We had the good fortune of connecting with Brooke Trantor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brooke, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
This is a never-ending, perplexing idea of “balance”. I am not certain it is ever achieved. I believe if we are in seasons where we are completely focusing on our work, our relationships may not get the time and attention they deserve – and vise versa. But I also think that this is a part of life; riding the waves and finding the flow. When I was younger, I usually lived in the world doing everything at 110%, but the reality is that is not sustainable. I am finally in a time of my life where if I’m working really hard, but I also find the time to commit to self-care, relaxation, and adventure. In the chapters of my life where I may be focusing more on writing, other components of my creative being may not be at full potential. But the lovely thing about creativity and life is that everything is influenced by one another. I feel when my writing is in a really good place, my acting tends to mirror that. And when I am directing, my mind is usually filling with new ideas for writing. It is a lovely place to be in – not putting the pressure on myself to show up to everything all the time. It allows me to show up more fully and be more present for the relationships and creative endeavors I am focused on in the moment. But I will always have to fight the instinct to “do it all”… it’s just always going to be a part of who I am. I love experiencing life fully.
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 am an actor, writer and director with a background in 16+ years of improv. I think improv is still at the core of everything I do creatively: whether I’m acting, writing, or directing, the understanding and study of improv allows me to be freer and more present in my creativity. The industry is not an easy one, and the hustle is never ending. But when you are on set, creating with like-minded individuals that get intoxicatingly joyful telling stories, all of the difficult days seem to melt away; it’s so incredibly worth it. I think in order to overcome any challenges in this field, you have to have an undeniable faith in yourself – that no matter what anyone says about you, you fully believe in yourself and your abilities. I have learned that every journey in this world is so incredibly unique, so to sit and compare yourself with anyone is time wasted and incredibly toxic. Stories I tend to gravitate towards – as an actor, writer, and director – are usually comedic in nature, but deal with incredibly dark, real, authentic human moments. We always need laughter in the darkest of times.
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 magical — and there are so many favorite spots. I geek out when my friends come to visit, and usually end up creating an itinerary to show them my favorite spots. A few of those are: hiking or lounging for the day in the grass of Griffith Park, riding bikes from Venice Beach up the coast, cocktails and dancing at Smokehouse, dinner and music at The Dresden, shopping for treasures Sunday mornings at Melrose Trading Post, and walking through Los Feliz with an iced latte from Obet and Del’s around 7am before the rest of the city wakes up.
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?
This year has been very difficult, and it has been tricky to find any sense of stability, especially creatively. But once Los Angeles was put in lockdown, my acting community really stepped up to the plate. John Rosenfeld Studios moved all classes immediately to an online Zoom structure, and has been going strong ever since. It has been an incredible time for creativity; so many distractions of life have been removed by having to stay home in quarantine. It has been delightful seeing so many classmates thrive in their acting during this time. We are rehearsing multiple times a week, writing scenes and scripts for one another, and even remotely filming short films & sketches with one another. It has been a wonderful time to show up for one another, and I thank John and the entire JRS Community for continuing to show up for one another – even if it’s always on a screen. It has kept my spirits alive and my heart full.
Youtube: Brooke Trantor
Second City Hollywood, Sela Shiloni Photography, Jamie Goto Photo (on set of Oh, Baby!), Michael Garcia Photography, Jamie Goto & Danielle Argyros, Cat Gwynn Photography