We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Keizer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anna, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I once thought about work-life balance in a very regimented way… I was extremely protective of “my time” and keeping it separate from my work life. That being said, my feelings on that balance were always directly influenced by the type of work I was doing. The less I liked it, the more I wanted that balance!
I’m thankful because I much more enjoy what I do now. As a result, I don’t feel that protective instinct anymore. However, I also came to the realization that because of what I want to pursue–screenwriting and filmmaking–I may not have the luxury of a work-life balance. Weekdays, weeknights, weekends… I’m constantly doing something that involves my professional pursuits. But because I love them all, it really doesn’t feel like a burden.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My professional life has definitely not followed a linear path. A creative career wasn’t exactly a pursuit talked about or encouraged while I was growing up–and I totally get it. The arts, whether it’s film, dance, sculpture or something else, can be incredibly challenging both from a practical and creative standpoint. It’s competitive. Most people struggle financially. It’s also a pursuit that can prompt self-doubt, making it that much more difficult to succeed.
But I honestly can’t imagine a future where I’m not in some way creating no matter if that’s by making another short, working on my feature and pilot scripts or putting together another podcast. I adore film and television and want to be part of that world.
It sounds so very contrived, but you really do have just one life. I’ve experienced several personal setbacks that made it crystal clear that you only get one shot to pursue what you love so you better make it count. I’m not advocating for that whole starving artist lifestyle, though. Having food in the fridge and clothes on your back also make life enjoyable! But whether you seek out a creative pursuit as a career or just a hobby, don’t deny yourself that fulfillment and happiness.
Honestly, that’s a huge reason why I have such a passion for my work. I want to give people something they can enjoy. One of my greatest hopes is to make others laugh and forget their cares for a bit. There’s so much that’s heavy about life… Health concerns, stressful work situations, challenging relationships. If someone can take a break from all that for even a little bit because of something I wrote or produced, that’s a win.
That’s why I’m so proud of She Had It Coming. So far, it’s won Best Dark Comedy or Best Comedy in a handful of film festivals, which for me means that I’m hopefully on the right track!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I think that too often those of us living in Los Angeles forget just how amazing it is to be so close to the ocean. The Santa Monica pier can be fun for an afternoon, but I prefer the quieter spots along the shore like Playa del Rey.
And while much of LA is not exactly walkable, there are some really charming neighborhoods that go against that common complaint. Los Feliz in particular is a great spot to check out eclectic shops and delicious restaurants. Pick Vermont or Hillhurst Ave. as your starting point and just explore!
I would be remiss if I didn’t take a visitor to Los Angeles to The Getty Center. While it houses many amazing paintings and sculptures, the structure itself is a gorgeous work of art as well. It’s truly one of the most impressive spots in the city, providing a phenomenal panorama of it, too!
I know a lot of travelers to LA are intent on checking out Hollywood Blvd. Personally, I think it’s experienced best from your car as you drive down it. You can still take in some of the more iconic buildings like the TCL Chinese Theatre and see some of the Hollywood Walk of Fame stars without having to encounter the sometimes overwhelming throng of people there.
But if you happen to be in that area and have the time, do take in a show at the Hollywood Bowl! It is absolutely my favorite spot in all of LA. Whether it’s a concert or a movie screening, you simply cannot go wrong! Plus, you can picnic at the nearby park before the event. It’s an iconic Los Angeles experience to be sure!
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?
Two people immediately come to mind…
First, my husband, Derek Dehanke. From the moment he learned of what I wanted to pursue in life, he has been my biggest source of support and encouragement. He’s in my corner even when I’m not in my corner. I thank my lucky stars every day that he’s the person I get to walk through this life with. Whether it’s a partner, parent or friend, it’s so important as a creative to have someone who believes in you.
Second, I would like to give a huge shoutout to the lead and co-EP of my short, She Had It Coming. Not only did Skylar Schock turn out an incredible performance in the film, but also she has been without a doubt the most amazing collaborator anyone could ask for. Her belief in my script was the impetus for it being realized as a short, and I could not be more grateful for her amazing talent and wonderful friendship.