We had the good fortune of connecting with Ermaline Ogbodo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ermaline, why did you pursue a creative career?
I pursued and artistic career because I knew ever since I was a child the point of existing is to create. I was a very studious child, I loved to be in Barnes and Noble and read various Psychology and Astrology books that expanded my mind since I was 8 years old. My mother shared a letter I wrote when I was 10, detailing how we can be anything we want to be in life and how I wanted to be an actress and model when I grew up. I also mentioned my love for Astrology which has never left.
Ironically, I had to go to law school and experience a chronic illness for me to wake up and realize how short life is. Despite having a knowing that I was creator, and meant to be a vessel for humanity by advocating for various groups through my art…I still let fear hold me back. I was too afraid to pursue the creative life full time so I went to law school to be an entertainment lawyer, and rationalized it in my head that one day I would make it on the big screen by being in the office, in hindsight it made no sense. But I was praised for my intellect my whole life, and viewed education and a “professional” career as a safety net when in reality all of my day dreams were about being a lightworker and content creator. It seems like divine intervention that I was forced to take a leave of absence from law school due to a legal issue within my immediate family. I was heartbroken that I had to leave, but my counselors insured it was for my mental health and now I realize I needed it. I worked at one of the top national law firms for their entertainment partner and hated it. I loved the people, but hated the work. I realized I needed to be the person who was performing, not just the one doing contracts. I knew I had to make my inner child happy and truly pursue my dreams. While working at the firm I gave myself a goal to get a talent agent and book a commercial within a year, and if I did that I would officially drop out. Within 6 months that happened. From then on out I been pursuing my acting and modeling career with all my energy, and turning my hobby of being an astrologer and tarot reader into my business ErmAlchemy.
Ironically, i feel like the artistic and creative life chose me. My circumstances always brought me to the point of having to choose between my true mental happiness and a sense of comfort by society’s standards. After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder during my first couple months in law school I could not deny how short life was, and how I deserved to be living my dreams.
Fast forward to now, I am the CEO of my own Astrology and Tarot business where I provide spiritual and psychological guidance to people just like me, who are trying to find their way. I am able to advocate for them in my own unique way, the same way I advocate for character’s stories on stage and film.
I always knew my purpose in life, but I ran away from it due to fear. I am so happy my circumstances redirected me to my dreams. God has always spoken to me, and now I have the guts to listen. When I realized my calling was greater than me…that I could use my creative and spiritual gifts to spread messages of life and light to the masses I realized that I could not let my insecurities stop me from being happy and touching those that need to be touched.
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.
I would love the world to know that you have the power to be who you want to be, and that there is no part of you you should be ashamed of. I am currently working on a series of monologues that highlight various mental illnesses and differences from the character’s perspective. I feel this is so important because mental health is stigmatized and often misrepresented in the media, and due to the mental health crisis we are having now I feel it is important to use our knowledge and influence for good. I have my BA in Psychology from USC, and minor in Theatre so I am using my education and passion to create content that uplifts the collective. My ErmaLight/ErmAlchemy Youtube channel is all about spreading light to dark places, and then transmuting that darkness to light. On that channel I provide mental health and spiritual advice, and also do tarot and astrology readings for the collective. My readings are focused on healing from the inside out, not something cheeky or just there for clickbait. I truly know that I am connecting to the source that connects us all, and know it is an honor for me to be able to do so. I take my job as a creative and advocate seriously and only operate with integrity. I want people to know that your dream is your dream, and adversity is just apart of the process. Being 27 and having suffered from chronic ailments, losing loved ones to suicide, violence and other means just reminded me that life is short and that we deserve to be happy and enjoy it in whatever way we like. There is nothing wrong with you, never was and never will be as long as you live with integrity and honor yourself before honoring others. I learned that in order to be a loving person, you need to fill your cup first. From the outside looking in I know people assume my life is full of glamour and fun, when behind the scenes it took and is still taking daily meditation, a strict health regimen, therapy, journaling, diligent planning and self awareness to get where I am. Wisdom is healed pain, I consider myself wise because I decided to transmute my pain into purpose and you can too.
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?
Oh wow this is so exciting! I love the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades, it is a beautiful outdoor meditation center that is inclusive of all beliefs and religions. It is literally the most peaceful place I been too, and would start the trip there just to get centered. I would then have brunch at Bacari on 3rd, my favorite spot. It is in between La Brea and West Hollywood and has the best tapas and wine. They are very affordable and have high quality food, and the ambiance is stunning! I would also visit Mama Shelter or EP & LP for drinks on their rooftop. I would of course hike at Runyon Canyon or Griffith park, and then go to Malibu Wine Safaris. It is gorgeous, affordable and has great wine and wild animals for you to pet and learn about while on the tour. I love to thrift so we would also go to the Melrose Trading Post on Sunday, and the Rose Bowl Flea Market (assuming it is the Sunday it is open) to shop local and vintage. We could also have dinner on the Perch rooftop downtown, which also has amazing French Cuisine and wine. Due to COVID a lot of places I used to frequent shut down, but seeing a show at Center Theatre Group would be lovely. I miss live theatre and plays, and look forward to going back.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mom and dad deserve all the credit. My mom always affirmed my creative talents and inner and outer beauty since I was a child. My father did the same with my intellect and spiritual abilities. Even though we did not come from the most stable financial background, I had spiritual and emotional guidance that is priceless. I love my parents and do not take their guidance or sacrifices for granted.
Also to my amazing friends who did not judge me for being “different”. I felt demonized for my interests for a long time – and felt authentic love for the first time when I was received with acceptance and love for being true to who I was.
Instagram: @ermalineo personal @ermalchemy tarot and astrology
@shootswithjessica @thechigerian both of their IG handles