We had the good fortune of connecting with Cintia de Mita and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cintia, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I feel like I hear “balance is key” a lot more than I hear actual advice on how to find it. Like… Does this “balance” everyone is searching for even exist???
In my opinion: yes.
Growing up, I’ve always had to balance school with intense choir rehearsals (we traveled, competed, and all that), dance training, and music school. I also had to squeeze in some family time, which honestly, wasn’t on the top of my priority list at the time. Looking back, I wish I made it more of a priority, but we live and we learn, right?
Speaking of learning… What I learned is that balancing is tied closely to learning how to prioritize. Sometimes, I gotta prioritize work, and other times, I gotta prioritize myself. For example, if I have a deadline to meet, I would push through and get it done. But if I’m so drained that I can’t get anything done, I take it as a sign to prioritize myself and take a breather (example: taking walks, getting a Frappuccino, hang out with my loved ones) before getting back to work. It’s easier said than done, but that’s the gist of it. I also had to learn to be very honest with myself, because sometimes, I find myself using the whole “I need to prioritize myself” thing as an excuse to procrastinate.
A crucial thing to remember is that change happens. Before my dance career became my everything, dance was always fun, and it was my outlet for school stress. When I graduated, dance took over my priority list and didn’t feel as freeing as it once was, because I was building a career. The stakes became higher. For a while, I thought that I lost my passion for dance because of how it became my source of stress and pressure rather than an outlet for it. But then I realized that I never lost passion for it, I just lost the balance I once had. Since dance is now more of a work/career thing, I was in work mode ALL THE TIME. So… I had to find a new version of my “work life balance”. Now, I balance dance training and jobs with things like watching movies, dancing for fun, exploring my surroundings, trying new food… And it’s great!
Anyway, I hope this little bit of my experience helped you somehow. Good luck on finding your own version of a work life balance! Remember, everyone has a different one.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When I was 18 (I’m 22 now), I left my home in Jakarta, Indonesia and moved to Los Angeles. My whole life, I’ve been creatively active, whether it be writing stories, song writing, acting, singing, playing piano, etc. and I still love doing all that. But professionally speaking, I am a dancer, choreographer, and director. Most recently, I’ve been making a switch in my career and focusing on becoming a film director who can tell beautiful dance/musical stories on the big screen.
Coming to a realization that what I truly wanted to do is direct movies is the latest internal challenge I had to overcome in my career and life. Honestly though, what is life without it’s challenges right? For me, career-wise, I feel like the challenges kept… for lack of better words… They kept leveling up. Or upgrading. Kinda like I’m in a game and the obstacles kept getting harder.
When I was in my early teens, there was the challenge of convincing my parents to get me into a dance class. Overcame it. Years later, there’s the challenge of getting a visa to move to Los Angeles. Overcame it. Then, came the challenge of finding myself and at the same time, not losing myself out here in LA. Overcame that. Sort of. Well, I’m a work in progress haha. Now, I’m finishing my last semester of college (BA in film production) and finding a way to create my art on bigger platforms.
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.
Oh I love Malibu beach and I love going to Big Bear. Though I’m not so sure if those two places are included in LA… I’m not the best at geography. If I was here with someone who is visiting, I’d take them to a hiking trail with a waterfall, Hollywood, and honestly, I’m not sure where else to go because I’m pretty much in a dance studio or set most times.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh wow, there’s so many people that influenced me and helped me get where I am now, but I want to give a huge shoutout to my mom and dad. We had our rough years, but throughout my life, they’ve always encouraged me to go after whatever I wanted to do, and be the best I can be. They taught me that nothing is impossible and to never put myself in a box. I feel like I only appreciated my parents after I left home. It was then that I saw how much they’ve helped shape me into the person I am now, and I’m forever thankful for them.
Youtube: Cintia de Mita
Brandon Esparza, MSMU Set BTS