We had the good fortune of connecting with Jim Martyka and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jim, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
So, so many reasons, but most of them boil down to the fact that I want to experience as much as I can in this lifetime and I feel there is no better way to do that than through the arts. I believe my pursuit of a creative career has introduced me to such a diverse web of amazing people, both in and beyond the field, people that have taught me, shared with me, offered me perspective, and given me precious and valuable life experience that I can look back on with a satisfied smile. I’ve always been creative in nature and knew my life would somehow go in this direction. I wasn’t sure exactly how, but working in the literary world, as well as theatre and film has given me such an outlet to not only express my creativity but to also help others share their art with the world. This artistic endeavor has helped me be my best authentic self, while also making others laugh, cry, think, escape and learn more about the world. There is nothing more satisfying than that. It’s also led to some extremely memorable experiences because…yeah…artists know how to live life to the fullest!
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’ve always had both an entrepreneurial spirit and a need to always be doing more than one thing. In fact, for most of my life, I’ve wanted to do EVERYTHING! Still do. That’s why I continue to find myself constantly working in various facets of the entertainment industry. My first passion was and always will be writing. I started as a freelance journalist, got into the book publishing world as a writer and editor and eventually started a consulting business for new writers looking to get published. I’m proud to say that as a writer, ghostwriter, editor or coach, I’ve been involved in over 50 published books in both fiction and nonfiction…and there’s so much more to come.
I also somehow got involved in acting, both on stage and screen. Not long after moving to Los Angeles, I discovered that the best and really, only way to truly work in and on your craft out here consistently was to do it yourself. You can’t wait for the opportunities. You need to make them. That led me and some good friends of mine to launch a theatre company (Theatre Unleashed) over a decade ago that has produced over 100 different shows. And then, a few years ago, I launched an independent film production company (Hold For Plane Pictures), which has focused mainly on short films (some award-winning!) but is looking to branch out very soon into a web series and features.
It’s extremely busy to be writing, coaching writers, acting, producing, etc. but it’s so incredibly rewarding. Anytime I feel down or frustrated, I think about all those books, those plays, those shorts and not only do the memories of those experiences make me smile, but I think of how many lives we were able to touch with those various projects, be it for a minute or for the long haul. And truly the “we” is the key to all of this. To be successful in these fields, you need to find others with the talent, drive and heart to take this crazy journey with you. I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded with some incredible talent who are even better people and that’s why I’ve been able to accomplish as much as I have.
It hasn’t always been easy, as no artistic pursuit ever is, but it has been absolutely worth it. And I can’t tell you how excited it makes me to think of all that’s left to come as I continue to juggle these various arts-based careers!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The absolute BEST thing about L.A. is that you could live out here for a hundred years and just scratch the surface on all the amazing places and things to see and do! For those looking for the L.A. experience, it’s hard to even think of where to begin. It completely depends upon what you’re in the mood for…and when! Some of my favorite spots are the Getty, Lake Shrine, Dodger Stadium, the Hollywood Bowl, the Greek, and of course, all the beaches and the local breweries. For food and bars, the list is just too long. There is literally anything and everything you need in terms of dining and night life, whenever and wherever you want it! It’s sheer luxury. And of course, all the taco trucks. My God, the taco trucks in this city are simply the best!
That’s perhaps my favorite thing about L.A., just how exciting this city is. Yes, it has its share of silliness and frustrations, but it is truly a place where you can do and be anything and everything. Plus, there is the added excitement of waking up in a city where every day could truly be the day that changes your life!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have been very blessed over the years to have a very wide support system that has not only encouraged me, but also helped me pursue my dreams over the years. It definitely starts with my parents Marty and Cathy, whose only request for me as their child was to pursue whatever was going to make me happy. That’s it. They have never questioned any of my career choices, even knowing that there might be some difficult roads ahead, especially financially. They believed in me, encouraged me, lifted me up when I needed and reminded me often that one’s happiness is really what matters most in life. They still do. They are truly amazing parents and I’m very blessed to have them. I’ve also received so much support from my younger brother who is not only the funniest person I know but a constant grounded reality check and my best bud. I’m also lucky to have a best friend and more named Mandy, an incredible artist and life coach who has such a beautiful and unique perspective on life, someone who has taught me so much about living and loving. And of course, there are the many friends and artists I’ve made on this journey who continue to play a part in this wonderful life!
Other: Hold For Plane Pictures Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/holdforplanepictures