We had the good fortune of connecting with Bailey Sorrel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bailey, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Oh the infamous work/life balance… This is truly one of the age old questions, isn’t it? I think my friends and family are getting tired of hearing my thoughts on balance, since I talk about it All. The. Time. because it’s something I really struggle with. When I first started pursuing my career, I was all work all the time. I’m a very impatient person, so I wanted to make things happen, and I wanted to make them happen fast. But I found that my relationships suffered, and my inner life suffered, and, honestly, my work suffered too. So I chose to make a conscious effort to swing my pendulum in the opposite direction, although that has had its problems too… Ultimately, it’s been about setting boundaries, and acknowledging that I’m never going to strike the perfect balance that works in every season. Sometimes I need to focus on work, and sometimes I need to focus on life, but at all times I need to check in with myself and ask what’s best for me. Listening to my gut about where to spend my time has brought me the most joy.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m really excited about the new artistic direction I’m heading in. My personal philosophy is that my work, be it my writing or my acting, should expose our hidden truths. Recently, I’ve been doing so by becoming very personal and vulnerable in my work, which certainly is not easy. When you create a piece of art, and you send it out into the world, it will inevitably be critiqued. And when that art is a reflection of your inner self, it can feel like the critiques are really criticisms about you. But…the one thought that keeps me pushing that boundary is the idea that not everyone needs to like my work, and not everyone needs to like me. In fact, I’ve found that the work that draws in significant criticism is the work that starts an important conversation. Right now, I’m working on crafting pieces that explore the emotional turmoil resulting from childhood trauma. I have a stand-up set that is very blunt and open about my personal experiences, and not everyone who watches it finds it appropriate or funny. But, I know there are others who are excited to explore a previously taboo subject with me. It’s cathartic. It’s healing. And that’s what I want all of my work to be.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Los Angeles is such a beautiful, vibrant, city and I am so incredibly blessed to live here! One of my favorite spots to take people is Tramp Stamp Granny’s in Hollywood. It’s an eclectic and electric piano bar on Cahuenga where I always feel I can be myself and let loose. I live in Los Feliz, so I like to hit up a lot of the local eateries around there. HOME, Alcove, Starfish Sushi… if it’s lunchtime and I’m ever MIA, check for me in these places first. Of course, if I have friends visiting, we have to go downtown to the Last Bookstore. There’s something spiritual about the smell of dust and paper that cuts through all the frenzied madness that can sometimes seize LA. And while we’re down there, one of the new things I’m excited about is The Comedy Roof at Grand Central Market. There’s never any shortage of fun shows and things to do! But if all else fails, and we just need a day to kick back and relax, one of my favorite zen spots is Zuma Beach, just north of Point Dume. This is Southern California, after all, and living here wouldn’t be the same without the sand and the waves.
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?
Oh goodness! I always say I am an amalgamation of everyone I have ever spent time with. There are so, so many people and groups I need to give credit to, it’s hard to talk about them all. Obviously, my parents, who have been so supportive, but also the community I’ve built in Los Angeles. Growing up, I never believed I could be considered funny, but taking classes at UCB and Groundlings gave me the space to discover my own sense of humor (which I believe can be taught). Big shoutout to my very first agent, Denise, who gave me a chance when she directed an incredible Fringe Festival play. And lots of love to all of my actor friends who have ever given me space to be my neurotic self. Truly, I feel like my career is an enormous collaborative effort, and I could not do it without you all.