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The Conscious Culture Magazine


























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Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Better Call Saul actor

Julie Ann Emery

Interview: Robert Piper

On changing peoples’ perceptions, bucking the system, and being a woman in today’s film industry Robert Piper: What inspires you?

We are much more of a village in our world than we realize. RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? JAE: Obstacles are interesting. I try to think of them as challenges instead of obstacles. When reflecting on this question, there are short, easy answers. The bigger answer is perception. I believe perception is the hardest obstacle many people in our world face. I grew up in a small and beautiful town in Tennessee. I love it there, but there were specific perceptions of who I was allowed to be and what I was supposed to do with my life. Breaking through that wall meant disappointing or alienating people. The journey to where I am now meant bucking the system in a lot of ways. And that obstacle hasn’t gone away. In the last five years I have begun to write and direct. The perception of a woman attempting to break into the writing and particularly the directing world is not taken seriously. Even in an industry as progressive as mine, people see a man doing it as viable but a woman does it as a hobby. There is an awareness now, but things really haven’t changed that much. Witness

The biggest thing that inspires me is when a group comes together for the good and true purpose of pushing their efforts to the next level. . . . We are much more of a village in our world than we realize.

this year’s Oscar nominations. This is why I particularly like Emma Watson’s #HeForShe campaign through the United Nations. It is going to take a world community to change our perceptions. RP: How do you stay healthy? JAE: I exercise. I love to hike any chance I get. I find it good for the body and the soul. I try to eat clean—as little processed food as possible, lots of produce. And I try to get a good amount of sleep. Rest seems like the opposite of what you do to stay fit and healthy, but I find it is the great reset and center for my life. RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? JAE: There can be a lot of rejection and “failure” in my business. I try to let myself

Julie Ann Emery: This is going to sound odd coming from an artist—and great art definitely inspires me, great writing, great directing, great music all inspire me—but I think the biggest thing that inspires me is when a group comes together for the good and true purpose of pushing their efforts to the next level. That group could be a sports team, a charity group, a symphony, and yes, a film set. There is something about a group coming together for the betterment of them all that makes me want to push a freight train up a hill with no engine in it. I will go to great lengths to jump in and help.

feel it and then move on. I am a big believer in “What’s next.” If you carry hope and possibility with you as a philosophy, then there is no failure, only more steps to the ultimate goal. You never know what is waiting for you around the next corner. You just have to take the steps and turn that corner. RP: What projects are you currently working on? JAE: I play Betsy Kettleman on Season one of Better Call Saul. I will be seen later this season on The Following. And I am shooting the untitled Johnny Knoxville pilot for ABC right now, taking me back to my Tennessee roots. Julie Ann Emery is an actor who can currently be seen in Better Call Saul. She also appeared in History of Future Folk, Dakota’s Summer, and NCIS. PHOTO: NOGEN BECK


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Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

“I don’t win immediately. I have to fail in a bunch of different ways until I find the one thing for me that does work out. If I stop failing that means I stop trying and I don’t believe I would ever stop trying.”

Interview: Robert Piper

The Vampire Diaries actor

Kat Graham On gaining perspective, overcoming her own BS, and failing in order to succeed

Robert Piper: What inspires you? Kat Graham: I am inspired by perseverance and the fight and will to win for yourself and for your family. RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? KG: My own ego in thinking that certain things are important. After having travelled and seen different parts of the world that are both less fortunate and more fortunate in a lot of ways than Hollywood, you can see they have a better perspective on life, given the struggles they deal with and overcome daily. I would have to say one of the hardest things for me to get over is my own BS. RP: How do you stay healthy? KG: I just became a vegetarian and I have a nutritionist, Crosby Tailor, who has been helping me stay healthy with supplements. I also run and dance a lot. RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? KG: Well I’ve gotten used to failure, as weird as that sounds. I don’t win immediately. I have to fail in a bunch of

different ways until I find the one thing for me that does work out. If I stop failing that means I stop trying and I don’t believe I would ever stop trying. RP: What projects are you currently working on? KG: I just released my single “1991” March 10 on iTunes. We are dropping the music video in April and gearing up for the second single. Also just wrapped up my short film Muse, directed by Darren Genet. A lot of work is being put toward getting ready for World Refugee Day with the UNHCR (the UN refugee agency) while currently wrapping up The Vampire Diaries season six and filming my pilot with Marc Cleary, called From the Top. Kat Graham is an actress and musician. She stars in The Vampire Diaries and also has a new single out called “1991.” PHOTO: HAROLD JULIAN




Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Interview: Maranda Pleasant

The Following actor

Valerie Cruz On people’s capacity for goodness, the most valuable thing we have, and rescuing a kitten

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you?

“Meditation is so essential in the

Valerie Cruz: Music, laughter, nature, heady late-night conversations over hot-button topics, a really good film, and people. Definitely people, people’s capacity for goodness and giving. The human spirit’s capacity to see past the self is so inspiring to me.

are these crazy electrical

hectic multimedia world we

live in; it’s like human beings cables that need to be grounded.

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? VC: As an active person, and one that depends on my physical body for my livelihood, every time I’ve had [health] issues, I feel pretty helpless and fearful. Chronic pain and/or illness is humbling and can be spiritually crippling at times. It makes you truly respect and appreciate the fact that your health is probably the most valuable thing a person has in this life. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? VC: “Don’t let fear be your keeper or make your decisions for you.” MP: How do you handle emotional pain? VC: Honestly, sometimes not very well at all. But one of my tools, I suppose, is finding the humor in things. I’m the type of person who will find something to laugh about in the midst of tears. I lean on my friends and my family. But I also utilize whomever or whatever the universe sends my direction to guide me through the rough spot. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? VC: Life mostly doesn’t go as planned. VALERIECRUZ.ME 14 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

You can put together all these great ideas, but usually the universe has its own idea of things. I think I’ve learned that flexibility and acceptance are some of the more important life tools we use in this life. MP: What is love for you? VC: I’ve experienced different types of love for many different people in my life. I also always “fall hard” for a good cappuccino! To the point where I feel a bit crestfallen when it’s finished, like a good book or an amazing trip. I guess love for me always has the hallmark of joyfulness. MP: What causes or organizations are you passionate about? VC: I recently rescued a two-week-old kitten. It had to be bottle-fed, the whole nine yards. It was so challenging—and also an insanely rewarding and eye-opening experience. I have such a deeper respect and admiration for those people and organizations that devote their lives and resources to animal rescue. These people do it 365 days a year and for so many animals. Talk about love!

MP: Tell me about your yoga or mindfulness practice. What influence has it had on your life? VC: I’ll admit since moving to New York City from L.A. a year and a half ago, my practice has suffered a bit. And I definitely feel it. I think meditation is so essential in the hectic multimedia world we live in; it’s like human beings are these crazy electrical cables that need to be grounded, for sure. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. VC: The Following on Fox. Our third season is just about to air. We’ve really changed some elements of the show and raised the bar quite a bit. I’m proud to be part of a group of people who are so creative and are always striving to be better than before. And my latest personal project is my kitten rescue. He’s pretty full-time, and I’ve been looking to work with local organizations here in New York City, like Anjellicle Cats, to try and be of service moving forward.


Powerful Game Changers W e

A s k

{1 0 }

L e a d e r s :

What Truth Do You Know For Sure?

Jessica Jackley

Cofounder, Kiva. Author, Clay Water Brick

Social entrepreneur focused on financial inclusion, social justice, and the sharing economy. Mama of three boys.

I know this: There is always a way forward. There is always a way to begin, and to begin again. But we must be driven by hope, practice gratitude, and refuse to dwell on what we lack or have lost along the way. | Photo: Elsa and Me


Meredith Perry CEO/Founder, uBeam

Inventor of uBeam, a technology that transmits power over the air to charge electronic devices wirelessly. There are two things I know for sure. The first is that 0 cannot yield 1.

The second is that the human brain can’t understand the universe.

Robin Berzin, M.D. CEO/Founder, Parsley Health

Katerina Markov Schneider CEO/Founder of NATALS, INC.

Founder of Parsley Health, an innovative and affordable functional medicine practice and wellness company that empowers people to be the CEOs of their health. Health is in the food we eat, the air we breathe, the things we touch, and the thoughts we think and say aloud. It’s what you have for breakfast and the story you tell yourself about life. You don’t need medicine. You do need to eat, move, and live in a way that creates space within. If you do you will be able to take on the world. |

Investor turned entrepreneur. Disrupting the health and wellness industry through technology and transparency. Forbes 30 Under 30.

Authenticity matters the most. Authenticity is what is looked for when investing in founders, and now it’s what I expect of myself as the CEO of an early-stage startup. Consumers trust brands that are authentic and transparent. Employees trust a leader that balances humility and confidence. Be authentic to everyone, most importantly with yourself. | Photo: Collin Hughes


Powerful Game Changers What Truth Do You Know For Sure? Nataly Kogan

CEO/CoFounder, Happier, Inc.

Happier, Inc., is a leading wellness company helping people celebrate daily moments of joy. The truth I know for sure is that our lives can change for the better if we stop saying, “I’ll be happy when . . . .” and start saying, “I’m happier now because . . . ” Happiness isn’t a goal to chase or an achievement to strive for. If we practice gratitude by paying attention to the small moments of joy that are part of our lives, we can discover that happiness is already within us. Photo: Karen Pike

Jude Ower

CEO/Founder, Playmob

Founder of Playmob, entrepreneur, and problem solver. Raising $1 billion for global causes through online actions. Scottish lass. Future Island-wanter. I know that gamers want to make a positive difference on the world. Gamers can be any age, from anywhere. I know that gamers want to solve problems, online and offline, and understand the power of community to come together to be a force for good. Gamers are connected and socially conscious.

Kerry Steib

Director of Social Impact, Spotify

Creates social change through music at Spotify. Avid reader. Amateur writer. Devourer of Sour Patch Kids. The truth is that very few people know what they want to do for the rest of their life. You don’t have to know, not in the beginning, not ever. Keep yourself open to possibilities. Keep asking questions of yourself. Make sure you’re learning something, no matter what you’re doing. Minimize what you don’t like, but realize there will always be some crap that you don’t want to do.

Every experience leads to something new. Photo: Glenn Weinrich

18 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM Photo: Philip Meech

Iram Parveen Bilal Filmmaker. Activist. Entrepreneur

Everything is nothing without health. Most people don’t realize their potential in life. I exist for family and friends. Love and time heals. Women are marginalized towards authority. Opportunities are created. Fame and fortune cannot be chased. My heart will stop beating one day.

Happiness is perspective. Truth is perception. |

Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Ph.D. Executive Director, Waitt Institute

Believes that humans can use ocean resources in a way that is simultaneously ecologically, economically, and culturally sustainable. The ocean is dangerously depleted and polluted, but nature is incredibly resilient. We can restore coral reefs and fisheries; we can use the ocean without using it up. Getting from here to an abundant sustainability requires a beautiful vision for what the future can look like, and a practical plan to get there that is rooted in science, economics, and culture. My passion is creating collaborative solutions for ocean conservation. |

Sofya Polyakov

CEO/CoFounder of The Noun Project

The Noun Project is a crowdsourced visual dictionary that helps people communicate.

The world needs more acts of kindness. It defines us and how we perceive the world. Kindness to me is about fairness and striving to do the right thing, no matter the personal consequence. Some view kindness as a form of weakness; I see it as the highest level of achievement for humanity. Photo: Matthew Philip Smith



Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Interview: Robert Piper

Rick Cosnett The Flash + The Vampire Diaries actor

On his experience growing up in Africa, the power of being true to who you really are, and using your brain efficiently

Robert Piper: What inspires you?

nurture a healthy love of yourself and make sure you are following the voices that come from your heart. There is a blueprint in there, our job is to listen.

Rick Cosnett: The author Alexandra Fuller. We have had very similar experiences growing up in Africa. I can relate so deeply to her books. There is such a truthful, humorous and genius articulation in her language that I feel energized and released by it. I’m obsessed. I’m fascinated by our human experience and our relationship to each other and land. I am thrilled by observing life in general. I feel I have an overwhelming amount of love and empathy for people that has yet to be fully expressed. Deep enough for you? RP: How do you stay healthy? RC: I wish I could say something simple! I have a trainer, Drew Logan, who I have been working with for a few years and we constantly change up my exercise routine and how and what I eat. Along with this and something that is often neglected, on my part too, is the health of my mind. I have had amazing people help me with this, one in particular is Bernard Hiller, a life coach and acting teacher. It’s important as an actor and just in general to constantly work on the things that hold us back and on quieting the mind, so that we can be as present as possible and make decisions from a balanced, mindful place. And lastly but definitely not least the health of your heart and soul or whatever we want to call it. To nurture a healthy love of yourself and make sure you are following the voices that come from your heart. There is a blueprint in there, our job is to listen.

RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? RC: Not loving myself. A lot of the time growing up we are told that what we are doing and who we are should be a certain way, but in the end the truth is you are who you are and if you don’t embrace that you will never be happy and you will never truly be powerful. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to have the courage to become who you really are. And in doing so all areas of your life flourish. RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? RC: Every failure is simply part of your success. Every time you fail you are that much closer to your dreams. I don’t regret anything except the things I never had the courage to do. Life throws all kinds of crazy shit at us and it’s our job to adjust the sails and flip it into a positive. That is the most economical, sensible thing to do. I recently figured out: this is using your brain efficiently. We are what we think, so we need to feed our brains constant positive thoughts. RP: What projects are you currently working on? RC: I am currently acting in The Flash as Eddie Thawne, which is heaps and heaps of fun. I am directing and producing a short film called The Letter Carrier with Jesse L. Martin, which will film in April. There also may be a screenplay of a book in Africa on the horizon this year and a film coming up.




Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? JPDP: I guess life is a series of obstacles and you can choose to see them as problems or opportunities. I moved many times in my life, from Argentina, to Italy, to London, to Madrid, to Los Angeles, and every time it’s like starting from scratch. That’s a big obstacle, because your roots are gone and you have to build a new circle every time. But I wouldn’t change it for the world because I get to experience different realities and people. I’m a gypsy at heart.

I’m very excited about. I play Jesus at his worst and best: the crucifixion and the resurrection. It’s a show that speaks to twenty-first century audiences; it’s action-packed with drama, twisting plots and biblical accuracy. Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, who produce the show, have put so much passion into it. I’ll also be appearing next to Matthew Morrison on After the Reality, an indie film directed by David Anderson about a reality show like The Bachelorette.

RP: How do you stay healthy? JPDP: I hike quite a bit. The gym is a chore for me so I force myself to go. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. It’s a ritual: I prepare two eggs with spinach, a bowl of oats with banana, cinnamon and berries, and a green tea. RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure?

A.D.: The Bible Continues and Dallas actor

Juan Pablo Di Pace On finding a new point of view, starting from scratch, and laughing at failure [ Interview: Robert Piper ]

Robert Piper: What inspires you? Juan Pablo Di Pace: Artists who strive to find a new point of view. We are in an oversaturated world and it’s a real challenge to tell original stories, but I find that more and more people aren’t afraid to say, “This is how I see the world.”

JPDP: Good question! It’s a funny thing actually. First I allow myself to sulk just enough to get it out of my system. So if it means indulging in depressing music or nonstop YouTube videos, I do it. After a couple of days though, I try to see the lesson in it. There’s always something to be learned from failures. I actually wrote and produced a whole one-man show in Spain in 2012 about failures called Act One. When you dissect events in your past like a scientist and you’re able to laugh at them—with an audience watching—you can actually separate yourself from them. I highly recommend it! RP: What projects are you currently working on? JPDP: A.D.: The Bible Continues on NBC starting April 5, which

When you dissect events in your past like a scientist and you’re able to laugh at them— with an audience watching—you can actually separate yourself from them. I highly recommend it!

Juan Pablo Di Pace is an Argentineborn TV and film actor and director, with extensive theater background who can be seen in the iconic role of Jesus in the upcoming NBC series A.D.: The Bible Continues. He was a series regular on the TNT hit drama series Dallas, and was part of the film classic Mamma Mia!, alongside Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan, playing the role of Petros. PHOTO: SCOTT HOOVER


Interview: Robert Piper

Cristela actor

Carlos Ponce On balancing feasts with exercise, leaving life in Puerto Rico, and prioritizing God and family

Robert Piper: What inspires you?

Food is a huge

production in my life; I love to feast! Therefore, I aim my discipline towards


Carlos Ponce: Without a doubt, my family. I have four beautiful children from my first marriage. My girlfriend of five years and her son are a solid inspiration as well. RP: How do you stay healthy? CP: I don’t watch what I eat as much as I should. Food is a huge production in my life; I love to feast! Therefore, I aim my discipline towards exercise. I run or walk several miles daily, love bike-riding with the kids in Miami, and love water sports. RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? CP: At a young age, in 1986, I transitioned from Puerto Rico to the United States, having to start over with a new school, new language, new friends, and very little money. It was rough, but I have three siblings, and we all stuck together during this time.

My younger brother has handled my office management for over fifteen years now! It all worked out in the end. RP: How do you stay balanced? CP: God and my family are my priorities. I work in Los Angeles, but I consider Miami home. I’m at the airport right now. I go back every weekend to hug my loved ones and recharge my batteries. That is my balance. RP: What projects are you working on? CP: I star as Felix on Cristela, [on] ABC, Friday nights. I’m also writing new music in Spanish and am also holding the rights to tell the story of the life of a sports legend. There are many exciting things to come. Carlos Ponce stars in Cristela and was a voice actor on The Pirate Fairy, Free Birds, and Rio.


Aloft actor

Jennifer Connelly On spending time in nature, how her family keeps her level, and dealing with loss { Interview: Maranda Pleasant }

Maranda Pleasant: Is there something that has made a huge difference in your life?

I’m conscious of it all the time. My kids help keep my priorities straight.

Jennifer Connelly: I see in so many ways, in so many places, examples of people not being able to really see the kind of long-term picture of how we all fit together, and how the actions we take impact the world and the fact that we’re all in it together. It’s worth considering how our actions impact people on a larger scale.

MP: Is there a truth that you know for sure?

MP: Nature and spirituality are weaved together in Aloft. Is nature important in your own journey? JC: I’m in Vermont right now. I’ve lived in the city most of my life, but as a kid we lived in upstate New York, in Woodstock, and that time was really important to me and I think quite formative. I’ve spent a lot of time in the mountains in my life. I’ve done a lot of hiking and walking and climbing. We’ve done that as a family and on my own and that’s really important to me. MP: Is there something that grounds you and helps keep you level or centered? JC: Well, you know, my family really does that for me. I feel like I needed more things when I was younger. Now I feel an appreciation of my family, because I have so much more of a sense of time as I get older.


JC: I think I know for sure that there are a lot more things that I don’t know than I do know. I think that’s something that I can state with confidence. MP: What spoke to you about the film, when you decided to play Nana, in Claudia Llosa’s film, Aloft? JC: I just thought that the various storylines of all the characters was very poignant and quite moving. For Nana, I thought it was this interesting journey of this woman who—I don’t know what to make of her and I think different people will have different takes on what it is that she does and the choice that she makes. I think some people will write her off and say, “Well, this woman left her child,” and never forgive someone like this. I think it’s kind of interesting to think, “Well, why did she do that, what made this woman make this intense choice?” I can’t imagine really ever doing it but it’s interesting to think about, someone like that and what’s motivating her. Some people will say, “Well, she’s practicing nonattachment, in a really full way.” She’s kind of saying, “Even my identity as a mother isn’t specific to Ivan. I am giving a

kind of maternal love to all these people who are coming to me and saying they want my love and they want to be touched by me and they want to be . . . ” So she’s sort of on that path. On the other hand you can say, “Well, maybe . . . ” But at the same time she’s reliving that moment too, in the way Ivan is, because she’s sort of stuck there, [in] that moment of trauma. When her son died she was on the swing with that little girl. She’s kind of in that same place. Maybe she needed so much for it to mean something. She needed so much for the healing to have had some kind of purpose and some kind of value. It had to be. It had to have value. That’s why she wasn’t there, you know? And I’m not sure which one is really the answer, but either way I have affection for her and her struggle and I think that the story is really moving. MP: What has been one of the biggest lessons so far in your life? JC: I think it’s kind of what this movie is dealing with, characters confronting illness. These characters are all confronting illness and then for Ivan and Nana, loss and their journey to find themselves and to be able to live again after experiencing loss. And I think that’s a really difficult journey and for me, in recent years, in my experiences with people that I’ve been very close to dying, that’s had a huge impact on me.

It ’s worth considering how our actions impact people at large.”


Interview: Maranda Pleasant

W rit e r / Dir e c tor o f t h e n e w f i l m , A l oft , s t a rri n g J e n n i f e r Co n n e l l y. A c a d e m y Aw a r d Nomi n e e . W i n n e r , B e r l i n Fi l m F e s ti v a l , M i l k of S o r r ow.

Claudia Llosa O u r Fa v o r i t e D i re c t o r, t h e M a s t e r o f S e a m l e s s l y I n t e r t w i n i n g T h e m e s o f Wo m e n , Na t u re, Sp i r i t u a l i t y, Su f f e r i n g , He a l i n g , a n d A r t

“ How a r e w e r e a l l y g oi n g to b e a b l e to l i v e a l i f e , to b u i l d a r e a l l i f e , i f w e a r e c o n ti n u a l l y tr y i n g to e s c a p e s u f f e ri n g ? ”

Maranda Pleasant: Where are you right now? Claudia Llosa: I’m in my place in Barcelona, where I live. MP: I just spent a month in Spain. CL: Really? MP: I wanted to live in nature, by myself, and not talk to anyone for a month. So I just got back. I just wanted to cleanse. CL: So important. It’s so important to clean yourself for a while. MP: That’s exactly what I needed. I want to talk about your new film, but also your themes of women and spirituality that mix art with nature. Where do you pull from? What inspires you? CL: Well, all of my films were looking in that direction since The Milk of Sorrow, the whole idea of the possibility of healing. It’s continuing in this film also, in a very different way. I want to rethink our spirituality. We need to find a new sense of security of


some sort. We’ve been trying to find our own freedom and liberating ourselves and empowering ourselves and somehow we feel more and more insecure and lonely. For me, it’s trying to understand why we have this obsessive need of repressing our vulnerabilities and somehow avoiding suffering, in such a way that we’re willing to sacrifice so many big things in order to protect ourselves. So Aloft became the perfect little universe for me to really raise all of these questions through these characters, to understand the consequences of the willingness, by asking ourselves, “Why this important need for faith or hope?” {And} by asking myself, “Is it a way to protect ourselves, or is it a mechanism that is absolutely necessary for our existence?” It’s really important for me to explore these questions through my filmmaking and I think people can really relate to them through stories with characters that have real lives. MP: On the topic of healing, it seems to be a strong theme weaving its way globally with women. Is there anything else that you would like to speak to, maybe some of your personal questions that kind of made their way into this film, some of the deeper themes? CL: You were talking about nature. In the film that is so important. It’s this incredible, amazing landscape that is surrounding the

characters, reminding them of the solitude of existence and the difficulties of life but also the beauty of it. The film is quite beautiful, but it’s also kind of mysterious. You feel the cold. And I really thought that environment helped to create the atmosphere of what I wanted to talk about. For me, the whole idea of the construction, the really fragile, organic constructions that are the space for healing, the opportunity for healing to happen—it’s kind of this idea of accepting the fragility of life. And not only accepting that, but being willing to create your own life, accepting that it’s fragile, that it’s going to be fragile the whole time. How can you balance that? The idea to build something that you know is going to fall— you’re never going to expect that. So the whole film is constructed [around] that idea. These characters are constantly reminded of that fragility. That is naturally intrinsic to our existence and that is the beauty of it because at the end, it seems that we forget that suffering, in a way, is the only way to create intensity for happiness and to create solidarity and to create the basics of human ability to have compassion, to have empathy, to communicate in the end, you know? How are we really going to be able to live a life, to build a real life, if we are continually trying to escape suffering?

“ At t h e e n d , it s e e m s t h at w e f or g e t t h at s u f f e ri n g , i n a w ay, i s t h e o n ly w ay to c r e at e i n t e n s it y f or h a ppi n e s s . ”


Claudia Llosa

MP: Wow. How are we going to build a real life if we’re afraid of suffering? That’s powerful. CL: Thank you. It’s like this idea of understanding that, somehow, this need for us to numb our vulnerability is the only thing that’s [not allowing] us to really enjoy life. So these characters, in a way, all in different areas or aspects of their lives, are trying to control, are trying to possess, are trying to avoid suffering. And I’m not talking about pain. Pain is completely natural for a human being. What is not natural is suffering. The permanent mourning, the permanent state of suffering—that is what we can avoid, not pain. Nana [Jennifer Connelly’s character] was a helper in order for me to talk about these things, the complexities and fragilities of relationships. We think and we have faith in our relationships and we believe that they’re going to survive whatever, and that’s not true. And how difficult! Despite the love—because I don’t think at any point are you going to doubt the love that this mother has toward


her kids, there’s no way you can doubt that— but even despite that love you can sense the difficulties of communication, the difficulties of forgiveness that create a real relationship between two human beings that love each other completely. It’s not about judging, it’s about understanding how we’re going to liberate ourselves in a very true way, and, for that matter, heal.

that somehow the other can forgive you. And that hope is incredibly liberating.

I remember a man once told me, “You can be completely healthy and you can be in a terminal illness.” We don’t understand that. We don’t understand that kind of complexity. Or yes, we do, but we don’t want that kind of complexity. So this journey of these characters, they both kind of understand that in order to create a good relationship, it’s not only important to forgive—we’re always talking about forgive, forgive the other, but we never talk about the importance of forgiving ourselves or asking for forgiveness. I think it’s as important, or part of the same question, because asking for forgiveness means that you are able to acknowledge whatever happened, and that, also, you think

MP: Thank you for being an artist, and a sensitive female artist, that creates. I love the idea that we can only do what we do because we feel so much. We couldn’t do it the way we do it if we didn’t feel everything, if we didn’t think about it, if we weren’t soft with it.

MP: Yeah, I’m crying. The hope that you can forgive yourself and that the other person can forgive you. CL: Because that’s a real hope. That’s the real hope that we are looking for.

CL: And have the strength not to repress it, not to run away from it. MP: And believe me, I’d love to do that sometimes. But I don’t think it’s an option for people like us. CL: Because it’s not possible. There’s no way back.

THE ORIGIN SERIES: Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Interview: Robert Piper

Stand-up comedian and New York Times best-selling author of Life As I Blow It

Sarah Colonna On awkward gym habits, trying to stay healthy, and looking at the glass as half full

Robert Piper: What inspires you?


Sarah Colonna: Another woman’s really good body at the gym. I just follow them around and do the same exercises they do, until I can tell they’re uncomfortable and about to have me escorted out.

I try not to look at anything as a failure. Someone I know recently said to me, “every setback is a setup for a comeback,” and it resonated with me. So I try to keep that in mind—although admittedly at times it’s not easy to look at things that optimistically.

RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life?

RP: What projects are you currently working on?

SC: Probably moving to Los Angeles on my own at the age of 21, leaving all my friends and family behind in Arkansas. I’ve encountered many obstacles since then, but looking back I think that was the most difficult.

SC: My second book, Has Anyone Seen My Pants?, came out March 31! I’m working on an idea to develop that into a TV show as well as doing a new stand-up tour in a ton of cities.

RP: How do you stay healthy? SC: I don’t. OK—I try, but it’s hard. Spin classes are what I usually turn to, to get my mind and body back in the right place. RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? SC: Wait—did you just call me a failure? Rude.

Sarah Colonna is about to start a national comedy tour in support of her new book, Has Anyone Seen My Pants?, out March 31, a follow-up to her New York Times best-seller, Life As I Blow It. Sarah is well known as a regular on the hit late-night show Chelsea Lately, on which she also served as a full-time writer and producer. She can soon be seen on Vince Gilligan’s CBS comedy, Battle Creek.


O u r Gir l Cr u s h and Aloft Actor

Mélanie Laurent T h e Fr e n c h Sta r o n P rot e c ti n g t h e P l a n e t, H a n d l i n g Emotio n a l Pa i n , a n d h e r Bi g g e s t L e s s o n s o Fa r

Interview Maranda Pleasant

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Mélanie Laurent: The pleasure of being with people makes me come alive and inspires me. The pleasure to meet people and share with them. The love that we give and love that we receive inspires me.

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life?

MP: Did the theme of strong women and spirituality represent anything for you?

ML: To see poverty in India and to discover people who have nothing and who share this message.

ML: I always found esotericism, magic, and beliefs fascinating, but I never believed in it. But still I think we don’t use a thousandth of our brain capacity, and it can do “magical” things like healing.

ML: Inhumanity and hatred. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? ML: It’s for our common good that we protect the planet for us and for our children. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? ML: With difficulty. I would have loved to have more distance, but it’s not always easy. It’s something I have to work on.

ML: I am careful about what I eat, but no special routine.

MP: What truth do you know for sure? ML: Loving your child a lot, so that he can be confident. MP: Tell me about your film with Claudia, Aloft. What did it represent for you? ML: It was one of my best meetings with a director and one of my best shootings. It’s an experience I will never forget and to shoot with a director we admire so much is a chance opportunity.

MP: Why did you choose to do the film? ML: For two reasons; I saw Claudia’s last movie and was impressed by her talent, and I loved the script so much. Already well known for her screen work in her native France, Mélanie Laurent came to the attention of the world film community in 2009 through her portrayal of Shosanna Dreyfus in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. We love her, and she’s been nominated for tons of major awards.


T h e l o v e t h at w e g i v e a n d l o v e t h at w e r e c e i v e i n s pir e s m e .


Mélanie Laurent

Bu t s ti l l I t h i n k w e d o n ’ t u s e a t h o u s a n d t h o f o u r b r a i n c a pac it y, a n d it c a n d o ‘ m ag i c a l’ things like healing.


PHOTO: Sergi Pons

THE ORIGIN SERIES: Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Maria Bello

Actor, activist, and author of Whatever . . . Love is Love: Questioning The Labels We Give Ourselves

On being a soccer mom, scrapbooking, and taking on life’s challenges Interview: Robert Piper

Robert Piper: What inspires you? Maria Bello: Watching my son growing and shifting into a good man and doing what he loves most­—playing soccer. Yes, I am officially a soccer mom! Also traveling and meeting people all around the world who are putting themselves on the line for human rights, whether that is for women, the LGBT community, or any other people who are held back from living a free life. RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? MB: Scrapbooking. I’ve never been one to turn my son’s videos and photos into these beautiful scrapbooks or memorable videos that my friends make. I finally found a website called UrLife Media. Now I can at least look forward to showing a few cool videos and slideshows at his wedding. RP: How do you stay healthy? MB: I believe that the best thing I can do is to allow myself everything I love in moderation. Whether that’s a piece of cake, a glass of wine, or a green juice. Also, most importantly, keeping a connection with my higher power every day. RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? MB: First I lie in bed for twenty-four hours straight, crying, with a blanket over my head. Then I get up and remember to be grateful for all the beauty in my life. Have a good laugh at myself. Then keep walking. It always turns out that “perceived” failure, in retrospect was one of the greatest moments to shift me to a more fulfilling path. So now I say to challenges, “Bring it on!” RP: What projects are you currently working on? MB: I’m happy to say that one of my dreams since I was a kid, writing a book, has now become a reality. My new book, Whatever . . . Love is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves, came out on April 28. It’s about the labels we use to define ourselves and others and whether those labels hold us down or set us free. I’m incredibly grateful that I get to share this gift with the world. Maria Bello is an actor, activist, and author of the new book Whatever . . . Love Is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves. Her past work includes Prisoners, ER, and Coyote Ugly.

“It always turns out that ‘perceived’ failure, in retrospect, was one of the greatest moments to shift me to a more fulfilling path. So now I say to challenges, ‘Bring It On!’


Aloft Actor

Cillian Murphy Schools our editor on not being trite and how actors shouldn’t get personal, and confirms that women are the superior sex Interview: Maranda Pleasant

Cillian Murphy: Hello. Maranda Pleasant: Where are you at the moment? CM: I’m in London. MP: Because our time is so short, I’m just going to jump right in. What are some of the things in your life that make you feel vulnerable? CM: Oh, God, that’s . . . . MP: Men love this one. CM: These are pretty heavy, heavy questions. MP: Oh, it’s all heavy. I only do heavy. CM: Oh, great. I think vulnerability is key


to being a performer. You need to reveal a vulnerable side of yourself when you’re performing so you have to be in touch with it. It’s a tricky profession, because you’re supposed to be the most confident and the most self-assured person, but deep inside you is lacking in something. I guess all performers are that way, you know? That sort of overarching self-confidence and insecurity. MP: I know this sounds a bit cheesy, but if you could say something and have everyone on the planet hear it, is there something in particular that you would say? CM: No, I don’t want to be reduced to a kind of catch phrase or sound bite. I don’t think that’s really me, or any person. I think we’re much more than that.

“I don’t want to be reduced to a kind of catch phrase or sound bite. I don’t think that’s really me, or any person. I think we’re much more than that.”


Cillian Murphy “It . . . confirm[ed] my earlier belief that women were the superior sex.” MP: What is something about you that most people wouldn’t know? CM: I’m quite happy when people don’t ask those questions. The thing is I think, the less you know about the actor . . . . MP: The better? CM: The more equipped the actor is to do his or her job. To me that always seems to be the case because it seems basic and logical to me that if you have a perspective or point of view on an actor and he or she performs in a film or on stage then you’re less likely to believe their interpretation as an actor. So I tend to keep the personal stuff to myself. That’s just the way I am, that’s just the way I work, and it’s essential to remain as private as possible when you’re a performer, just so that when you inhabit somebody, the sky is the limit really. MP: Was there something in you that really resonated with this part in Aloft? CM: No. There was nothing that I needed to sort of exorcise, or nothing from my personal life that connected to. MP: You weren’t abandoned as a child? [Laughs.] CM: No, happily not, but nevertheless I think the themes in it are kind of universal. That mother-and-son story is really strong to me and also that thing of trying to find identity.

I think the film talks a lot about identity and obviously we’re all trying to do it. But from a purely practical point of view, Claudia’s earlier film, The Milk of Sorrow, I watched that with my wife and both of us fell in love with the film. We thought it was a really unique and special piece of work. Then I met Claudia and, again, I thought she was a unique and special human being. Always when you do these little movies, you know they’re never going to be mainstream Cineplex releases, but at the same time they’ve got a huge amount of humanity and truth to them, so you go on an adventure and you go on a journey and I felt very safe in Claudia’s hands. She’s a real artist. MP: What was it like with these themes of strong women, nature and spirituality? CM: Well . . . MP: Maybe that’s too broad. CM: No, I mean, I guess I can talk about what drew me to the project and the process, or the experience of making it. I will say the making of it was a really, really rewarding creative time, and a lot of that is down to the way Claudia works and her trust in her actors. It was kind of loose and I really enjoy that. There was a lot of improvisation. There was a lot of kind of guerilla-style shooting, and even though she had a really strong vision in her mind all the time and a really strong script, she allowed us a lot of of freedom within those parameters. I love working that way. Yeah,

it was a really strong female environment; Claudia and Jennifer and Mélanie and there were a couple of female producers and a female first AD and I found that to be a wonderful environment and really ripe for creativity. For me the strongest themes were the sort of mother-and-son theme, certainly for my character, because I guess he’s such a skeptic. But skepticism should never be confused with cynicism, you know. MP: Is there any feeling that you left that film with that maybe was different when you started? CM: No. The only thing it did was for me was confirm my earlier belief that women were the superior sex. That certainly confirmed it, working in that environment, just in terms of managing people and managing emotions and managing everything, they’re just better at most things. I’ve always maintained that. I suppose it confirmed that supposition, really. MP: Wow, I think that just made the whole interview. Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. Do you have a website or do you mainly just stay off of that stuff? CM: No, I don’t really do the social media thing. MP: Well, that’s refreshing. CM: No worries, nice to talk to you.


THE ORIGIN SERIES: Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Selma actor

Lakeith Lee

Stanfield On equilibrium, anonymity, and obligation Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Lakeith Lee Stanfield: Life. Every aspect of it inspires me. The abounding energy and rush of it. The silence of meditation. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? LLS: Love. In all its beauty, it can be dangerous. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? LLS: “We on one trip and we’re all the same thang—hella tricky is the brain!” I saw it in my glass of champagne. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? LLS: I don’t try to handle it; I try to just let it out now and be aware of it. It’s a combination of logical thinking and, at times, nonsensical determination to meet equilibrium that keeps me going. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? LLS: Sometimes I don’t. There have been many times where I would have to stop and ask myself what I’m doing and who I’ve become as a result. Chaos seems to be the natural state of things in most environments. Instead of trying to control it, I’m always learning to ride the waves. It’s not always easy and doesn’t always pan out that way, though. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life?

Chaos seems to be the

natural state of things in most environments. Instead of trying to control it, I’m always learning to ride the waves.”

MP: What causes or organizations are you passionate about? LLS: The idea of Anonymous. It’s a hacktavist organization that, in theory, is a beautiful thing. An anonymous platform for those who don’t agree with injustices they witness to speak out, free of persecution. MP: Tell me about your mindfulness practice. What influence has it had on your life?

MP: What truth do you know for sure?

LLS: To sit in silence, for me, is to perceive things as they are, without thoughts blocking. This is fun but difficult to put in words. I tend to approach things in a more pure way after meditating.

LLS: The only time is now.

MP: What is love for you?

LLS: Everything is always moving and changing. It’s important to let go.

LLS: Life. Shout out, Zoë Soul. MP: What is the most important thing for us to do as beings? LLS: Be. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. LLS: Selma. All should go see it for themselves because it is so powerful, I think that it’s better than me talking about it. MP: Why is it important to you? LLS: It hits a nerve with me in relation to sacrifice and truth. We have an obligation I feel to be true to ourselves.


Top Creatives

+ Leaders

Changing the World [

What Inspires You?


We Ask These Artists and Change Makers about What Truly Inspires Them



T O P C R E AT I V E S + L E A D E R S


Jas o n S ilva Badass New York, New York

Emmy-nominated host of National Geographic Channel’s hit TV series Brain Games. Creator of Discovery Digital Network’s original series Shots of Awe.


I am inspired by the human capacity to overcome limitations. I am inspired by our capacity to extend our cognitive arsenal through the use of exponentially emerging technologies. “iPhone, therefore I am,” someone once said. I am inspired by cinema, storytelling, virtual reality, and our capacity for empathy. Beautiful music and beautiful dreams. I am inspired by outer space and I am inspired by inner space. Photo: National Geographic Channel

R a i n P h o e ni x Artist. Activist. Director, Elysium Sessions, The Art of Elysium Singer/songwriter, Venus and the Moon

Through Elysium Sessions, she brings musical artists together with medically fragile youth and the elderly to create opportunities for expression and human connection. I am inspired by people who are kind, who aim to be a positive force. I am inspired by people who think of others first, whose compassion outshines their desire to even be known for their selfless actions.

Lucy Wal k e r Filmmaker Venice, California

Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning director of Waste Land, The Crash Reel, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, and The Lion’s Mouth Opens. I’m curious about everything, from the latest research on creativity and consciousness to the most delicious food-fermentation techniques. Luckily for me, my work brings me into constant contact with all kinds of fascinating subjects, from Amish teenagers on rumspringa to blind Tibetan students to a professional snowboarder with a confusing brain injury. Personally, I’m particularly inspired by people who dig deep and find grace and courage when confronted with adversity. Photo: Charley Gallay

I am inspired by artists who have come before and changed something for the better, who have used their creative gifts to bring joy, love, acceptance, and beauty into the world.


R i ck e y Smi th Founder/Principal, Urban Green Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA

Social entrepreneur who builds Cradle-to-Cradle inspired food systems, regenerating waste into groundbreaking urban farms and cuisine. The power of “I don’t know” is personally exhilarating. It frees me from the shackles of my ego’s desire for quick answers or half-truths, and lights my path to curious discovery. Admitting so generates untapped possibilities for solutions to the day-to-day problems I face and opens up infinite creative space for the exploration of long-term solutions to localized urban agriculture. “I don’t know” inspires me to find out how. Photo: Joel Marasigan

A l e xa ndra G ra n t Artist and Director, the grantLOVE project Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA

“Personally, I’m particularly inspired by people who dig deep and find grace and courage when confronted with adversity.” —Lucy Walker

Uses language and exchanges with writers as the basis for her work in painting, drawing, and sculpture. Collaborating gives shape to my projects inside and out of the studio. Each collaboration is an exchange of generosity and creativity. I’m also interested in creating more opportunities for others to make and exhibit art. My grantLOVE project raises money in support of arts’ nonprofits and education through the sales of my LOVE symbol jewelry and prints. Photo: Sharon Suh


Top Creatives + Leaders Changing the World

What Inspires You?



D P ro s p e r A&R + Marketing, Wave Theory/ Sony Music Brooklyn, New York

A talented poet, artist, and visionary who has a profound passion for the arts, creating transmedia projects which integrate education, technology, and culture.

DP Bridget Hilton Founder, LSTN Sound Co. Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA

Founder of LSTN, a high-end headphone company that uses profits to donate to Starkey Hearing Foundation. Changing lives through the power of music inspires me. At LSTN, when we get to play music for people for the very first time, it’s an incredible feeling. Music has been the biggest part of my life and I love sharing it with others. I couldn’t imagine a world without sound.

BH Photo: Gregory Brouillette

Inspired by word, sound, and power. I am passionate about music and art that can boost your spirit and be a key conduit to uplift people to higher vibrations. My creativity comes from my heart chakra. I find when I love something, I will always focus, roll up my sleeves, and spend endless hours working on a project or perfecting the creation at hand, till it feels just right at 532 Hz!

E l iana Álvar e z M art ín e z Documentary Filmmaker/ Cinematographer New York, New York

An award-winning documentary filmmaker, focused on conservation and ocean themes, currently directing Spirit of Discovery. My inspiration comes from traveling the world capturing stories. There is something about being behind the camera that makes you deeply connect to your subjects even when you don’t speak the same language. You can understand and feel their happiness or struggles as if they were your own. It’s all about seeing life through a different lens. Photo: Brian Dilg

S a ndy A l e xa ndre Associate Professor of Literature, MIT Cambridge, Massachusetts

Being Brooklyn-born-and-raised has shaped who I am today: worldly-wise. And it still informs how I carry myself: with verve. Whether it’s conveyed in the words of a written text, the colors in a painting, the textures in a fabric, the presentation of a good meal, or the repertoire of our human gestures, eloquence in communication, along with the conditions that enable it, inspires me. I’m motivated and feel most soulful when I find myself tickled by how the language of people and inanimate things transmits itself specifically to me.

Raan Parto n

Owner/Creative Director, Apolis Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA

What inspires me is people. It’s people that are the thinkers, creators, and proponents of change. I have the unique opportunity to visit cultures all around the world and to see people’s capacity for creativity, and it is truly inspiring. I think there is a misconception that the world is full of differences, but in my experience there are way more similarities globally than we often choose to accept.

“It’s people that are the thinkers, creators, and proponents of change.” Photo: Augusto Piccoio IV

—Raan Parton

Oversees all branding and creative strategy for Apolis.


T O P C R E AT I V E S + L E A D E R S

R i k a I i no

“What inspires me is the fact that we are given a beautiful planet and a host of tools to make our collective and individual lives better every day, one of those tools being the arts.”

Founder/President, Sozo Artists, Inc. New York, New York

Founded an international performing arts agency representing artists with global impact. What inspires me is the fact that we are given a beautiful planet and a host of tools to make our collective and individual lives better every day, one of those tools being the arts. I am inspired by artists that are questioning and reaffirming all there is to question and affirm about our lives today, and engaging in conversations with the public in ways that are inclusive, intentional, and impactful.

—Rika Iino Photo: John Smock

D e e m a Tam i m i


Head of Product Marketing, Flipboard Palo Alto, California

A creative marketer who’s worked for YouTube, Xbox, and now Flipboard. She’s also involved with TechWomen.


I’m inspired by dreamers and doers, the people who believe in making the impossible possible. One of the reasons that I love working in tech is that the culture celebrates thinking big, having an impact, and delivering on those outlandish ideas. Technology, paired with good design and creativity, can shine a light on what’s happening in the world around us and help solve some of the world’s biggest problems.

M o Cl a ncy Founder, Seed + Salt San Francisco, CALIFORNIA

Owner of Seed + Salt in San Francisco, an organic, clean-food restaurant emphasizing sustainable eating. She is working on documentary about asteroids with directors Donnie Eichar and Julie Drazen.

Audrey Bu c h anan Creative Producer, NPR Generation Listen and Kiss the Ground

A passion for creative storytelling spans from the stage, to film, to the radio waves. Inspirations: Gary Snyder. Jack Kerouac. Joni Mitchell. Nancy Conrad. A day in their shoes. A day on their page. The writers and the wanderers are the ones for me. I’m inspired by the people that find divine calling on a hike or in the mountains. I’m inspired by those that are bold enough to believe that diversity drives innovation. Photo: Sequoia Ziff

Inspiration: Things that haven’t been done before. But even more importantly, the brave souls fearless enough to do them. Not everyone has the guts to create something entirely new. Most of the time they have been told it won’t work or they are crazy, but they keep going because they want the world to be different, to be better. Photo: Maria del Rio


Amy R a a sc h Songwriter, Performing Musician, Actor Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA

Kitty Decides, a web installation to benefit animal rescue, and multimedia project Girls Get Cold will be released in 2015. Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the ways its animals are treated.” As an adoptee, I’ve always had a soft spot for homeless animals. Working with local rescue organizations showed me the Herculean amount of love and action required to save lives, and inspired my vision to install a button next to every online animal video that would allow viewers to donate to rescue efforts in one click.


Top Creatives + Leaders Changing the World

What Inspires You?


Alex Elias

“I’m inspired by adventures, movement, and partners in crime.”

Founder, Qloo New York, New York

Entrepreneur, artist, and jazz musician. Founded Qloo to map the taste genome across culture and entertainment. Jazz inspires me. It’s the essence of life distilled down to an art. Life is unpredictable, as is technology. Jazz addresses that with syncopation and improvisation. It flexes that part of my mind that deals with responding to new circumstances, moment by moment, bar by bar. Jazz to me is about seeking answers, not necessarily having them. It empowers me to be at ease with restlessness.

—Courtney Boyd Myers, Photo: Coby Santos

G h is l ain e M ax w e l l


Founder and President, The TerraMar Project New York, New York

Licensed helicopter pilot. Certified EMT. DeepWorker Submersible Pilot.


I have loved the sea for as long as I can remember. I grew up watching Jacques Cousteau on TV, mesmerized by the sea creatures, his French accent, and adventurous tales of the deep. I began diving when I was nine, and spent much of my adult life exploring and experiencing their demise firsthand. It’s this love for the sea that has led me to endeavor to protect them. Photo: The TerraMar Project

Co urt ne y B oy d M y e rs Curator at Summit Series Eden, Utah

Curator for Summit Series, a global community of game changers striving to make the world a better place.

K e v in Pear c e Founder, Love Your Brain

I was the youngest of four active healthy boys. Because of this I was always driven, hard working, and dedicated to everything I did. I have done everything 100 percent in this life, including my continued recovery from this traumatic brain injury. Loving my brain by living the healthiest, happiest, most present life possible inspires me. Whether it’s practicing yoga daily, getting ample rest and relaxing my mind, or living in the present moment, anything and everything I can [do] to be as healthy as possible inspires me the most and is where I find myself happiest. Knowing that with the right mind-set and attitude you can accomplish and overcome anything inspires me.


I’m inspired by meeting new people in new places; by words that have stories, images that have emotions, places that have mountains or beaches or wild jungles; and people who have dreams. I’m inspired by adventures, movement, and partners in crime. Yet what is perhaps most inspiring is for all of these elements to dance at once, and to call upon yourself to be completely present in the moment. Photo: Dan Taylor


L i z G a rbu s Director/Producer, Moxie Firecracker Films Brooklyn, New York

Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker, and cofounder of Moxie Firecracker Films. My children. Every day. Their innate curiosity. Their innate, inborn commitment to justice and kindness. Their desire to understand otherness. Other filmmakers. This community of dedicated listeners, storytellers, truth seekers. The audience. People who come up to me at a film festival, or find me on Twitter after a TV broadcast, and tell me what moved them, what angered them, what touched them, and what (maybe, hopefully) changed in them. Photo: Rommel Demano

T O P C R E AT I V E S + L E A D E R S


Ama nda Sl av i n CEO/Founder,CatalystCreativ Las Vegas, Nevada

Founder of CatalystCreativ, an experience studio helping cities/brands/movements flourish through educational/inspirational experiences aimed at making the world a better place.


Aman da S ter n Author/Founder, The Happy Ending Music and Reading Series

I am inspired by my team. This group of people, who happen to all be Millennials, work so extremely hard and put themselves so fervently into every client we work with. They believe in the larger mission of creating more active participants in making the world a better place.

New York, New York

I’m regularly inspired by generative conversations, and I’m sustained by any experience that fosters cointelligence. There’s nothing more empowering than being excited by innovative ideas, but I feel most worthwhile when something I’ve created is generative for other people. I was raised in Greenwich Village, in a development enclave surrounding a communal garden, and I’ve spent my life in search of the spirit of collaboration in which I was raised. Photo: Jon Pack


Du Yun Composer. Performer. Artistic Director, MATA Festival in New York City

I am interested in being a social activist through arts. I am dreaming of the day when the so-called outliers are treated as the norm, the unthinkable the status quo. When one is known as this cutting edge artist all the time, it’s no longer cutting-edge. The avant-garde artists need to be challenged as well, and I am searching for the freedom and the integrity to advocate that. Photo: Brie Abbe

J ohn S. Jo h n s o n

J o ë l l e A z o ul ay Creative Officer, WaterAid New York, New York

A global citizen, social-good polyglot hooked on creating change through design. My biggest source of inspiration comes from the most marginalized people in the world. At WaterAid I see photos and hear stories of people who don’t have access to safe water or toilets, but are driven to break the cycle of poverty. I’m grateful to be able to provide a platform for their voices and shine a light on issues that are distant to us physically and conceptually. Photo: Arthur Kremer


Cofounder of Buzzfeed, he became obsessed with understanding media’s impact on individuals, issues, and society. At heart, I’m a creative and a storyteller, but I’ve been really immersed in and inspired by science and data. We’re at an exciting moment where we can utilize computation to understand big patterns in how art and media impact us. At Harmony Institute, we’re harnessing insights from social science and data science to help media makers and issue advocates win hearts and minds in a media-saturated culture. Photo: Jonathan Gati

“I am dreaming of the day when the so-called outliers are treated as the norm, the unthinkable the status quo.” —Du Yun


Top Creatives + Leaders Changing the World

What Inspires You?



Ju d it h C l e g g Founder and CEO, Takeout Founder, LiveKind New York and London

Her innovation agency helps some of the world’s best known companies grow profits. Angel investor.


I’m inspired by people who push themselves to deliver to highest standards of innovation while also operating with ethical and compassionate principles. Kindness and fairness in business are surely things that we should all be aspiring to. Photo: Carl Timpole

M o M ul l e n Director, Business Development, West Elm LOCAL Brooklyn, NEW YORK

Built West Elm’s pioneering LOCAL initiative, partnering with creative entrepreneurs to help tell their stories and grow their businesses.

Calla Ro s e Ost r an d e r Director of Climate Initiatives, Rathmann Family Foundation Bay Area, California

Dedicates her education, work, and way of living to furthering healthy relationships between people and place. I am inspired by the way nature works. Contrary to the old belief of survival of the fittest, nature is inherently abundant, self-generating, and beautiful. Its resilience, synergistic functions, and cooperative evolutionary capacities are incredible! I think people function in the same ways when our basic needs are met and we feel safe to express and share what matters to us. I endeavor to bring the creativity of nature’s design to our human systems of governance, education, and communication.

I’m continually inspired by the amazing community of makers and designers whose work we support: 350 and counting! Though these businesses range in size from moonlighting makers to nationally known brands, it’s their ingenuity, commitment to high-quality design, and shared desire to have a positive impact on their local community that connects them. It’s a privilege to tell their stories through the West Elm LOCAL platform. Photo: Rob Gullixson


Y ul i a L a ri c h e va Creative Director/Product Manager + Fund Dreamer LoS Angeles/New York

Cofounder/Product Manager of Fund Dreamer, a global crowdfunding platform focused on social good, that promotes women/diversity. I grew up in Moscow and moved to the US at the age of 10. As an immigrant, I am inspired by dreams. My mantra is “show me, don’t tell me.” Action inspires me, it turns dreams into tangible reality. Currently, Los Angeles is inspiring. It’s 10 years ahead of NYC. Super progressive in regards to health, organic/vegan food, startups, and the women (in tech) movement. It’s hyperconscious. Photo: Jed Abbi

K ri s t i n R e c hb e r g er CEO, Dynamic Planet

“Action inspires me, it turns dreams into tangible reality.” —Yulia Laricheva


Washington, D.C.

Leader in working with businesses to restore nature. What inspires me most is when people are conscious of their environment, their personal environment: what they choose to buy and use based on their ability to see where a product comes from (for their use) and where it goes (after their use). Those people who have a long view of their personal consumption will drive their communities, governments, and industry towards long-term sustainable use of our planet. Photo: Christine Guinness

T O P C R E AT I V E S + L E A D E R S


“And we know that anything humanity dreams that it can do will eventually transpire with effort and sacrifice.” —Ben Lee

Ben Lee Cor alie Char r iol Paul President/Co-Founder, REACT to FILM VP/Creative Director, Charriol New York, New York

I love to surf, wear vintage jewelry, especially with huge stones, drive fast cars, watch great docs of personal triumphs and trials that make me cry, meet creative people with big visions, take photos of beautiful things, sell watches off my wrist, read about the mystery of the Egyptian pyramids, and dance to loud music.

Writing and recording music for over 20 years, originally discovered by Sonic Youth and the Beastie Boys, he is now preparing the release of his tenth album, Love is the Great Rebellion. I am inspired by the possibility of a golden future. All great poets, artists, and philosophers have always had this hope, and it has gone under many names. I see this possibility as the great promise of the human imagination. And we know that anything humanity dreams that it can do will eventually transpire with effort and sacrifice. I see this golden future as not just a possibility, but an inevitability.


A a ro n Abl e m a n CoFounder, BALANCE, Inc. Oakland, California

A widely-celebrated author, artist, and entertainer. A founder of Pacha’s Pajamas, Imagination Heals, and Balance, Inc. I am inspired by love, imagination, and nature. When I cultivate a seed in the garden, sing a song to the stars, or simply close my eyes and feel my breath, I discover the answer to any problem, no matter how big or small. It is these inspirational reminders that keep me healthy and creative in the midst of the struggles of the world.

L aura Ba i ly n Founder, Kidfund

Heather Raffo

New York, New York

Writer, actor and global witness

Entrepreneur, attorney, and mother committed to helping bring about a secure economic future for all children.

Brooklyn, New York

Through the arts she explores the repercussions of violence in her father’s homeland of Iraq and in her homeland, America. As a child I loved sleeping on my grandmother’s roof in Baghdad. I’ve spent every decade of my life since bridging Iraq and America, transforming unfathomable conversations into art.


I find nothing more sacred than hearing someone tell their story. Personal stories are our cultural memory and the way we explore our interconnectedness. I am most inspired by simply listening and bearing witness to the magical and the unspeakable. Photo: Irene Young


I’m inspired by people who are able to be true to themselves and find their path in life, whatever that may be. We see examples of this in every community, yet we can’t deny the impact the economy has on people’s ability to realize their dreams. I founded Kidfund to help empower children, regardless of circumstances, to fulfill their potential. Photo: Kira Wizner


Top Creatives + Leaders Changing the World

What Inspires You?


Co re y R e nne l l CEO, CORE Foods

“We live here in this form for such a tiny moment and everything we create is ephemeral.”

Oakland, California

Cultivates a healthier planet by empowering people with nourishing food and honest resources through his not-for-profit business model. Nothing inspires me more than the scale of the universe. I love feeling small, time seeming meaningless. The Hubble Deep Field hangs in my living room, every point of light a galaxy with hundreds of millions of stars. We live here in this form for such a tiny moment and everything we create is ephemeral. How best can I honor the miraculous gift of this breath in everything I do?

—Corey Rennell

M ir u Kim Photo: Sasha Mercedes



Oakland, California


Essentially, my work reflects my total being. I am as full of contradictions as my photographs. Whenever I embark on a project, it entirely consumes my life at the moment. I cannot separate art from life. Most recently, I worked on a photo series with camels in different deserts. Then, of course, I ended up living alone in the Arabian desert for two years, creating more idiosyncrasies, which can be read about on

Anjali J. Forber-Pratt, Ph.D. U.S. Paralympian. Assistant Research Professor, University of Kansas Lawrence, Kansas

She is a Paralympic medalist, an emerging scholar, activist, and public speaker with motto of “Dream. Drive. Do.”

Rosema ry P r it zk e r Photographer, Rose’s Lens New York, New York

Certified Martha Beck Life Coach, photographer, and cofounder of The BULLY Project and Local Voices. A heart, heart, I always come back to the heart. This allows me to use my imagination to solve insurmountable problems far more effectively than any other way. Choosing to be fully alive, choosing things like beauty, vulnerability, and whatever feeds my soul is not an easy choice. Millions of things threaten it every day, so I have to come back to it.


Inspiration is a funny word, one that I have loathed the majority of my life. I didn’t want to be “just another inspiration story” because of my disability. Inspiration means you are deeply moved by a person’s actions, or their story, perhaps to even change something about yourself, your actions, or your path in life. I am most inspired working with kids who struggle to succeed because of some difference.

J o s h T i ckel l Film Director and Generation Y Specialist Ojai, California

Sundance award-winning film director, who specializes in working with members of Generation Y. I am very inspired by the possibility of young people embracing their power to make the world a radically better place. Never has the world faced such massive challenges and never has one generation had such vast tools and vision for the future. This is the most connected, largest young generation in history and I truly believe now is their time to take charge of the destiny of our species. Photo: Nathalie Raijmakers

T O P C R E AT I V E S + L E A D E R S


Je n n if e r S h ar pe Documentary Filmmaker, TRACEABLE Brooklyn, New York

A filmmaker who sheds light on our

shared human experiences and creates content with purpose and meaningful dialogue.


Noticing the trend in labeling clothing as “sustainable” while witnessing a departure of manufacturing and production in the apparel industry in North America, as a consumer, I wanted to understand more about where the clothing I was buying came from, and the people and communities being impacted in making it. I believe connecting consumers to where a product comes from will effect change for those within the supply chain.

Megan Risdon EcoChic Lifestyles Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA

Her company brings the spirit of renewal and grace to all its customers. On a tsunami-flattened island in Southeast Asia, families picked through the rubble to salvage beloved fishing boats to make warm, living art from the wood of destroyed fishing boats. I’m driven by my desire to bring that same sense of renewal and forward motion to folks who live half a world away. And I love to show people that great design can be sustainable, modern, upscale, and beautiful.

Ava sa a n d Mat t h e w L ove Married Devotional Singer-Songwriter Musicians Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA

Committed to serving humanity through music that reminds us to return to our hearts. We’ve been in an intensive process over the past five years of investigating, uncovering, and seeking the source of our Life. Through our research we have found it to be Great Spirit, specifically Spirit within our heart. In our experience, our Being is what brings us peace, hope, serenity, clarity, love, and the Infinite. It truly doesn’t matter what we are doing, we could be cleaning dishes, inspiration comes when we are remembering our Source. Photo: Michael Maples


D r. R o b e rt A l e xa nd er NASA JPFP Fellow. Design Science Ph.D. Sonification Specialist. Researcher. Composer

My job description is one that you’ll never find online. I “audify” satellite data and work alongside physicists to detect new patterns in the sounds of solar activity. As a multimedia artist and audification specialist, my creative wellspring is nurtured by the desire to explore the complexities of the world that we inhabit, and I’m overflowing in the moments when this exploration fuels scientific innovation. I’m passionate about building bridges to enable others to engage in this kind of work.

M i c h e l l e A l d redg e Founder, Harrisville, New Hampshire

A writer, publisher, and founder of For 13 years she worked at the MacDowell Colony, America’s oldest artist residency.

“It truly doesn’t matter what we are doing, we could be cleaning dishes, inspiration comes when we are remembering our Source.” —Avasa and Matthew Love

My passion is contemporary art and my mission is to help artists, creating refreshing, authentic space in an art world that can be both cynical and insular. As Theodore Roethke wrote, “Art is the means we have of undoing the damage of haste. It’s what everything else isn’t.”


Top Creatives + Leaders Changing the World

What Inspires You?


H e at h e r Box Cofounder/CEO, The Million Person Project San Francisco, CALIFORNIA

A writer and trainer who supports change makers around the world to share their personal stories and deep truths. Storytelling. I believe the greatest act of humanity you can take is sharing your authentic story and allowing yourself to be known. Your truth will set us free.

D ian n e G ray CEO, Hospice and Healthcare Communications

Rob K r ame r Chief Product Officer/ CoFounder, Santa Monica, California

Tech entrepreneur. Water crisis problem solver. Yogi. Meditator. Driven by curiosity, love of family, and transcending limiting thoughts. Creating something from nothing inspires me. I love shaping ideas into tangible form like mobile apps that engender new behavior, businesses rarely tried, or water projects that deliver safe water to people in need. Yoga inspires me to stretch my body beyond its limits. Meditation inspires me to transcend thoughts beyond their illusory state. And my family and community inspire me to be a more conscious human being.


When you share your story of what makes you who you are, from the good to scary to unthinkable, you immediately give someone else permission to be their whole self. Through stories we can feel the common ground we are standing on. Photo: Fenton Lutunatabua

President, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation Naples, Florida/ Malibu, California

Award-winning writer, speaker, film producer, and global advocate for an improved end-of-life care experience for patients and families. In 2005, my 14-old-son Austin died following a ten-year journey with a rare neurological disorder. Instead of feeling crumbled by emotional pain, I find myself inspired daily by people I meet throughout the world. Their acts of compassion and perseverance light the way. We can emerge gentler and energized thanks to our grief, acting as catalysts for change, ready to leave the world a better place, thankful for our own hardship. Photo: Ken Ross Photography

Suza n n e N o ss e l Executive Director, PEN American Center


Accomplished healthcare professional with over 30 years as a practicing prosthetist, visionary researcher, and skilled educator. My patients inspire me. I oftentimes have the honor of seeing them enter Hanger Clinic in a wheelchair and literally walk out on their prosthetic limbs the same day; it’s incredible! I am fortunate to work with people who have overcome adversity, such as losing all four limbs, and then go on to conquer the world. I even have the opportunity to work with a famous amputee dolphin named Winter. Photo: Hanger Clinic

New York, New York

Directs the free expression organization, PEN America. Former COO of Human Rights Watch and a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. I am inspired by people who get big things done: change societies, solve problems, and build things that last. I have just returned from South Africa, and hearing the stories of freedom fighters who mobilized the world behind their cause, never wavered over decades in prison, and, once free, rained their energies not on revenge but on building a free and equal society is enough to inspire anyone. Photo: Jenny Gorman


“I believe the greatest act of humanity you can take is sharing your authentic story and allowing yourself to be known.” —Heather Box

T O P C R E AT I V E S + L E A D E R S

Je an C o o k Director, Programs, Future of Music Coalition Brooklyn, New York

Musician, organizer, data and policy geek. Singer for Beauty Pill. I spend a lot of time talking and thinking about what the landscape for music might look like in 15 years, and how to make the world a better place for artists. I’m inspired by people I meet who observe a bad situation and then are able to make a difference by effectively addressing the really complicated issues at the root of the problem. That’s really hard to do! Photo: Stefano Giovannini

R amez Naam


Seattle, Washington


I’m a total inspiration junkie. I look for it, and find it, everywhere! These days I’m obsessed with interviews with artists and thinkers that I admire. I can get sucked into YouTube or the pages of old Paris Review issues for hours. Hearing or reading the likes of Toni Morrison, Anaïs Nin, Anne Lamott, and others explain their life’s purpose always inspires me to be more deliberate about my own.

Writes novels about a drug/technology that connects our minds, and people fighting to keep it free.

Deputy Editor, Upworthy

A speaker, writer, and media maker focused on sharing the stories, truths, and lessons that can change the world.

Author, the NEXUS books

I’m inspired by people using technology to push for more freedom, more equality, and more transparency. From the students who catalyzed the Arab Spring to #BlackLivesMatter, from the Hong Kong protesters to young people in Africa using cell phones to record and expose corruption, I’m inspired by the everyday freedom fighters who are turning phones, Facebook, and Twitter into tools of justice and democracy and decency. I want even more.

E ri ca W i l l i a ms S i m o n


“That feeling of looking out into the ocean or the endless evening sky and knowing that there is a grand creative force at play—that inspires me more than anything.” —Radha Divine

Ra dha Div in e Musician, Jaguar Spy Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA

That feeling of looking out into the ocean or the endless evening sky and knowing that there is a grand creative force at play­—that inspires me more than anything. I desire to mimic nature’s splendor in my own daily life. I am deeply inspired by the journey of love and the experience of music. I believe that love seeds all things and through every action I hope to inspire others. Jaguar Spy is my cocreative expression of passion and devotion in the form of music to inspire listeners to journey into an array of feelings and emotions.


Her new album, Rebel Heart, is out now. Her world tour kicks off on August 29 in Miami, Florida.

MADONNA Her Rebel Heart

ON Marriage, Being Bold, Doing it Differently, and


Ruling the World


On Parenting: I feel a great sense of responsibility being a good parent and raising my children. I don’t take that job very lightly. Who they are, what they become and what they contribute to the world is very important to me. On Marriage: I think that everyone should get married at least once, so you can see what a silly, outdated institution it is. On Family Life: I love being a mother. My children fill me up in many ways, and inspire me in many ways, but I need a partner in my life, and I think most people feel that way. On her Childhood: I always felt like I was a freak when I was growing up and that there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t fit in anywhere. ON Goals: I have the same goal I’ve had ever since I was a girl: I want to rule the world.


On Consciousness: I believe that we are at a very low level of consciousness, and we do not know how to treat each other as human beings. We are caught up in our own lives, our own needs, our own ego gratification. I feel a strong sense of responsibility in delivering that message.

On Doing it Differently: I’ve never really lived a conventional life, so I think it’s quite foolish for me or anyone else to start thinking that I am going to start making conventional choices. Life Motto: Be strong, believe in freedom and in God, love yourself, understand your sexuality, have a sense of humor, masturbate, don’t judge people by their religion, color or sexual habits, love life and your family.

On Life Decisions: I am the result of the good choices I’ve made and the bad choices. On Social Norms: I’ve always been acutely aware of differences and the way you are supposed to act if you want to be popular. On Being Bold: I think the biggest reason I was able to express myself and not be intimidated was by not having a mother. For example, mothers teach you manners. And I absolutely did not learn any of those rules and regulations. On Creativity: I’m encouraging other people, whether they’re professionals or not, to use their creativity to express themselves, to get a conversation going, to get the party started, really.



THE ORIGIN SERIES: Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Interview: Maranda Pleasant

Mat Kearney Singer-Songwriter

On good and bad vulnerability, a tip for claiming your luggage, and being consumed by creativity

Mat Kearney: Redemption, creating, and my friends. My community brings me to life.

There is room for everyone to win. Life is full of more joy when you are rooting for the people around you.

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you?

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? MK: Vulnerable in a bad way—comparing myself to other people. Playing the comparison game. Vulnerable in a good way—trust and honesty. The best songs come from a vulnerable place because only you could write them. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? MK: “God is love.” As well as, “Back up when you’re waiting for your bags at the airport.” If everyone took a step back, we could all see our bags coming. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? MK: I’m pretty bad at this. I tend to get consumed when I’m in a creative head space. I’ll be in the studio producing a song and realize I haven’t eaten all day or called my wife and have had four cups of coffee. MATKEARNEY.COM

MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? MK: There is room for everyone to win. Life is full of more joy when you are rooting for the people around you. MP: What truth do you know for sure? MK: Love casts out all fear. MP: What causes or organizations are you passionate about? MK: Mentorship programs. I think I’m a big middle schooler at heart. Kids need someone to look up to who is rooting for them. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. MK: My new record, Just Kids, is a love letter to growing up in Oregon. I kept asking myself

what would it sound like if Paul Simon made a record with Kanye West. I have always played with different genres, and I think Just Kids is my best effort so far. MP: What is love for you? MK: Love is the beautiful, humbling, and difficult choice to give your life to another person. Nothing is scarier or more rewarding. MP: What is the most important thing for us to do as beings? MK: Love God and love people around us. Basically, if we treated people the way we want to be treated, the whole world would be fixed. Mat Kearney grew up in Eugene, Oregon, the middle of three boys. His foray into music began in college when he would steal his roommate’s guitar to write songs. His latest record is Just Kids. PHOTOS: MARC CARTWRIGHT ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 53

Interview: Maranda Pleasant

M u s i c i a n , H u m a n i ta r i a n , L e g e n d.



On Therapy, Shortcomings, Being Fed by Nature, Finding Your Own Voice, and The Toolbox Revolutionizing Social Good and Connectivity Globally

Maranda Pleasant: Peter! You’re calling me three hours early!

than I am, from all sorts of different fields, and dream about what we could do.

that sort of stuff that still needs to be filled sometimes.

Peter Gabriel: I left you three voicemails.

Family would be right up there, my wife and kids and our grandkids.

MP: I love how you put that, “A hole’s been dug for that.”

Science—my dad was an inventor, so new technology has always been a buzz. Part of my job is to bring in new technology and new ideas, or just see if I can be part of a process that helps accelerate its adoption in a useful way.

PG: Well, because it’s sort of—once you sense the space there, you know it’s there, but you don’t always . . . I mean, my dad used to do yoga for maybe 50, 60 years. He lived to 100. He used to help fund yoga and aging experiments and he was very disciplined in a way that I’m not.

MP: It was a French number and I thought you were one of my ex-French lovers. I let that go to voicemail. [Laughter.] MP: What inspires you, Peter? PG: Music. It plugs directly into the nervous system, so when it’s going well, it’s fantastic. Also, when you’re communicating with other people through music, it’s great. But like with any relationship, it has its off moments, as well, and I think like relationships there’s no neutral—you’re either going forward or you’re going back. Other than that, brainstorming brings me to life. I’m very lucky now, I think, that I get to hang out with a lot of people that are smarter 54 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

And I love good food, good friends, a bottle of wine, and nature. Although I now live in the city, I really get fed by the world outside of the city, the world that wasn’t created by man, so I’m interested in nonhuman intelligence as well. Though I’m probably more of an atheist as I get older, I still think I’m very interested in the intersection of science and the spiritual world and the brain. Although I don’t meditate weekly, and with my last kid I stopped taking yoga, there was a hole dug for

MP: I love you. Agh! I’m sounding weirder the more I talk. PG: No, it’s all right. MP: But, I mean, it’s the wisdom of Peter Gabriel. You’ve got to ask. PG: Well, I don’t know that there’s a lot of that, but I’m 65 now so you learn a few things about yourself. One thing I learned is: It’s a

PHOTO: Nadav Kander

“It‛s a great deal easier to sort out other people‛s problems than it ever is your own.”


PETER great deal easier to sort out other people’s problems than it ever is your own. MP: [Laughs.] Yeah, I try not to focus on my own. PG: Exactly. And I’ve got another one like that, which is: Unless you learn to enjoy other people’s suffering, how can you expect to enjoy your own? MP: Mainly my life has been about suffering and not talking about it. I’m learning to just suffer more loudly. [Laughter.] PG: Yeah. MP: What is something that makes you feel vulnerable as a human being? Or something that you’ve struggled with? PG: I think fear. I think sometimes intimacy has been one of those things I’ve had to work on—owning it and handling it straightforwardly. When my first marriage fell apart, I spent about six years in therapy, joint therapy and then individual therapy, so I think I’m better aware of some of my own failings. One of the things I’ve observed is I was never particularly good at anything—any subject I could mention, I could find people that could do it better and bigger. But I’ve learned that if you can find your own voice and put things together in your own way, it really doesn’t matter. That was an important lesson. I was a sensitive kid to start off with, and although I’m more confident and I take more risks comfortably nowadays, there’s still some of that kid in there. There probably is in most of us.


GABRIEL MP: There is a tenderness and a sensitivity in your work. I was at Red Rocks about two years ago. It was the first time I’d ever seen you in person, and there was a video playing and I remember just being in tears. I was so moved that you have this compassion and use your voice to make a difference. Is there something that made you really sensitive to issues that are happening?

PG: I think it was chance. It was meeting people and hearing firsthand accounts and it was no longer impersonal, and I couldn’t really walk away when people in front of you, who were suffering enormously, felt you could make a real difference in one way or another, maybe a small way, but there was no question that you were useful to them—at that point, it’s very hard to walk away, and I think once my calling card was in the pile, then you get asked to do a lot of things and you meet a lot of people and you follow your nose. I think that’s the thing that I love. You know, I can listen to The Elders or some of the inventors at MIT or human rights personnel—they’re really different sorts of people that I end up hanging out with, and I get so much from each different group. So I think I’m being put in situations where I can learn a lot. But it wasn’t that I set out thinking that I could, would, or should change the world. I just followed my nose and fell into things. MP: I want to talk about The Toolbox and its partnership with the World Economic Forum and its work with the Sisterhood of Support in 80 countries. Gathering to support global connectivity is your passion. How was this born? PG: Well, it sort of grew out of another project which was called I started that with Richard Branson. My own passionate belief is: If you’d been alive when the wheel was invented and you had the right people working on it, you might have been able to accelerate its adoption and its social usefulness. I think in our lifetime, we’ve had four wheels invented. One is the mobile phone. Two, the Internet. Three will be digital currency, crypto currency. And four will be the big data revolution. Those combined give us a sort of unique opportunity in our evolution that we’ve never had before.

“One of the things I’ve observed is I was never particularly good at anything—any subject I could mention, I could find people that could do it better and bigger. But I’ve learned that if you can find your own voice and put things together in your own way, it really doesn’t matter. That was an important lesson.”

The phone we have in our pocket has more power than the computer that took man to the moon. When you have that means of disseminating ideas, education, healthcare, political power—we’re putting people at the same sort of power level as national governments, which I think has the potential to . . . You can imagine a global engine for transformation, which is a sort of co-owned entity that would make it super easy, using big-data analysis and ecosystems in relation, to analyze any issue or problem and help find the issues that are missing or needed—or the funding or mentoring, whatever it is that you require. So, one of the things that I think people will need is access to tools. You know, I’m a bit of an old hippie, maybe I was 17 in 1967, and things like The Whole Earth Catalog that Stewart Brand created was about access to tools—and tools in their mind could have been a spade, a good book, a mathematical formula, or an article. I love that idea. In this now-digital world, those tools could be principally apps, but they could also mold into other things as well. The hope is that if you not only provide apps for people, but provide ears that listen to what people need and then design apps around their needs, then you could accelerate a sort of transformative process. Bill Hoffman at the WEF [World Economic Forum] has been a great ally. When we were first starting to get some traction on The Toolbox, he saw an obvious link between what we were trying to do, which was popularize, create and curate useful apps and tools, and big data, which is the revolution that he is trying to lead through the WEF. So he’s been connecting us with one of the big bodies of mobile phone operators outside of the US. MP: This is tied in to your passion to help women globally using The Toolbox? PG: I think we put women’s issues, along with climate change, very high on the list. And we believe that good access to tools is one of the things that helps the environment and makes people’s work more effective. We [are] listening to what people feel is missing in their digital lives, particularly what would be useful tools, as well as trying to [coordinate] with women’s issues.



Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

String Portrait

Zoë Keating’s World of Sound Interview: Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky


hat happens when cello meets computer? For Zoë Keating, that question is an everyday reality. She samples her own cello compositions and creates stunning tapestries of complex sounds based on loops and layered effects. The sum of her collage compositions is a breathtaking examination of the role of the modern composer and performer rolled into one. ORIGIN Magazine had the chance to catch up with her. Paul D. Miller: One of the things that struck me when I first saw you was the incredible sense of dignity and the way you had an incredible power and expressive vocalizing of loops and layers. Zoë Keating: For me, the cello is my voice. I feel the cello is kind of me thinking or speaking, and when it’s all working and I’m in the zone, it’s a very otherworldly experience, like I’m not totally there but I am there, you’re sort of looking at it all from high above, and I’m trying to make this sort of universe of expression that happens to be through a cello.


PDM: When did you get into the idea of loops? ZK: Around the turn of the millennium, I lived in a warehouse in San Francisco with a bunch of creative types. Once a week, we’d have sort of an all-night event that different housemates would host, and they were really great creative melting pots of musicians and artists, and there were always a lot of computers going around and software that people were working on that I could try out. I fell into this thing of doing hour-­long ambient cello sets for audiences, kind of in the wee hours of the morning, and I would just try to create these sort of soundscapes. I was exploring the sound of the cello, starting with a single looping pedal, then I had two looping pedals, and then I had three looping pedals, and then I had four that were kind of wired together with a controller, and eventually it became supported by the computer because computers increased in their power, and at some point around 2005, it became possible to bring a supercomputer on stage with you. That’s how it came about.


“I always try to, every six months or so, look at what’s going on with me, and I ask, ‘Am I really being myself? Am I doing everything that expresses what I want to express in the world?’” ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 59

Zoë Keating (continued)

“If what you’re doing is good, your tribe will find you and you’ll find your tribe.”

PDM: I’d love to get a little bit of Zoë’s philosophy of music. It’s not necessarily improvised, and it’s not strictly notated, either, right? ZK: No, I don’t write anything down at all. I’ll create little tiny recordings or snippets, and usually every piece starts with a feeling, like it might be you’re sitting on a hillside, there’s a city in the distance and some dramatic clouds, and you get this feeling that’s really hard to describe. I’m trying to create the musical version of that feeling. [The Cocteau Twins] were a big influence on me in high school. Elizabeth Fraser, she sang in her own made-­up language, so I tend to do that naturally when I’m in the car or walking through the forest or riding my bike. I just got these little phrases, and I’m just sort of riffing on them in nonsense language, and some of them really stick, almost like I can’t get this little melody out of my head. Those are the ones I go and I make a recording. So I’ll record the phrase and make more phrases that go with that phrase, and I’ll just make, like, hundreds of phrases. Then I work with them, kind of like a painter, physically moving the phrases around—it’s very iterative. I try to surprise myself by putting things together that shouldn’t normally go together, and that creates other melodies. So it’s kind of like a mixture of this emotive experience along with a lot of cut-and-paste. PDM: What do you think of the difference between the composer and instrumentalist? ZK: I always try to, every six months or so, look at what’s going on with me, and I ask, “Am I really being myself? Am I doing everything that expresses what I want to express in the world?” So the way that I’ve done my career, from doing every aspect of it on my own to interacting directly with my fans and releasing my own material without using a record label, I feel like it’s just sort of the world I want to live in. It’s raw, it’s personal.


[The Internet has] allowed me to have a career that’s based on that, totally outside the mainstream. I also never take for granted that it’s going to continue. I expect it to fall apart any minute, but I think that’s part of it. That’s part of keeping it risky—it has to feel dangerous all the time. PDM: What are your philosophies of the Internet and the way artists and musicians can use it? ZK: The first is to stick with something. I always say there’s no such thing as the one break anymore; you’ve got to stick with it and be committed, and eventually, if what you’re doing is good, your tribe will find you and you’ll find your tribe. The second thing is, I try to take everything I hear with a grain of salt in terms of what an artist should do for their career. You always see articles like “These are the top five things you should do to start a music career.” I never read those things. I think every artist should find a strategy that works for them with their ideals and the kind of world they want to create. PDM: It’s very rare that you have someone as independent as you—as a cellist and mother

and independent progressive voice—be able to so confidently move on the global stage using the Internet like this. ZK: I feel like it’s the ability to self-distribute and carve out my own career—the Internet has allowed that. I think there’s a lot of sexism in the standard industry. Given that I didn’t start my music career until after I was 30, I had to do it on my own terms. Initially, when I came out of Rasputina, I was sort of known on the indie circuit. I had connections, but I couldn’t get anybody to release my album or even take me on as a client, because number one, I think I was too old, and number two, I wasn’t naked across the cover. And there weren’t any vocals and it was unconventional, so nobody was willing to take a risk. The thing about the Internet is it allows you to find your niche, and then you can allow that to grow and grow. And it can be really organic, it can be really real, and it can be really solid. Like my audience—I had some confidence this year when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I had to drop out of the scene for like four or five months, but I knew because I had built my audience from the ground up and I could e-mail every single one of them, I knew that they would be there when I got back. [Zoë Keating’s husband, Jeffrey Rusch, died from cancer on February 19, 2015.] PHOTO: CHASE JARVIS


Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Interview: Maranda Pleasant

The Weepie s Singer-songwriters

“It takes so much more effort to move outward, but that’s where the new experiences, new views and new people are—somewhere we haven’t been.

On stepping beyond their comfort zones, being kind to yourself, and preferring chaos over calm

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? The Weepies: Stepping out of our comfort zone. It isn’t always blissful. It takes so much more effort to move outward, but that’s where the new experiences, new views and new people are—somewhere we haven’t been. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? TW: Funny, the answer is the same as what inspires us: stepping out of our comfort zone. But there’s no growth without something breaking open first. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? TW: We’d rather listen. If more people felt that someone was really listening, the world would be a better place. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? TW: In searching for a sense of peace it seems most important to stay connected, honest, and not be a Buddha about everything. Being kind to yourself is usually the most helpful direction. MP: How do you keep your center in the

middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? TW: Our life is managed chaos, which is lucky since chaos tends to suit us better than calm. We have three small children, Deb just recovered from stage-three cancer, and we are also a working band—and the huge positive to a crazy schedule like that is it keeps us from overthinking small things. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? TW: Accept help. It’s so simple, but it took going through cancer as a family to be able to really understand the beauty in getting help. MP: Causes or organizations that you’re passionate about? TW: An important organization we support is Pandora’s Project, which provides support and resources for survivors of rape and abuse. We’ve also just been through cancer, so cancer research and medical marijuana are very much on our minds at the moment. Stand Up 2 Cancer is a great umbrella organization for cancer information, support, and research. MP: Tell me if you have a yoga or mindfulness practice. What influence has it had on your life?


TW: Deb has been practicing yoga for years, it’s just always been part of her adult way in the world, and helps her stay grounded. Steve had never done yoga before last year, but after Deb recovered from cancer, his body went haywire. Instead of going to traditional Western medicine, Steve dove into yoga each day for at least an hour, and that practice completely balanced out whatever was happening. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. TW: We’re releasing a new record, called Sirens, on Nettwerk Records, then touring the US and Europe, for starters. MP: Why are these important to you? TW: Going through cancer, all we wanted to do was homeschool our kids and make music—it was very focusing. These endeavors keep us grounded and excited every day. Singer-songwriters Deb Talan & Steve Tannen began writing together the night they met, and soon formed indie band The Weepies. They quietly sold more than a million records, with over 17 million streams on Spotify, and 20 million views on YouTube. Sirens is their first new album in five years. Photo: Nikko La Mere

Interview: Maranda Pleasant

Drummer Dan Haggis

The Wombats
 On playing live, music being the best therapy, and how hot yoga clears the mind

one hour of silence. Playing the drums in a high-energy band takes its toll on the body and yoga really helps with posture and core strength. MP: Tell me about your latest projects.

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Dan Haggis: One of the places I feel most alive is on stage playing music. The adrenaline of performing, the concentration required, coupled with the escapist qualities of music all make for an intense feeling that is hard to match in everyday life. Inspiration can come from everywhere, could be a tragic situation that requires catharsis or a sentence in a book written by a hand 200 years ago.

DH: I’m definitely a chaos dweller. Quite at home in disorder, but I started going to yoga classes over a year ago, which gave me a few “calming” practices if things get too hectic. MP: What truth do you know for sure? DH: That nothing lasts forever. MP: What is love for you?

DH: Fortunately it’s not something I feel on a regular basis.

DH: Love is a hard feeling to describe and it lives deep in the cave of the mind. It is unpredictable and can pop up when you least expect it and be inexplicably absent when you need it most. It’s what keeps life twisting and turning.

MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

MP: Causes or organizations that you’re passionate about?

DH: Stay positive.

DH: Any group of people that fight for just causes, whether it’s protecting the environment or helping people who have fallen through the cracks in society. I’ve been a member of the Green Party in the UK since I was 18.

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

MP: How do you handle emotional pain? DH: In typical British fashion, find a sand pit and stick my head in it! From a young age I found that playing and writing music is the most effective therapy for me, that and exercise. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine?

MP: Tell me if you have a yoga or mindfulness practice. What influence has it had on your life? DH: I started hot yoga just over a year ago and loved it. It’s one of the best ways I’ve found to clear my brain of melodies on loop and have

DH: Our new album, Glitterbug, that we’ve worked on for the last two years, is about to be released and we’re currently on tour around Europe and the UK. Having been in the studio with the songs buzzing around our heads like wasps it’s so nice to finally get the swarm out into the open!

“The adrenaline of performing, the concentration required, coupled with the escapist qualities of music all make for an intense feeling that is hard to match in everyday life.”

MP: Why are these important to you? DH: Songs are like sonic photographs. Having something that exists physically and digitally is a way of putting loads of memories into a bank that I can look back on when I’m older and going senile. The Wombats have released their latest track, “Give Me a Try,” which is dubbed as Zane Lowe’s hottest record and is streaming exclusively via Idolator. Produced by Mark Crew (Bastille) with The Wombats, “Give Me a Try” is taken from the band’s upcoming album, Glitterbug, which was released on April 14 via Bright Antenna Records. PHOTO: MATILDA FINN ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 63


Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Interview: Chelsea Logan Photography: drew xeron

Award-Winning Rapper

WALE His Best Advice from Jay-Z, Building a New Mentality in Black Urban Culture, and Never Being Scared of a Little Controversy

Chelsea Logan: How do you find balance? Wale: It’s a glass egg. I either have good business with angry friends or bad business with happy friends. I have to feed egos a lot. That’s part of the game. CL: “Feeding egos.” That’s fascinating that you phrased it that way. How do you not give into people who are constantly trying to get at you? W: I give in. Feeding the ego is essentially like breathing. It’s like this—a DJ will be mad at me because I didn’t show up at his club but three other DJs would have been mad if I didn’t come to their clubs. So I show up and I tell them, “You’re the greatest DJ in the world.” It might even be true, but the point is it doesn’t really even matter because, at the end of the day, I have to realize I work for everybody. It’s unfortunate because people take advantage of that. CL: What was the best advice that Jay-Z gave you about the industry before you left Roc Nation?

W: He gave me a lot of stuff that is just now starting to resonate. It was too premature. Certain things in my career happened a little too early, so I really didn’t understand it. Essentially, it was just making sure your network was good. The RocA-Fella influence was so powerful and they made it look easy, but they were doing groundwork. They were cool with all the young, up-andcoming models. They were cool with all the promoters. They would buy out the bar. They would flaunt their influence around because they had it. I want to be able to have that influence and, like I said, inject a new mentality into black urban culture. Urban America. CL: Getting to where you are now has not been the easiest. Have you ever had a minute where you stopped and were like, “I’ve made it”? W: I have a tiny moment of that every day, even if it’s only ten seconds. It can be something as simple as somebody opening a door for me, but you know what? Thank you, God.

CL:What is your main message that you want your core fans to know with this album? W: It’s the most creative project I’ve ever done. It’s certainly going to be an experience. Controversial, a little bit. A little controversy never scared nobody though. Everybody’s not a Wale fan. I got a lot of detractors and antagonists, stuff like that. I feel like I’m one of those people that, if you really give it a shot, you’re going to catch yourself being a fan. CL: You mentioned that this album is untraditional. How is the work that you’re putting out into the world going to affect hip-hop music? W: I’m all about trying to change music and inject a different way into the urban community, the black community. Inject a new mind-state. That’s what business is about. It’s about embracing the arts. We don’t have any Nia Longs and no Jada Pinkett-Smiths. We got Instagram models. That’s all we’ve got. There’s no interest in how well a woman speaks. It’s more in who her doctor is. That’s messed up.

Photo: Drew Xeron | Assistant: Brandon S Hunter | Assistant 2: Troy Mauricio | Lighting: Mike Yoder 64 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

“ I ’ m all about trying to change

music and inject a different way into the urban community.”



Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Singer , s o ngw riter , acto r

Jesse McCartney On what we all agree on, pursuing his dream at sixteen, and the key to longevity in the entertainment business Inte rview: Robe rt Pipe r

“ I generally shop on the perimeter of every grocery store, but I have to admit, I’m a bit of a foodie, so I need that cheat day to have that juicy, sweet, sugary, creamy whatever.”

Robert Piper: What inspires you? Jesse McCartney: What inspires me most is music. Next to food, it is the greatest common denominator for everyone in the world. With so much tension surrounding politics and religion all across the planet, it’s nice to know we have something like music. It’s something we can all agree on. RP: How do you stay healthy? JM: I started a new workout routine that is an exhausting form of circuit training. Also, just recently, I picked up hot yoga. It’s an amazing way to sweat, clear my head, and meditate on future goals. I try to eat as clean as I can during the week. I generally shop on the perimeter of every grocery store, but I have to admit, I’m a bit of a foodie, so I need that


cheat day to have that juicy, sweet, sugary, creamy whatever. RP: What is one of the hardest obstacles you’ve had to overcome in your life? JM: I think leaving home at such an early age—sixteen years old. I left New York and everyone I knew to go pursue my career. It was rough being so far away from friends and family and was a real shock to the system. Now, in hindsight, it was one of the greatest decisions I ever made, because I now have the career I always dreamed of, but at that age, big change is difficult. RP: What keeps you balanced? JM: I have a small circle of friends and family that I keep very close to me. I think one of

the keys to balance and longevity, especially in this business, is having people around you who aren’t afraid to say no. RP: What projects are you working on? JM: I’m back at Young & Hungry, filming for season two. I’ve also been in the studio writing songs for various projects and getting ready to shoot another music video for a track on my album called “The Other Guy.” It’s a song I’m super proud of, and I want to create a video that’s as compelling as the music. Jesse McCartney is a singer, songwriter, and actor who’s been in All My Children, Young & Hungry, and Keith. His hit albums include In Technicolor, Departure, and Beautiful Soul.


Founder of Marley Coffee and son of the legendary Bob Marley

Rohan Marley On life lessons from Ethiopia, working with farmers to clean toxic water, and always crying Interview: Faith Hunter

Faith Hunter: How do you maintain connection to your roots? Rohan Marley: I give credit to my family and what I have learned from my father. Through Rastafari and Haile Selassie I, I learned about the roots of all things in Ethiopia. We learned to do things like the practice of life, how to pray, how to fast, and the origins of all things. Through this, I am able to connect to the Ethiopian way of life. FH: What is your driving spirit?

RM: I just want to continue to do what I have as far as business, my purpose as far as Marley Coffee, being the first-ever eco-coffee on the market. I just left Ethiopia, where we have the WaterWise project. It brings clean water to Ethiopia, in the Sidama region. We build sustainable water solutions and purify the water that’s emptied into the river. The work is done with farmers that aren’t used to cleaning wastewater that is toxic to the river. This impacts over 180,000 families, and so far, we have helped about 25,000.

RM: On a daily basis, it tells me that I should continue to find a way that I can create more love. I have to continue to find a way to illuminate life, to find ways that I can make others’ lives better.

My family continues to do big things, and my brothers have new albums coming out. Ziggy just released his latest album, Fly Rasta. Everything we do is a team effort. We are on a mission, and it’s not blurry. On a mission to do good and do more.

FH: What makes your heart sing?

FH: What makes you cry?

RM: Good thoughts make my heart happy. Seeing good things, that makes my heart sing.

RM: Lots of things. I’m always crying, actually. I’m always crying inside, being sad and happy at the same time. Crying is a form of revelation. When you cry, you repent. Like water, it washes away your sins. When you cry, you feel like a different person. You are more vulnerable at that stage. That is true crying.

FH: What’s been one of your major life lessons? RM: I have learned that I am no better than anyone else. I’ve also learned that one must not be selfish. There are so many people that can benefit from your works. FH: What type of legacy are you leaving on this earth? RM: I came with nothing, I’m leaving with nothing. I’m using this life as a vehicle, and I prepare the vehicle so it can be sustainable and last generation upon generation. So if I have it, I should make it better. FH: What else are you putting into the universe to spread love? ROHANMARLEY.COM

FH: Finally, share what’s on your heart. RM: I think that people should be taught about Haile Selassie I, about love and humanity, about consciousness, about education, about being aware, and how to live amongst each other, because the color of a man’s skin has no significance. You don’t judge a man by his eye color, so how can you judge a man by his skin? We have to get into the mind-frame that loving life exists and that one can unite. We are all on the same boat. When the rain falls, it falls on everyone’s houses.



Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Interview: Maranda Pleasant


Bryce Soderberg

Lifehouse On dealing with low points, practicing

selflessness, and his favorite workout

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Bryce Soderberg: Music has always been inspiring to me whether I’m listening, playing, or watching a good show. Good movies, art, and books as well. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? BS: My life has had some amazing peaks and a few valleys. I feel the most vulnerable at the lower points, but it’s about being able to deal with them and keep in mind that they will pass. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? BS: “Practice selflessness. It is so important because all seven billion of us are in this together. The laws of karma apply; give and it will come back to you. Have gratitude.” MP: How do you handle emotional pain? BS: Music has been a huge therapeutic tool to me since I first started playing. Whatever mood I’m in, I always feel better and more grounded after that mood is channeled into a song. Even if it’s a bad song—ha! MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? BS: I like to meditate in the mornings, I use this great app for guided meditation called LIFEHOUSEMUSIC.COM 68 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

Headspace that helps quiet my mind so I can focus through the day and keep calm, especially through chaotic schedules. I try to work out in the mornings as well. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? BS: How to handle mistakes. If you can learn how to handle them and learn from each one, then you can never lose. MP: What truth do you know for sure? BS: Every amazing idea starts from a thought. I know if you believe in something, manifest it, and really follow through, you can achieve anything. MP: What is love for you? BS: I feel that if you seek to love more than to be loved, it’s a bigger reward overall. Love is everything. MP: What causes or organizations are you passionate about? BS: Our band is a huge supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It’s a fantastic organization that helps so many kids and families who never receive a bill, whether it is for treatment, travel, or housing. They have saved so many lives and continue to share their cancer research with the world. Every time we are in Memphis, we try to visit.


“Every amazing idea starts from a thought. I know if you believe in something, manifest it, and really follow through, you can achieve anything.” MP: Tell me about your yoga practice. What influence has it had on your life?

called Komox that I am working on that I am proud of as well.

BS: I love yoga. I combine it with other workouts, but it is probably my favorite. Lately, I have tried hot yoga with weights— it’s insane. Yoga pushes you to stay focused through challenging circumstances. It’s great ADD treatment and tones you up!

MP: Why are these important to you?

MP: Tell me about your latest projects. BS: Lifehouse has a new album called Out of the Wasteland coming out late spring that we are really proud of. We are coming out of a two-year hiatus, and we are excited to get back on the road. I also have a side project

BS: Creating has always been a part of who I am. That fact that we get to share music that affects people is an amazing gift. I don’t know what I would do otherwise! Lifehouse’s debut single, “Hanging by a Moment,” won a Billboard Music Award for Hot 100 Single of the Year. Since then, the band has released five more albums and sold over 15 million records worldwide. Their new album, Out of the Wasteland, comes out late spring.



Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Interview: Robert Piper

Eduardo Verástegui Filmmaker and Little Boy actor

On contributing your talents to the world, the definition of having a healthy soul, and surrounding yourself with who you want to be

Eduardo Verástegui: The fact that you can wake up every morning and use your talents to contribute in a positive way—make the world a better place—that inspires me. When I see other people using their talents to make a difference in other people’s lives, that inspires me. A good movie also inspires me, when you watch a good movie and leave the theater not only entertained but inspired because the acting, the message, the art, and all of it combined is so strong. Also, when someone is willing to sacrifice themselves to help someone in need, without expecting anything in return, that is inspiring. RP: How do you stay healthy? EV: It’s really about body, mind, and soul. With having a healthy soul and spirit, which I think is the most important thing, it’s important to recognize that prayer is the oxygen of the soul, and that helps me a lot. My goal in life is to work really hard every day to become the best version of myself, and in order to do that, you simply have to do the right thing at every moment, which can be very difficult. The only way I can achieve that is when I’m quiet, when I meditate, when I pray. That for me is the definition of having a healthy soul: being at peace. To keep a healthy mind, you need to try to learn more and study more so you can improve yourself in knowledge. I think it’s really important to always stimulate your mind by learning new things. As for body, you become what you eat. I try to eat healthy and exercise every day. I like to go hiking a lot and try to do an hour of cardio every day to keep myself healthy. For me, all three of those things—body, mind, and soul—make up a healthy human being. RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? EV: Every day, you face all types of challenges; some are bigger than others, but there are always challenges. I don’t think there is one particular thing that stands out to me. It’s not about the obstacles themselves; it’s how you face them and move forward. RP: How do you stay balanced? EV: Friendship is an elevator: your friends either bring you up or they bring you down. Tell me who you hang out with, and I’ll tell you EDUARDOVERASTEGUI.COM 70 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

who you are. I think that to stay balanced, it’s important to surround yourself with people who are healthy, people that push you to be your best and that challenge you. Also, staying close with your family, calling your parents every day, no matter where you are, being with family—those things keep you balanced. And generally just trying to hang out with people who are not afraid to challenge you and to help you become the best you can be, to live a fulfilled life and maximize your full potential. RP: What projects are you working on? EV: I have two films coming out in April: Little Boy and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. I’m also in post-production for two documentaries which have the goal of inspiring people to invest more in education. The first, called Equinoccio, was shot in Peru, and the other one is called La Otra Parte, shot in different parts of Mexico. At the end of the day, there is no better investment than education, especially for children who don’t have the opportunity to go to school. We hear a lot about how children are the future, but what education are they receiving and what kind of future are they going to have? If you want a healthy future for your children, grandchildren, and generations to come, we need to invest time and money into their education so they can have the right tools and opportunities in the future.

“Tell me who you hang out with,

Robert Piper: What inspires you?

and I’ll tell you who you are.

So those documentaries are something I’m very passionate about. At the same time, we, Metanoia Films, are developing three projects— one in Spanish and two in English—that I am very excited about. Eduardo Verástegui appears in the new movies Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Little Boy. His acting credits include CSI: Miami, Chasing Papi, and Bella. PHOTO: NINA DUNCAN



Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

The Returned actor

Mark Pellegrino On overcoming counterproductive views, the infinite possibility of the human mind, and the Law of Undulation Interview: Robert Piper

Robert Piper: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? Mark Pellegrino: Myself. I think, and I could be wrong, that if you live in a basically free society your biggest obstacle to personal growth or material success or happiness is from within. Usually a refusal to give up ineffective and counterproductive views of yourself, of the world, or yourself in the world. 
 RP: What inspires you? 
 MP: The infinite possibility of the human mind. The faculty of reason. An unassailably logical argument. A song filled with spirit. Rebel artists. Dogs. 
 RP: How do you stay healthy? 
 MP: I used to be fanatical about working out. I do that less now, but try to eat right (mostly fish and veggies), stay hydrated, take my daily supplements and consume moderate levels of either wine or vodka twice a week. RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? 

MP: First off, I have a heroic view of people, myself included. In other words, I believe it is possible for one to achieve one’s values and it is that belief (along with a belief in the Law of Undulation) that keeps me striving forward even if I’m temporarily down. RP: What projects are you currently working on? 
MP: My wife, Tracy, and I have been filming a collection of thematically-connected short films which will comprise a feature. It’s been a two-year endeavor that has spanned 12 cities in eight countries. Also hoping for a season two for my new series on A&E called The Returned.

 Mark Pellegrino is an actor known for acclaimed roles on both the big and small screen. He has captivated audiences as Jacob in ABC’s hit series Lost and portrayed Lucifer on the CW’s Supernatural, as well as appeared in feature films such as Mulholland Drive, Capote, and a critically-praised performance in the recent Bad Turn Worse. Pellegrino currently stars in A&E Network’s new show, The Returned, an adaptation based on the original French series, Les Revenants.


“If you live in a basically free society your biggest obstacle to personal growth or material success or happiness is from within.”


TEXT: DEBORAH KIRK Photos: Michele Westmorland

Art of the Headhunt Female pioneer Caroline Mytinger’s unprecedented expedition to paint Melanesia’s inhabitants—the first woman ever to make this journey—and photographer Michele Westmorland’s quest to share her story

In March 1926, Caroline Mytinger, a young artist and amateur anthropologist, left the United States for an unprecedented journey to the South Pacific. An accomplished portrait painter, Gibson Girl model, and irrepressible bohemian, Mytinger had become fascinated with what she called “vanishing races”—the world’s cultures that, she felt, were at risk of losing their ethnic identities in an increasingly globalized world. Her mission: to produce a pictorial record of Melanesia’s diverse peoples. Her expedition, which lasted four years, led to a remarkable body of work: 25 portraits of indigenous Melanesians, countless commissioned portraits of expats and colonists, elaborate scrapbooks, and two compulsively readable books. Not published until the 1940s, her books, Headhunting in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea Headhunt, were critically acclaimed at the time, but Mytinger fell into obscurity with the outbreak of World War II and, as the decades passed, her increasing reclusiveness. One wonders: How has Mytinger’s story never been told before? With the fascination we have for tales of ahead-of-their-time female adventurers like Amelia Earhart, how has Mytinger’s story been overlooked? A new

Caroline Mytinger and Margaret Warner on the first stop of their journey in 1926, New Zealand. They were on their way to paint portraits in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.


multimedia project, conceived and directed by photographer Michele Westmorland, will attempt to answer these questions. Caroline Mytinger: Painter of “Vanishing Cultures” Born in Sacramento in 1897, Mytinger may have inherited her appetite for adventure from her father, an inventor and prospector who died in the Klondike gold rush when Mytinger was just one year old. She moved to Ohio with her mother and went on to study art in Cleveland, where she was known as the “most beautiful woman” in the city, according to one newspaper account. She began a promising modeling career and sat for such renowned artists as Charles Dana Gibson. She married a prominent Cleveland doctor, George Stober, but realized early that domesticity would never suit her. As she wrote, “I was an anarchist and I would never live in the conventional groove of matrimony.” She left her husband and studied all the available literature about Melanesia. She chose to paint the indigenous peoples in this part of the world, she wrote, because of the “compactness and accessibility of their country . . . for to paint a complete portrait

Photo from scrapbook of Caroline Mytinger and Margaret Warner on a small expedition vessel, 1929.

of a race, its members cannot be spread from one Pole to the other as are, for instance, our nearer-to-home ‘vanishing primitives,’ the Indians.” Mytinger found the ideal traveling partner in her childhood friend Margaret Warner. Mytinger’s fearless equal, Warner played an enormous role in the success of the expedition, entertaining portrait sitters and keeping Mytinger’s spirits up in the face of hardships, including malaria, snakes, fevers, jungle rot, lost art supplies, and local sorcery. Mytinger chronicled the first two years of the trip in Headhunting in the Solomon Islands and the last two in New Guinea Headhunt. (She chose these titles for the double entendre; not only was she painting headhunters, she herself was looking for “heads” to paint.) In her portraits, she captured men, women, and children in native dress and ceremonial headdresses, their lifestyles, and ritualistic traditions. Perhaps most important, her artwork conveys the dignity and humanity of her subjects; there is never the slightest trace of condescension or “noble savage” stereotyping.

Caroline Mytinger paints Sarli and Wife in Samarai, Papua New Guinea, circa 1928. Photo from Caroline’s scrapbook held by Monterey Museum of Art.


Disbel ievi n g fr ien ds h ad a cas e w h en t h ey sa id no fe m ale ou tfit s u c h as ou rs co u ld g o al o n e to p ai n t headhu n t er s an d co me ba c k wi t h their o wn h ead s. No man had d o n e it. No ma n h ad yet tr ied, we r ep li ed .

—Caroline Mytinger

Photo of Caroline Mytinger from her book Headhunting in the Solomon Islands, published in 1942

art of the headhunt (CONTINUED)

Marovo Lagoon Family by Caroline Mytinger, 1928. Young man with his parents in traditional attire. Marovo Lagoon, Solomon Islands. Artwork: PAHMA, Berkeley.

Kai Kai by Caroline Mytinger, 1929. Robin from the Torres Strait. The word “kai-kai” means “food” or “meal” in pidgin. Artwork: PAHMA, Berkeley. Heera by Caroline Mytinger. Subject is Ahuia wearing the headdress, a significant style—many of which were destroyed by missionaries. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Artwork: PAHMA, Berkeley.

When Mytinger and Warner returned to the US, the country was in the grips of the Great Depression. Reestablishing her career became one of the greatest challenges Mytinger faced for the remainder of her life. She achieved a measure of success exhibiting her Melanesian portraits. With the support of anthropologist Margaret Mead, Mytinger

had an exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History in New York; her portraits were also exhibited at five other national museums. Mytinger moved to Monterey, Calif., and supported herself by returning to her first career: painting portraits on commission. The Monterey Peninsula had become a prominent

artists’ colony and was the ideal environment for Mytinger, who wanted to live alone, on her own terms, amidst other like-minded creative spirits. She died there in 1980 at the age of 83, leaving her Melanesian portraits and related ephemera to the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at University of California, Berkeley, where they have remained in storage for decades.

C arol ine w an t ed t o p ai n t p o r t r a i t s w i t h d i gni t y . I w a nte d to ta k e ph o t o g r ap h s sh o w i ng t ha t s a m e s e ns e o f p r i d e . — Mi c h e l e W e st m o r l a n d


Michele Westmorland: Connecting Past and Present Eighty years later, Mytinger’s paintings continue to inspire contemporary artists. Michele Westmorland—who has been documenting Papua New Guinean culture for years—learned about the Mytinger archives at U.C. Berkeley. When she saw the actual, still-vibrant portraits that had long sat crated away in storage, she knew what she had to do. Westmorland embarked on a two-month expedition to Melanesia to retrace Mytinger’s journey and learn how the culture has since evolved. When she showed reproductions of

Mytinger’s portraits to the islanders of today, she was met with astonishment; they had never seen the body decorations favored by their ancestors. Remarkably, she discovered descendants of the subjects of four of Caroline’s paintings. Westmorland was able to create an important dialogue with Melanesians regarding change, adaptation, religion, and culture, with Mytinger’s paintings serving as the link between the islanders’ past and present. With the success of her own expedition, Westmorland has launched a multimedia

Fish-eye view of men in traditional dress. On expedition, Oro Province sing-sing, Kofure Village, Tufi / Cape Nelson area, Papua New Guinea. Photo by Michele Westmorland.

Volcano man Ken Kolias, who lives in the shadow of Tavurvur, a volcano. His stories of past and present are important to explain the hardships nature plays out living in such a volcanic region. Rabaul, East New Britain province, Papua New Guinea. Photographed on expedition by Michele Westmorland.

project called Headhunt Revisited in which she examines the significance of Mytinger’s story not only for today’s Melanesians but also for today’s artists. A book and documentary film under development, Headhunt Revisited explores the power of art to span oceans and decades, inspiring others to communicate stories of culture and tradition. You can help bring this documentary film to completion by making a tax-deductible donation through Documentary Educational Resources at

Portrait of a young Kairuku woman, photographed on the 2005 expedition, at the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Father Michael Igo’s priesthood. Elevala Village, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Photo by Michele Westmorland.

Photo was not staged and shows that some things don’t change in traditional attire. Little Banana by Caroline Mytinger, 1928, paired with contemporary photo by Michele Westmorland. Artwork: PAHMA, Berkeley.


Reza Photographer

Paris, France Reza—philanthropist, humanist, architect, and visual storyteller—photographs conflicts and the beauty of humanity.

Innocence. Pashtoun tribal zone near Tora Bora, Afghanistan, 2004. The eyes of an Afghan girl born with the war.

“The world is my field of vision. From war to peace, from the unspeakable to moments of poetry, my images are testimonies of humankind.”


PHOTO: REZA / Webistan Photo Agency

Thoughts of an exile. Afghanistan, 1990. In exile, the joys of the present are full of past memories.

The frame. Dogubayazit, Kurdistan, Turkey, 1993. Two boys cross a road, carrying the frame of a television screen.


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THE ORIGIN SERIES: Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Texas Rising actor

Sarah Jones On adjusting her perception, staying in gratitude, and achieving deep relaxation Interview: Maranda Pleasant

overwhelmed and to find the root cause of why I feel like my environment is in a state of chaos. Usually it’s my perception that could use an adjustment, and I’m back on solid ground. The only “routine” elements of my day are my dog’s mealtimes and walks. The rest of the day is a toss-up. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life?

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Sarah Jones: Engaging conversation, creators, compassionate leaders, art, nature, my husband, daughter, family, and friends.

SJ: Staying in gratitude and in the present moment. I haven’t begun to master it; it’s something I work on every day. MP: What truth do you know for sure? SJ: That truths are subjective.

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable?

MP: What is love for you?

SJ: Interviews and social media.

SJ: Dogs.

MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

MP: What causes or organizations are you passionate about?

SJ: “I’m listening. Want to join?”

“I continue to use the methods I learned from hypnobirthing in my everyday life.” MP: How do you handle emotional pain? SJ: I do my best to acknowledge it, work with it, and release it when it no longer serves me. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? SJ: I try to choose logic over emotional reaction when I feel

SJ: Women’s rights, combating human trafficking, children’s welfare, animal welfare, the Boot Campaign, Service Women’s Action Network, The Humane Society, and Defenders of Wildlife. MP: Tell me about your yoga or mindfulness practice. What influence has it had on your life? SJ: Having recently given birth to my first child, I really took to the hypnobirthing method during my pregnancy which conditions and teaches you to be aware of how you breathe and [to put] yourself in a state of deep relaxation. I continue to use the methods I learned from hypnobirthing in my everyday life. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. SJ: Motherhood is my latest project. You’d probably need an extra page on why it’s important to me, but I’ll say it’s my most important “project” I’ve taken on. PHOTO: ERIC WILLIAMS




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Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Interview: Robert Piper

Mad Men actor

Stephanie Drake On going outside her comfort zone, humble beginnings working in retail, and the upside of crashing and burning

Robert Piper: What inspires you? Stephanie Drake: My friends inspire me, probably more than they know. One in particular, who I met a little over a year ago working on Mad Men, has inspired me to go way outside my comfort zone and try new things like stand-up and vegan restaurants, which are delicious. She is incredibly inspirational and I’m so happy to have met her. My dad has inspired me to start writing. At 63, he woke up one morning and decided to write a book about his life working in radio. And he actually did it! I think that’s what it really comes down to for me. When someone makes up their mind to do something, no matter what it is, and actually does it, that is inspiring. RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? SD: I’ve been very lucky to not have had too many obstacles get in my way. But the first thing that comes to mind is all of the years I spent working in retail while pursuing my career. It sounds so silly, but spending day after day in a store selling clothes is miserable when all you want to be doing is getting your real life started. It was very hard to stay positive and motivated during those years. Luckily, I was fired for not making my sales goals and a year after I booked Mad Men and have never looked back! RP: How do you stay healthy? SD: I find physical activities that I actually enjoy doing, and I know myself so well that the minute I start feeling bored I have to find something new right away. Currently, I’m playing tennis and working out with 10 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

“When someone makes up their mind to do something, no matter what it is, and actually does it, that is inspiring.” my trainer once a week. My tennis teacher is great and not to toot my own horn, but I’ve gotten pretty good! It’s all about the follow-through. RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? SD: Failure to me is something no one should worry about. If I crash and burn at something, at least I tried, and the next time I do it I’ll be prepared to do it even better. Every experience is a good one, no matter the outcome. I grew up playing the piano and I’ll never forget the year I did not place in the local competition. I was so upset. That night I walked into my parents’ room and told them I was going to learn the two hardest pieces I could find and win next year. You better believe I won. But if I hadn’t failed that year maybe

I wouldn’t have pushed myself as hard as I did. RP: What projects are you currently working on? SD: I am eagerly awaiting the last seven episodes of Mad Men to air next month. I can’t wait for everyone to see how it all ends, obviously for Don Draper, but also for my character, Meredith. I have an episode of CSI: Cyber coming out sometime in June as well. I got to work with Patricia Arquette the morning she was nominated for an Oscar! Stephanie Drake is an actor who’s appeared in Mad Men, CSI: Cyber, and In the City, to name a few. PHOTO: DANA PATRICK











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Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Interview: Robert Piper

“Probably most of all, a feeling of connectedness between myself and others, whether it’s someone living on my street, or whether it’s a wider community, or a global community. A feeling of belonging to something inspires me.”


Mozart in the Jungle actor

Saffron Burrows On connecting with others, life-enhancing work, and the benefits of simplifying Robert Piper: What inspires you in life? Saffron Burrows: I think love. I think a feeling of camaraderie and a feeling of community and connecting with others. I guess sometimes if I have the chance to be in nature, that’s pretty inspiring. I’m sort of an urban person, I was born and raised in London, but I just had the chance to be in Cornwall for Christmas, where my family has a little cottage in the country. It’s a very wild part of the southwest of England. Being in nature for a little while was pretty inspiring. Many things, I think. Architecture and music and visual arts and literature. Probably most of all, a feeling of connectedness between myself and others, whether it’s someone living on my street, or whether it’s a wider community, or a global community. A feeling of belonging to something inspires me. Making films, when I started making films, because I liked very much that feeling of collaboration and working towards something in a group. It felt really life-enhancing. RP: How do you stay healthy? SB: I walk, I guess. I have a two-year-old, so I chase him around. I probably don’t take enough calm, mental time of just decompressing. I think when you do take the chance to do that, it really makes you feel like you can function in a better way. Physically, I guess I’m pretty busy. That tends to keep me energized. Then mentally, I suppose when things feel like they’re galloping along at too fast a pace, I try to simplify a little bit, as much as I can. That feels like the brain can rest on whatever it is you’re focusing on in a

better way. It’s such a luxury to work on the projects I’ve been working on. It’s really very satisfying. If you can go to work and just focus on what you’re doing that day, it’s terrific. I think multitasking doesn’t entirely suit me. RP: Yeah, that’s everybody. SB: Something I’m doing and doing well. Then being with my family and enjoying that and having those times be quite pure and uninterrupted. RP: What projects are you currently working on? SB: We wrapped Mozart in the Jungle in November. We shot ten episodes of that just before Christmas. They edit it pretty fast. That’s out now on Amazon. We basically filmed that and then launched it immediately, which is so unusual. It’s more like doing a play. Suddenly it’s on air and you can watch all ten episodes. It’s just all sitting there to be enjoyed. That took up a good part of last year. Now I have a movie I’m going to be making in London in the spring. Then I’m figuring out what I can get involved with that means something to me, because I took some time out when I was having my baby. I might direct a little film, but mainly just working as an actor and being involved in Internet and social movements. Then being, hopefully, completely active in some more films and being with my family. Saffron Burrows is an actor, most recently in Mozart in the Jungle. She’s also appeared in The Bank Job, Troy, and Peter Pan.



Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Interview: Robert Piper

Lost Girl actor

Anna Silk On finding inspiration everywhere, moving forward in life, and the upside of failure Robert Piper: What inspires you? Anna Silk: I feel like inspiration can be found just about anywhere if you are tuned in to it. I was watching an episode of the Curious George cartoon with my son recently—it’s the one where George is curious about some bunnies and ends up letting them out of their cage. He has to try and catch them all, which is not an easy thing to do. As the bunnies cleverly eluded George, there was a line the narrator said, “If there is one thing George has learned about bunnies it’s that they play to win.” That stuck with me and I feel like that’s how we should approach everything in our lives—with the mind-set that you move forward with the intention and belief that no one can stop you, that you will succeed and shine. Play to win—inspiration is everywhere. RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? AS: I think that, generally, the hardest obstacle was quieting the outside noise that was louder than the inner belief I had in myself. That noise that told me where I thought I should be and how much success I should have. Overcoming that obstacle was key for me to step into exactly where I am. I have had a blessed and abundant life and it just keeps getting richer. I feel very lucky.


“I feel like that’s how we should approach everything in our lives— with the mind-set that you move forward with the intention and belief that no one can stop you, that you will succeed and shine.”


RP: How do you stay healthy? AS: Trying to bring mindfulness into every aspect of my day keeps me healthy. Whether it comes to choices about diet and exercise, what projects and stories I am drawn to, or how I want to spend my time. Having my son highlighted for me how precious time is. Spend it in the way you want to and you will be healthier for it. RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? AS: Failure on any level is disappointing. But it really can clear the way for what comes next—I try and think of that. And a good support system of family and friends doesn’t hurt either. RP: What projects are you currently working on? AS: Currently I am reading a lot of scripts and discovering what stories I am drawn to next. I am also spending lots of time with my son and husband and enjoying that family time. Lost Girl was an amazing run, but now it’s time for a little break. It’s a golden time in my life. Anna Silk currently stars in the Syfy/Showcase hit series Lost Girl. Prior to Lost Girl, Silk was perhaps best known for her role as Erica’s love interest Cassidy on the popular Canadian series Being Erica. PHOTO: MATT SAYLES



Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

American Horror Story actor
 Interview: Robert Piper

Naomi Grossman On dealing with life’s curveballs, learning to relinquish control, and finding mainstream success later in life
 Robert Piper: What inspires you? Naomi Grossman: My castmates. Mat Fraser, who does edgy, avant-garde, rock-n-roll burlesque, in spite of his flippers. Rose Siggins, who’s a mom and mechanic-turned-TV star, even without legs. And Ben Woolf, may he rest in peace. Their “disabilities” have not impeded their abilities in the least. RP: How do you stay healthy? NG: I practice Ashtanga yoga an hour and a half a day. Maybe I have good genes, but I find that gives me a full workout, both for mind and body. It’s like therapy and gym. And so long as I get my sacred, sweaty mat time in, I eat everything, but only when I’m hungry and only until I get full. RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life?

Achieving mainstream, Hollywood success has been the ultimate obstacle, but learning to release these expectations has actually really served me.”

NG: Learning to relinquish control. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist/control freak. And, well, life doesn’t always go according to plan. I didn’t plan for the man I thought I was going to marry to dangle himself off the Santa Monica pier and almost die. I struggled with guilt for a long time after that. But I didn’t force him over that guardrail. I didn’t pour those four pitchers down his throat. I made the mistake of taking an alcoholic to a bar, and then over a bridge. I made the mistake of being young and in love with someone incredibly wrong for me. So my life didn’t go according to plan. Another curveball: my parents divorced relatively recently, well into my adult life. I thought, because I was in my thirties, my family was safe. And because I was older, I was expected to understand, and was denied all the normal feelings of guilt and angst. But again, this had nothing to do with me, and was completely beyond my power.

Of course, achieving mainstream, Hollywood success has been the ultimate obstacle, but learning to release these expectations has actually really served me. RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? NG: I’m so used to it, I just blow it off. I got my SAG card when I was 15 years old, but I didn’t actually find any real, mainstream success until I was 37. So how did I manage those 22 long years? I guess I didn’t think of it as failure. I was doing what I loved—on a small scale, of course, cranking out solo shows and comedy videos—but that’s how I define “success.” I knew in my heart that this is what I was meant to do, so giving up was just never an option. I figured I’d do this, with or without (traditionally-defined) “success,” until there was something I wanted to do more. That other thing just never presented itself. RP: What projects are you currently working on? NG: I just wrapped a horror film called The Chair, based on a graphic novel by the same name. Oddly, it’s another dramatic, unattractive role: the mother of a death-row inmate, as seen in flashbacks. Other than that, it’s pilot season, so we’ll see! I might revamp my solo shows, I might write a new one, I might write my own pilot! Who knows! Naomi Grossman is best known for her portrayal of the fan-favorite and first crossover character, Pepper, on FX’s American Horror Story. Previously, she toured the world stage with her two one-woman shows, and regularly performed sketch and improv at the Groundlings Theatre.




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Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Chasing Life actor

Haley Ramm
 On her creative group of friends, having the support of family, and learning from failure
 Interview: Robert Piper

Haley Ramm: My friends. They’re a creative bunch and I’m so proud of all of them. I’m lucky to have a friend group made up of all sorts of different personalities that mix well together. It’s fun. I learn a little something from everyone. Movies inspire me, too. The older films that give you a different feeling than the new movies. And traveling, which I want to do a whole lot more of. RP: How do you stay healthy? HR: I’ve always enjoyed eating healthy. Foods that aren’t made from all natural ingredients really scare me. I’m trying to get into hiking on the time off that I have. Time to myself is always important. I love being around people, but being alone for a day and checking in with yourself is good for the mind. With that said, French Fries and peanut butter banana milkshakes are my weaknesses. RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? HR: Learning the cartwheel. Just kidding. When my mom and I

moved to Los Angeles when I was 11 we left my dad and brother behind in Dallas. We were just going for a few months to test the waters. I worked consistently so we never saw an opportunity to move back. Eventually my dad and brother made the move to L.A. and my whole family enjoys the city. Living apart from them for so many years was difficult on the whole family at times. Having them all here and giving me their support means the world to me. RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? HR: I try to remind myself failure is just a lesson. Try to find the lesson. Learn the lesson. Move on. RP: What projects are you currently working on? HR: We’re starting the second season of Chasing Life this month. After months off, I’m super eager to get back. We’re all very excited about the upcoming story lines. Time off is OK, but this job is too fun not to do all the time.

 Haley Ramm is an actor in ABC Family’s Chasing Life. You may have also seen her in Disconnect, Into The Wild, and X-Men: The Last Stand.

“I try to remind myself failure is just a lesson. Try to find the lesson. Learn the lesson.

Move on.

Robert Piper: What inspires you?



Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Entourage actor

Perrey Reeves On the importance of spending quality time in nature, practicing yoga, and staying balanced Interview: Robert Piper

Robert Piper: What inspires you? Perrey Reeves: Nature inspires me! I was lucky enough to grow up in a family that put the highest value on nature and all of her gifts. We always had gardens and planted our own vegetables. We always spent time outside in every kind of weather. When I wake up in the morning I can’t wait to go out and sit under the trees in my yard. RP: How has yoga impacted your life? PR: Yoga has influenced my life so strongly that I built a yoga retreat center in Costa Rica called The Sanctuary at Two Rivers. It’s a 40-acre, totally off-grid solar-powered oasis in the jungle between two rivers with waterfalls and wildlife everywhere you look. It is a culmination of all the beautiful aspects of yoga that I have had in my life with the asana practice, amazingly prepared food in the ayurvedic tradition, and meditation. We have weeklong programs that are open to the public. Something like a luxurious healthy vacation. RP: How do you stay balanced? PR: As an actress my life rarely has a consistent schedule so balance is always needed. I am lucky I have The Sanctuary at Two Rivers to head to on my time off. But for me, eating a healthy vegetarian diet, meditating and spending quality time in nature when I am in L.A. is a way to keep me grounded. And of course practicing yoga helps too. RP: What projects do you have coming up? PR: My biggest project at the moment is the June wedding my fiancé and I are planning. And of course the Entourage movie is coming out June 5. June seems to be an important month this year.

“Nature inspires me! I was lucky enough to grow up in a family that put the highest value on nature and all of her gifts.”

RP: How do you stay healthy? PR: I need to be active to stay healthy. Hiking, yoga, and Pilates help take care of that. I love to cook, so yummy vegetarian meals are part of my every day. And I love sleeping, {so I try} to get eight to nine hours every night. That may be the key to a happy life—sleep. I also get to go to The Sanctuary at Two Rivers when I feel I need to restore and rejuvenate. It is the perfect place to get recharged. Perrey Reeves is an actor who appears on the big screen in June in the movie Entourage. She’s also appeared in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Old School, and Covert Affairs. PHOTO: BRYAN RANDALL



Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Editor’s Note: One of the Most Powerful Interviews We’ve Ever Done.

Caitlin Kicks Ass.

Reign Actor and force behind

Caitlin Stasey

Social Justice, Getting over Yourself, Learning to Defend Her Ideas, and How Nothing Makes Her Feel Vulnerable Anymore

Maranda Pleasant: What inspires you? Caitlin Stasey: Social injustice inspires me to act. Compassion and integrity inspire me to continue to act on days when all seems futile. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? CS: Nothing anymore. Everything I am is available to be dissected, disputed, negated, and criticized, and yet I feel invincible. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? CS: Get over yourself. We are all destined for dust. Be good to each other. Seek meaning through generosity and sacrifice your privilege. Reject supremacy of any kind and love one another. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? CS: I cry a lot. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? CS: Chaos only exists if you allow it to. I do feel as though my life is in a constant state of last-minute plans, putting out fires, and HERSELF.COM 22 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

feeling extreme emotions. My only center is in the connections I make with other people, or mindless activities like watching TV. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life?

in animal rights and an abolishment of speciesism. MP: Tell me about your latest projects.

MP: What truth do you know for sure?

CS: My website and ongoing advocacy and awareness project: A site dedicated to championing all kinds of women-identifiers, and dedicated to amplifying their voices, fears, desires, and opinions.

CS: Love is enough.

MP: Why are these important to you?

MP: What is love for you?

CS: Because women are second-class citizens. Despite the general consensus in the Western world that women and men are “equal” there is still a huge divide between the many sexes. Women are perpetually betrayed by a system designed to empower men first and foremost and to either ignore [women’s] needs entirely or exploit them.

CS: Learn to defend your ideas, your work, but not your self.

CS: Compassion, solidarity, safety, challenges, escape, surrender, and compromise. Love for others can only bloom out of a sense of self-love, self-respect, and self-awareness. Love yourself! MP: Causes or organizations that you’re passionate about? CS: Feminism has brought me so much. It has informed so many of my opinions and has helped me shape opinions that would otherwise be lost to me. Feminism and those who employ it are my salvation during days of despair. I’m also a vegan and a firm believer

Caitlin is the amazing force behind the incredible website Some of her credits include The CW series Reign, The Pivot Series, Please Like Me, and the Australian film Tomorrow When the War Began, which won her a prestigious IF Film Award in Australia. PHOTO: Mert & Marcus



Superheroes + Changemakers 21 Sustainatopia Speakers and Leaders on Inspiration

What Inspires You?

Cat h e ri ne G ri ffi n An d r e w M o r g an Filmmaker Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA

Created the documentary film The True Cost. People who look past the way the world is today and see, instead, what could be tomorrow. I see it everywhere I look. A new wave of hope is quietly beginning to shake the foundation of cynicism, as people everywhere begin to re-imagine the world we are creating. Photo: Emily Morgan

G r ac e Kim Director of Strategy & Partnerships, GOODcorps Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA

Helps large organizations rethink impact with breakthrough programs. I find inspiration in experiences and art that hold up a mirror for us to make meaning of our lives, society and world. In these moments I can best envision where we are, and how we design ways to better support one another. | 24 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

Managing Director, GoodCompany Ventures Philadelphia, PENNSYLVANIA

I’m inspired by the human spirit’s resilience, its ability to creatively iterate and evolve in light of new, challenging circumstances, and the people brave and humble enough to strive, to see, to find and not to yield. Photo: Kevin Monko

K yle Par s o n s President, Indosole, LLC San Francisco, California

Founded a company that repurposes waste tires into the soles of stylish footwear.

Ca i t l i n Cro s b y

Those who push boundaries and think outside the box inspire me. I also look up to successful companies that make a point of giving back. The people of Indonesia are also an inspiration. Their resourcefulness, along with the trash problem they face, are what ultimately motivated me to found Indosole.

Los Angeles, California Photo: Courtesy of Indosole

Founder of The Giving Keys. Singer. Actress

Founded an organization that exists to employ those transitioning out of homelessness in Los Angeles to make jewelry out of repurposed keys. People who have found the strength to rise above their circumstances, hardships, setbacks, roadblocks, and failures, to pave a new healthier way for themselves and others.

“ We all have the power to change the world." —Elena Christopoulos

Ele na C hris to p o u l o s Principal, ECMC Santa Monica, California

Sustainability Expert, Political Advisor, and Passionate Environmentalist. When I run, it’s always a breath of fresh air that is intriguing and different. Inspiration, truly, is everywhere. You just need to open your eyes a little bit to see it all around you and absorb it all. We all have the power to change the world.

B re nt K e sse l CEO, Abacus Wealth Partners Santa Monica, California

Helps people expand what’s possible with money. I was born white in apartheid South Africa. Because of that, I got a great education and a ticket to America: an entirely different plight than my dark-skinned brethren. I’m inspired to use impact investing and strategic philanthropy to help people and animals who are suffering. ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 25

Sustainability: Superheroes + Changemakers (CONTINUED)

Ch ri s L i b ri e

What Inspires You?

Senior Director, Living Progress Strategy & Communications, HP Palo Alto, California

Dad, photo buff, communicator working to create a better future. The Pacific Ocean. My career has taken me all over the world, and now I call California home. I see the impacts of climate change every day. The ocean inspires me to think bigger, encourage bolder actions, and seize opportunities to have a meaningful impact on the world.

Ben Man d Photo: Merrick Ales Photography

SVP, Brand Marketing & Innovation, Plum Organics

An unfailing passion for building responsible CPG brands.

I’m a people-first kind of guy. Whether it’s being a butler for the U.S. Ambassador, shucking seeds for an organic coffee reforesting project in Costa Rica, or sleeping on a park bench in Japan as I traveled the world, I find incredible insight and inspiration from different cultures and experiences. Photo: Plum Organics

M ich e l l e Ferguson

J us t i n P e rk i ns

Executive Vice President of Marketing, Clif Bar & Company Emeryville, California

Watching my sons play baseball. Even at their young age, they are fearless in executing plays, devoted to the success of their teammates, and confident in their instincts. And, no matter what, they love the game! As adults we need to hold onto these qualities and our spirit of adventure.

Senior Director, Brand Engagement, Founder, OLOMOMO Nut Company Boulder, Colorado

Entrepreneur. Brand-builder. Digital Strategist. Snack Alchemist. Activist. Adventurer. Daddy. I’m inspired by my six-year-old daughter, Sofia, who is bilingual and practices her violin almost daily; my three-year-old daughter, Maren, who is also bilingual and a sensitive, unstoppable force; and my wife, Ayari De la Rosa, who teaches all of us unconditional love, persistence, and how to demand excellence of ourselves. | Photo: Ayari De La Rosa Perkins

M a lt e K ra m e r CEO/CoFounder, GIVVR Santa Monica, California

German-born athlete turned social entrepreneur, author, and speaker. My source of inspiration to this day is my grandfather, who died when I was six. He was a doctor, an entrepreneur, an Olympic athlete, and a loving family man. He opened my eyes to what is possible in one lifetime. | Photo: Nick Calafati 26 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

S m i ta Paul R. Paul H e r m an CEO/Founder, HIP (Human Impact + Profit) Investor, Inc. San Francisco, California

Innovative impact investment adviser, transformer of capital markets. Creating the world we want to live, work and play in, with a focus on how we spend, save and invest our money, which shapes our world to be better, or not. I am inspired by social entrepreneurs and innovators around the world who achieve positive results in seemingly impossible situations.

Founder, INDIGO HANDLOOM Oakland, California

Each time I visit the village where we work, I’m inspired. Everything feels precious and unique, both an ancient skill and a new discovery. I return home renewed and more determined to keep it alive. Photo: Julienne Schaer Photo: Cathy Grisham

“I admire

people who take risks and dare to be themselves."


M a rya m H e ne i n Filmmaker. Investigative Journalist. Eco-Entrepreneur Director, Vanishing of the Bees Los Angeles, California

Bar nab y C o o k Managing Director, Casual Films New York, New York

Cofounder of Casual Films and Casual Academy, a free filmmaking course for disadvantaged young people. Film production is a tough industry to get in to. I’m inspired by being able to provide opportunities for young people to start a career in film, regardless of background, gender or ethnicity. If they decide they want to make films about sustainability and social justice, even better.

I’m a yogi who is inspired by honeybees and everything they symbolize. These virgin sisters of toil represent our food supply, the sacred feminine, cooperation, swarm intelligence, and the greater good. I admire people who take risks and dare to be themselves. | Photo: Jose Gonzales ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 27

Sustainability: Superheroes + Changemakers (CONTINUED)

M aure e n K l i ne

What Inspires You? Columnist. Director of Public Affairs & Sustainability, Pirelli Tire North America Brooklyn, New York

I am inspired by systems thinking, young people tackling “wicked” problems, social entrepreneurs, impact investors, big companies setting ambitious sustainability goals, local economics, global thinking, and deep, interpersonal understanding. I want us to fight ignorance and enlighten our planet. Photo: Giuseppe Di Piazza

Ja son Fo s t e r Founder, Replenish Bottling Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA

Turning clean upside down with smarter, sustainably designed household products. Making the most out of what you have. The power reuse has to eliminate waste. Laughing children. The peace I feel when I know I tried my hardest. And ironing boards. |

A nt h o ny Z o l e zzi

L au r a Turner Seydel

Serial Entrepreneur. Author, Unchartered Water Rancho Santa Fe, California

Innovation and Profitability CEO Advisor on sustainability and health initiatives worldwide.

Chairperson, Captain Planet Foundation Atlanta, GEORGIA

I am constantly inspired by the pool of infinite possibilities that we all possess at our fingertips. All we have to do is use our imaginations to think big and make each possibility a stepping stone towards an even greater possibility. I am inspired by the belief that anything is possible, and if we work for it, we’ll attain it. Now that’s exciting!

True inspiration comes to me from my father, Ted Turner, who has inspired millions globally with his selfless desire to create a more just, equitable, peaceful, safe world for mankind and the thousands of other species that call this shared planet home. | Photo: Turner Enterprises, Inc

“I want us to fight ignorance and enlighten our planet." —MAUREEN KLINE

J o h n R o sse r Founder, Sustainatopia Beverly Hills, California

Founder of an annual mega-event for impact and sustainability. My daughter is my biggest inspiration. It is an honor to experience the world through her eyes and voice, as she reminds me of this incredible responsibility we all bear for the generations to come. Nature and animals, too, for their intricate design and enduring beauty. 28 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM


Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Salem actor

Elise Eberle
 On being inspired by people, living in the present, and surrounding herself with nature Interview: Maranda Pleasant

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you?

I’m also regularly inspired by people,

a fascination I use

as my muse to help

bring life into a character.

Elise Eberle: Discovering something new always inspires me. Whether it’s stumbling upon a uniquely creative photography blog or touching the walls of a Cathar castle ruin in the south of France, it’s a never-ending process of fulfillment. I’m also regularly inspired by people, a fascination I use as my muse to help bring life into a character, along with research to extract the details and complexity of a character. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? EE: Interesting. Even answering this question makes me realize I’m a very private person, and I guess sharing vulnerabilities is part of that. MP: If you could say something to


everyone on the planet, what would it be?

MP: Causes or organizations that you’re passionate about?

EE: Life is one giant adventure and it’s the journey that counts, not the destination. I know that it’s been said many times, but it’s so true. Immediate gratification or being driven by fear of failure is not a healthy way to live. Of course it is important to have goals, but at what expense? If one gets so caught up in the future, it’s difficult to live in the present.

EE: Last year my castmate Tamzin Merchant and I participated in Live Below the Line and raised money for Build Africa to spread awareness of poverty by living on $1.50 a day for five days. We plan to do it again this year. It is a great lesson to realize how fortunate we are.

MP: How do you handle emotional pain? EE: For me, hiking or walking outdoors in a natural environment relieves emotional tension. Surrounding myself with nature opens me to all my senses, which always brings me to a calmer realm. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? EE: Considering that my schedule is so variable, the only daily routine that I can think of is making a cup of tea in the morning. Though when chaos takes its toll, I like to escape and travel. Last year after finishing season one Salem, I took a solo trip to France and worked on an organic vegetable farm. Getting my hands in the dirt was so therapeutic, it allowed me to reconnect with my center and regain balance. It was grounding both metaphorically and literally.

MP: Tell me if you have a yoga or mindfulness practice. What influence has it had on your life? EE: I have been living in Shreveport while filming Salem and have yet to find a place to take Bikram yoga but when I’m in L.A, I love to go to Bikram Yoga Silverlake. Bikram brings me a euphoria that’s such an addictively fun and natural high. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. EE: Filming is still underway for season two of Salem. Mercy Lewis undergoes horrific changes and endures plenty this season. Playing Mercy is both emotionally taxing and physically demanding, but it allows me to dive deep into the role. I get to incorporate movement, body awareness and physicality, which is always so challenging and exciting for an actor. It’s such a gratifying and thrilling ride! Elise Eberle is best known for her scene-stealing role on the hit WGN series Salem. PHOTO: MARC CARTWRIGHT ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 29


Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Interview: Robert Piper Mistresses actor

Rochelle Aytes On what she learned from being a dancer, getting a late start as an actor, and how fear of failure never gets in her way

“I had to work hard at it and approach acting like I did my dance career: with determination, focus, and dedication.” Robert Piper: What inspires you? Rochelle Aytes: I am inspired by music, selfless acts of kindness, talented people and complicated and diverse characters. These things inspire me to be a better person and drive me to succeed and fulfill my dreams. RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? RA: The hardest obstacle I had to overcome was taking the chance at trying something new even when I didn’t feel ready or prepared. Making the transition from dance to acting was a scary thing. I didn’t start acting until my midtwenties. I was used to being good at what I did, but this was new territory. Would I be any good? Is it too late to start acting? I remember my first acting class in New York, at Penny Templeton Studios, each person had to go up and do a ten-minute improv. As I watched these students do amazing work my heart started racing and I was sweating and I felt so nauseous—that’s how nervous and scared I was. It took everything in me not to walk out of that classroom. I ended up staying and I discovered that I loved it! It wasn’t easy for me because I did not feel like a “natural.” I

had to work hard at it and approach acting like I did my dance career: with determination, focus, and dedication. There is always more to overcome for me and I will continue to work hard. RP: How do you stay healthy? RA: I stay healthy by eating more organic foods. I must say that when I was younger, I never thought about what I ate! Now, I make sure to have more fruits and vegetables, and drink more water. For the past five months I’ve actually been drinking warm lemon water in the morning before anything else and I managed to avoid flu season! I exercise as well. Sometimes I take Pilates, yoga, or a dance class. Gotta switch it up. RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? RA: Overcoming failure or not succeeding has always been one of my biggest fears. That fear has driven me to be the best version of myself. When I feel inadequate or less than prepared for something, my drive to achieve and succeed outweighs the fear. I have experienced many letdowns and disappointments in my career as a dancer

and an actress. I have cried when I didn’t get something that I desperately wanted. I have been fired from a show, feared that I would almost be fired from a movie, and questioned my career choice, but at the end of the day there is no place else I would rather be. So, with each failure and disappointment, I cry, I pray to God to give me the strength and I pick myself up and try again. A friend said to me the other day, “Sometimes rejection is God’s protection.” I truly believe that. I also believe that all of my “failures,” which are really not “failures” but learning experiences, have made me stronger and who I am today. RP: What projects are you currently working on? RA: I am currently working on season three of ABC’s Mistresses, where I play April Malloy. It’s going to be another thrilling year filled with sexy new characters, shocking twists, and more drama. Basically, all the guilty pleasure you can handle! Look for it this coming June. Rochelle Aytes is an actress who stars in the hit show Mistresses. She can also been seen in Criminal Minds. She’s also appeared in Desperate Housewives, Bones, and The Forgotten. PHOTO: ROWAN DALY


Interview: Robert Piper

Arrow actor

Cynthia AddaiRobinson

Sometimes those ‘failures ’ are blessings in disguise, and can ultimately steer you toward something better in your life.

On traveling solo, her “starving artist” moments, and using failure as fuel to do better next time

Robert Piper: What inspires you? Cynthia Addai-Robinson: All the experiences I’ve had traveling solo. I love traveling with people as well, but when I’m by myself, it forces me out of my comfort zone in a good way. I’m inspired by various cultures and environments, and I love observing daily life in a place other than my own home. I also learn a lot about myself when I have a total fish-out-ofwater experience. I think feeling like that regularly is good for the soul. My favorite thing is to wander around a city and take in all the sights and sounds and smells—and of course, to eat! RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? CAR: I’ve been really fortunate in my life; I’ve suffered pain and sadness and loss like anyone else, but it has never been anything that I wasn’t equipped to handle. Sometimes the hardest obstacles are the little day-to-day challenges and fears of feeling adrift and alone. I definitely have had my “starving artist” moments and times where I struggled both financially and personally. But I had to have a strong sense of belief in myself, and if I was ever in

doubt, I always had (and still have) amazing people in my life to keep me lifted and focused. RP: How do you stay healthy? CAR: I try to maintain an active lifestyle, whether that’s taking a class or leaving the car and going for a walk to run errands. In addition to that, I try to get a lot of sleep and eat a healthy diet. But the main thing for me is keeping a good state of mind. Your mental health affects all the choices you make about your physical health, so to me, it starts there. Keeping a positive attitude, surrounding yourself with good people, and keeping things in perspective when you hit a rough patch are part of my mental maintenance. RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? CAR: I think the word “failure” is a bit of a trap; if something doesn’t go your way and you think of it as failing, you can be unnecessarily hard on yourself. Sometimes

those “failures” are blessings in disguise, and can ultimately steer you toward something better in your life. If I make a mistake or don’t do something right, I try to take whatever lessons I can from it and keep it moving. Any frustration or sadness or anger that I’ve felt has been the fuel to my fire to make changes or do better next time. RP: What projects are you currently working on? CAR: I am filming The Accountant for Warner Brothers, a really cool, smart thriller starring Ben Affleck. I am also still working on the third season of Arrow for the CW playing Amanda Waller. And I can be seen this spring portraying the Yellow Rose of Texas in The History Channel’s miniseries event Texas Rising premiering this Memorial Day weekend. Cynthia Addai-Robinson is an actor who’s appeared in Arrow, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and The Vampire Diaries, to name a few. PHOTO: YONI GOLDBERG ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 31


Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Robert Piper: Amy, you overcame a truly large obstacle in life. Can you tell me what it was? Amy Purdy: Absolutely. At the age of 19—at that time I was really healthy. I was a massage therapist, and I started to feel like I was coming down with the flu one day and within 24 hours I was in the hospital on life support. I was given less than a 2 percent chance of living, and come to find out it wasn’t the flu at all. It was something called meningococcal meningitis, otherwise known as bacterial meningitis. We really have no idea how it started. It’s actually a pretty common bacteria, but it’s not that common to get sick from. Over the course of two-and-a-half months I ended up losing my spleen. I lost my kidney function. I lost the hearing in my left ear, and then due to the septic shock that my body went into I ended up losing both my legs below the knee. So, obviously things hit so quickly, hit at once, and I had to move on from there. However, had that had not happened I definitely wouldn’t be where I’m at today. Interview: Robert Piper Paralympic bronze medalist

Amy Purdy On overcoming obstacles through perseverance, realizing how resilient she could be at a young age, and using fear in a positive way

RP: Can you talk about how being resilient has had such an impact on your life? AP: I would’ve never known how resilient I was until I was put in the position where you could either walk away and say you can’t do something or you push through it and bounce back. I think just going through so much at such a young age and so quickly, I was able to bounce back. I’m very grateful for that, and now whenever trials or challenges come my way I know that I’ve been through worse, so I can certainly handle the trials and tribulations that life tends to bring.

“I would’ve never known how resilient I was until I was put in the position where you could either walk away and say you can’t do something or you push through it and you bounce back.”

RP: What advice do you have for overcoming fear? AP: I don’t know if you ever overcome fear. You need fear to a degree, and it depends on how it’s used. When I snowboard competitively or do Dancing with the Stars or get up on stage and speak there’s always a level of fear because it’s nervous energy. It’s not knowing what to expect. I kind of think that’s where the beauty lies. That’s what’s so fulfilling, when you can jump into something knowing you’re scared and still follow through with it. I think that’s where you come out stronger on the other side. Whenever I feel fearful of something I remind myself that it’s energy which can be used in a negative way or it can be used in a positive way, and I choose to use it in a way that I’m going to be excited. RP: What projects are you currently working on? AP: I have a clothing line that’s coming out in the spring, with a brand called Element Eden. That’s [something] I’ve been working on for quite a while, so it’s exciting for me to be able to use the creative part of myself for that. This year I’ve got a lot of different creative projects I’m working on, but I’m also kind of back in that space where I’m able to get inspired again. Amy is a New York Times best-selling author, actress, model, snowboarder, clothing designer, and 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist.


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Life by the Cup: Inspiration for a Purpose-filled Life by Zhena Muzyka Available:

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Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Actor + musician

Allie Gonino On finding her purpose as an artist, learning to appreciate success, and remembering to breathe deeply

Robert Piper: What inspires you? Allie Gonino: I can’t say there’s any one specific thing that inspires me. I’m most inspired when I get to travel and experience new places and people. I actually really enjoy writing songs when I’m riding a Jet Ski. That’s always been the easiest way to get me inspired, which doesn’t happen often, unfortunately. Artists, especially, and people who have overcome a lot in their lifetime inspire me. RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? AG: Standing in my own way. My fears, my addictions, the convoluted obstacles which my mind conjures. I’m a very proud idealist which makes it hard to be creative sometimes. And it’s funny, I’ve never been super religious, but I’ve always believed in God, and I believe my purpose as an artist is to illuminate truth and inspire others. I think I subconsciously put a lot of pressure on myself to do exceedingly

well in all fields in which I’m involved. Which can be really hard as an artist, as there are millions—I’m just approximating—of really talented artists out there. So the last several months have been a real growth period for me, learning to view and appreciate my own success on a personal level, and not comparing my own journey too much to others’.

die happy because I know that my last meal was a good one. I also try to limit my caffeine intake, and if I can help it, sugar and alcohol. Breathing deeply also helps with overall staying aliveness.

RP: How do you stay healthy?

AG: I typically like to binge-eat potato chips while watching Netflix several nights a week, and slip into a good old-fashioned depression. Once that part’s over, you just have to decide whether or not to give up or keep trying. If something doesn’t work, change it. If you can’t change it, move on. If you can’t move on, accept it and do what you can. If you never stop trying, you’ve never really failed. Breathe through it all.

AG: I’m not sure that I’m actually healthy or just have youth on my side. I try to stay fairly balanced in all areas of life, although I know that as I get older I’ll have to tip the scales a bit more in the direction of “healthy.” I have some skeletal/respiratory issues that have prevented me from being as physical as I’d like to be, so I try to listen to my body and give it rest when it calls for it. I usually like to exercise by taking a hot yoga class, hiking, lifting weights or doing cardio at the gym, or dancing. I think my biggest monetary splurge is on quality food. If I die tomorrow, I will

RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure?

RP: What projects are you currently working on? AG: Lately, I’ve been focused on making PHOTO: GENSHAI



music. I’m in an alt-folk trio called The Good Mad, and we just released an EP in January titled Face Your Feels. We’ve been playing shows and promoting the EP, and making music videos. On April 7 I’ll release my first solo EP, Hollywood High, which I wrote and coproduced. It’s really a combination of all my biggest influences. I’d compare it to a love child between The Dixie Chicks, Father John Misty, and Fiona Apple. I’ve also invested in Recreator, which is an active lifestyle brand that features quality products made from hemp. It’s my first venture into entrepreneurial waters but I think it has the potential to be at the forefront of the hemp movement. Other than that, I plan to do some traveling this year and play music in cities where I’ve never played. Another season of The Red Road wouldn’t hurt either.

Interview: Robert Piper

Allie Gonino is an actor and musician. She can be seen in the show The Red Road and has a new EP that came out in April.

It’s funny, I’ve never been super religious, but I’ve always believed in God, and I believe my purpose as an artist is to illuminate truth and inspire others.

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Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Majora Carter Urban revitalization strategist and Peabody Award-winning broadcaster

On creating accessible jobs, urban renewal, and growing tech ecosystems Interview: Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky

Paul D. Miller: You’re a visionary for urban renewal. Where was your first sense that things could be different? Majora Carter: It came from desperation! After escaping from the “burning” South Bronx, I returned with education and distance that helped me understand that “urban blight” was an outcome of policies, land-use patterns, and economic decisions outside of our control. We used the environment as a tool, attaching sustainability and health to accessible jobs and economic development potential that met people where they were. Ours was a market-based, not an “activist,” approach. We spoke to landscapers, cemeteries, brownfieldremediation companies because they were sensitive to issues around erosion, stormwater management, etc., and were potential employers. Some of my peers were pushing solar/wind installations, but the combination of political resistance to alternative energy plus my market research showed that those jobs would not be available to America’s chronically underemployed: mostly Black and Latino people coming out of jail, single moms on welfare. A lot of government and philanthropic training and advocacy money went out the window, with very few jobs in return. PDM: What’s your latest project? MC: StartUp Box. It’s a social venture designed to help people in low-income communities move from being consumers to producers of technology through accessible job creation. It’s the same way that we looked at the green space—listening to the employer community, not just advocates. There is a push to teach kids to code, but when we spoke to people in the industry, none of them mentioned learning to code as a kid, but we learned about their pain points to discover where accessible jobs that lead to career-building opportunities are. That’s how we found quality-assurance software testing. This work is mostly offshored for logical reasons: it’s cheaper. But it turns out when cultural vernacular and same time-zone interactions are important for developers, we could combine QA with market insights and convenience to produce the higher-value service that some companies want and build the professional networks of our employees. PDM: Who else do you view as an inspiration? MC: Kathryn Finney. She created The Budget Fashionista and now heads DigitalUndivided. Her goal is to make sure women of color, who are the most underresourced in terms of start-up capital for their businesses, get deals made. MAJORACARTERGROUP.COM | SBSQ.ORG 36 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

PDM: I’d love to hear you talk about the current politics shaping urban renewal. MC: Innovation comes from low-income communities, in many cases, because we have to be innovative to survive. But we’re not seeing capital come to communities like ours. StartUp Box is developing community capacity. I had to start with my own money, because there was not much appetite to grow tech ecosystems in communities like ours. Hopefully, our example will give more folks a chance to take a second look at what we can do. “Innovation comes from low-income communities, in many cases, because we have to be innovative to survive. But we’re not seeing capital come to communities like ours.”

PDM: What’s the Majora take on the next five years in urban renewal? MC: Folks should listen more to Majora. [Laughs.] But I’m not being facetious. There is this very paternalistic approach to lowincome communities, aided by a governmental and philanthropic supported social-industrial complex that has seen very little statistical improvement while spending more each year—for decades. You can’t put the cart before the horse in terms of understanding what the market forces are. Let’s prepare people to participate.

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Interview: Barbi Twins

Founder of Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson


Yana Rusinovich

On how their lives as activists began, the top ten enemies of the planet, and an easy recipe for vegan cheese Captain Paul Watson and Yana Rusinovich were married on February 14, 2015.

Barbi Twins: Paul, you’re the most famous, heroic protector of the ocean and its creatures. You cofounded Greenpeace, went on to create the top marine conservation organization, Sea Shepherd, and have the hit TV show Whale Wars. What was your life-changing moment that made you dedicate your whole life towards improving the planet? Paul Watson: It was June 1975, and I was a crew member on the first Greenpeace campaign to protect the whales. It was off the coast of northern California. Before us was the Soviet whaling fleet. We [arrived] on the scene just as a harpoon tore into a young sperm whale. I could not take my eyes off the dying whale closest to us. I saw his huge eye, and I could see that he saw me. At that moment, he dove once again, and I saw pink, bloody bubbles coming to the surface, moving closer to our boat. Within seconds, the whale’s head shot above the surface of the sea, angled so we could see that his intent was to come crashing down upon us. As his head rose ever higher, I saw that eye once again. Suddenly, I was struck with the realization that this whale understood what we were doing. His muscles tensed and he began to slowly slide back into the sea. I kept eye contact with him until his eye sank beneath the surface. And so he died. He could have killed us, but he had not, and

the look in that eye has haunted me ever since. It is from what I saw in the eye of that whale that has led me to devote my entire adult life to the defense of whales and other creatures of the sea, because I know that if we cannot save the whales, turtles, sharks, tuna, and complex marine biodiversity, the oceans will not survive. And if the oceans die, humanity will die, for we cannot survive on this planet with a dead ocean. BT: Sea Shepherd is basically the only organization that legally upholds international conservation laws through a direct-action, global, environmental movement. Why doesn’t the government uphold international laws? PW: Governments today represent corporations and the interests of the politicians that comprise governments. There is certainly a lack of vision or even concern for the future. It’s all about now—short-term investments for short-term profits. If we are to protect this planet, it will have to be done by passionate, compassionate, concerned, and courageous citizens who take it upon themselves to act to uphold the laws their governments refuse to uphold. Sea Shepherd is not an organization. We are a movement of activists with the will to defend the future for all life on this planet. BT: Yana, you’re one of the most dedicated, informative animal activists in the movement, a leader in your country for animal rights. You


also host LA Talk Radio’s State of the Oceans. What changed your whole life to dedicate it towards helping animals? Yana Rusinovich: I think, the love and respect that I have for animals I received, when I was a child, from my grandmother. I grew up in a small village, Tatarstan, near the river Volga. I learned from her that we have to respect what we are eating and respect all life of all species, not just humans. My grandmother showed me that cows and pigs and chickens can show love and compassion and that they are intelligent and sensitive and have the same feelings that humans do. BT: Who would be in your top-ten Interpol list of real villains that slaughter and destroy our planet, Paul? PW: One, the Spanish syndicates that run much of the world’s illegal fishing operations. Two, Japanese companies like Mitsubishi and the Institute for Cetacean Research. Three, Monsanto. Four, Big Oil like BP, Shell, Exxon. Five, climate-change-denying politicians. Six, corrupt politicians that betray their own people for bribes. Seven, the plastic industry, for destroying our ocean. Eight, the pharmaceutical industry. Nine, the animal agricultural industry, as the largest source of greenhouse gases, groundwater pollution, and water wastage on the planet. And ten, ourselves—human society and our obsession for uncontrolled growth, both in our numbers and our material consumption. PHOTO: GARY STOKES

BT: Yana, you’re an incredible vegan spokesperson, especially for the organization L214. Tell us what their main goal is. YR: They send spies to the farms to film and expose the horrors of production of foie gras. They win big respect, and for that, they have become first place as one of the biggest animal rights organizations. BT: You have a Facebook group, Veganpower. Can you give us a favorite vegan tip? YR: I am going to give you the most easy and quick way to do your vegan cheese since this is the most popular. You need a blender, a pot, a mixing spoon, and a container. Take soy milk, cashew nut powder, almond paste, lemon juice, grapeseed oil or olive oil, agar powder, miso paste, vegetable stock, white pepper, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. You put all this in the blender, and mix it up till it gets creamy; then you put this on the stove and mix. Keep stirring on the stove for ten minutes. After, put it all in a container, put this in the fridge

for one hour, and you get your vegan cheese. .

“If the oceans die,

BT: Paul, what did it take to win the heart of the most famous animal activist leader in history?

humanity will die,

PW: When I first saw Yana, I was instantly attracted to her. She is beautiful, but as you well know, there are many beautiful women in the world. The difficult thing is to find someone who is not only beautiful in every way but who possesses the attributes that I find absolutely most attractive—compassion, passion, imagination, intelligence, sensitivity, empathy, and courage. Yana has all of that. I love her immensely, unconditionally, and perfectly.

for we cannot survive on this planet with a dead ocean.” — Ca ptai n Paul Wat s on

BT: Yana, you’re the mermaid that completes Captain Paul Watson. If you had superpowers as a mermaid, what power would that be? YR: The power to make people go vegan, of course! And the power of love! To make people love each other, no matter which nationality, color of skin, age, or religion.


Intervi ew : Barbi Tw i n s

E n v i ro n m e n ta l a n d a n i m a l a dvo cat e

Morgan Fairchild On odd hobbies, being a science nerd, and the “crazy cat lady” label

Helping others always gives you that warm glow, and that, in turn, is so attractive to others. Inner peace and warmth attract the same.”

Barbi Twins: You’re the most famous glamorous actress, known for your ageless beauty. Can you give us some simple, easy beauty tips that women can do at home with natural products to slow the aging process? Morgan Fairchild: One of the easiest beauty products that is also cheap is coconut oil. I take a tablespoon a day for all its health benefits. You can also make a good skin exfoliant with it. Combine two tablespoons of sugar with two tablespoons of coconut oil, and use the mixture to exfoliate your skin. Plain coconut oil can also be used as a skin softener and on your cuticles to strengthen nails. BT: What was the defining moment in your life to use your household name as a platform for helping charities? Which are your favorite charities and why? MF: I have always had a great interest in science, and I have odd hobbies. One of my hobbies is emerging viruses and epidemiology. I follow new and weird diseases. When AIDS first arose, before it even had a name, I was following it. That meant that when Rock Hudson became ill and America first really paid attention to it, I was in a unique position to go on TV as a famous face, but also armed with a lot of knowledge about the disease. MORGANFAIRCHILD.COM | FIXNATION.ORG 40 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

It was very controversial at the time, and I was advised by agents and PR people not to get out there. I know it cost me work, but I felt I was the only famous face who could do it, and I know to this day that I helped save lives by helping to get the disease treated as a disease and not a social stigma. It’s one thing I’m proudest of in my life. BT: Many would be surprised to know how politically savvy you are and how well you are connected to politics. Tell us how you became such an empowered woman despite the typical Hollywood stereotype of being “just a beautiful blond actress.” MF: Being a science nerd, there were issues I felt strongly about, and I quickly realized that to have any effect upon those issues, I would need to become involved politically. I also quickly realized that if I could walk and chew gum at the same time, many in D.C. were blown away. I was proud to become involved in several different issues that I felt should be addressed, and I learned a lot along the way—both about issues and human nature, for better or worse! BT: Your love for cats is very well known. Tell women who love cats what the secret is to not be viewed as a “crazy cat lady” and instead a beautiful cat rescuer.

MF: I love all animals and try to help in any way I can, whether it’s to get cats and dogs adopted or prevent the extinction of species. I don’t feel anyone should have to apologize for loving and protecting animals, so there should never be a “crazy cat lady” label. Just a “lovely cat protector” lady! BT: Which specific animal organizations do you support and why? MF: I support several organizations, such as FixNation, that fixes cats for a very reasonable fee to keep feral cat populations from expanding, to many animal rescue groups. BT: Do you think that charity can give women an inner beauty to give them that ageless glow? MF: I feel that we are all here on earth to reach out in love to one another, whether to people or to animals. I think any kind of giving without expecting anything in return gives one much more than a glow; it gives one a step toward inner peace, nirvana, heaven— whatever you want to call it. Helping others always gives you that warm glow, and that, in turn, is so attractive to others. Inner peace and warmth attract the same.

Photo: martin mann

Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee

Eric Roberts

Interview: Barbi Twins

On animal activism, animals and healing, and men who love cats

Barbi Twins: You’re one of the most famous award-winning actors. What made you want to use your platform to promote animal activism and animal rescue? Eric Roberts: I absolutely cannot stand for any animals to suffer or live anything less than a safe, happy life. It’s important to use all means available. If having a high profile helps encourage other people to work to help animals, then I’m so grateful to be able to do that. BT: What was the defining moment that made you want to help animals so much? Did you always love animals as a child? ER: I loved every bird, cat, and horse I saw as a child. Then our family got a dog, and I really responded to the role of taking care of him. BT: Could you attribute your animal activism to the strong bond you have with your wife? Can you talk about the animal-attraction story that won the heart of Eric Roberts? ER: What a hilarious question! I’ve always loved redheads, and my wife is a redhead. So that was basic chemistry right there. And I respond to kindness, and she is kindness personified. I had my cat, Tender, on my lap in the plane Eliza and I met on, and the cat helped to bond us, that’s for sure.

BT: Can you explain how animals can be therapeutic and very healing and how you came to understand this yourself? ER: First of all, giving is the best therapy and the best calming force we can engage in. So loving an animal is therapeutic to the human. Then to watch them be brave enough to be pure love. It’s inspiring. Animals are pure inspiration. BT: We heard you absolutely love kitties. I’ve heard that men that love cats have no control issues since you can’t control cats. What made you such a cat lover, while most men seem to hate cats? What can you suggest to get rid of the stigma that men should hate cats? ER: How interesting. Yes, cats are control freaks, so they seem less needy. Cats are like cool women. I think men might think they need a big, muscular dog as an extension of themselves. Be more secure than that! BT: What are your favorite animal organizations? ER: We love Precious Paws because they know every animal they care for. They are hands-on and not about the list of celeb names on their board. They’re about the animals. BT: Can you share some rescue-animal stories?


ER: Here’s a squirrel story: My niece and nephew, Arielle and Louie, called early one morning having found a litter of tiny baby squirrels in their front yard. I told them I’d come right over but in the meantime to prepare a box and place them by the base of a tree and see if Mom comes—Mama Squirrel, that is. Once I got there, the kids had not been able to round up any of the babies, and no mother in sight. We camped out in that yard, called squirrel experts, and finally got two of the babies over to the rescue lady. The next day, the third baby had been nowhere in sight. The morning after that, in our PJs, we drove over to the house just before 6 a.m., knowing that that’s when squirrels usually awaken and start looking for food. Sure enough, there was that third baby squirrel running along on the street! We scooped him up and rushed him to rescue, where he was placed in a tissue box filled with soft nesting materials. This litter of squirrels grew up beautifully and together.

“Giving is the best therapy and the best calming force we can engage in. So loving an animal is therapeutic to the human.” BT: What do you want Eric Roberts to be known for, your legacy? ER: I’d like to be known for kindness, great work, and being a work in progress. PHOTO: PAMELA COREY ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 41


Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Extend your hand to the fallen, help someone get up, even if they've done wrong.”

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you?

EN: My truth is that my passions will never let me down.

Elvis Nolasco: God, a spiritual foundation, a good book, a good play, or a movie. Exercising, a good hike or run, ’70s and ’80s music. Being of service to others, family, and friends. Welcoming a new year with 30 minutes of silence, prayer, and meditation. Last, but not least, my daughter, watching her growth and witnessing her find her passion, her art, her drive.

MP: What is love for you?

MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? EN: I feel most vulnerable when I’m in an audition. Walking into a run and having to expose myself and my art, that moment when one is being judged by people you’ve never met.

Elvis Nolasco On being judged in auditions, therapeutic running, and digging deep Interview: Maranda Pleasant

MP: What causes or organizations are you passionate about? EN: Covenant House in New York City has a great history with providing runaway kids with a place to sleep, counseling, and meals and [placing] them in foster-care homes. MP: Tell me about your mindfulness practice. What influence has it had on your life?

MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be?

EN: Meditation: it brings me clarity, [connection] to the world around me, serenity, and peace of mind.

EN: “Extend your hand to the fallen, help someone get up, even if they’ve done wrong.”

MP: Tell me about your latest projects and why they are important to you.

MP: How do you handle emotional pain?

American Crime and Da Sweet Blood of Jesus actor

EN: Goodwill. When it’s given or received unconditionally, no motives, that’s love.

EN: I deal with emotional pain by talking to people that are closest to me. I’ve been blessed with family and friends that are very approachable and open-minded. I also find going for run has proven to be very therapeutic for me. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? EN: Breath, breath, and breath again. I find that, being a New Yorker, I’m seldom startled or surprised by much. Daily routine? Prayer and meditation, staying in gratitude. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? EN: One of my biggest lessons in life has been patience and perseverance. Not allowing time to be the deciding factor in accomplishing goals. Understanding that all things that are meant for me will eventually come, and as long as I am prepared, all will be well. MP: What truth do you know for sure?

EN: John Ridley’s American Crime and Spike Lee’s Da Sweet Blood of Jesus. They’re important to me because of the personal and professional growth that I experience. In Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, I play the role of Lafayette Hightower, a very intelligent yet quirky art curator who specializes in African artifacts, a man who we quickly learn has an extreme discomfort with society and whose gold-digging wife doesn’t help the situation. In American Crime, I play the role of Carter Nix, a young man who comes from a good middleclass family. However, when we are introduced to Carter, we meet a very complex and dark character that has a profound need to fill the empty hole that exists in him, leading him into a world of addiction and violence. Portraying these complex and dark characters required me to dig deep, to invest on an emotional level to be able to bring truth to these characters. Elvis Nolasco stars opposite Felicity Huffman and Regina King on the muchanticipated ABC series American Crime and in the new Spike Lee film, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus.


“ Living your life in preparation for death is no life at all.”

MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? DA: “Frankie says, ‘Relax.’” MP: How do you handle emotional pain? DA: Through sound and fury. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? DA: Focus on my breath and find another step. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? DA: That living your life in preparation for death is no life at all. MP: What truth do you know for sure? DA: That “fallacy” is one of my favorite words. MP: What causes or organizations are you passionate about? DA: OxFam is a wonderful organization that does good the world over. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. DA: Currently finishing the first season of the CW’s iZombie, in which I play the big, bad Blaine DeBeers. We premiered on Tuesday, March 17, after another DC Comics show, The Flash. Check it out!

Alias and iZombie actor

David Anders On what makes him come alive, what makes him feel vulnerable, and one of his biggest lessons Interview: Maranda Pleasant

MP: Why are these important to you?

▼ Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? David Anders: Shostakovich on a sunny day. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? DA: A Tom Waits ballad at 30,000 feet.

DA: Because iZombie is the best, albeit the only, zom-com-romdram in the history of television! David Anders stars as lead bad boy Blaine DeBeers on the CW’s new DC Comics show, iZombie. David is a longtime television actor best known for his roles on the popular J. J. Abrams series Alias, ABC’s Once upon a Time, 24, Heroes, Necessary Roughness, and The Vampire Diaries.



Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Everyone is a product of their journey.


Interview: Robert Piper

Dania Ramirez

Devious Maids actor

On loving the struggle, her relationship with family, and finding an escape

Robert Piper: What inspires you? Dania Ramirez: My family and love—I love to live and I live to love. To be able to love “the struggle” is the most difficult yet rewarding because it inspires me to overcome obstacles and gives me the kind of drive that can make anyone feel like they can conquer anything. No matter how small the success or how big the failure, there is a way to find love in it all and that’s what makes me feel accomplished [and] inspired, and hopefully makes my journey inspiring! RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? DR: There are decisions that I have made in my life that I know haven’t made my parents proud. I love them so much that the hardest obstacle for me has been finding a way to accept that it is OK to be exactly who I am, even if it deems me disappointing to them at times, and to still accept and love them for who they are. Everyone is a product of their journey. RP: How do you stay healthy? DR: I enjoy working out so I try to switch out my routines and classes [so] as to not get bored. I don’t particularly like fast food so

that has been a plus in staying healthy. I love to cook, so it allows me to maintain healthy eating habits. I don’t deprive myself though. I am a foodie; I just prefer a home-cooked meal. I also drink tons of water and if I go through periods where I want to have fun and party, I stay hydrated after some drinks. Everything in moderation! RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? DR: Escaping the country with my husband so I can experience the things that really matter in life, like experiencing other cultures, tasting foods for the first time, or lying on beaches that no person has ever stepped on before always puts my mind at ease. It really centers me to be away from everything and allows me to deal with the failure away from any judgment so that I can learn the true lesson and find the positive experience that can come from it. I feel deeply and love to feel the failures to allow myself to use everything as honest as I can in my craft. RP: What projects are you currently working on? DR: I will reprise my role as Rosie on Devious Maids, which returns this summer to Lifetime. I am currently in Atlanta filming season three, which already feels like the best season yet!

Everyone by now is so comfortable in their talents. I am referring to everyone as in the actors, the writers, but also everyone above and below the line. Our crew is fantastic and this year they are taking the funny and the sexy to a higher level! Also, I am very excited about my own project! Through my production company, 1 Bullet in the Gun Productions, I produced and starred in our first film, titled Talbot County. My husband, Bev Land, wrote and directed the film. We are currently in post-production. Talbot County is a Hitchcockian tale of horror set in 1986 that delves into a hundred-year-old true fable and is met with consequences that go beyond any classroom lessons. The film centers around six college kids in a sleepy Southern town. When the class is assigned a group project to rediscover a moment in history, one of them sets in motion a horrific fate when he proposes they head into the Georgia backwoods to tackle the legend of Emily Burt, the Talbot County werewolf. It’s the perfect date movie, scary and funny all at once. I had the best time making it, I can’t wait for people to see Isabella Cruz in action. Dania Ramirez is an actor who stars in Devious Maids, and has appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand, Entourage, and Premium Rush, to name a few.



Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

“There were years when I couldn’t book a show. It was always just me and one other girl, and it never went my way. But my mom reminded me every single day, it’s a game of tenacity.”

Interview: Robert Piper

The Walking Dead actor

Alanna Masterson On understanding what matters in life, perseverance, and keeping a positive outlook Robert Piper: What inspires you? Alanna Masterson: Traveling and helping other people. I just got back from a trip to Nepal, and that was the most inspiring month of my life. Learning about other customs and cultures. Understanding what matters in life and having a positive outlook, even on the darkest days.    RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? AM: There have been tons of obstacles and hurdles in my life. There were times where I had no money, working three jobs. There were years when I couldn’t book a show. It was always just me and one other girl, and it

never went my way. But my mom reminded me every single day, it’s a game of tenacity. She never let me give up, but also told me I could stop auditioning if it wasn’t making me happy. After years of perseverance, I booked The Walking Dead.   RP: How do you stay healthy?  AM: I cook a lot. When I was in college in NYC, I couldn’t afford to eat out with all my friends. So I started watching the Food Network religiously, and taught myself. When I was a kid, my mom taught me the love of cooking. She is the healthiest person I know, so I try and emulate her. Ice cream is my Achilles, don’t tell anyone.   

RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? AM: Head up, shoulders back. I had a really hard year last year—went through a devastating breakup. But I spoke with my brothers and mom every single day for months, and they got me through it. Kept busy, watched movies, read books and surrounded myself with good friends.    RP: What projects are you currently working on?  AM: A little ditty called The Walking Dead.  Alanna Masterson is an actor in The Walking Dead. She’s also appeared in First Day, Grey’s Anatomy, Malcolm in the Middle.




Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Revenge actor

James Tupper On playing in a family band, life’s uncertainty, and his top must-read books Interview: Robert Piper

Robert Piper: What inspires you? James Tupper: People who don’t win the Oscar and still keep smiling for the cameras. Kidding. I work with a hospital in Toronto called SickKids and it’s truly inspiring to see these children and their families overcoming their illnesses. RP: How do you stay healthy? JT: I’m a runner. Long distance. Also I try to eat really well, but sometimes that’s hard to do when you’re working on set. And when I have time, I like to read. I think a major part of being healthy is feeding your mind, too. RP: What is one of the hardest obstacles you’ve had to overcome? JT: Fortunately I wasn’t wrongly incarcerated for twenty years like my character David Clarke, but I have had my share of misfortunes. I’ve always had a love and drive to work in our industry that's helped me stay positive through the tough times. RP: How do you stay balanced? JT: I’ve got a great family and we like to play music. We call ourselves the Hallelujah Band because we’ve got spirit but we’re not always in time and on key. I think it’s really important, no matter how successful you are, to do things that you suck at. It certainly makes me grateful for my life. RP: What projects are you currently working on? JT: Revenge is taking up all of my time right now. But if you have any connections, I would love to be the lead in an action movie. Should we start shooting in May? RP: What’s the best advice you could give someone about life? JT: Oscar night you always hear people saying, “Follow your dream.” This doesn’t have to mean something major like leaving your chosen profession, but finding something to do each and every single day that’s following your dream. Small things will build up over time and become your new reality. RP: How do you deal with uncertainty? JT: I don’t know. Life is uncertain. The only constant is change, so carpe diem. RP: What’s on your all time favorite reading list for books?

“Small things will build up over time and become your new reality.”

JT: May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes, House of the Dead by Dostoyevsky, anything by Henry Miller (it’s all kind of the same), and D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Back to the classics! James Tupper is an actor who’s appeared in Grey’s Anatomy, Men in Trees, and Revenge.


Gregg Sulkin Faking It actor Interview: Robert Piper

On caring for his family, being a healthy foodie, and trying to find a girlfriend in L.A. Robert Piper: What inspires you? Gregg Sulkin: My family is the most important thing to me. Therefore, it is, without sounding too cheesy, my goal and dream to look after my present family and hopefully future family. I’m excited to be a dad one day. Not yet, but definitely in the future. RP: How do you stay healthy? GS: I work out four, five times a week, mainly trying to focus on core-strength workouts rather than just lifting weights. I’m an actor, so I don’t want to limit my opportunities playing different characters. Eating healthy is the key, but I definitely don’t starve myself. I’m a very big foodie. RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? GS: Moving to the States when I was seventeen wasn’t easy. But when you have a passion for something and are determined to succeed, you have to make sacrifices. Thankfully, it’s paid off. Also, finding a girlfriend in L.A. is pretty tough! But when the time is right and the woman is too, hopefully that will fall into place. RP: How do you stay balanced? GS: My brother would kick the crap out of me if I ever acted entitled

or big-headed. Probably my parents would too. We are all humans at the end of the day; I just like to keep my head down, work hard, and stay out of the nightclub scene. I was always told growing up, “It doesn’t cost anything to be nice to others,” and I’ve always just treated people, especially elders, with respect. RP: What projects are you working on? GS: My MTV show, Faking It, is coming back on the air for season two this spring, and I also have two feature movies coming out in 2015. One is called Anti-Social, where I play a less-privileged graffiti artist, and the other one is called Don’t Hang Up, a horror movie about a prank call two best friends make that goes horribly wrong.

“I was always told growing up, ‘It doesn’t cost anything to be nice to others,’ and I’ve always just treated people, especially elders, with respect.”

Gregg Sulkin, who stars on MTV’s Faking It, will be in the upcoming movies Anti-Social and Don’t Hang Up. His acting credits include Pretty Little Liars, Wizards of Waverly Place, and Avalon High. PHOTO: STEVEN GOMILLION AND DENNIS LEUPOLD ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 49


Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Sons of Liberty actor

On acting as therapy, feeding our souls, and putting something nice out there Interview: Maranda Pleasant

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? David Lipper: Working inspires me. It takes so much to get a movie made. So many people have put their hearts and souls into a project to get it to the screen that when it actually does, it really is a miracle. So many have tried and failed in this that we need to appreciate each moment we have on screen. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? DL: Live theater. Standing there with no second take available and a room full of people to judge your performance. That’s vulnerable for me. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? DL: I don’t handle emotional pain well at all. I want a way to relieve it as quickly as possible, and that’s one of my greatest faults. But lucky for me, acting is a way for me to gain closure on my emotional pain. It really is therapy for me. If I didn’t have that, I’d be in big trouble. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? DL: Routine is important. We need maintenance just like your car. That includes a good diet and exercise. But we also have souls which need feeding, and that requires meditation. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? DL: As soon as you think you know something, the universe will teach you how little you truly know. MP: What organizations are you passionate about?

“We need maintenance just like your car. That includes a good diet and exercise. But we also have souls which need feeding, and that requires meditation.”

MP: What is love for you? DL: If I knew what the hell love was, I’d be married by now. I guess I only understand it through association. When someone fits me effortlessly—that connection—that’s love to me.

DL: I have two charities I work very closely with. One is the USC Shoah Foundation, whose mission is to prevent genocide in the world through education, starting with tapes of Holocaust survivors telling their stories. The other is Penny Lane. They find homes for displaced kids, from toddlers all the way up to teenagers. They also have a wonderful facility filled with counselors to help give these kids a new life. I believe the focus of the world has to be on our youth; they are the future.

MP: What is the most important thing for us to do as beings?

MP: Tell me about your mindfulness practice. What influence has it had on your life?

DL: Sons of Liberty was a big miniseries for History that just aired last month. I was excited to be part of such a spectacle. I was extremely proud of my film Pioneers’ Palace that premiered last month at Sundance, not only for my work as an actor, but also because I helped coach so many of those kids in their first performances.

DL: Yoga has been great for me. I just feel better when I do it. I breathe better, I walk better, and I’m calmer. DAVIDLIPPER.COM 50 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

DL: Be nice to other people, even when it’s hard. People have no idea how much a snide remark they don’t think twice about can ruin someone else’s day. Put something nice out there instead, and that chain reaction of negativity doesn’t begin. MP: Tell me about your latest projects.


Interview: Robert Piper

Salem actor

Seth Gabel On human existence, being bullied in camp, and what defines true character

“There’s no motivation like reading that you have a naked scene coming up in the next episode. CrossFit helps.”

Robert Piper: What inspires you?

RP: How do you stay healthy?

Seth Gabel: The fact that none of us have any clue why we’re here in the first place. This used to be incredibly daunting for me, but once you move through certain rites of passage—bar mitzvah, graduation, birth of first child, death of someone dear—you begin to sense the enormity of our even being here in the first place. So many have lived and died before us, and we only exist because somehow—in the chaos and entropy of a billion trillion particles brought together and unified by a simple attraction through gravity—we came to be, here in this place, in this time, in this moment.

SG: There’s no motivation like reading that you have a naked scene coming up in the next episode. CrossFit helps.

I also like palindromes. RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? SG: I went to a summer day camp just before second grade, and one of the bullies there found out I was really into Short Circuit 1 and 2. He somehow convinced me that they had made not only a Short Circuit 3 but that 4, 5, and 6 had come out on VHS and I was a total fool for missing them. I went to the local video store and searched the aisles—nothing. I asked every store clerk there and insisted on seeing the manager—nothing. Still, at camp, he insisted they were real. It was an unprecedented form of psychological torture I’m not sure anyone could recover from. All those sleepless nights wondering. What was the question again?

RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? SG: My therapist taught me this awesome way to start your day. You say to yourself, “I wonder what obstacles I’m going to face today.” You think about it and then respond to yourself, “Bring it on.” Sounds cheesy, but give it a try. It’s shifted things for me in such a way that I look forward to opportunities where the stakes are high and there’s a risk of failure. I call them “championship moments.” It’s like the fantasy that people have while practicing dribbling on the basketball court, whispershouting, “Three, two, one,” as you shoot for the hoop. It’s that “three, two, one” moment that defines your ability to face a challenge, and even more importantly, it’s about what you do next, whether you make the shot or not, that defines your true character. RP: What projects are you working on? SG: I have a few pottery projects in the works, but mostly Salem fills the days. I’m also developing a few stories for TV, graphic novel, and transmedia. Seth Gabel is an actor who has appeared in Salem, Fringe, Gothica, and The Da Vinci Code.



Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Bloodline, Murder in the First, and 50 to 1 actor

Jamie McShane On surviving a freak accident, overcoming failure, and staying calm and cool when things go awry Interview: Robert Piper

Robert Piper: What is the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in life? Jamie McShane: I got hurt very badly when I was a kid—a freak accident. Up until that point, I had an amazing childhood. I played lots of sports (excelled in hockey), did well in school, was a popular, roughand-tumble kid. One day at school, when I was ten and a half, I slipped on sawdust left behind from a wood shop class. I fell backwards and smashed my head so hard that the skull cracked like an eggshell and caused massive internal bleeding. I was not expected to live through it, but when I did, my world was completely different. That one moment changed everything for me. The physical part of it was less than fun to deal with, but it was the emotional damage that plagued me after that really sucked. I went from being the rugged hockey/soccer/ baseball player at one school to the freak with the helmet at another school. I got picked on but now could not fight back. I struggled through it, trying to figure out who I was while desperately missing who I had been before the fall. It was not until my twenties that I was able to reconnect to the boy I had been. I toughened up over time as life threw me many more rough twists, but have had trouble letting go of the emotional baggage along the way. I guess acting has helped me play out these losses, hopes, dreams, and emotions. RP: What inspires you? JM: Colors, especially rich purples. Sunshine and nature. People who are compassionate and wonderful. The idea of getting better at anything. Poetry and really good movies or TV. DaVinci, Michelangelo, Einstein, The Beatles, Springsteen, John McEnroe, Wayne Gretzky, Pelé, Robin Hood.

“I was not expected to live through it, but when I did, my world was completely different. That one moment changed everything for me.” RP: How do you stay healthy? JM: Chocolate and red wine. I play tennis as much as possible, and try to eat fairly healthy. I love to hike if I can find the time and place. RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? JM: Not well. I really am lousy at this. I am often like a child who is all pissed off because things did not go his way. Yet, as an actor, the amount of rejection I have had to deal with is staggering. I just keep plugging away and try not to give up on whatever it is. Right now I feel like I am having wonderful success in my acting world but feel like I am not doing well as a dad. It is tough. I keep trying to picture the dream of how I want things to be and try to pursue that. My girlfriend, Heather,

helps me a lot in this. She grounds me. I need to find a way to be more calm and cool when things go awry, which they often do. My dream is to live as the man fulfilling Kipling’s poem, “If.” RP: What projects are you currently working on? JM: I am back recurring as the coroner, Justin Burnside, in TNT’s Murder in the First. I have a small part in 50 to 1, a movie about the horse who won the 2009 Kentucky Derby. That came out on DVD and all that in late April. I am really hoping to go back for several more seasons of Bloodline! Jamie McShane is an actor in 50 to 1, Murder in the First, and Bloodline.


Robert Piper: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? Jocko Sims: My grandmother, who I was very close to, had her life taken away by a suspect who was running from police on the wrong side of the freeway in the middle of the night and slammed head on into my family’s car, killing her. The hardest obstacle in my life thus far was being strong enough to console my father, her son, who lost his mother. RP: What inspires you? JS: Great art, films, music, and my friends. I like keeping creative people around me.

Jocko Sims Masters of Sex and The Last Ship actor

On being strong for his father, keeping creative company, and exploring reasons for failure Interview: Robert Piper

RP: How do you stay healthy? JS: I’m from Texas, where we live to eat, so it’s very difficult! But when I’m behaving well, I’ll work out three days a week and watch what I eat. My motivation is my craft. RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? JS: I think I handle it pretty well. This business gives you thick skin. But when I don’t succeed at something, I’m most at peace when I can look back and say, “I gave it my all.” When that is the case while exploring the reasons for failure, you’ll oftentimes find that the failure may have been due to bad timing or lack of support, all of which, including failure itself, can be used as a learning experience. I almost welcome failure since I’m so willing to learn from it.

“When I don’t succeed at something, I’m most at peace when I can look back and say, ‘I gave it my all.’” RP: What projects are you working on? JS: I’m filming season two of TNT’s The Last Ship as well as season three of Masters of Sex on Showtime. I also have my Internet radio show [Apollo Night L.A.], where we play unsigned artists’ music. Jocko Sims is known for his roles in Starz’s first original television series, Crash, opposite Dennis Hopper; the award-winning film Dreamgirls; and box office smash Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Jocko can be seen on TNT’s ratings hit The Last Ship and Showtime’s critically praised Masters of Sex.




Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

Dope actor and 30058 recording artist

Shameik Moore On keeping God first, spending time alone, and spreading love, knowledge, and positivity Interview: Maranda Pleasant

“You must believe in order to achieve.” Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Shameik Moore: Energy makes me come alive, and creativity inspires me. I live with a positive mind-set, so I love anything that gives me positive energy. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? SM: Doubt makes me feel vulnerable. Every day, I constantly remind myself that anything is possible if I believe it is. When you’re confident in yourself and you keep God first, you’re mentally strong enough to achieve any goal. Doubt only puts negative energy in your universe. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? SM: You can literally do anything you believe you can do. You must believe in order to achieve. The future hasn’t happened yet, so it’s up to you to write it. It’s all about where your mind is. Keep God first at all times. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? SM: I meditate! And I spend time alone, gathering my thoughts. I also vibe to music SHAMEIKMOORE.COM 54 ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM

that massages my mind. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? SM: Pretty much the same answer to the last question. I also work out, dance, and play basketball. Staying on a daily regimen has been key in my mental and spiritual elevation. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? SM: My biggest lesson was to follow life’s omens. I learned that the key to life is positivity. MP: What truth do you know for sure? SM: I know that God has blessed me with smooth chocolaty skin! I know this for sure—ha-ha! MP: What causes or organizations are you passionate about? SM: I’m starting to do my research on different causes and organizations now, but I have quite a few ideas I plan on implementing in the near future that will really make a change. Very passionate about it!

MP: Tell me about your mindfulness practice. What influence has it had on your life? SM: Meditating centers my mind with the universe. I’m able to access my subconscious and imagine my future. The influence it’s had on my life has inspired others. I realize I’m just doing God’s work, spreading love, knowledge, and positivity. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. SM: My movie Dope releases in theaters June 12, 2015, and my soundtrack 30058 will be releasing on my birthday, May 4, 2015! MP: Why are these important to you? SM: I put my heart into these two projects. It’s the first chapter of a very long, entertaining, inspiring, historic book. Shameik Moore is a multifaceted singer, actor, and dancer whose debut mix tape I Am Da Beat, hosted by DJ Greg Street, debuted in 2012 to over 100,000 downloads. He booked his first lead role as Malcolm in the Rick Famuyiwa film Dope, produced by Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi.


Ted actor

Jessica Barth On what adults can learn from children, working out with Magic Johnson, and how regret teaches us how to be our best selves Interview: Robert Piper

“No one is more present, more curious, more elated by the mundane than a child. They live moment to moment in such an innocent and loving way, which inspires me to try do the same as an adult.” Robert Piper: What inspires you? Jessica Barth: My children, my friends’ children, my nieces and nephews—pretty much any child I have ever met have been great sources of inspiration for me. I truly believe if we all took the time to simply watch a child for 10 minutes, we could learn some profound lessons on living life. No one is more present, more curious, more elated by the mundane than a child. They live moment to moment in such an innocent and loving way, which inspires me to try do the same as an adult. RP: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life? JB: The hardest obstacle that I have ever had to overcome in my life has been dealing with the death of my father. My father provided me with a sense of security, love and strength

and to live in a world without him physically here with me has definitely been the greatest obstacle I have had to overcome. RP: How do you stay healthy? JB: I was an athlete as a child and always have tried to incorporate sports into my life as a means of fun and health. I am certified in both Pilates and Piloxing. I love working out when it involves athletics. I love playing kickball and softball, hiking, boxing, and my favorite class in Los Angeles is Drenched. The studio is owned by Billy Blanks’s brother and sister and most days, I get to work out alongside Magic Johnson—listening to oldschool hip-hop blaring in the background—so that keeps me super motivated. I eat mostly organic and flavor my water with cucumber to stay hydrated. Also, red wine—it is loaded with antioxidants.

RP: How do you deal with overcoming failure? JB: I don’t believe in failure. I believe we all make mistakes but these are meant to be lessons in our life to live as our best selves. I am not one of those people who lives without regret. I actually find it a little comical when people say they have no regrets. I do have regrets in life, but I would never consider them failures, only opportunities to learn and grow. RP: What are you currently working on? JB: Currently, I am working on my screenplay. It is an idea I have been working on for many years and right now I am in the thick of it and am super excited about this project. Jessica Barth is an actor who’s appeared in the movies Ted, Ted 2, and Get Smart, to name a few.



Same Questions | Different Artists | Powerful Answers

The 100 actor

Lindsey Morgan

Interview: Robert Piper

On the universal story that connects us, getting into Bikram yoga, and getting a break from intense workouts

“I also like to box and do Muay Thai, hard-core stuff like plyometrics, but you’ve got to honor the body too, and I think yoga is a great way to do that.” Robert Piper: What inspires you, Lindsey? Lindsey Morgan: Humanity does. When you hear stories or see great things that people are doing, kind of amazing things for maybe a bigger purpose than themselves, I find it’s really invigorating. I did a lot of traveling in Asia recently, and I got to walk through some temples in Cambodia, like Angkor Wat, and just seeing these magnificent structures and just the idea that people built them. People were here hundreds and hundreds of years before us, walking this earth, sharing connections, laughing, making love, and fighting. It’s like that universal story that connects us all. I feel like we’re so capable of anything. I think that’s really inspiring to know, and just the things that people create, be it a structure or be it a park or be it a story or a song or dance, even just a relationship, I find that very inspiring. RP: How do you stay healthy? LM: I’m like a 50-50 person, where—no, I’m more like an 80-20 where it’s like 80 percent, I’m super always on it, and 20 percent, if I’m, you know, celebrating or on vacation. . . . I eat a lot on vacation just to experience it. Basically, just have fun. But when I’m on my eighty

percent, I love to run, I love weight lifting. I was in the gym today and dead-lifting about 125. I like heavy weights. I’ve been getting into hot yoga, like Bikram. I didn’t like it when I was younger, but now that I’m older, I really achieve such a huge benefit from it. Having the time to yourself mentally and also for your body, because I stress out my body a lot with intense workouts. I also like to box and do Muay Thai, hard-core stuff like plyometrics, but you’ve got to honor the body too, and I think yoga is a great way to do that, to take time for yourself and give your body a break. Also, it’s a great place to meditate. RP: What projects are you working on? LM: We just finished up the second season of The 100, where I play Raven Reyes, on the CW and Netflix. We’re on a five-month hiatus before starting up for the third season, so I’m kind of a free agent at the moment. I’ve been talking with some other projects. If it happens, it’s going to be a complete 180-degree turnaround. Lindsey Morgan stars in the hit show The 100 and has appeared in General Hospital, Disconnected, and Detention. PHOTO: MARC CARTWRIGHT


Pitch Perfect 2 actor

Chrissie Fit

On seeing more Latina women on screen, the lesson in pain, and checking things off

MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? CF: I’m like a list queen. I have a to-do list for my to-do list. OK, I’m exaggerating! But I do love me a good list. I think there’s something about writing it down—making a chore or a goal somewhat tangible by making it visible. Something you can check off. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life?

Interview: Maranda Pleasant

Maranda Pleasant: What makes you come alive or inspires you? Chrissie Fit: I’m inspired by strong and talented women who are creating content for other strong and talented women—Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Eva Longoria, Lena Dunham, and our Pitch Perfect 2 director, Elizabeth Banks, just to name a few. I think it’s important that we help and support each other. The idea of contributing to seeing more complex women, and more Latina women, in film and TV really gets me excited. Personally, my family really inspires me. My grandfather was the hardest-working and kindest man I’ve ever known. He came to this country with two kids and only two suitcases. He was definitely a rock star. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? CF: Love or sometimes even the prospect of love makes me feel completely vulnerable. It’s something you can’t control or dictate, and that’s so incredibly scary but so beautiful at the same time. MP: How do you handle emotional pain? CF: Well, I let myself feel whatever it is that I’m feeling. I think it’s healthy to do that. Otherwise, if you repress it, it will eventually come up at some other point, usually at the worst possible moment. I give myself the time to process it, I look for the silver lining, and then I count my blessings. There’s usually something to be thankful for and/or a lesson to learn.

CF: Everything happens when it’s supposed to. You just have to work hard, be grateful, and be ready. MP: What causes or organizations are you passionate about? CF: I love working with Young Storytellers Foundation. It combines a lot of my favorite things— acting, writing, and kids! The fact that we can impact their lives, give them confidence, and help them develop their voice is incredible. MP: What is love for you? CF: Love is a life enhancer. It’s finding someone that sees everything about you—the good, the bad, the ugly—and still says, “Sign me up for, like, ever.” MP: Tell me about your latest projects and why they are important to you. CF: I’m one of the new Barden Bellas in Pitch Perfect 2, which is out on May 15. I play Florencia “Flo” Fuentes, a foreign-exchange student from South America. I am also reprising my role as Cheechee in Disney’s Teen Beach Movie 2, out this summer. In both these films, I’m the only Latina in the cast. It’s important for me to know that young Latinas can see themselves represented on TV and in film.

“I’m inspired by strong and talented women who are creating content for other strong and talented women.”


Profile for THRIVE. ORIGIN + MANTRA Magazines

ORIGIN 24.  

Intimate Interview with Legend Peter Gabriel, plus Eye Opening wisdom from Madonna and Jennifer Connelly, 40+ Sustainability + Eco Mavericks...

ORIGIN 24.  

Intimate Interview with Legend Peter Gabriel, plus Eye Opening wisdom from Madonna and Jennifer Connelly, 40+ Sustainability + Eco Mavericks...


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