What is your professional title, purpose or passion?
Professional title: Writer/Producer.
Purpose: Create art that advances conversations around social justice and leads to action that increases equality.
Passion: Cooking both healthy and decadent food for myself, family and friends.
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
I wanted to be an archaeologist. Absolutely nothing has changed, that would still be awesome, but it was too late when I discovered that uncovering new history was a job. Even though I was six, I was already (and always have been) an artist and performer.
What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
“Just focus on the next step”. There’s a pressure to have a one, three, five and even ten-year plan. While having goals is advisable, I’ve often found this long-term thinking to be paralyzing. Recently in a Q&A, Justin Simien spoke about just working on the next step. So, rather than thinking “I need to write a feature script”, it’s more like “I need to read this book about screenwriting”, or “I’m going to write a scene between a young mother and her paediatrician”. It really helped me to feel good about the smaller steps, and not worry so much about whether or not I’m on the right path; helping me to be more active, which is much more likely to help me reach my goals.
What is the best thing about your current working environment?
Consistent, respectful and transparent feedback. This is true of my current job and all the best teams I’ve worked with. I think that there is a tendency to hold back honesty under the guise of professionalism, but one does not negate the other. This type of feedback system between all team members is the best way to make any project successful.
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
As I mentioned above, at the moment I’m taking a break from long term planning, and to be cheesy about it “living in the now”. That being said, if my life so far is anything to judge by, I imagine I’ll be moving around and learning new things.
Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.
Tap Social a “criminally good” movement providing opportunities to those who are struggling to get back into employment after being in the prison system. They have a brewery and taproom in Oxford, supply to restaurants and ship to your home! Started by Paul, Amy and Tess, all of whom have experience working in the criminal justice system, they wanted to provide an effective solution to help get people out of the system and into long-term employment. Grab a pint at www.tapsocialmovement.com
What drives you?
Collaborating with other thoughtful people to make art that helps advance social norms to become more inclusive and rectify injustice.
Any final comments?
Excited to be a part of this platform.
What does a normal day look like for you?
Change. No matter what I’m doing my days are always different. However, some constants include: meditating, drinking coffee, listening to podcasts (mainly Pop Culture Happy Hour, It’s Been a Minute, and my new favourite I Weigh), eating greens and rewatching too many episodes of TV shows I know by heart 🙄.
What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?
Through running a university theatre company, I inspired other women to take on leadership roles. They told me they hadn’t previously thought of going into such positions, but after watching me model a more caring and transparent style of leadership than is usually represented, they felt confident they could effectively lead others. I was so surprised and honoured when I got this feedback. Knowing that I helped other women feel confident enough to go into positions of power was so humbling. They all took over positions in my company or others and I’m so proud of them!
Tell us about a a woman who inspires you
My closest friend Ellie. She works so hard. She has overcome so many personal struggles, and yet still has so much time, care and understanding for others. She is dedicated to her counselling work, but still strives to spend time on her own personal development. I have many amazing mentors, but I feel lucky everyday to have such a beautiful person as my best friend, guiding me and supporting me through whatever life brings.
What was your biggest failure?
Not fully pursuing opportunities. There have been a couple times in the past, when I’ve been self-conscious or overwhelmed and haven’t followed up with a contact or opportunity fast enough. Often this was linked to some silly idea about not wanting to be too “pushy” or desperate. I also often have often been over scheduled, so then haven’t followed up quick enough. Overtime I have learned from my mistakes, but it has taken me a while to become confident and assertive enough to pursue opportunities in an effective manner.
What do you like most about yourself?
My empathy and attention to detail. While being empathetic has been detrimental to my own mental health sometimes, and my attention to detail can slow me down, I am very happy that I have these qualities. I think they make me a better friend and artist.
How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?
Globalise national curricula. I’m not sure how this is going to be accomplished, but I know I want to help push the needle. A huge amount of bias and discrimination stems from ignorance. Having had the chance to live in a variety of cultures, I’ve had the opportunity to extend my knowledge base past stereotypes and misinformation. In general, I think we need to find a way past nationhood. I think this can be started by reorganising how history is taught, so that there is a focus on human history as opposed to being limited by cultural bias.
What skills have been key to your journey so far?
Listening. Learning from my mistakes. Taking time for myself.