me feminism is a balance of independence and vulnerability. It is having a voice but not one too loud so others can’t be heard. It is embracing your sexuality and beauty as well as applauding other women for theirs.
I just need to reset sometimes. And I do this best alone. I take on other peoples stuff quite easily so it is a must for me to spend a good portion of each day in solitude.
I like to sweep my house. I like to put flowers in my space. Hike. Be with my pup. Cook dinner and have people in my home. I love to dance. I love to travel. I love yoga and music, sometimes at the same time. I love road trips and great books. Honestly, I just want to laugh these days so I surround myself with things and people that create that environment.
Again, looking good for me starts internally. Cliche as that sounds. I work out everyday so I can feel strong and sexy in whatever I am wearing, or not wearing. I do yoga so I can feel a little more loose. I train so I feel powerful. I hike so I can clear my head. I do all these things so when I do put on my clothes and go out into the world, I represent the best version of myself. I am super healthy but also love to let loose. That balance is sexy to me. My car is a Prius and I try and keep it pretty clean aside from the 20 lbs of black dog hair floating through it at any given moment.
I do travel. Last place I went to was Bali. I leave for Vancouver soon for 5 months so I am sure there will be some Alaska adventures coming up. I plan on going to Nepal in January to build a school with a great group of people for an organization called BuildOn. After that? Who knows.
Lessons from travel? I guess what I learned from Bali was to dance like no one is watching. And not eating almond butter is probably a good thing for me.
For some reason this question always gives me a shot of anxiety. I have no idea what the future holds. I really am trying to take it day by day. I want to fall in love. With everything. Everything else comes second.