We had the good fortune of connecting with Doña Oxford and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Doña, how do you define success?
Success for me is not fame or fortune. Success for me is joy and unconditional happiness regardless of circumstance. Bank accounts will rise and fall, fame will ebb and flow, relationships will come and go, shit will happen… but in the end it’s all perspective. How are you choose to handle life & your circumstance is what success is all about. It’s easy to get upset and to feel like you are failing when you drive your car over a bunch of rubble and get a flat tire. But maybe, just maybe if you look close enough you’ll see that the rubble is actually a pile of diamonds and all you have to do is pick them up. So if you can shift your perspective and know that you are not your circumstance, and that you are just experiencing a temporary event, then you can move through life with less grief, pain, turmoil and actually live your life to the fullest, in joy and unconditional happiness. There is nothing better! This is success!!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve really lived a fantastic and magical life, weaving in and out of multiple artistic vehicles, including acting, music, comedy, writing, singing, etc.
I think the key to my success and what has set me apart from others is my willingness to be vulnerable. A dear friend, and my first guitarist, Arthur Neilson, once told me… ‘ if you make a mistake, just hit the wrong note a second time and people will think it’s jazz!‘.
I’ve always taken that lesson to heart. I’ve learned that mistakes can be cool. Sometimes being in the moment, even with a mistake, is more precious than being so preconceived and in your head that you’re not enjoying the moment. And then it’s gone in an instant with nothing to savor.
I’ve learned to wear my heart on my sleeve and be my authentic self. Sure, you want people to like you, and you don’t want to feel the rejection or the feeling of failure, but I find the more authentic you are, the more people appreciate you, even with your flaws.
You appear more accessible to your fans when they see that you are just like them.
Vulnerability and authenticity are the keys to success. I have a saying: if you’re in your head, you are dead. If you’re thinking, you’re stinking! Just feel your way through life and you’ll be much better off!
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?
I love Griffith Park. It’s my sanctuary. It’s where I go to hike, meditate and connect with nature. It’s also got incredible views of the Hollywood sign which is definitely an exciting hotspot for visitors. I also love the touristy things in LA; such as Graumans Chinese theater, The Hollywood walk of fame and Universal studios tour.
But my secret spot for hanging out is Rocco’s Pizza in Culver City. Great little hang for pizza and 2 for 1 happy hour plus their little attached speakeasy, the 77 Lounge for music or just ‘date night’.
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?
There are so many people that have contributed to my journey, my success. But I need to give a special shout out to my very first acting coach, Joe Balfior, who recognized a spark in me, and to Piano legend, Johnnie Johnson who took me under his wing, and to my mother, Vivian, who was my champion and biggest fan and who allowed me the freedom to explore my art.
Youtube: Dona Oxford
Halstan Williams, Mike Kendall, Eric Vareen, David Chan, Vivian Oxford