We had the good fortune of connecting with Beth Ribeiro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Beth, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I think this will be a constant challenge in the life of a freelancer – it is for me anyway. I live with the constant reminder that ANY project can come up at ANY time, And I have had numerous situations where I make a personal commitment and I’m then met with a job offer conflicting the time. For me, it is a constant see-saw of what-ifs. And both are really hard – turning down family or friends and turning down work. Especially at the start of my career. But I’m getting better at this see-saw. I think I am growing and the best solution I have found up to this point, is deciding when commitments are non-negotiable right from the start,
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a South African woman working in New York (and recently travelling) as a camera assistant (AC). I absolutely adore my job and I’m so grateful I get to do something I love each day.
There are so many aspects about my job that I love, but one of my absolute favourites is people – meeting new people, learning new team dynamics and understanding how different teams tell stories differently.
I officially started my career right when the pandemic started so as you can imagine, it was a rough start. But gradually things opened and so have opportunities. I’m fully aware that my career is just beginning and I find that so incredibly exciting.
I believe that I have been thrown so many curve balls and I love learning from each one of them.
My favourite curveball thus far is from Feb of this year (2021) – I got offered a position on a film with some flashy celebrities in a different state, and I convinced myself this was a brilliant idea. I leased my apartment and left New York, only to be told days later that I in fact, did not have the job. And, for a few days it was horrible but then it was the best thing that could have happened. I had no idea at the time, but I have worked on so many incredible jobs since that point that never would have come my way. Whenever I get disheartened, I’m reminded that I have no idea what is coming around the corner.
I want the world to know that I am incredibly passionate about South Africa, the South African film industry, and about the thousands of stories that are waiting to be told. I feel I have been shaped by South African society in terms of learning about people, about storytelling and about the importance of stories themselves. And so I feel indebted to South Africa and cannot wait to join the film industry there.
I adore being in New York too, and love how my background shapes the way I understand the culture of New York, and therefore how stories are told in New York through different cultures.
I’m not sure what the future holds for me, but for now I’ll continue freelancing as an AC because it brings me so much joy.
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?
Wow, I love this question, mostly because each person in New York will have a completely different answer. In no particular order, we would absolutely have to visit these bars: Three Diamond Door (all my fav things, a bar with character, a dance floor and a little stoop in the back); and its neighbour, 101 Wilson (Three Diamond doors younger, edgier little sibling); Maracuja (in my mind a classic New York bar with a pool table).
Food: Court Street Grocer (bacon egg and cheese like no other); Ilili if we are feeling fancy and want to eat the best Lebanese food (I have Lebanese heritage so this food is super nostalgic); literally any Thai takeout.
Things to do/see: Fort Greene is my favourite park in NY and the area is so cute too. For me, someone hasn’t visited New York if they haven’t sat with a drink on someone’s rooftop – but not a fancy rooftop, a grungy rooftop with mismatched furniture that someone pulled off the street or got from their old roommate.
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 think it’s really hard to pinpoint one thing/person who deserves credit. My life has been filled with so many supportive people and I am so grateful to each of them. But I think I want to shoutout to all the opportunities that haven’t worked out, because they have forced me to find a new path for my career.
Jessica Trisno (picture of me with camera in mountains) MakeOutFilms (two pictures in group of 4)