We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth Alan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Elizabeth, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
As an actor and a freelance graphic designer, the lines between “work” and “life” are easily blurred – and the relationship between the two are incredibly cyclical in nature. If I’m taking time to eat healthily and move my body during the day, my access to my emotions is greater while I’m performing. If I give my brain time to defragment through meditation and to play by embracing boredom (boredom is ESSENTIAL) or non-work activities, I am often rewarded with renewed creativity and focus. The way my brain functions has changed as I’ve grown older. I now subscribe to the Pomodoro school of thought: sit down for 25 minutes of uninterrupted work, get up and wander around for 5 minutes, repeat. Then, after a few reps, I’ll take a longer break to really stretch my legs. I’ve recognized that I need more sleep than I previously thought (averaging between 9-10 hours a night) and unless I am working with a tight deadline, I now try to listen to my brain and my body. Instead of a “hustle until it’s done” mentality, I try to work the hardest through my peak productive hours, while intentionally leaving time at the end of the day to be fully present in other areas. My entire attitude towards “the hustle” has changed and, in my opinion, become healthier during 2020 and into 2021. I have come to embrace the mindset that while working hard is vital to making it in both of the industries I am involved in, it is imperative I allow space for other parts of my journey.

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.
It’s always interesting what runs through your mind as an actor when you are asked to speak about yourself – why am I special? In the beginning of my career it usually sent me into a spiral, I mean, WHY am I special? AM I special? Am I special ENOUGH? Is there enough work to go around? As time has gone by though, I’ve come to the rather comforting conclusion that we are, in fact, all special; and we each have the ability to bring something entirely unique to the projects we work on simply by being the most authentic version of us we can be. I love the quiet, multi-level nuanced energy that I can bring to a scene but love to applaud from the sidelines at each element my fellow actors bring to a story. Of the projects I am proud of, the one I think of most often is Community Theater Christmas. CTC is a feature I filmed in 4 1/2 days at the end of 2019 with a cast&crew of about 30 friends who were just determined to MAKE SOMETHING. I’m so proud of the work everyone put in. And as icing on the cake, thanks to CTC I became SAG Eligible and joined the Union at the end of 2020. It hasn’t been easy pursuing acting. Starting after age 25 is considered late in the game, and the addition of a global pandemic over the past year+ has put a damper on both personal and professional projects. Honestly, I do get discouraged and as there is no linear path in this career, no guaranteed promotion if you do these certain steps, every day can feel like an unknowing. But as I have been told repeatedly by teachers (shoutout to Don Bloomfield) and friends alike in various forms “if you have talent and don’t give up, your time will come…just keep going”. So on I go! One of the most important lessons I have learned is to celebrate as you go – Celebrate the auditions, the callbacks, the people you meet and THEIR wins, as well as the roles you get leading to the stories you get to tell. If you are able to lean into the privilege of living such an adventure you WILL win, whether or not you ever get to hold a gold statue or sneak a hamburger into an awards show.

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?
Coffee &Tea & Other Beverages: Kindness & Mischief – starting your day out with coffee that supports female farmers. The owner, Mo, is a ray of sunshine – you’ll leave caffeinated with enough positivity for the day and then some. Chimney Coffee – Thai Tea is an excellent mid-day pick me up! After hour drinks at La Cuevita or The Hermosillo. Food: Just What I Kneaded for mind blowing vegan pastries (the cinnamon rolls will change your life). Triple Beam Pizza for…PIZZA. I’m partial to the Acorn Squash (acorn squash, mozzarella, cacio di roma cheese, honey, crushed red pepper) but I will literally eat anything they serve. Joy on York for their Dan Dan Noodles and Forbidden Rice Pudding. Wax Paper Co. for their “Audie Cornish” sandwich (Ham, house honey butter, cheddar, sea salt, cornichon vinaigrette, on a Bub & Grandma’s baguette.” Sidecar Donuts for their Butter & Salt donut as well as Basil Eggs Benedict (mystery remains as to how they get that IN a donut). Assuming Everything is Open Activities: Catch a movie at the iconic Vista Theater. Watch a play at the Ahmanson, Pasadena Playhouse, Actor’s Co-Op or Antaeus Theater. Wander the halls of the Getty and then spend some time under the sun in the gardens. Attend a show, either Meija or Bellsaint if we’re lucky, at Gold-Diggers, The Bootleg or Moroccan Lounge. Roller Skating at the Moonlight Rollerway!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There’s no question that behind this woman there is a dedicated, uplifting and irrepressibly fun man – my shoutout goes out to Pete Schwartz – husband, bird father and partner in everything, crime or otherwise. After first moving to Los Angeles eight years ago, Pete was fully supportive in my tentative steps towards becoming an actor. He has been there every step of the way, whether it be memorizing pages of lines or investing in both fishnets and Edwardian formal wear. Thank you, I love you, and there is no one else I’d rather be with on this adventure of life.

Website: www.elizabethalan.com

Instagram: @ElizabethMaeAlan

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/elizabeth-mae-alan

Twitter: @ElizabethAlanLA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethMaeAlan

Image Credits
Ana Sierota

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