We had the good fortune of connecting with Anastasia Roussel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anastasia, any recent epiphanies you can share with us?
The internationally renowned author and speaker in the field of self-development Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” For me, there has never been a time where practicing this philosophy was more valuable than during this Covid19 crisis. During challenging times it’s important to remind ourselves that the situation is far less important than our interpretation of it because it is how we choose to react to that challenge that will make all the difference. If we stay mired in fear and anxiety, focusing on limitations, we miss out on the potential for growth and prevent ourselves from seeing opportunities. And there is always an opportunity lurking behind every challenge. It’s the law of duality, there’s always a flip side. For me personally the crisis allowed me to slow down and get very clear. While the whole world was on pause I felt I had been given the luxury of time to re-assess aspects of my personal and professional life. I realized just how much time I was dedicating to surviving rather than really thriving. As an artist and a creative, I had lost touch with the deeper part of myself that feels inspired and lives life with a passionate purpose. As a small business owner and entrepreneur, I realized how little I was utilizing my greatest strength, my creativity, to operate and grow my business. I was able to see how this time of quarantine and self-isolation was truly a gift for me to get back to creative projects I had neglected, to re-imagine my business, but more importantly on a larger scale, to recapture a way thinking and being that I had lost along the way while chasing success. I’ve learned that true success is a mindset that you cultivate, protect, and maintain so that nothing can throw you off course. So that during those times when you feel discouraged you know that you will never be defeated.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It’s a very interesting and exciting time to be working in the entertainment industry, I think primarily because perspectives have shifted and there are new paradigms. When I first started it wasn’t encouraged to pursue more than one thing if you were an actor you were expected to focus solely on that, anything else was considered a distraction. I never understood nor subscribed to that line of thinking. Once while being considered for a prestigious theatre company in Los Angeles headed by a famous acting teacher, I was told that I had studied with too many different people and that they saw that as flighty. My response was that obtaining a BFA and an MFA was certainly not the hallmark of a flighty individual. I walked away from that opportunity because to me the more experiences you have, the more people you work with and train with, the more you discover who you really are without relying on an outside person, place, or thing to define you. When you’re experiencing life your craft can only get richer, your work as an actor deeper and more authentic. Today’s generation is all about authenticity and expansion. They have truly brought back the idea of a “Renaissance Man/Woman”, the artist who explores all of their talents. Just look at YouTube and all the people out in the world expressing and sharing themselves. Technology has created a very different world. I’ve worn many hats in this industry, first and foremost I’m an actor, that’s my greatest passion, but I have so much more to offer than just one facet of my talent and knowledge, and I get just as much satisfaction working in other capacities. They all feed into each other, and each aspect enhances the other and grows me as an artist. All the photos pictured in this article are stills from projects I not only acted in, but participated in the creation of, either as a writer or producer- sometimes both. I’m very proud of these projects and the perseverance it took to bring them to fruition. I work best having the space to create a vision. I think it’s that entrepreneurial spirit that drives me, and what I fight to maintain. Certainly right now during the Covid19 crisis business is suffering. My companies White Swan Films and Award Winning Reels are struggling along with so many other small businesses. But I’m taking the opportunity to see beyond the current situation and find ways to adapt and change. Change is the one constant in life, and being willing to reinvent oneself if necessary is the secret to a long and fruitful career. So many outdated societal beliefs are crumbling. Diversity, self-reliance, and creativity are being embraced while we find new ways to do business as the world as we know it changes. I want to expand and change right along with it. During this period of self-isolation, I’ve been writing two new projects, and brainstorming ideas of how I could offer services that help artists thrive in life, not just their careers. Lately, when people ask me what I do I find myself pausing before I answer because I don’t do just one thing. Recently I heard of the term “creatrix”, I looked it up and the common definition is, “a female creator.” Some sources added, “a woman who is deeply connected to herself as a source of creative power.” I really like that, that’s a keeper!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
On the westside I would start with breakfast at Urth Cafe on Melrose Ave., then a stroll down the street to do some shopping being sure to take a detour down Melrose Place. If I were to head west I would definitely take Sunset Blvd, stopping in at the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel for lunch. Going all the way to the beach is a must, either to the Santa Monica pier, or the Pacific Palisades perhaps for a hike up the Santa Ynez Falls trail. If we were to drive down the PCH through Malibu we’d have to stop at Neptune’s Net for a bite. Going east, Huntington Gardens and Descanso Gardens in Pasadena are a must-see. Downtown for cocktails would be The Wolves, or maybe a visit to The Lost Spirits Distillery. Favorite hangouts of mine for happy hour are Figaro Bistrot in Los Feliz, and in WeHo Zinqué. The Little Door is a charming spots to eat as well.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Being a creative type I’m a big believer in collaborations. No man/woman is an island and we all need others we can rely on. I’m also big on self-improvement, and sometimes, especially during challenging times when so much is out of our control, it’s nice to have someone remind you of what you can control. I’ve worked with two amazing Life Coaches recently, one for health and one for career and business. I can honestly credit them for a lot of the resiliency I’ve found within myself to handle these challenging times. Peggy Dunne: https://peggydunne.coachleads.com/ Samantha Schmuck: https://www.revived-living.com/
Other: http://www.whiteswanfilms.com/ https://www.instagram.com/white.swan.films/ https://www.facebook.com/whiteswanfilms/ https://www.instagram.com/official_sunnysideup/ https://www.facebook.com/SunnySideUpTheComedySeries/ http://www.awardwinningreels.com/ https://www.instagram.com/awardwinningreels/ https://www.facebook.com/awardwinningreels/
Personal Photo – photographer Elizabeth Reynolds