We had the good fortune of connecting with Colleen Saftler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Colleen, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
We are living in a pandemic. Just thought I’d mention that for those of you who hadn’t noticed, and desperate times call for desperate…no, scratch that. Too negative. Reword toward the positive. Allow for the answer. Breathe. (I try to take my own advice.)
Here’s what I know. Challenging times offer us an opportunity to be more creative. In directing class at USC (where I graduated with honors from their drama and film schools, May 2020), they taught us that working within the framework of limitations (budgets, size of the space, timeframe, experience of actors and crew, etc.) opens the door to a greater creativity than if you had unlimited resources. Simply put, you have to be more creative when you have less to work with. Limitations ask us to stretch our capabilities and push known boundaries, to peer deep into our tool box and see if inspiration and solution might be dancing there in the dark, just waiting to be discovered and pulled out into the light so they might dazzle with their yet heretofore perceived brilliance (much like my humor).
Creative Integration – the dazzling, coming-to-a-set-near-you Fred and Ginger of personal empowerment divinely designed for artists and their projects.
No matter the stage or screen on which it is seen, all artists work within a frame. It’s just that most creatives, including studio executives, producers, directors, writers and actors need a leg up, (you know, the one they are constantly being told to break) a coach of sorts that will point the way and encourage them to discover their own Fred and Ginger – their personal best. My job (the one I created for myself because it combines the two greatest joys of my life) relies on the old proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
For those creative souls willing to cast their curiosity line in the deep water, I’m here to teach you how to fish for and find your alignment of success, making it yours for a lifetime. Why? Because it brings all those involved more health, happiness, success and fulfillment in their life. What did you come to this planet for, if not that?
The funny thing is right now inside of all of you, Fred and Ginger are tapping their proverbial toes, waiting for you to let them (your genius) out of the box. And either you just don’t know they exist, or you haven’t been shown how to access your collective ingenuity and creative flair.
Here’s how it started for me.
I wanted to create a reality where the personal (inner) and professional (outer) faces of my personality were not mere acquaintances, but rather two sides of the same Colleen coin. (With all my facets, it’s more like an octahedron!) Life often left me feeling like a chameleon that had been thrown on a plaid background; I needed to find a way to fuse all of me – my spirituality, keen life skills, and transformational empowerment coach with the creative artist – in my everyday life. Coining my work “Creative Integration” symbolizes the journey of a fully integrated creative operating and functioning from a powerful foundation of aligning self-knowledge and self-love in service to all people, but especially artists looking to do the same.
In an industry where everyone is telling you to specialize and pick ONE THING to concentrate on, I did the opposite. I found a way to incorporate all that I am, all my areas of genius, skills and heart’s desires to create something wholly and holy unique, and I can do the same for you. I can also tell you that I have never been happier or more fulfilled in my life because I am living in alignment with my life’s purpose.
It’s dancing inside you as well, alongside of Fred and Ginger. Think of life as a danceathon. You see those people gliding around the dance floor with grace, ease and staying power? It’s because they loved themselves enough to invest the time, energy, and effort in their greatest asset – themselves. I knew I wanted to give back in some way. So, I invested in myself, in being the best “me” I can be.
I went back to college when most are thinking about retirement to deepen my knowledge, hone natural skills and emerged, not only a better storyteller, but a better person for the experience. Spending time with people different from you (age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic, language, religion, you-name-it) has the capacity to expand your horizons more than mere study can.
How did I come up with my idea for my business? I followed my heart. Follow your heart’s desire; the journey is everything.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I don’t think we choose to be artists – from a time before we were even born, it chooses us.
I simply cannot help myself. No matter what I’ve done in my life – waitressing, selling skin care or cosmetics, working as an office manager, advertising assistant, or Director of Sales and Education for a premiere line of spa products who traveled the world and trained thousands of individuals over the years – I was, if put in front of an audience, driven to entertain. Acting out the persona of a collagen fiber to an audience that speaks very little English – now that takes some acting chops! For me, acting and being a creative-type is in my blood, it’s destiny; it touches everything I do and always will. I came back to school, to theatre, to film, to my first love of storytelling, so that I wouldn’t need to woo mon amour from afar. My creativity is as much a part of me as my voice, my hands, my eyes, my ears and my nose – they go where I go. I experience the world through my senses, and then feel compelled to express what I absorb and understand back out to the world, transmuted intuitively with my own twist, in a perpetual feedback loop – a lemniscate of artistic expression.
If you’d like to know more about my creative journey, you can contact me through my website or on Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok.
What am I inspired by?
Everything. Life. Emotions. People. We are a fascinating lot, are we not? Nothing tips the scales toward inspirational quite like the human psyche for infinite complexity, providing endless fodder for storylines, characters, and plot twists – the proverbial Hero’s Journey. I often use my tarot and oracle cards as inspiration for story ideas or character motives. They are brilliant for mirroring not only everyday life, but infusing the bigger picture, karmic lessons we all go through. Tarot, with its archetypal images, serves my work as writer, spiritual advisor, and transformational life coach. It plays an essential role with my intuitive work as a Creative Integrationist.
If you haven’t had much exposure, the intuitively inspired artwork on some of these decks is nothing short of fantastical: mesmerizing, haunting, enchanting, uplifting, and everything in between. If you are interested in learning more, you can contact me through my website at www.takewingtarot.com or www.colleendunnsaftler.com where I will be happy to make recommendations, and help you in your journey for a more inspired life and lifestyle.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Without a doubt, we head to the beach, Santa Monica. Take in the 3rd Street Promenade, walk on the pier, along the beach and soak in that soul and body revitalizing sea air! Anytime spent near the ocean is a plus. I also love going to the LA Farmer’s Market and the Grove for lunch at any of the fabulous restaurants, fun shopping, a glass of wine outdoors next to the dancing water fountain, or catch an afternoon movie at the AMC theatre. A drive down historic Hollywood Blvd or up Sunset all the way to Malibu – as you might guess, I’m a big fan of “going for a drive” and taking in the sights. You could listen to Randy Newman’s song “I Love LA” and just go to all the places he mentions – that would be fun, too!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the two most influential people in my empowerment journey becoming a Transformation Life Coach: Mark Fournier and DeeAnn Lensen. I call upon your individual wisdom daily. As I mentioned in my article, I am deeply grateful for my time and experience at the University of Southern California; it was life changing. Many of my mentors in storytelling include: Leslie Tuche Jones, Acting, founding member South Coast Repertory; Sheryl Donchey, Theatre Arts, Santiago Canyon College; Luis Alfaro, Playwriting, USC; Joe Peracchio, One Hour TV, USC; Professor Scott Smith, Writing 340, USC. Actually, all of my professors at USC were outstanding and I wish I could name them all.
Every person who enters your life is your teacher if you allow them to be.
Other: Currently, I am pleased to be co-producing a play about the journey into self-love here in Los Angeles with my writing partner, Tara Danielle Dervin, called “DATING MYSELF.” If you are interested in donating, collaborating, or attending (and we hope you do!) please reach out on our GO FUND ME PAGE: https://gofund.me/bcb3267c Also be sure to follow our Instagram @DATING_MYSELF_THE_PLAY https://youtu.be/YVTn7v1g3ww