We had the good fortune of connecting with Blaize Hall and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Blaize, why did you pursue a creative career?
As far back as I can remember, I have felt a NEED to express myself creatively. Art has filled my days since early childhood, and I grew up dancing, singing, playing piano, violin, and writing. I experienced some trauma in my day-to-day life as a kid, and pouring my pain into art gave me great joy and solace. When I discovered acting, it quickly became the greatest escape I knew. Any given day, I could live through another character and wrestle with my questions in a world separate from my reality, or simply find glee in a more happily colorful world than my own. Couple that with a deep love for performing and I was hooked. As I grew up, I sought after every opportunity to get on stage, to deepen my crafts of acting, dancing, and music. I always knew I wanted to follow that love in college and beyond. But many people in my life discouraged artistic career pursuits. A college professor told me “if you can do ANYTHING else and be happy, do it.” So I studied journalism, figured I could still be in front of a camera as a reporter and be storytelling, and I loved writing. I also liked the small chance of incorporating activism in my career as a journalist. As college wound to a close, though, I couldn’t stomach the thought of starting out as a reporter at the local news channel I had interned at, or the documentary company, or the indy film blog. All I wanted to do was what my heart had loved all my life – act, sing, dance! So I finished college early and went to NYC to do just that! I guess all-in-all it was a realization that nothing else would do. And an admission that I knew I’d wake up one day in my mid-life and regret it if I didn’t do what I’d known I was meant to do all my life. I’m still figuring out exactly how all the pieces of my life fit together but I wake up every day and spend time growing in the things I love. What life could be more charmed?
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.
I think the biggest hurdle for any artist can often be themselves. Building any career takes time, day by day, brick by brick. And yet with art, we often as a society have this fantasy of just having unparalleled talent, getting “discovered” and fast tracking it to fame and fortune. This isn’t the truth for most artists, even those with connections who seemed to pop up “overnight”. If you actually know their story, they’ve been refining their work for years, and slowly building their empire. My message is that most artists are just real people, who are willing to risk a lot to do what they love, and some of us get lucky. But “getting lucky” can often be a state of mind. I woke up about a month ago with the thought, “I have everything I ever wanted”. But believe me, I haven’t thought that very often, and I don’t think it now because I’ve “made it”. I just got out of my own way and realized how amazing my life is and how amazing I am! Haha that may sound cocky but it’s what every artist has to think to spend their life building a career selling their art! And that’s what I mean about getting out of your own way, not being your own biggest hurdle. I had to come to a place where I love myself a whole fucking lot and really think I’m worth it, and then my craft could flow through me. I had all these little lumps of self-doubt, discomfort with my sexuality, my gender, my backstory, my baggage, my pain, my hardship, etc., all floating around inside me, and my art was trying to come through all that and it was like trying to get water to trickle through a blob of congealed pasta. I had to toss all that aside so the water could just flow. I believe as an artist, I am a channel for a great creative force to work through me. When my focus is on how stressed I am about rent or how mad I am at my ex I can’t serve. But when I am clear of mind and heart, it just happens. I just put pen to paper and it just happens, or I just open up and the feeling that serves the scene is there, or I just play music and my body moves beyond what I can honestly say I am controlling. That sounds pretty woo-woo but it’s my experience! By “having everything I ever wanted”, I mean that my life feels safe, healthy, stable, I have love around me, and I spend most of my time creating. There are endless things that I want, career achievements, experiences, etc. But my day-to-day is something I could see doing for the rest of my life and being very happy. I am especially thrilled with this year because of A More Perfect Union. My partner and I dove head first into producing our feature film which stars him, myself and my amazing daughter Calinda Jade! This process has been so fullfilling! It has been marvelously challenging working on a feature film with someone that I love and finding the balance of sharing so many creative decisions together. I have also been thrilled with the chance to bring my daughter onto such a great project. It bears mentioning that I am a single mom to a precocious, hilarious, and vivacious three year old who is the joy of my days. It is no walk-in-the park raising a child solo while pursuing a career in the arts but we have found our way through three years and I wouldn’t do it any other way! When I shot Josh Taylor’s Prom Date in Norway she was six months old and of course, I brought her with me. I knew, breastfeeding her on set on a break, that having her by my side on my artistic journey was the best decision I ever made. Raising her keeps me focused, makes me hustle harder, gives me motivation and forces me to use self-discipline and time management. Her humor keeps me laughing and her tears keep me vulnerable. Being her mom, I feel more every day than I ever thought would be possible in a lifetime. And what artist doesn’t want some extra feelings? 😉
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.
Well, currently, I’d have them chill at my amazing house! Haha, but seriously, I have a dance pole in my living room, yoga trapeze and a punching bag on my patio, a beautiful pool, a backyard full of trees and plants and roses and a swing set, a piano, a ukulele, a guitar, a mini recording studio, a dog, cat, two bunnies and a fish tank, and beautiful sunlight in my room most of the day! My daughter, Cali and I are pretty happy there most of the day! We also LOVE hiking with my dog, Luna. Our go-to is O’Melveny Park in Granada Hills or Prajna Tree just above Hollywood that has a special swing with a panoramic view of the Pacific all the way to DTLA. If life were still up and running I’d take them to Rosenthal Wine Bar and Patio right on the PCH where I poured tastings all through my pregnancy, or to Flaming Saddles, the MOST FUN gay bar in West Hollywood where I worked as a go-go dancer with bunch of half naked cowboys until they had to permanently close due to the pandemic. (Save Flaming Saddles! <3 ). I’d also invite them to Nude Comedy LA where I often MC naked comedy shows (yes, everyone, even the audience is nude! Go Naturists!) or to one of my nude yoga classes. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh so many! Shoutout to my Mom, Brenda Logee, for filling my childhood with music, taking me to my first community theater audition as a kid (and many more after!), teaching me piano and music theory, the list goes on and on. Shoutout to my partner Ian Mark for co-writing, co-directing and co-starring in our film A More Perfect Union, and for always believing in me. Shoutout to my dear friend Ed Chan for having my back. Sometimes it takes a little help from your friends to hang in there and Ed has always been supportive of my pursuits and been there for me and my daughter. Shoutout to Sacred Circle Theater Company in NYC for being a safe space for me to come of age as a queer artist. Shoutout to the many teachers and community members along the way who have bolstered my confidence and given positive and constructive feedback. I think a lot of people feel like they need to “give you a dose of reality” and remind you how slim your odds are of “making it”, and not many simply cheer you on for doing what you love, and point out when you are doing it well! Thank you Patrick Houle, Dan Marcy, Ms. Destakasi, Tom Preska, Jack Powers, Judy Levitt, Annie Ward, and so many more for encouraging me at what I remember as several crossroads in my life.
Other: https://www.weepingwillowwellness.com/ yoga site https://amoreperfectunion.wixsite.com/website A More Perfect Union
Specular Photography Canon Brownell An I For The Unique Photography