We had the good fortune of connecting with Elsie Arisa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elsie, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
The notion that you cannot obtain a formal education and pursue your creative/artistic passion. The notion that you have to sacrifice one, to do the other and that you cannot have both. Or the idea that you can either work a traditional 9 – 5 or focus on being a creative. and that you cannot do both. I disagree with that. You can do both. You can pursue both and they can compliment each other.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an attorney. I started law school at the age of 20. I graduated from a law school that was/is ranked in the top 20 law schools, in the country. I took the MN bar exam and practiced business immigration law (still do) and left all of that to pursue my acting career. I left MN and moved to CA, by myself leaving a guaranteed career to focus on the complete unknown. I began working on my craft and at the Meisner Technique Studio where I spent the next 2.5 years studying, learning and growing while working 40-45 hours a week. I learned the importance of prioritizing, scheduling and staying focused.
I think it’s important to know that you can be a professional and a creative at the same time. That your professional career is an asset, not a hindrance. That your academic success is your superpower, not what is holding you back. It is instilling characteristics in you that will benefit you in the future. It will give you a uniqueness that you will eventually be thankful for. There is no reason to run away from finishing your education, or from maintaining that 9-5 while cultivating your creative/artistic endeavors. I am a growing representation of that.
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.
Honestly, I don’t know. I just moved to Los Angeles during shelter-in-place so I don’t know any interesting spots.
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?
Tamieka Briscoe and the QT series, and the Meisner Technique Studio in San Francisco