Time is precious. Life is short. Why waste it doing anything but what makes you happy.
My dear dudettes, I know, the struggle is real. The pressure to make loads of money, get a respectable job with benefits, while tending to life’s responsibilities is completely relevant and understandable. Of course, it is! You want to make your parents and family proud (I sure do) and give them everything they gave you, maintain healthy relationships with everyone you hold dear, and all the while be able to support yourself and that splurging habit you simply cannot part with. But my friends, who’s to say you can’t do that all in your own way? If you’re an artist, especially.
You don’t need to go into the medical field, work in a major corporation, learn code and become a software engineer, or an astrophysicist for all that matter (unless that’s your jam, then do you), to be “successful.”
If it doesn’t make you happy, if you’re not passionate about it, if it brings you to the point of stress stomach aches - it’s pretty obvious it’s probably not what you should be doing with the rest of your life. Time is so insanely limited - it’s not worth wasting something that precious on a life that you’re not making the most of for you and only you.
I understand meeting expectations from those you love, those opinions matter, but it’ll be the best of both worlds when you prove to them you can get there by doing what you enjoy most.
Passion drives success and happiness. That’s always my motto.
No matter what you want to be or what you want to do, whether you make jewelry dishes, yodel beyond the hilltops, raise rabbits for the circus, or are this weird traveling artist like me - the world needs what you do, and it needs to be done by you.
Don’t let the idea that it’s already been done or the fear of being unliked stop you from doing anything. No one can do anything like you can. Always remember that. You’re so fudging special, and no one can take that away from you. If you have a gift (or several) it can hardly be considered one if you don’t share it! I mean think about it - It’d be like getting your mom this incredible trip to Scotland for her birthday but deciding not to give it to her in the end because you were scared she wouldn’t like it.
True, it’s much easier said than done, but isn’t it worth trying compared to imagining what your life as a star on Broadway could have been like? If you let money or expectation other than your own rule where your path leads, you’re never going to get where you want to go or be happy about it. I assure you. Your heart knows what it wants, and if that’s not what everyone around you wants - I want to tell you that, that’s okay. If you’re working at the local coffee shop or driving Uber - you’re building enough income to support yourself and enough time to support your dreams in the meantime before they become full-time. Balance is sensational, essential, and necessary.
Balance is the key to getting to where you want to faster (regardless of how unglamorous the road there may be). You need time and you need money - if you have too little of either, chances are you’re going to be unhappy - especially if you’re hating what you’re currently doing. So, I’ll leave you with this.
Find the thing you love, a hobby, and the thing you’re incredible at. For me, I love traveling and know a lot about it from first-hand experience. On top of that, I have spent the last four years of my life in Los Angeles immersed in the entertainment industry, and have become particularly skilled at writing and as hobbies, photography, and singing. After you choose these, think up a way of how it could benefit the world around you - for me, that was female artists who need/want inspiration and guidance. When you discover this -think of a way you can monetize the experience using all three (what you love, your hobby, and your skill). For me, this is traveling the world, creating art wherever I go and writing my stories (books, screenplays, and blogs) based off of my experiences, to sell. It’s really that simple - you just need to give this venture the time it needs to flourish.
Now, please, go forth without hesitation. I know it’s scary and can be hard to make the first step, but this life is yours - and it’s going to be beautiful!
Steps to becoming a Working Actress in LA:
Whether you’re thinking about moving to LA, are on your way here, or have been here for a couple months or years – if you’re thinking about acting, there are definitely a couple things that could give you the head start you need to start booking jobs sooner than later. Full disclosure guys, acting isn’t the number one priority in my life, I simply do it because it’s FUN it’s SO FUN (and you learn a lot about yourself), but the fact that I do it for fun and don’t take it as a life or death situation is how I’ve become successful in the area and have been paid to do it.
So, for someone who has given a good chunk of my leisure time to being on set as an actress- let me give you a few nuggets of advice from my experience that could help you out for your future acting endeavors - for fun or for a career.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you have a fantastic and memorable day! I challenge you to free write for at least 5 minutes today - no limits, no boundaries - just write what's on your mind, about a person you saw on the street, or the smoothie you had for breakfast - whatever! Just write, write, write!!
Your friendly neighborhood Vagabond et Virtuosa: Mary Strause
don't forget to share!
Boy, oh, boy guys. Where do I even begin? When looking for pictures to post for this story, it took me back to the day I first came out here as an adult - June 9th, 2014. This is about to get really personal, so hold onto your horses kids.
This new chapter of my life began less than a month after my Grandma Donna died. She was the woman my brothers and I spent almost every day after school with for twelve years. My grandma was the light of our lives and the backbone to our family. Losing her has probably been the most difficult thing I've ever gone through; but if she didn't teach me to see the light in even the darkest of situations - I may have never come to Los Angeles. That leads me to say, everything happens for a reason, and my grandma's passing in a way was her giving me permission and the golden ticket to start the most rigorous, defying, and most rewarding chapter of my life so far.
Okay, so that may have been just a smidge dramatic (this is theattreee after all) but hey, moving to Los Angeles alone and at nineteen is no joke. Going from Rio, a place of 938 people to one of the most populated cities in the world that’s 4,000 times its size – yeah. Woah. You can bet your sweet cheeks I haven’t seen a cow in sight, yet.
Not to mention, my family was 2,000 miles away, I was gambling my education from one of the top universities on the globe in a degree that could land me hundreds of jobs to be a part of the inaugural class at a college that hadn’t even been accredited yet, anndddd I had little to no experience in film (except that I had learned at Relativity Workshops, which is really where this story begins, but I’ll leave that for another time to leave you intrigued) ….any who, back to having absolutely no history in film AND I WAS GOING TO FILM SCHOOL!!! Holy toast, what a risk. But fear not my dear friends. I’ve made it through. I’m alive and well, and must say – I’ve come a long way.
I’ve had lies told to my face on a daily basis, been cheated out of deals and scammed, was almost expelled from school because someone didn’t want to take responsibility for their actions, I’ve been to the emergency room three times now with no one by my side, I’ve walked through skid-row almost every day on my way to school and have had reality hit me like a lighting bolt with some of the things I’ve seen happen right outside my front door, but….I’ve also created some pretty fudging cool films, have met some absolutely amazing people and lifelong friends (I’m actually texting them all right now to say hi), have had insane memories and opportunities that on any bad day, I would never trade anything for.
The amount I’ve learned by living out here in these young years of my life is absolutely priceless, and though it’s not always the divine place everyone imagines Los Angeles to be, it’s a world of its own compared to anywhere I’ve ever been, and this crazy place filled with discovery, superficiality, glamour, and a rawness you can’t believe, is the place I call a home for this chapter of my life.
And furthermore in making this blog post far too long for it’s own good, from a small-town Wisconsin girl, this is what I’ve learned in short (haha funny – I never make anything short) about life and living in the City of Angels:
By: Mary Gabrielle Strause
Hello, My Lovelies! :)
What a magical Monday it is, because, look, here we are! Welcome to Vagabond et Virtuosa - a blog I've been dreaming about launching for the last year, and the day has finally arrived! Yipee, Huzzah, oh happy day! So what exactly does this blog/vlog/portfolio-esque thing entail? Well, my darlings, let me give you the scoop!
Vagabond et Virtousa means, inititally, an artist who travels - and kitty cats, that's exactly what I am! An artist ( a female one [hence the 'A,']) who has travelled around the world and I don't plan on stopping until my dying day. The beginning of my adventures took flight (hehe punny) when I was on my first school trip to France and Spain when I was thirteen years old, and since then (ironically) I have been to thirteen countries and counting and 30 different states! I'm 22 and you best believe my journey doesn't stop there! I've gained so much valuable experience for a girl my age in regards to culture, observation, people, community service, perspective, and so much more that I can't wait to share with you! Now, for the artist part - what's that all about?
I started reading and writing (not very well as you can imagine) children's books when I was three years old. I continued on throughout my childhood and teenage years with writing short stories, articles, painting, photography, singing, a little bit of acting and illustration - you name it! I was an artist skilled in many different platforms (a happy virtuosa, indeed) and these sporadic talents are what landed me at film school in Downtown Los Angeles in 2014! For the last four years I studied directing and screenwriting, and all the while have worked as a freelance artist in both, as well in modeling, acting, illustration, singing, authorship, and photography! I was paid to do all of that fun stuff?! What a privilege. How fudging cool is that?! I've gained a lot of knowledge of Los Angeles and what different stepping stones to take to make way into the Entertainment Industry, and boy, it's a whole different world out here! In fact, all that I have learned and lived through here is what lead me to creating this blog, and without further adieu...
In Vagabond et Virtuosa I want share my experiences and advice in traveling the world and being a hyphenated artist in Los Angeles, and prove to my lady artists (or everyone, really) that you can travel the world, become a professional (and paid artist), and create some bomb masterpieces along the way! You don't have to live out in Hollywood to make your dreams come true. If you want the world to see your art, you make your way around the world, showcasing whatever it is you do, wherever you go, and by being your beautiful self!
My overall mission is to make it known that it doesn't matter who you are, where you come from, what people say, or what your circumstances are - you can create and impact the world in your own beautiful and unique way - and the first step is being yourself, connecting to other people, looking and listening with everything you have - and overall, becoming the best human being and artist through this experience we call life! I can't wait to begin this journey with you where we can build and grow together! Stay tuned my lovely, loves!
Love you always, my home slices!
Your friendly neighborhood Vagabond et Virtuosa
(AKA Mary Gabrielle Strause)