We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Kersten and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amy, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I advise thinking about “balance” over the course of a year – not in the immediate. I think balance is impossible, to be honest, and many people, especially women, waste time trying to find it in the day-to-day.
I have accomplished big things in my career when I give them my sole focus for a time, like a screenplay for example. I was on about 7 weeks of unemployment after a tough project, and I knew this was precious time without any distractions in it. Above all things back then, I just wanted to finally finish this script. So all I thought about for the most part was that screenplay and how to solve the structure puzzle of it. During that time, the flatness of abs was not a priority and got zero attention; but I had a 120-page screenplay to show for it.
You can’t multi-task when climbing a mountain. Just climb the mountain. Get to the top. Take a breath….and then treat yourself to some yoga.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think your network is the most valuable thing you have in a career, over education and resume credits. People help other people; we are tribal -it is just how society works. When I build true connections with people, beyond just superficial professional acquaintances, then the magic starts to happen.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I always say LA is not a city, it is a small country – so pick a province.
Personally, I love the scenic canyon drives. There is a wonderful winery in Thousand Oaks called Cornell. Take the scenic route to the beach, Malibu canyon is stunning – almost like Italy.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shout out the life’s work of the writer Emily Hahn. She passed away in 1997, but her journey shifted my own view of my non-traditional path in life.
In the early part of the 20th century, she was essentially immune to the influence of the patriarchy personally and professionally. She traveled the world on her own, wrote about whatever she wanted despite stigma or pressure from her publishers, and built her life on her own unique timeline – not a prescribed one. She’s become an icon for me, a mentor buried in lesser-known history.